There aren’t any recent posts out there that discuss the value of creating videos that are optimized for YouTube, Vimeo and other video sharing sites. However, I think this topic deserves an update, since video is still a very effective and popular marketing channel in 2012. In fact, YouTube is still the second largest search engine on the Internet.
Things to Consider Right Away
The first thing you have to think about is where you would like to host your video. Of course, you can always host it on your website and on a service such as YouTube. However if you host your video on another party’s website, you have to remember that is the sole place the traffic is going. So, if one of your priorities is to boost your own web traffic with your video, you’ll want to make sure you also host it on your own website. (Sidenote: even if you host the video on your site, there are still ways to create keyword-rich content around the video that may help your video get a better shot in search engine such as Google and Bing.)
Optimizing Video with Keywords
Of course, there is no search engine for words you actually say in a video (yet), but there are still many areas of content around a video that can be optimized with relevant keywords so that search engines can index your video and users can find it easily.
You’ll want to consider the following areas:
Here’s a helpful little tip from Tech Crunch: Google likes it when the title tag of the page matches the title of the video, and will give a higher weighting for results where this is the case. (Tech Crunch)
“Beyond that, include a paragraph of optimized text that provides a brief description of the video. Again, the benefits are twofold: You’ll improve the user experience and your search rankings.” (Via Top Rank Blog)
Name Your Video Descriptively
“Have a clear, descriptive title, and include as many accurate tags as you can. For example, if you’ve created a video that shows how to tie a bow tie, your title should be ‘How to tie a bow tie.’ That’s really important, because that’s [what] your target viewer probably wanted to learn. So think visually — ties, dress, how to dress nice, how to tie a tie, how to tie a bow tie, etc.
-- YouTube spokesman Aaron Zamost via Mashable
Distribute on Video Sharing Sites
There are several video-sharing sites on the web these days. If you plan to host your video on one of them, you should distribute it to as many as possible. Think of each site as another search engine. Of course, YouTube is the giant, but sites such as Vimeo, DailyMotion Yahoo Video and Google Video are still very popular video sharing sites. Here is a current list of some of the most visited video sharing sites (except for Megaupload, of course.)
Create Calls to Action
Just because your viewer can’t click through your video screen, doesn’t mean you can’t create clear calls to action. Make sure (especially if your video is hosted on a video sharing site) that you include your website address in the video itself – don’t just say it, show it at the beginning of your video and at the end.
If you would like your viewer to do something after they’ve watched your video, by all means ask them to. Say you created a video demonstrating your new product – make sure you tell them where to find it and ask them for the sale.
Promote Your Video with Link Building
Links are a form of currency on the web and act as a way for search engines to judge the quality of your content. Just as on websites, the more links you have to your video, the better and the more strength they have in the search engines.
Here are some ways to get links to your video:
· The number one goal – create videos that compel people to watch and share.
· Promote your video in your blog content.
· Link to videos from your other videos.
· Ask your peers and partners to promote your video on their blogs.
· Send out a press release announcing your video.
· Include your video in a guest blog post for another online publication.
· Share your video on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Are there other ways you have found to optimize videos for search engines? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @iexposure. Need help producing your own video? Check out some of our latest video work, and contact us if you'd like us to be a part of your own production.
Image by Spencer E. Holtaway, and licensed through Creative Commons.
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