Video Optimization…an Emerging Aspect of SEO

By Chris Thoren, Product Specialist, Natural Search

So you’ve created these impressive, slick videos, posted them on your site and YouTube, and now you can sit back and watch the traffic come in. Right? Not so fast, Spielberg. If you’re going with this approach, those nice, expensive videos will be collecting dust because you’re going to be the only one watching them. Unless you catch lightning in a bottle. Outside of a viral phenomenon, what makes for a successful video optimization campaign? I’ll even go out on a limb and coin a new phrase, VEO (OK, maybe not). Anyway, it is something many marketers are facing today, including yours truly.

Websites are trying to appease the sophisticated end user, and by doing so video and other multimedia applications are becoming more commonplace on sites, blogs, etc. Heck, there are even sites dedicated just to videos and funny commercials. That said, this makes for good times while trying to make a site SEO-friendly. All you have to do is convince your client to remove their videos off their site. Yeah right. Or you may provide your client with some alternatives where they can leave their pretty videos up and provide some context for the spiders to nosh on and possibly gain some traction within the engines. Let’s look at some practices that make for search friendly videos.

Research, Research, Research

Any good structure begins with a good foundation. Tell us more, Frank Lloyd Wright! I know, I know, but it’s true. You, or your agency, need to conduct the proper research to target the keywords that mesh with your video(s), query intent and such. You don’t want to go into this flying blind. Plus, this needs to coincide with your objectives of the video. Is it geared more towards viral (the more eyeballs, the better), are you trying to get the user to take an action, or do you want them to take some other action? Depending on your answer to these questions will determine the output from the keyword research.

Demographic Profile

Everyone pretty much uses YouTube, so there’s no easy way to pin down the demographic profile of that user, but there are tools available that you can assist you in narrowing your focus on who you should target. Tools like comScore and Google Ad Planner are valuable to determine the types of people searching for your video. You can at least drill down to the category level and massage and play with the data as necessary.

Universal Search vs. Video Search

So what’s the difference between universal search (basically a regular SERP, but with YouTube videos, local results, images, etc.) and video search? Well, for one, the user’s intent search query is different depending on which engine the user is, uh, using. Think about it. For the most part, when you’re using a search engine, you’re looking for information or conducting research. When you’re using YouTube, you’re most likely looking for specific commercials, highlights, TV shows, etc. also, the user is aware that the video search engine will act as a natural filter and produce video-specific results.

Keyword Research

Now that you have a good foundation (you thought I was going to forget about that, didn’t ya?), you should focus in on the terms you want to target. These should be a good mix that take into account the intent, demographic profile, etc. They can be general or long-tail terms as long as they’re in line with your objectives. In order to keep focus, your keyword list should be around 5-10 terms depending on the nature of the video. You should also be prepared to build out some decent content around each video (a good best practice would be at least 200 words).

There you have it. Another aspect of video optimization would be the distribution of said multimedia, but that’s an entirely separate blog post.

That’s a wrap, people!


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