Over the last few years, we have seen video grow from a “frill” some businesses occasionally include on their websites, to an essential, competitive differentiator that drives search engine optimization — SEO — and increases brand identification. Knowledgeable businesses have already embraced this shift and made video a central part of their online offerings. The most advanced have found ways to create high-quality video that is automatically updated across their websites on the fly, using existing web content. At this point, it’s possible to create endless numbers of professional videos with no human intervention, and the SEO implications make it too appealing to ignore.
Ever since Google integrated video into its universal search offering in 2007, websites featuring video have gained a significant SEO advantage. When a company integrates relevant videos that match the content of its website, search engines find and index the video within the site’s context. This improves your overall website and video search ranking as it relates to your business’ keywords, and also allows search results to be presented with matching videos, making them more appealing, and thereby increasing search-based traffic. And make no mistake…it was no accident that Google acquired YouTube. YouTube has arguably become the fourth largest search engine*, right behind Google, Facebook and Yahoo!.
Still, it is not enough to simply embed videos within a website. To harvest the full potential of videos, they should be deployed throughout the website. Whether a large e-business with 50,000 products or a small business with only a dozen or so products or services, you should have video to illustrate each product or service in your portfolio. This way, those videos match keywords that are specific to each and every product or service, targeting consumers that are more likely to search for products using those keywords. And it goes without saying that your video catalog should be kept current to reflect additions, deletions or changes to your products or services.
Other factors to success include, but are not limited to: checking to insure quality in the content of your videos; having a catchy and relevant title to your movies; deploying keyword “tags” that line up with a searcher’s query; keeping the video’s length under five minutes—and if it must be longer, consider breaking it into segments (you don’t want to lose your audience after working hard to get it!); the use of branding and your company’s logo(s); syndication; and last…share, share, share!!
Video SEO can and should be an excellent way to get your company or organization in front of potential users who otherwise may not know about you. Side note: this is equally pertinent and relevant to non-profits! Engage, entertain and promote, and make sure the search engines can find your videos and rank them well!
*Source: Experian “Hitwise” for week ending 2/23/13