27 Sep 2011

Online Video Optimization

Written By,
Usability Ninja Karina

As the technology of the web advances, online videos are growing in popularity, thus an increased importance is placed on video optimization. Getting your videos to rank well in a search engine will bring your website more visibility. You should think of video as content. We all know that “Content is King”, but what’s even better than plain text content, is a VARIETY of content on a website. Video is a great way to bring in that variety.


Video SEO

  • Videos are great link bait and deserve a catchy title, with relevant keywords included. Informative, helpful pieces or humorous clips are a great way to get people to link to your site.
  • Tag the video with relevant keyword phrases and terms that users might be searching for, and think about naming the filename with a relevant term as well.
  • Create a video site-map–this will make it easier for users and search engines to find video content on your site. Here is a link to Google Webmaster Tools Video Sitemap Help Guide.

Video Usability

  • Keep videos to 5 minutes or less. In order to keep your audiences attention, say as much as you can in the shortest way possible. Longer videos also have slower load times, and users will leave your page if you keep them waiting.
  • Be sure the video clips are relevant to the page or site’s overall content. Videos should enhance the user experience and provide helpful information, or interesting tidbits that promote conversions.
  • Include a transcript of the video on the same page the video is located, for both accessibility and SEO reasons. Users that are hard of hearing won’t be able to hear the audio in the video, so providing a transcript of the video optimizes the page for those users. Also, including a transcript will allow search engines to crawl that content and make it easier for the video to rank.
  • Include your logo on your videos if you create your own video content and own the rights to the video. This can be accomplished by doing a fade-in/fade-out at the beginning and end of the video, or you can place a small watermark of your logo in the bottom corner of the video. This will help prevent content thieves.
  • Include an embedding option on your video. If a user likes your content, they may be compelled to embed it on their website, blog or social media pages and share it with all their friends. When a video is embedded, it provides a link back to your website. Additionally, remember that logo you included on the video? That’s called free advertising.
  • Allow users to rate your video, or include options for users to use social media to “Like”, “Tweet”, and “Share” the video. Search engines are paying attention to these social signals and this may help your video rankings.
  • If your video is in HD, allow the option to “turn off” the HD (like Vimeo does) as HD videos take longer to load and may have trouble playing properly on slower connections.

Video Content

If you are making your own videos there are a lot of technical aspects that go into a quality production, but there are some basic principles you should know before putting your video up on your website.

  • Make sure the audio is properly balanced. Poor sounding audio will make your users leave before watching the entire video.
  • Include a title at the beginning of the video so users watching it out of context (such as on an embedded video) will still understand what they are looking at.
  • Sometimes it may be useful to add the date at the beginning of the video.
  • If your video includes interviews, be sure to make use of title bars with the person’s name.
  • Be sure to properly credit anyone who had a part in the video’s production, especially if you contracted someone to create the video for you. If you created the video in-house, then including your logo (as stated above) will suffice.
  • Include a call-to-action in your video, such as asking the user to visit your website (particularly helpful when a video is embedded off-site) or to call for more information.

Comments

  1. Rochelle October 3, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Thank you for posting this :-)

  2. Jim October 4, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Very good stuff – I never really thought about online video and it’s impact on Organic SEO. I will defiantly be referring back this post often. Thanks!

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