Video Optimization

Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

What are video search results?

When conducting a keyword search, video results sometimes appear in the search engine result pages. Many keywords will not be news worthy, have videos or even major brands attached to them so video results do not always appear. In addition to keywords, Google is also using the number of social bookmarks, Diggs, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers and many other factors in determining whether or not to show video results, much in the same way all those factors contribute to an overall site ranking. Google also chooses where to display the video results on the search engine result pages.



How do we optimize video hosted on YouTube?

  • Metadata: Make sure to add keyword-rich metadata to video files before uploading them to YouTube.
  • Title and Description: Titles and descriptions are the text most commonly applied to videos. YouTube allows you to insert this information in the provided specified title and description fields.
  • Filename: Ensure the filename is a sensible and descriptive one, ideally with hyphens or some other form of separating character in between words. For example, “2010-MBA-tour-interview.wmv” rather than “videofile.wmv” or “2010MBAtourinterview.wmv”.
  • Tags: YouTube will generally give the opportunity to provide tags. Unfortunately, many video sharing sites, YouTube in particular, are plagued with irrelevant tags from SEO scammers.
  • Social Media: Social bookmarking sites and tools to assist in the visibility of your videos, add backlinks to your videos, and create traffic. Also, getting your “fans/followers/subscribers” to submit/vote/like/re-tweet your videos on social media sites helps optimize videos as well.

How do we optimize video hosted on your website?

  • HTML: When you publish a video to your website, surrounding it with HTML content will help search engines obtain additional information about the video from the surrounding page.
  • Filename, title and description: Although these elements will not provide excellent rankings by themselves, they are almost necessary to rank at all so remember to include them.
  • Metadata: Include keywords into your video’s metadata. You can even go as far as tagging each scene with relevant keywords.
  • Keyword “video”: This may seem silly or obvious, but using the word “video” as a keyword can help your video rank better if people add “video” to the end of their search query.
  • Links and Backlinks: Backlinks are just as important for video optimization as they are for regular website SEO. You want as many backlinks as possible to your video. These links could be on your own site, blogs, etc.
  • Video sitemaps / MRSS / RSS: In order for search engines to easily find your videos, you will want to make a sitemap, RSS, or media RSS (MRSS) file to help identify where to locate and index your video content.
  • One Video Directory: Compiling all video files in one directory that is not buried within your website also helps search engines find and index those videos.
  • No Flash Video Players: Search engines have difficulty crawling videos contained within flash players.
  • URLs: Optimize your URL structure so they include video information. Having one video per URL is a good idea as well.

What are other methods for optimizing video?

  • Tell The World: Sending press releases, emailing bloggers that might be interested in the video, and posting on social media sites will likely get someone to link back to a video. Online forums are another place to spread the word.
  • Do Some Legwork: Submit your video link to online directories or social bookmarking websites. The directories can be free or paid and since most have some page rank and a good amount of traffic the links will be worth something.
  • Network: In addition to forums and blogs, sites that are relevant to your video content are even better. You can email the webmasters of these sites, explain your company and video, and ask if they would create a post about the video.
  • Discuss: Allowing comments on your videos can potentially spark interesting conversation that may be picked up by other sites. Allowing discussion is a good way to generate interest and interest can spread causing others to link back to your video.

Why track video results?

Producing video content takes time, money and energy. The results should be tracked in order to know if those resources were correctly allocated. Knowing how much traffic you are receiving from these video results and whether or not this traffic is valuable can help make a number of decisions. Perhaps a major chunk of your organic search traffic is actually from video results.  You could segment those visitors to find out when they watch. Also, are you posting new videos when our audience is actively seeking them out?

…and by the way…have you seen Beacon’s amazing video?


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