I came across a video blog post by Hubspot this week and it reminded me of how increasingly important online video is becoming to “getting found online”.
The post was a YouTube Video from 12 months ago by Hubspot that had been recorded during an internal ofline “Twitter Training” class for staff and it was quite funny but very natural. I asked myself the question why is this video up on their blog. The short answer, because it helps them “get found online”… they are using every digital asset they have offline and then re-purposing it for online so that they can constantly fine tune and improve their SEO. So I have listed below some tips for optimizing Video for SEO and then we will take a look at using your other digital assets for SEO in a “Holistic Strategy” for “Getting Found Online”
I also wanted to look at this topic more closely because of the following observations and facts that I stumbled across in my cyberspace travels.
1. Google owns YouTube… this has to have some implication in Google’s use, ranking and priority of online video in its search logorithms
2. The younger generation watches videos almost before anything else
3. When you do Google searches you will find YouTube Videos high up in the search results
So how can you use online video to help your SEO and what are some of the best practices for doing this?
1. Optimizing Video for “Getting Found Online”
Video SEO is the practice of optimizing video content via Video Search Engines like YouTube and Blinkx. Video optimization as part of search engine optimization efforts is a great way to increase the search engine rankings and thereby increase the traffic to one’s website. It acquaints otherwise ignorant users to your brand, products and services.
There are 4 core methods for video optimization.
- The video can be hosted on your own site. ( not recommended as it will cost you more with hosting costs due to you having to pay fordownload traffic from your site and it doesn’t assist your SEO as much as having it your own account on YouTube.
- Video search engines like Truveo will crawl your site to find videos.
- Another way is submitting an RSS or MRSS feed to a third party site like Yahoo Video or Blinkx.
- Social Media sharing sites like YouTube, AOL Video, and Yahoo Video that allow users to upload videos directly. They can also be used to optimize listings.
8 Tips for Effective Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO)
- Content Should be Compelling and Meaningful: The quintessence of an effective video is the content. It should be compelling as well as meaningful. If the content isn’t catchy or interesting, viewers won’t be attracted to it. But at the same time, if it doesn’t reinforce the brand, it is not serving its purpose.
- Headline for the Video Should Drive Viewing like a Good Headline: The title of the video is a big factor in bringing viewers. It should be catchy and also contain keywords. In fact, using keywords in the filename and URL is very advantageous. Another trick is to use the word ‘video’ in any metadata. This is because many users tend to use that word in their searches and having it in the title increases the chances of making it in the search engine results. Stop words like “the”, “and”, etc. should be avoided in the filename.
- Users Prefer Viewing a Quick Snapshot Before Watching the Full Video. Making good use of thumbnails helps users decide which video to watch. The way you generate thumbnails differs from site to site but the results they yield are worth the effort.
- The Length of the Video Should not exceed 5 Minutes. It shouldn’t be too long as that may bore the viewer. Ideally, it shouldn’t exceed 5 minutes.
- Allow viewers to rate your video: Search engines pay attention to this when ranking these videos. Moreover, potential viewers also tend to take into account the ratings of previous viewers. It thus helps ‘go viral’ if the video is positively ranked.
- Use Keywords in the Link Text. Ths enables search engines to find the video as they can’t read images or video
- Promote The Video. This can be done through appropriate RSS or MRSS feeds, social bookmarking, and permitting embedding of the video to other sites.
- Enable the Viewer an Option to Share or Send the Video. This will leverage your marketing .
Note: Video Search Engine Optimization is in its infancy, but it’s progressing by leaps and bounds. It is thus a wise step to invest in VSEO.
2. “Holistic Strategy” for SEO and Getting Found Online.
Another acronym floating around Cyberspace that also encompasses Video Search Engine Optimisation is “Digital Asset Optimisation“. I first came across this term when reading a blog post by Lee Odden from Top Rank Blog and it is starting to gain some traction on the web but he takes it a step further.
So ” What Is Digital Asset Optimisation ? It refers to the practice of taking inventory of a company’s marketable, digital assets and implementing a process for keyword optimization and promotion to relevant channels. Below is a summary of what he means by this.
“Many companies that have applied basic SEO principles to standard web site content see substantial benefits. Adding new content and attracting links help maintain search marketing performance but is that all you can do to be competitive with SEO? No. A natural progression of SEO is a “Holistic” approach that considers all of a company’s searchable assets that can be keyword optimized and promoted online.
What are Searchable Assets? Some of these are
- Documents: (Word and PDF)
- Images: (Photos, Presentations in Powerpoint, E-Books )
- Video in all its formats
- Podcasts (Audio and Video)
- RSS Feeds
Standard optimization of content in the form of web page SEO is a starting point that can be extended to various media types that are increasingly prominent in both standard search as well as media specific search such as images, video and audio.
In the screenshot above from Google on the search query, “Social Media” are.
- News results
and are increasingly being incorporated into standard search results. All are opportunities for optimization.
Search Engine Optimization is challenging enough for organizations rich with digital assets. An effort to optimize and promote those assets to bots can be even more challenging – and rewarding. Since 2007 we’ve been using Digital Asset Optimization at TopRank as a way to describe for clients what new opportunities there are to enable their customers to pull themselves via search to client content.
The repurposing of offline content and digital media for for online marketing purposes should be made a priority such as, Tradeshow or training videos used offline (such as the Hubspot YouTube Twitter training video) can be remixed & edited to provide online content in the form of video, images, text. Each media type can be optimized for standard search like Google, as well as promoted on distinct media sites such as YouTube and Flickr.
The fundamental premise for good SEO or DAO or whatever you want to call optimizing content is that “If it can be searched on, it can be optimized”.
The benefits of a more “Holistic” optimization and marketing approach can be extended beyond content used to attract leads and sales. There other types of search that can drive or benefit business including customer service related content such as
- Job listings
- News content
Each has it’s own audience to consider and therefore, a different context for optimization.
Developing an interdepartmental process for matching up the various digital assets with corresponding channels of promotion gives companies with minimal content resources additional online marketing opportunities. It also gives companies that produce substantial content an overwhelming competitive advantage. They key to any successful SEO or DAO effort is developing the proper strategy, implementation and management to reaching business goals.
So In Summary
- Consumer search and information consumption is trending towards video, interactive and content sharing.
- Content creators and marketers are challenged to meet those demands through more robust asset optimization efforts.
- Demand for a variety of content types is on the rise
- A digital asset optimization strategy identifies content in all its forms, formats and intentions and applies filters to qualify what is most promotable. Keyword mapping to each promotable asset (both on and offsite) along with a content promotion plan helps organize and keep accountable the digital asset optimization effort.
- There’s no doubt that SEO is constantly changing. Paying attention to new search channels, consumer demand for rich media and the need for content types against which to advertise, is a real opportunity for those marketers ready to take fundamental SEO to the next level
Is your company’s SEO effort focused on web pages or do you optimize and track search performance for other digital assets as well?