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May 22, 2014

Video SEO Tips to Kick Start Your Rankings

SEO is a game of perseverance, consistency, and a commitment to quality. Many marketers and business owners are starting to truly master the art of SEO through the usage of high quality content, but few have cracked the code of organic video SEO. If you utilize all-mighty video content in your marketing strategies, it’s integral that you know how to get the maximum search results from your efforts as well. Follow these solid tips for video SEO, and you’ll be light years ahead of your peers and competitors.

Tip #1: Make Value Your Most Important Attribute

As a business owner, you’ve likely spent scads of time getting to know your core customer. If you are armed with this information, you have a solid idea of what your customers want when it comes to your content.

Every video you produce should always hold that core customer in mind. In tandem, your content must be valuable, intriguing, and offer something original, or it’s simply another piece of digital clutter.

Don’t fool yourself into fearing that quality costs more money than mediocre content. Quality takes creativity and commitment, but not necessarily a bigger budget. Things like interviews with industry experts, or a video of you discussing the core issues your customers are facing, and subsequent solutions, can be very inexpensive and very powerful too.

Tip #2: Host Your Own Videos

Arguably the most powerful technique you can employ, hosting your own videos via your business’s domain can do wonders for your rankings. This doesn’t mean you should abandon sites like YouTube, but don’t rely on them as your sole destination for video content.

As you create your library, use an online video platform to create a video sitemap, which is best kept in a subdomain of your main URL. Using Vimeo and YouTube, and then embedding the videos on your website, is a lackluster approach; it prevents that content from doing anything SEO worthy for your actual company site. You’re basically just giving away your SEO mojo to the big dogs, and since it’s your content, you deserve the boost.

Tip #3: Use Social Networks Wisely

Yes, you need to host your own video content, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well-maintained YouTube channel. Think of social networks as a place to connect with new customers, and continue the conversation with existing ones. Your YouTube channel is a place to funnel folks to your video library on your own site – this is the best way you can utilize this and similar social networks.

Consider creating shorter snippets of your videos for YouTube, which would essentially work as previews. Then encourage folks to visit your home domain for the full experience. This allows you to create separate metadata for the preview piece, and lets you create two video pieces out of one shoot. You therefore avoid the issue of duplicate content, and get more mileage out of your marketing efforts.

Tip #3: Create a Video Library and Sitemap

Since you now know the importance of hosting your videos on your actual site, take the time to create an intuitive home for the content as well. Create a video library on your site, complete with category tags and unique video titles and descriptions.

Make it easy for your users to find the videos they are looking for. This is best achieved by making individual landing pages for each content piece, which allows humans to find what they’re after, and search engines to have lots of content to index.

In turn, create a video sitemap that lists each of these landing pages, ideally with metadata included. Many tools will automate this process for you, so each time a new asset is published with a subsequent landing page, it will automatically be included. This landing page / sitemap approach can help skyrocket your video SEO.

Tip #4: Lead Viewers into Clever Calls to Action

It’s amazing how much video content essentially becomes a dead end for the viewer. Every time you produce a piece of content, make sure to incorporate a level of interactivity that influences viewers to take the next step in your process. Whether you want folks to watch another video, access a blog post, or make a purchase, tie in your request discreetly but powerfully so you don’t miss a golden conversion opportunity.

Tip #5: Don’t Forget the All-Important Transcripts

In addition to your live content, videos also have another major SEO bonus: transcripts. Transcripts are SEO windfalls. Many businesses have added transcripts to videos that were previously unranked, only to see these pieces finally hit the mark. Don’t miss out on this often overlooked tactic.

Transcripts should be added directly to the HTML of your video landing pages. They are certainly useful for users who want to read rather than watch, but most importantly, they can be easily indexed by search engines. You can also use the transcripts in blogs and articles that get people excited about the actual video content. The uses for transcripts are so varied, you really can’t afford not to include them with every video you shoot.

What other savvy video SEO tricks do you employ the yield results?


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile