How to do Video SEO

The latest Grovo ‘Expert Series’ video is an interesting one. Tom Critchlow is an SEO expert and talks through what you need to know about video SEO. (And he’s a Brit, too, which makes a nice change!)

Here’s the video series.

There are 13 snippets to go through, so it takes a while to watch. If you don’t have time, here are my notes:

Context

  • Video is becoming increasingly important.
  • Now’s a good time to get into it.

Choosing Subject Matter

  • Think about who your audience is and what they’ll be interested in. Talk about something you know a lot about.
  • On YouTube, people are typically searching for information – researching and asking questions rather than looking to buy something.
  • Look on Quora or Yahoo Answers for an idea of what things people might be searching for and what terminology they’re using.

How to Create Your Videos

  • Just dive in. Don’t worry about optimisation to start with.
  • Include a call to action; tell people what you want them to do.
  • For B2B marketing, you may want to put the video behind an email opt-in.

YouTube or Self-Hosting

  • If just dabbling, host on YouTube. If looking to invest seriously, use something like Wistia, Vimeo or Vzaar (more features and better analytics).

YouTube Basics

  • Have a good title and description. Use YouTube Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for.
  • Make it public.
  • Allow comments.
  • Make sure you have an umbrella account that the videos are posted under.
  • Try to build up a group of followers. Ask people you know to Like and comment on your videos.
  • Make sure the description encourages people to watch the video.
  • If you want to drive people back to your site, include your full URL in the description.

Advanced YouTube Tips

  • Upload captions (use CaptionTube) — helps video indexing and discovery.
  • Use your target keywords in the filename you upload.
  • Make sure you get people to watch the video all the way through.
  • Engage in the YouTube community.
  • Use YouTube annotations for call to actions, but don’t make it too spammy / intrusive — try to provide value for the user.

Self-Hosting Basics

  • Tom recommends Wistia.
  • If self-hosting, you should create a video sitemap.
  • Wistia does this for you automatically (their killer feature).
  • There are no great tools for doing this, apart from Yoast’s video SEO tool (WordPress-only).

Advanced Self-Hosting

  • Use schema to mark up your video (VideoObject).
  • If you’re getting really serious about video, consider doing transcriptions of your videos. Post transcription along with each video.

Getting Distribution

  • 100,000 views is achievable.
  • It’s often easier to get a blog to embed a video than to link to it elsewhere.
  • TubeMogul can be useful for getting maximum views.
  • Google is getting smart at spotting duplicate videos.
  • If you want SEO value of ranking for a particular phrase, self-host and don’t use TubeMogul.
  • If you’re pushing a viral video, paying for initial views can work well.
  • StumbleUpon advertising can be effective for viral/funny content (especially if video autoplays).

Video Linkbuilding

  • Have embed codes that link back to your site (you can tweak the YouTube embed codes).
  • Can work well to include the video in a press release (either embedded or linked-to).
  • People will often link to YouTube rather than your site. To counter this, have some related resource on your site and encourage people to link to it (even if they’re also linking to YouTube for the video). If people don’t link to your resource, follow up with them and ask them to do so. News organisations generally won’t update articles, but bloggers will.

Link Outreach

  • Carefully craft your content with a particular audience in mind.
  • Contact people in a friendly way to see if they’d be interested in your content.

Video Analytics

  • YouTube Analytics show you lots of good information, e.g. when people tended to stop watching.
  • SEOMoz’s Open Site Explorer is good for seeing your backlinks. You need to register for a free account to use it.
  • AuthorityLabs tool has icons that let you see if videos are ranking highly for a given keyword phrase. If they are, then the phrase may be a good one for you to target with a video (Google thinks videos are a good thing to show for that search phrase).

Case Studies

  • SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday
  • Zappos are pushing the envelope for video SEO in e-commerce by having 50,000 product videos like this one. Note that the videos are on the relevant product pages, so it’s perfect if someone clicks through to the page from a search result.

 

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