Video SEO for your website

29

Feb

2012

Robert Wakefield
0 Comments

By Robert Wakefield   

In last month's blog post we looked at some simple SEO methods that any website owner can use to improve website rankings. They may not (in themselves) put your site straight to the top of Google, but given time they'll certainly help your SERPs - or Search Engine Results Pages as we say in the trade...

In last month's blog post we looked at some simple SEO methods that any website owner can use to improve website rankings. They may not (in themselves) put your site straight to the top of Google, but given time they'll certainly help your SERPs - or Search Engine Results Pages as we say in the trade.

I promised we'd look this month at another very important SEO strategy - Video SEO -  (and fortunately we have 29 days this February, so it's just in the nick of time!).

Why do Video SEO?


Before we look at the `how`, let's just go through some startling facts about video SEO.

We know that Google has changed the way it wants to list websites and believes that serving up a 'blend' of results serves the user better. By blend, we're talking about a mix of image results, video results and even news results. This has the effect of driving down the more conventional web page results, even to the point where your website is not even on page one any more!

Recent research undertaken by Forrester Research Inc - an independent research organisation based in the US - shows that video results are 53 times more likely to achieve an 'organic' (non-paid) page one listing on Google than conventional web pages.

So, that's the `why` bit boxed off!

DIY Video SEO


Well, the good news is it's not quite as difficult (or expensive) as you might expect. You don't need to hire Pinewood Studios for a week - you could just use something like Microsoft Powerpoint to put a few slides together about your business. This is because Google doesn't actually see the video content at all - it just reads the meta tags and title tags to determine what the video (or other media) content is all about. So making your video title and meta data match each other is the first priority, but do ensure these bits contain the keywords you are targeting or the opportunity is wasted. 

But before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to explain where the video or finished content needs to go. You could just sign up for a Youtube account and upload it to there, but when someone clicks on it they'll end up on Youtube (owned by Google) and not your website! That's not really going to help the SEO on your website, but it's fine if all you want to do is get your brand or name out there. In this blog post we're looking at placing the video content on your own website, so you get the traffic - not Google! (A worthy hybrid option is to upload to Youtube but have a link in your video file to your website.)

If you have a CMS facility on your website, you should be able to either create a new page or edit an existing page, allowing you to place the video content where you think it fits best. If not, you may need to ask your web designer to do this for you.

Again, if you're not particularly techie you may struggle with the next bit, but with some light reading most readers should be able to accomplish this. You'll need to create something called a Video Sitemap - a sort of XML file that tells Google about the existence of the video file and its attributes. You will need to submit this file to Google via its own webmaster tools section.

Lastly, you'll need to create a little file called robots.txt (if your website does not have one already) and add a line to this file which will point the Google crawler (bot) to the video sitemap you just created. The line will look something like this:- Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/video_sitemap.xml, where yourdomain.com is your website's root location and video_sitemap.xml is the name of your video sitemap. (By the way, the wysi system makes this work so much easier for you!)

Can't hack it?


OK - so quite a bit of technical detail to wade through and for the faint-hearted perhaps it's best not to try this at home. It's not child's play, but with a bit of perseverance you should manage it. There's also loads of help on Google's own support website to walk you through it.

If you'd rather watch paint dry than attempt this, give us a call (01635 760174) or drop us a line and we'll do our best to help you.

Good luck and we hope this post has been helpful - please let us know by leaving a comment.

In our next blog post we'll take a brief look at the new EU cookie legislation that comes into force in May 2012 and affects all website owners and could result in the Information Commissioner imposing substantial fines if the directive is breached.


About the Author.

Robert Wakefield


My career in SEO and web development began in the mid-1990s when the Internet was in its infancy and Google had not even been conceived. Nowadays my role is split between heading up the content marketing/ SEO department, which has grown considerably over recent years, and overseeing operations including PHP and MySql (Open Source) development for larger, more bespoke applications.

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