2006 was definitely the year in which videos took off online – just think about YouTube and the sheer amount of videos circulating on the web. As our case study on Blendtec demonstrated, you don’t have to be a huge corporation to harness the viral power of videos online.
With the technology that’s available today, it’s fairly easy even for small and medium sized companies to produce and upload video content. But producing and uploading videos is only the start – you should take your video efforts one step further and make sure your videos can be found in search engines, too. Here are our top 8 tips on how to optimize your video content for search:
1. Save Your Videos with Search-Friendly File Names
For video files, the same rule applies that is used for URL names: Make it meaningful and keyword rich. For example, don’t name your video file “1342sdafsa.mov”, but call it something like “product-name-in-action.mov”. The file name should describe the content of the video and include a product name or your brand if possible.
2. Add Keyword-Rich Description and Title Tags to Your Video
Do the same kind of keyword research you’d do for a web page and use this information in all tags you can, especially in the title and description tags.
3. Create A Keyword-Rich Synopsis and/or Transcript
Creating text content associated with a video helps search engine spiders, which are looking for text information, to assess and categorize your video.
4. Optimize The Page on Which Your Video Is Available
Don’t just plunk your video on any page, but make sure the page on which your video is available is optimized using standard search engine optimization techniques. Above all, make sure the page contains text referring to the video, explaining its content and containing keyword relevant to the video.
5. Ensure High Encoding Quality
The theory at the moment states that higher encoding quality should provide better search engine visibility. In addition, higher encoding quality should make it easier for search engines to transcribe audio content – I’d still err on the safe side and recommend that you provide transcripts yourself if possible.
You should also offer different video format and bandwidth options for each video – for those Internet users who are still on dial-up, high bandwidth videos take simply too long to download, and they won’t bother.
6. Watermark Your Content
Your goal is to get the largest possible audience for your video. If you can tap into viral sharing and forwarding, this is one of the most effective and fastest ways of spreading your video content. At the same time, you’re giving up control over its distribution and placement, and you should make sure that your brand is recognizable in the video no matter in what context the video might be viewed. So make sure your company logo is included in your video as a watermark!
7. Create a Video Sitemap
To make it easier for search engines to find your video content, create a video directory for all the videos on your site and also create a video sitemap that’s easy to spider – same principles apply as to standard sitemaps.
8. Submit Your Video to Search Engines
Last but not least, don’t wait for search engines to come and find your video, go out and submit it to search engines, especially video search engines. For example, you can upload videos to Google Video Search and submit your video to Yahoo! Video Search, but there are also plenty of other video search engines you should submit to. To name just a few, submit your video to singingfish, searchforvideo and blinkx and start monitoring referrals from those search engines!