SEO is all too often focused on text based web page strategies, but the modern web is made up of more that just words on a page.
So how do you ensure the media on your website is supporting your SEO?
Below are checklists and guides to help you include images, videos and audio into your SEO strategy and increase your exposure across more search verticals.
Image SEO: How to Optimize Images for Search Engines
Image SEO is the most obvious strategy that is overlooked by website owners. Give the number of images that most websites contain, it’s a tactic that you should give serious consideration to:
Your image files names are a good place to start your image SEO. Name your images according to your keyword focus and avoid generic image names e.g. picture1.jpg
- Alt tags
When embedding images in your web page, you can add alternative text for images via the alt tag – e.g. <img src=”http://www.domain.com/yourimage.jpg” alt=”keyword rich title”>
- Contextual copy & Captions
Search engines still aren’t clever enough to look at images, so they use the content around them to understand the context and relevance. So content richness is important for your image SEO.
The major search engines like Google allow you to specify images via your xml sitemap. This assists them in indexing pictures through their image search. Check Google’s image sitemap guide for details:
- Syndicate images
While its important to get your direct image optimization right first, to really get benefits from your important images, it’s important to get listed on important content sites e.g flickr as they’ll improve the chances of your content getting indexed in Google
Video SEO: How to Improve Your Video Rankings
Video is growing in popularity and is now an important part of many businesses’ online marketing strategies. If you use video for
your business, follow these steps to ensure your video is supporting your SEO plan.
- Text transcripts and associated copy
Search engines can’t watch your videos to understand what they’re about, so when you embed a video on your webpage make sure you surround it with relevant copy or transcripts of the video.
- Use hosting services (multiples)
Whether you host your own videos or not, you should syndicate your videos to as many major video sharing sites as possible. Your video is more likely to appear in Google results from their site than your own (in most cases).
- Video Meta data
As with most media, videos have meta data elements that can be optimized such as titles, descriptions and keywords (especially easy when using 3rd party hosting sites)
- Use “video” as a keyword
When most people search for videos, they naturally add “video” to their query, so don’t miss this obvious keyword opportunity.
The filename your video should be one of the first things you optimize. Choose a file name that supports your SEO focus, but keep it short and user friendly also.
- Video sitemaps
Search engines like Google now allow you to specify video URLs in sitemaps to help them index your videos in their video search service. Visit Google’s video sitemap help guide for details.
- Social media engagement tools
When you embed your video content into your website, ensure you make use of the various social media tools (bookmarking, ratings, comments etc).
Audio SEO: How to Optimize Audio for Better Rankings
- Audio File Names
As with Video and Images, start your audio SEO with your file names. Make sure your keyword focus is represented in the names of your audio files.
- Text transcripts and associated copy
Audio like video is very hard for search engines to index directly, so content around audio is critical whether its just relevant text or transcripts.
- ID3 tags
Audio has a unique tagging system known ID3 tags (associated with mp3 format). It allows you to add detailed information about your audio files and should be optimized according to your SEO plan. Find out more about ID3 tags
- Use audio hosting services (multiples)
As with most rich media, there are plenty of content sites where you can host and share your audio files e.g. iTunes, soundcloud, podcast networks. By adding your audio to the right websites, it’ll not only help your content get indexed faster, but also expose it to a wider and often more targeted audience.
I’ve covered off the key ways to optimize your multimedia to improve your search engine exposure. As you can see, many of the tactics are common across all forms of media.
If you use different techniques to optimize your media for search engines, share them via our comments below.