Videos are critical to a websites success, as they are easily shareable on social media. They make for a great product pitch and let users connect better with the product and the company. There are many ways websites can ensure that videos are seen by as many people as possible. One of the easiest is video SEO.
However with Google constantly changing its algorithms, video SEO is always changing (just as regular SEO). One of the best ways to market is to use thumbnails and ensure that in searches, the website is always shown next to the video thumbnail.
First thing to do if you want to achieve this (and you do!) is to upload the video on the website and not just use a link from YouTube or Metacafe. Kansas City business, InkCycle, made a great video that can be found on YouTube here. But I sure couldn’t find it anywhere on their site… You should upload your video on the server where the website is hosted so it has its own URL. Secondly, the video thumbnails should also be uploaded on the server, again having their own URLs.
If there are multiple videos, ensure that each video has its own URL and multiple thumbnails, as well. It’s also important to understand that crawlers prefer QuickTime or a standard flash video player, so a complicated flash file may not be crawled at all! The best solution is to use the built-in Flash video component using a hard coded URL path to the .flv streaming source.
Google also has support for Facebook Share and Yahoo! SearchMonkey RDFa. So make sure that the videos have OG (Open Graph) tags. Google will recognize video information in OG tags. The basic Meta tags are title, description and image. This allows you to add a special note for social media such as ‘I just watched this video, it is so cool and you should watch it too’! The tags are also a good way to control which thumbnail image is selected for your website or page. If you’re marketing trade schools, it could be a recent graduate praising the instructors and education they got. If you’re a company like InkCycle, it could be a catchy and interesting fact like the title of their video “Recycled Ink and Toner Cartridge Business Diverts 493 Tons of E-Waste From Landfills in 2010”
The videos should also be tagged using RDFa. The biggest advantage of RDFa is that it allows embedding videos on third-party sites and utilise extra features such as region restrictions. Also, make sure that a Google Video sitemap is created and uploaded on Google Webmaster Tools. Website owners can let the Google bots know of category, title, description, running time and the target audience for each video. When users search and find the videos through Google, a thumbnail image of the video content is visible to them along with related information, which is taken from the Sitemap.
In addition, it is not a bad idea to upload videos on YouTube, Metacafe and other video sharing websites and clearly mention your site URL to ensure more visibility for your video and your website. PreorderVideoGames does a good job of using YouTube videos, like on this Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception release date page. Hosting on streaming servicing such as Brightcove or even Livestream is not a bad idea either. In fact, a combination of sitemaps, OG codes, RDFa tags and live streaming video services will enable Google to easily relate your video with your website and increase traffic and conversions.