Combining video and SEO to get the best out of your website
SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Anyone who runs a business has had SEO drummed into them. Getting your website found. Optimizing content for search, using targeted keywords. The importance of internal and external links. The problem is, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. These days, content is king but it’s not all about writing a good post. Breaking up text with images is useful, giving the reader a point of interest. Better still is video integration.
Why include video content in website articles?
Many SEO experts have written explanations about the importance of video on websites. However, the most convincing argument is provided by Google. They give clear guidelines as to how best to integrate video into your website, noting that it appears in both video search and combined search.
Think about that for a moment…
Every day, billions of people type search terms into their browsers. If your website is already ranking organically, a few of those queries could lead them to you. But of those billions of searches, many will be specifically looking for video content. Additionally, the better your content is, the higher your website will rank on any search. So, it becomes clear that reaching page 1 becomes infinitely easier if you give the reader a little more than written content alone.
5 tips to optimize video for SEO
1 – Enhance user experience – Only use video that is beneficial to the reader. Voiceover needs to be clear and appealing. The voice recording should be supported with titles and captions. Each video should be embedded using a player and format that is widely supported and easy to play. This improves the experience for the user and ensures Google can easily index it.
2 – Create crawlable video – If your video can be crawled, the search engine will generate an image thumbnail and enable preview. This places it higher in search and makes people more likely to click through to it. Ultimately, you are aiming to get your site found. As an internet user, you have undoubtedly clicked through to an article or video and found yourself investigating the hosting website. It is a short journey from curious observer to customer. Google provides detailed information about how to make video crawlable.
3 – Add video descriptions – This gives search engines something else to grab hold of. It makes your video and article more likely to appear in search results and more features will be enabled when it does. While you’re at it, remember to put Alt text on images. If a user cannot see an image because it is slow to load or they are partially sighted, the alt text will explain the purpose of the image.
4 – Consider a video sitemap – Every website should have an xml sitemap. If you receive minimal organic search traffic, it is worth making sure that you have one in place. Adding in a video sitemap brings an extra layer of traffic. It will quickly allow search engines to find your content and glean information about it. Many videos can be described in this one file rather than requiring Google to crawl each page to find your video.
5 – Be clear about updates – Over time, a particular video may become less relevant and need replacing or updating. At this point, it is important to make it clear that the content on that page has changed. If you simply replace the embedded video URL or source file, search engines may not notice the alteration. If you have a video sitemap, search engines will periodically recrawl it and notice any changes. If not, it is important to resubmit your standard sitemap or notify search engines of a change to it so that they know your content is current and relevant.
Content is king – but only when it’s relevant
Any video content you use must be specifically relevant. Google gives the example of a peach pie recipe. If writing about peach pie, it is not good enough to embed a video about pastries in general. If you want the video content to enhance both SEO and user experience, you’re going to need a peach pie video. This is a really interesting example because it shows just how relevant a video needs to be in order to be of benefit. So, creating a bespoke video including carefully created voice recording and appropriate captions could be more beneficial than you realize.
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