Sunday, 27 January 2013

Optimizing Your Video: Search And Content Strategy


Video is going to be huge. It is already pretty large, with YouTube getting over 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. While words are still the currency of the web, nearly every business is going to need a video strategy in 2013 and beyond.
With that said, hardly anyone seems to know how to optimize their video for search, as well as viewer value. Here are some pointers on getting your videos found, and making them appealing for as many viewers as possible.

Let’s Start With Search

For the sake of discussion, when we discuss video, we will be referring to YouTube. As the largest video sharing site, and second largest search engine, YouTube dominates the video space. Regardless, these tips should work for any video sharing site.

1) Title, Tags and Description

To start, optimizing the page for a video is the same as the page for a regular website. You want your keywords to be naturally found in the title, the description, and the tags you use.
The benefit on YouTube is that the description can be much longer and content rich. Take the time to write a lengthy description, or even provide a transcript of your video. This will help your video to be found for more long tail keywords in search.

2) Links

This is simple. Get as many links as you can to your videos. YouTube has a high domain authority as measured by SEOmoz. It is not uncommon for videos to rank very highly in search results with just a few links of suspect quality.
While not a recommendation, it would not be fair to skip the fact that many people rank their videos highly with the type of link spam gigs found on Fiverr. This is a personal decision, but link spam always comes with risk, so decide for yourself if you can tolerate this risk.

3) Syndication

Look for chances to get your video seen on other sites. Allow for embedding, place your channel’s RSS feed in different aggregators like Feedage and allow it to be placed on other sharing sites with a link back to the original YouTube listing.
This is all that is required for most videos to rank well. Of course, a bit of strategy in implementing each of these will yield better results, but video SEO is much easier and less complex than optimizing a company website or personal blog.

Content Strategy

Video content is much like written content. It needs to answer a question, provide breaking information, be funny, or somehow otherwise be compelling. The only difference is that a video can be shot quickly, while taking the time to write a piece of content that satisfies all, or at least some of these is time consuming.
Videos should be kept relatively brief (five minutes or less in most cases), the sound should be clear, and the picture should be steady. Promotion is fine, but it should not be the sole purpose of your videos.
A great example of high quality videos that are extremely basic are the No Board SEO videos from evolvingSEO. The lighting is fine, the sound is passable, the background is usually just a wall, but the content is outstanding.
For most videos, the set up and execution has to be good enough to get people to click play. From there, it is a matter of whether the message within the content is good enough to keep people around for the entire time.

Conclusion

Video SEO and content strategy are both fairly easy to optimize. The key to both lies in getting the fundamentals taken care of.

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