It is widely thought that pages with video on them have a chance to rank higher because the search engines appreciate the content your company has made in relation to the query (much like a great graphic or text piece), therefore more and more of our customers are asking about video and how this can help their SEO efforts so we have taken the time to write a small piece on our best video SEO tips.
The first thing people always ask is should we host our videos on YourTube?
Although Google own YouTube and thus it would make sense that you would rank higher if your video is hosted on their service, this simply isn't true. Google have made great efforts with all their products not to let it bias search results and it's the same here. Of course, hosting a video on YouTube does have it's advantages:
- It's the second biggest search engine after Google
- You can be certain your content will be indexed
However these advantages are outweighed by the fact that if a customer does find your video they will be sent to the YouTube page and not your website. This means that unless their is a great call to action on your video they will find it difficult to find out more about you or even contact you, ideally you want visitors to land on your site. (Also if people link to your great video YouTube would be getting the credit and not your website!!).
The second draw back is that although YouTube is the second biggest search engine the user intent when searching on YouTube is entertainment or for information, unlike a traditionally search engine. For this reason we recommend you make specificYouTube content if you want to market through this medium, such as 'How to..' videos or a video with a strong element of comedy.
Therefore the answer is no, don't use YouTube to host your videos if you are doing it for SEO benefit.
Ok, where should I host my video then?
There are a lot of premium video hosts around which will allow you to put the video on your site, the one we recommend is Wistia. This is because they do a lot of the hard work below for you and also you can host 3 videos with them for free! (We have no commercial or otherwise benefit to recommending these, we just use them ourselves and have found them really good).
Search engines can't watch videos and digest their content, unlike the way they read regular pages, so to ensue search engines find your video, indexes it and displays it when specific keywords are entered you need to look at the below:
- Use a video sitemap - this is similar to a regular XML sitemap but only contains information about your videos (Wistia create one of these for you)
- Google Webmaster Tools - once you have created your sitemap submit it to GWMT tools in the same way you would a regular sitemap
- Robots.txt - edit (or create) your robots.txt file to include your video sitmeap, e.g. Sitemap: http://yourwebsite/sitemaps/videositmap.xml
- Meta data - you can add a title, description and keywords to your video (much like a webpage) and it is best practice to ensure the video title is optimised for you keywords and that those keywords match with the overall optimisation of the page. (If you use Wistia they will add the meta data for you through a form system rather than the need for you to use coding)
As search engines can't view videos why not use the same video more than once on different pages to target different keywords?!? Just make sure you don't overdo it and the video is relevant to the other pages and keywords.