The average Internet user is more inclined to watch a video explaining more detailed content than to read a very text-heavy page. Though it is still a growing medium, according to a study conducted by comScore, 82.5% of Internet users view online videos. Videos also increase your engagement statistics. Engagement is measured by the length of time a user stays on your page, and users will stay on a page longer watching a video. Engagement and total number of views are measurable metrics that show the benefit of having videos on a webpage.
Uploading videos to a website can add a great deal of value if there is a strategy behind the videos. Videos need to be of a high quality with a message that speaks directly to the target audience. Length is an important consideration, as Internet videos should be long enough to convey a message but short enough to keep your audience. Videos should only be added to a webpage if they add value and increase the overall user experience.
Once videos are uploaded to YouTube and incorporated into the website, it’s time to promote the videos. Search engine optimization is a great strategy to promote video content. Google has universal search that presents relevant webpages, videos, images and blogs. Then Google also has vertical search, that allows users to specify the type of results they want.
Google’s search engine spiders can’t see videos or hear the audio, so it is important to indicate to Google what the video is about through video optimization.
Uploading a video to YouTube or other video hosting sites and embedding the video directly onto a webpage is simplest way to add video content. Again, Google doesn’t see the video, so you need to optimize the content surrounding the video. Optimize the page a video lives on similarly to any page; make sure the titles and descriptions are detailed and encourage search engine traffic to click thru. The content of the page should be rich with relevant text that contains keywords in a natural way.
A video sitemap is essentially a sitemap of all the video content on a website. Whether the video is embedded or hosted on your site each video should be listed with the following information:
Each URL Entry in the Sitemap will include the following:
- Play page URL
- Thumbnail URL
- Raw Video File Location or the Player URL
An optimized video will reflect thooughtful Title and Description fields to describe the content of the video.
The text surrounding the video is another area to pay close attention to. The text around the video should relate to and build off of the content of the video.
Another option is to transcribe the video content. Transcription offers text only content that Google can crawl and understand easily. Transcription is also helpful to the end users. Make sure to have the transcription in a .txt only format close to the actual video.
Video optimization shouldn’t stop with an onpage strategy. A robust video strategy will also optimize videos for YouTube’s internal search, promote the video through social media and encourage sharing across social sites.