Blog
30 Apr 2014
by Stephanie Sundheimer

3 Ways to Optimize Your Videos for SEO

It’s no secret that video content is great for increasing engagement. And with apps like Vine and Instagram, user-generated video content is easier to get then every. However, video content isn’t always the best at driving traffic to your website from search engines. Google can’t index a video the same way it indexes words on a page or even image titles and alt text. But when you put a few simple video SEO measures into practice, you might find your video content outperforming traditional blog posts on your site. Here are three ways to optimize your videos for SEO.

Write out video transcripts

One of the most obvious issues with video content when it comes to SEO is that it typically replaces the words on the page that Google would use to determine what the page is about and what it should rank for. By typing out a transcript of your video, you can effectively eliminate this issue. Not only will transcripts help Google to understand what a page on your site is about, but they also make your website and your content more accessible to people visiting your website who might have disabilities. Someone who is deaf, for example, would not be able to get as much out of your video content without a transcription of the content to read.

Implement video sitemaps

One way to optimize your videos as recommended by Google and other major search engines is with video sitemaps. A video sitemap helps search engine robots to crawl video content through some code that indicates the pages on your site that have videos as well as your video titles, descriptions, thumbnails and more. You have probably seen search results with video thumbnails before. Have you ever wondered how to get this for your site? It’s as easy as adding a video sitemap.

Video SEO Example

To get started with video sitemaps for your website, check out Google’s guidelines for creating a video sitemap. There are also plenty of other websites, such as Moz that have some great tools for video sitemaps and optimizing videos for SEO.

Use a third party video hosting service

Finally, consider using a third party video hosting service that will optimize your videos for you. When considering video hosting providers, it is important to be aware of the options available to you. Free services like YouTube and Vimeo are certainly economical, but when it comes to SEO, you’ll typically find your website is competing against your own video content and losing. Alternatives such as Wistia host your videos, but give you an embed code so the actual home of your videos is on your website, not YouTube. Wistia also helps you create a video sitemap without coding everything by hand which can save a ton of time if you have a large amount of video content.

At the end of the day, optimizing video content for SEO isn’t too difficult, but it can be time consuming if you don’t have a good process down. Be sure to regularly implement these video optimization techniques on your website to start getting more out of the video content you work so hard to create.

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