The Importance Of Video In Search

You know the drill… the website gets a revamp and someone suggests, “Ooh, could we have a nice video on there too?” and you or a member of your team dutifully get stuck in to making it happen. But stop! What about your search strategy?

In a world where so much is now online it’s easy to see how a great video never gets seen by your intended audience. Per minute there are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube alone. That’s one heck of a crowded place even before you start factoring in your competitor websites and other video sharing platforms.

To get the best returns on your video you need to consider its role beyond content alone. You need video that doesn’t just sit on your site but video that complements your written web content by improving its search rankings.

With a few simple steps your video can do just that.

Drawing people to your website faster than families to a Fenwick’s window display on a cold December night in Newcastle

Way back in 2007 when Google made their important roll-out of universal search, the rise of video wasn’t immediate. This might explain why the way it’s uploaded is sometimes overlooked in favour of content alone. In a time of mobile devices that work faster, smarter and… well just better, the demand and supply for video has rocketed. Meaning that we all need to do more to ensure our video content gets seen. If content is king then search is definitely queen.

Done properly, a well-produced and well placed video can do wonders for your website’s overall search results.

Done badly and you’ll never see the positive impact that good video content can have on your website search rankings.

If you’ve read this far you’re now thinking about how to get the most from search using video. As part of your video upload plan there are three key areas which you should focus on:

1. Video mark-up

Video mark-up is really important for search engines. Make sure that once on your website, your video is marked-up correctly. To let your audience find your video then you need to use appropriate video titles, keywords, questions and phrases. Don’t just focus on those single keywords, consider the full questions and phrases your audience might ask a search engine.

The way people search has changed and the ability of search engines to bring back ever more specific results means that if your video titles and URLs include the types of questions that your audience will ask then your video is more likely to come back in search results. This especially works if you also answer those questions within the supporting content and video transcript.

Consider the metadata during this part of embedding your video in search too. Include details about the content of the video by using tools like Schema.org/VideoObject. So if it’s a video about cakes then you use ‘cakes’ in the metadata and tags. An even better approach is to consider questions about cakes that your audience might ask. Staying with the cake theme (we all like cakes), you could include, “What ingredients make the best cakes?” or, “Where sells the best cakes?”

Use metadata that is relevant to common search queries, questions and trending terms; combined with your web copy, your website will be well on the right track to an improved search profile.

A good tip is to also mark-up using transcripts of the video. This will enable the content to be searchable in the same way as a written document. Adding details of the video too, e.g. locations and languages, will pay dividends as it provides further depth of information for those all-important search spiders.

2. Video sitemaps

Making sure that your website has a video sitemap will really help your overall search rankings by helping those search spiders find your videos and bring them back in results. Well signposted videos can work a treat on your overall search engine rankings. Of course for video sitemaps to work effectively, the video mark-up has to be done too (see point 1).

3. Syndication

Once your video is uploaded and embedded onto your own site then get it uploaded to sites like Tumblr and YouTube. Having your video feature on several different sites can help boost traffic back to your own website. Altering the titles in each location too will improve your search rankings further.

Existing video content can be up-cycled and re-purposed. This will help you get maximum value out of your existing content. Using the same video in multiple places within your own site but for different search terms allows you to get more from your original production outlay. There are reasonable costs to get top quality video content so this approach makes perfect sense. Nothing more pleasing than saving costs without losing impact. Music to your budget and finance department’s ears!

As marketers and business minded people you know that presence is everything. Achieving good search rankings can give you that presence. Fully implementing video into your SEO strategy can get your website to that place.

It really is that simple.