Video Hosting: The Important SEO Elements

video hostingAside from the highly informative text content and artistically captured photographs that a user can find in a website, uploaded videos also play a role in increasing traffic and conversions of websites. The influence of video repositories like YouTube has greatly affected how Internet users go back to a certain website or even recommend it to their relatives, friends, offline and online networks. Increasing the visibility of a website translates into a chain reaction of benefits and has even proven to provide top search engine rankings for a website’s target keywords and keyphrases. This is why:

Many website owners now give a lot of thought about how to host their videos for this purpose, whether to use YouTube or subscribe to a paid video hosting provider. Although there are numerous factors that need to be considered, the primary consideration one has to make is the volume and type of the video content and what he or she ultimately wants to gain from it.
In terms of how these videos must be hosted, a website owner should be aware that video sharing or web-based video hosting providers and paid providers both share a number of advantages and disadvantages. If a video repository available on the Web is considered, then one should be prepared of the fact that this would be available to a lot of Internet users. On the other hand, having it hosted by a third party provider would give the owner the benefit of rich snippets for the owner’s domain.

Rich snippets are small and relevant pieces of information that can be included in the video source code that search engines may crawl and be included in their indexing processes. This may again translate into getting good rankings for relevant keyphrases and keywords. Additionally, a customized video player is available and links can be built back to the owner’s domain through embedding.

Videos have at least three functions in terms of optimization namely:

  • Traffic, ranking and conversions;
  • Inbound links; and
  • Branding.

There are also many times that each of the three functions mentioned earlier may overlap each other. One must manage this overlap to achieve the goal of implementing best SEO practices into your website and Internet marketing campaigns, and here are some tips:

1. Query for keywords and see what rich snippets or videos would be returned in the SERPs. From there, decide which keyword must be incorporated into your video rich snippets. Some words together with these keywords return rich snippets: “review”, “test” and “video”

2. If possible, put the video on a page with other media. While a Web video is a good way to improve conversions (this means the rate of activity done by site visitors on a certain page), it does not apply to a lot of Web users. The abundance of images and informative text along with a video could most likely appeal more to users and search engine robots.

3. Evenly distribute videos across posts and pages of the website, and it is recommended, if possible, to only put one video on each page. The more pages and posts your website has with videos, the more likely it is to utilize more keywords, which in turn could translate to improved search engine ranking visibility of those videos for more of your target keywords and keyphrases. Also, for conversion purposes, it is a good practice to place the video on a visible part of the page, particularly on the upper left corner. If you may have noticed, this is how videos on YouTube are positioned, particularly because of how the eyes of most viewers automatically go to the topmost section of a page, moving from left to right. This will ensure that the video catches the attention of viewers.

4. Allow embedding. More niche-relevant sites syndicating your video content on their own sites for their own daily readership and mailing list subscriber bases could most likely drive more traffic to your site. And, having links pointing to your other videos posted on different pages on your sites with those syndicated videos will result to high quality backlinks.

5. Videos, as much as possible, should be embedded on a website page using HTML 5, Javascript or Flash. Google cannot crawl a video rich snippet of video content embedded using iframes. If a provider is hired to host the videos, then there is always a chance that this option is included in the package. If you’re using and managing your own Web server for your sites, video players can be used to post search engine “crawlable” video metadata details, and these players include Kaltura HTML 5 and JW Player.

6. Have an XML Sitemap of the videos submitted to Google. One way of providing search engines, especially Google, access to the meta data for your video is through a video sitemap. This ensures their search engine bots to have access to the actual video file, supporting descriptions of the video content and the thumbnail itself. A website owner can submit this through Google Webmaster Tools.

8. Review the length and style of the video. Ultimately, what proves to be the only guaranteed step to increase traffic on a website is to publish, in this case, video content in the right length and integrated with straight-to-the-point information without compromising entertainment value and relevance. Randomly publishing videos that won’t make any sense to the viewer will not do the website any good.

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