SEO Series: Get Your Digital Videos Found

The advent of blended search results, known as “universal search” in Google, has produced listings that now contain various types of media beyond traditional website, including images, videos, news, blogs and products. With blended search, engines can provide even more visually appealing and relevant results. Some of the most noticeable blended search results are videos. With proper optimization, any website can clearly communicate to search engines what a video is about and have it properly indexed. Once indexed, an optimized video can rank high within relevant searches and begin to drive more traffic to your digital sites.

So, how can you make your videos SEO friendly?
1. Develop a unique URL and physical page for each video. This strategy allows the page to become a unique landing page, where all of the important SEO-related fields can be optimized for the video’s relevant keywords. A single page per video also supports linking from social sites and blogs. Make sure to use descriptive keywords in the file name within the URL.
2. Optimize all SEO elements on each video’s page so they’re applicable to the video, including title tags,
meta description, meta keyword tags, alt tags and header tags.  Remember, crawlers can only crawl metadata, not the video itself, so that data should be strong and descriptive.  The page where the video is embedded should have keywords in its Title tag and Meta tags that describe the video’s topic.
3. Develop spider-friendly video section pages.  When creating sections on your digital sites, develop a single category page for each topic (such as Nation, Weather, Health, etc.) that will list all available videos in that section. As mentioned, the best option is to create a single page for each and every video, but they can and should also be incorporated into topical landing pages when appropriate. Each single video page would support the proper topical landing page as well as be able to rank on its own for the
story in the video file itself.

4. Submit videos to search engines using optimized Media RSS feeds (mRSS) and/or XML Video Sitemaps.  Though Google and other engines do crawl web content, including videos, on their own, they have also provided a way for sites to communicate their content more proactively. Media RSS feeds (mRSS) and XML video sitemaps are two ways you can push your video data to the engines. These allow you to include keyword-rich tags that help the engines understand what your videos are about. While web search rankings are fueled heavily by content and linking, video search rankings are additionally ranked on click-through rates, video titles, meta descriptions and the categories assigned to the videos.

5. Make sure your video player is SEO friendly.  It’s features should include a unique URL and physical page for each video and the ability to optimize all SEO elements on each unique page so they are applicable for its video.

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