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Perfecting Your Video SEO Strategy

With universal search, Google reinvented themselves as an equal opportunity search engine – allowing search queries vidto return images, news, videos, blogs, local results, shopping sites etc. along with the boring traditional text results. The other search engines soon followed suit, and over the years SEOs have come to realize that optimizing video content gives them a better shot at ranking high for their relevant terms. There are two reasons for this:
a)    Videos are given relatively higher rankings to ensure the search results are consistently ‘blended’.
b)    The competition is relatively lower.
So, if you don’t make use of this opportunity and try optimizing your videos, it won’t be a crime, but it certainly will be a shame.

Having said that, video SEO, if not done the right way can backfire spectacularly. So, on my agenda today is to persuade you to optimize your video content (get you to create new, even) and to show you how to do it. Here are some pointers to help your site become super successful through your videos:

1.    Don’t Forget The Keywords: Just as with regular SEO, keywords are essential to optimize videos too. keywordsIn fact, they may be even more essential than you previously thought. Many of us fail to realize that searchbots can’t ‘read’ videos like they can text, and hence are in no position to decipher the content of a video and make semantic sense of it. Unless you trick it out with appropriate titles and tags, it will go undiscovered and unindexed. To optimize your video content, it is important that you use your targeted keywords in the file name, title, tags, URL, and anchor text. It would also help if you could provide an optimized description of the video, or even part of the transcript on the same page.

2.    Submit Your Sitemap: Another important step in video content optimization is submitting the video sitemap to search engines. This increases the chances of all your videos being indexed considerably. To put it very simple, by submitting the sitemap, you essentially tell the search engines this: “Hey, I have lot of videos on my site, come take a look at them”.

3.    Learn To Share Your Videos: Next comes the process of promoting the videos, and ensuring that they get enough Distribution is a must to achieve this, and that’s where video sharing sites come in. Having your videos hosted on sites like YouTube and Metacafe will give them visibility, which you can leverage to your advantage. Since video sharing sites like Youtube are so popular, you run the risk of driving more traffic to them than to your site. So, this is a step that has to be handled carefully, ensure you post the video on your site first before sharing on such sites. Also, try not to post the whole content on the third party sites, make your viewers come to your site for the follow up videos. Your video content in the third party sites needs to be optimized too, ensure it is appropriately titled and tagged with the right keywords. Though you may not gain direct links from such sites, popular videos can definitely increase linkability.

4.    Your Videos Need Link Juice Too: As with regular content, video content requires a good linking strategy too, and once again, the same principles apply. Backlinks are always valued, be it external or internal. Begin by working out an internal linking plan, link to videos from all relevant pages and cross-link videos to other ones. Then set about building external links to them, promote them on social sites, Tweet or Share on Facebook, the options are almost endless. You can also provide your viewers embed codes of the videos and prompt them to link to you.

5.    Make Content A Priority: You are surely aware that the first step in website optimization is providing good and interesting content, well, what do you know, the same rule applies to optimizing video content too. Ensure that your videos are interesting, informative, or at the very least, funny. Another thing to consider is the length of the videos, keep them short. A visit to YouTube and a quick perusal of the popular videos will reveal they don’t generally exceed 10 minutes in duration. A video longer than 10 minutes (and that’s also a stretch) seldom has the ability to command undivided attention and interest from its viewers.

Now that I have revealed all the secrets there are to optimizing video content, why don’t you give it a shot? I have a suggestion, why not make a video on optimizing video content, and optimize it using the steps mentioned above? You have to admit, there is something perfectly symmetrical about that!

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