10 Proven Methods to Optimize Your Videos for Search

By on November 28, 2012

If you’re looking for effective ways to advertise your new website or startup, don’t forget the power of video. Internet surfers, and especially young people, conduct searches on Youtube second only to Google. In fact, studies conducted by aimClear show that video search results produce about a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text results, and a website that has a video holds a viewer’s attention for over 2 minutes longer than plain text content. Though people are uploading videos daily, there are still many more text-based web pages than videos online, and the demand for video remains high. Make sure your videos are well optimized to ensure they are easily found and easily shared. When you plan your video marketing campaign, consider these ten tips to ensure your videos will stand out from the crowd.

1. Add Links to Your Website

To realize the full benefit whenever users share your video, make sure that you add at least one link to your site within the video. When users post or share your content, not only is there a chance people will click to your site through the video, but you also get a backlink to your website, which is very important for SEO.

2. Create a Video Sitemap

If you decide to host video content on your site, let Google know about it by creating an XML video sitemap. Provide information on the location of your video content, the description and keywords, and duration. Google has several tutorials that will help you in creating the XML sitemap. It also helps in reducing errors from your video content code while increasing the chance of your video being in the first page search results.

3. Use a Compelling Headline with Relevant Keywords

To rank highly in search results, you need to include keywords in the title describing your video. You should start by conducting keyword research on your main keyword to determine the best words to use. Also, be sure to keep your title less than sixty-six characters or Google will truncate it in the search results. The video title is the most visible aspect of your content and perhaps the most important feature in search engine optimization.

4. Use Keywords in Tags

During a web search, the search engines primarily pick up your title and your tags. To optimize your video for search, you need to add tags that are rich in the keywords you want your video to rank for. Avoid keyword stuffing by using semantically associated phrases.

5. Use Eye-Catching Thumbnails

We all judge books by their covers sometimes. There are simply too many books. Choose an appropriate and appealing image from your video that will grab people’s attention.

6. Slice It and Dice It

When you’re watching a video clip, do you look for something slow-paced and lengthy? Hardly. Keep your video concise, informative, entertaining, and hopefully a little funny.

7. Upload Upload Upload

Youtube, of course. But don’t forget Google, DailyMotion, Yahoo Video, Buzznet, Bing, and Vimeo. It’s easy, and though Youtube may reign supreme, the others have great potential, adding backlinks and driving more traffic to your site.

8. Use Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are used by Google to describe your content in search results. Always seek to deliver what you promise. Snippets allow you to clarify the content of your video to viewers.

9. Descriptive Text is the Key

Optimize all your descriptive text for keywords. Additionally, give your viewers a call to action in the video. Studies have shown that people are more likely to “like” or share content when asked to do so.

10. Engaging Content is the Castle

More than anything else, a video that people genuinely enjoy will optimize itself. Put in the effort to really produce something of value, and people will naturally want to share it.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.