Depending on the website and your own mindset, search algorithm updates represent either a threat, or an opportunity to gain new and interested visitors. In regard to Google, recent changes to its algorithm and results pages have placed greater emphasis on video content – on both desktop and mobile.
With an increased emphasis on video, search engine marketers and brands performing in-house SEO should consider this as an opportunity to gain new visitors for a relatively low investment. Utilizing a few simple SEO tactics, video content can become more visible and drive new potential customers to your preferred landing pages.
How to Optimize Video for Search
1. Create a video XML Sitemap
Those that have created a traditional XML Sitemap should be familiar with the Sitemap protocol. The video Sitemap protocol utilizes different tags, so it may be beneficial to review Google’s Webmaster guidelines on creating a video Sitemap.
Before implementing a video Sitemap, you may want to consider the following items:
- Conventional SEO wisdom for Sitemap tags – All of your SEO best practices should continue on to your video Sitemap; thus, take keyword research, semantics, and detail into consideration when crafting a title, description, and video filename.
- Play page URL as a landing page – Make sure your video’s play page directs visitors to the most appropriate pages for taking actions that result in conversion
2. Submit to Google Webmaster Tools
If you haven’t done so already, you may need to first set up Google Webmaster Tools. If you have the asynchronous Google Analytics code installed, it’s as simple as visiting Google Webmaster Tools and selecting the ‘Link to your Google Analaytics account’: Verification option. Once logged into Google Webmaster Tools, submit the Sitemap URL and wait for indexation. If the Sitemap wasn’t written properly, Google may not be able to process it.
3. Track traffic growth
Monitor your video pages, video views, and average duration of visit with Google Analytics. If you’re using JWPlayer as your site’s video playing solution, try using the Google Analytics Pro plugin to track video plays. Utilize goals and funnels to determine conversion increases. Beyond conversions, long tail keywords can be used as a measurement of success.
Depending on the overall goal of your site, conversions associated with videos can either be based on destination URL or length of visit. Use a destination URL, such as a visit to a ‘Thank you’ page beginning at the video page, or length of visit, to measure conversions according to video plays.
Video SEO: Soon To Be ‘Next Practice’
While it’s not yet standard practice, video SEO is a tactic that is certain to become a ‘best practice’ as more search marketers realize the growth potential of video, as well as the ease of implementation and return on investment.