Mike Hanbery April 13, 2012

Online Video SEO: Marketing Your Web Video to Internet Search Engines

Share It!

Internet video is the top area of new and increased investment in marketing for 2012. As with everything else Web, search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to get your video found by your target audience.

The largest online video sharing Website is YouTube, a social network that has become the second most used search engine.  Businesses use YouTube to host videos and in hopes their videos will turn up in search results, expand their audience for marketing messages and generate leads. Simply uploading a video, however, won’t achieve any marketing goals. Optimizing the video for search is an important additional step.

As with every SEO tactic, optimizing videos on YouTube begins with identifying keywords relevant to your product or service offering and searched for by a significant amount of traffic. Ideally, these fit within a larger objective to appear on page one of Google for particular terms. Conceivably, keywords could dictate the topics for your videos. Social media marketing, however, punishes overt sales attempts—no one has ever logged on to YouTube or Facebook hoping to be inundated with sales messages. Just as with an image or text Internet post, the best chance for your message to “go viral” on social media is for it to offer value— inform, entertain. Free tools available for this exercise are the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and the YouTube Keyword Tool.

Having determined your subject matter and performed keyword research, work those keywords into:

  • A script for your video. Improvisational comedy and compelling live video performances are learned skills. Most of us don’t have them. Using a script and practicing it prior to hitting the “record” button will make your video much more watchable…and watched.
  • The script for your video can be turned into a caption track, which can be uploaded and which provides more searchable content for the search engine. At present, the Webcrawler algorithm cannot discern audio, so the caption track serves as a consumable transcript. For any videos on your YouTube channel that do not have a script, you can transcribe the audio to a document and upload that document as the caption track.
  • The title of your video. These are very important areas. YouTube offers 99 characters, so some creativity and decisions are at hand when it comes to including descriptive text and your company name.
  • The description of your video. YouTube’s 5,000 character limit (about 800 words) offers plenty of opportunities for keyword use. However, “keyword stuffing” is likely to be punished by search engines and presents a poor image of your brand to humans. Be effective, accurate and practical when incorporating keywords into the description. The description is the place for hyperlinks to your Website or other videos.
  • Tags. YouTube offers the ability to reinforce the keywords used in your title and description in this section. Put quotation marks around multiple words you wish to be treated as one keyword.

The more views your video gets, the more views it will get. Within any collection of keyword search results, YouTube is more likely to suggest videos with larger viewership numbers. Market your video through other social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), embed it on your Website/blog, bookmark it on Delicious, link to it in online press releases and your Email newsletter. If it is a branding or “corporate identity” video with a long shelf life or broad usage, create a QR code for use in print media. YouTube credits your video with a “view” after eight seconds.

Ratings (thumbs up/Like, thumbs down) are also a central influencer of algorithms. When marketing your videos, encourage prospective viewers to “Like,” and comment on them. Even a thumbs down on your video has an upside: The number of ratings supersedes the overall sentiment.

The number of shares is another factor. Sharing your video can also be overtly encouraged, of course, but again: quality content will be a much more effective generator of viral success than a sales pitch.

To ensure maximum exposure, ensure your video is set to the “Public” privacy setting. Allow comments (and respond!), comment voting, video responses, ratings, embedding and syndication. Choosing a location for your video will assist with local search optimization and brand identification.

As with every marketing exercise, online video marketing should be integrated with the overall marketing plan, mutually reinforced by and having the same overarching goals as social media, strategic blogging, Website search engine optimization (SEO), and all traditional and offline tactics, such as business networking, events and print collateral.

Each minute, about 20 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube, so if you’ve decided to invest in Web video marketing, take the extra step to get your online video marketing products found via Internet search engines.

Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency Denver, Colorado

Free Consult with a Digital Marketing Specialist

For more than 27 years, we've worked with thousands (not an exaggeration!) of Denver-area and national businesses to create a data-driven marketing strategy that will help them achieve their business goals. Are YOU ready to take your marketing and business to the next level? We're here to inspire you to thrive. Connect with Webolutions, Denver's leading digital marketing agency, for your FREE consultation with a digital marketing expert.
Let's Go