A Guide to Making Your Business Video SEO Friendly

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Creating online videos can be an excellent way to promote your business and increase brand awareness and trust. But how can you
ensure that the right audiences will find your video?

Many video marketers think posting videos to YouTube is the only step they have to take for their videos to start circulating. But in the vast sea of the Web, simply uploading videos isn’t enough—consider the fact that only 50 percent of YouTube videos get 100 or more views. To make sure your videos are getting the reach they deserve, the key is to optimize your videos for search engines.

Because sites like Google can’t “read” a video, it’s important to focus on providing keywords and utilizing other strategies to pull your business videos into search results. Below are a few strategies you can employ to make your video SEO-friendly:

1. Content is King

If your video doesn’t contain compelling content, it will have a short lifespan no matter what your SEO efforts. First, you need to determine your message, and stick to it. Ask yourself: Who is my audience? What are their wants and needs? What do they want to see or hear? What do they want to know?

Once you’ve laid out a message and determined your audience, decide on the subject of your video. Many businesses don’t think they have relevant content to share, but any business can film how-to videos (these are generally very popular), interviews with customers or company leaders, tie-ins to current events, industry news, or tips and advice. Write a script and practice it beforehand to avoid sounding robotic.

2. Keep It Short

We’re more prone to remember what we see and hear rather than what we read—which is part of the reason online videos are such a successful marketing tool—but our attention spans are short. According to ReelSEO, about 10 percent of viewers click away after the first 10 seconds of a video, and almost 54 percent leave after only one minute.

Strive to keep your videos between one and three minutes to avoid drop-off, and aim to keep your viewers’ attention for at least the first eight seconds. If a viewer leaves before this, their viewing session won’t count toward your view count on many platforms.

3. Incorporate Keywords Everywhere You Can

Once you’ve nailed down your message and content, identify popular keywords for your topic or industry. Include them in the title, description, tags, subtitles, captions, and category listings. Consider including a written script with your video, and keyword-optimize it as well. Always keep your primary keywords first, and list the rest in order of importance. Keywords are often the only clue Google has when determining if video content is appropriate for a search result, so be as thorough as you can.

4. Share Your Video Everywhere

This includes social media sites like your company’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn page, but also share your video on your personal networks. Embed the video on your company blog, and send it out via an e-newsletter. Invite colleagues and customers to share and leave comments, and consider uploading your video to a number of different hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo, BuzzNet, and Yahoo! Video.

5. Track and Analyze

Tracking and analytics are important for you to determine how well your videos are performing. Things like drop-off rates, total viewing time, and viewer demographics can all impact how you’ll craft your next video and will tell you where you’re successful and where your videos are lacking. Many video hosting sites have basic analytics tools built in.

These are just a few basic strategies you can employ to ensure your video is optimized for search and gets the lifespan it deserves. Each of these practices should be used in combination for the best results for your video marketing plan.

What are some other tips you’d give to businesses looking to make their videos SEO-friendly? Share your thoughts in a comment below.

Image Credit: Danard Vincente/Flickr

Jeff Fissel
Jeff Fissel is the co-founder and Vice President of Solutions at KZO Innovations, a video software company that provides an on-demand video platform for small... Read Full Bio
Jeff Fissel

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  • Jeff, this is a great post especially since last November Cisco predicted that within 3 years all web traffic will be video traffic. I know that’s a bold statement but still worth noting.

  • Great tips on creating a video for SEO purposes. When creating a video and uploading it to a site like YouTube, be sure to have it viewed frequently when it is first uploaded. The more views it gets initially, the better for its rankinks. Have family, friends and clients, etc. watch within 24your hours. A video with a hundred plus views in 24 hours will do well.

  • Jeff this is a great article with a great list of bullets that video marketers can follow to get the most out of their video seo.

  • Thanks for these helpful tips for video marketing. I have to agree on the point you made about keeping your message short – there’s nothing worse than finding out that a promotional style video is 25 to 35 minutes long. When that happens, the publisher will be lucky to get 2 minutes of my time.. I like them better when they are short and to the point.

    Thanks again and keep the great information coming!

  • Thanks for these tips. I’m still evaluating my options, but I’m interested in including video in my classifieds site.
    Your post has given me some ideas 🙂

  • Valuable information you’ve put together, Jeff. Video marketing can be a great source of traffic if done the right way. Your mentioning of adding summary text is quite new to me, actually. I’m not sure how I missed that, but I’ll have to change that soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Just an update… as of 2010, Yahoo! Video stopped allowing uploads. It’s been two years now, so you might want to brush up on your video SEO knowledge.

  • I have been set on putting out my first video in a manner that will let it have the most impact possible. It is good to know that am in the right place. Great tips on what will make or break the chances of the video going viral.Thanks for the insight.