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It is becoming increasingly important to consider search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics when creating video or any non-text content.

As the web becomes an increasingly competitive marketplace, companies are striving to build dynamic, exciting, thrilling pages to capture their consumers' confidence.

This content can also contribute to a website's SEO efforts and should not be considered as aesthetic only.

Here are a few starter points for webmasters looking to use their video content as part of their optimisation efforts.

Use your words

Although the content may be a video, you can make keyword-rich, relevant copy available to the search engine spiders by including a description of the video's contents or even a transcript.

Offering visitors a transcript can also make your content more accessible for viewers with hearing impediments or people who do not wish to access a video, so the benefits extend beyond SEO.

Make it relevant

Just as with any optimisation tactic, if you want the benefits which come with relevant inbound links and blogger buzz, make sure your content is relevant to your sector.

Even if you use video simply to introduce your team, encourage them to discuss industry issues or to clarify their roles in your business. You would not fill your pages with irrelevant text, do not be tempted to do so with video.

Filenames need keywords too

Search engines can use video file names for indexing. This means using keywords in your content's name can be a great way of reminding portals just how relevant your video is.

Remember though that, just as with any online content, you are not making it available just for search engines but for users. Make sure anything a visitor can see, such as a headline, is exciting enough to make them chose to watch it.

Capture viewers' interest

There is little point in providing visitors with industry-relevant video if it doesn't interest them.

While this may seem an obvious point, it can often be lost by companies which hope that adding video to their pages is a sufficiently exciting thing to do and then give little thought to the actual content.

Before you make anything available, ask yourself if you would watch it. The last thing you want is for your dynamic, exciting, thrilling website to be filled with boring or vacuous video.

Make metadata work hard

If you can embed metadata when encoding your video, make sure you include keywords.

Much of optimising a video is simply the usual SEO tactics you are probably already using elsewhere.

Allow comments

As well as providing keyword-rich descriptions, transcripts and other text, you can allow viewers to leave comments on your video.

If your footage encourages debate or poses a discussion question, then so much the better, as engaged viewers may then continue the conversation with each other, adding yet more relevant text.

Inbound links count

If you have reason to link to your own video, perhaps from other pages on your site, make sure you link using relevant keywords.

For example, in the sentence 'Click here for Search Engine Optimisation 101', do not make the words 'click here' your link.

Use the entire sentence or even just 'search engine optimisation 101' for maximum optimisation effectiveness.

Present yourself well

Remember when blogs became the Next Big Thing in SEO? Thousands of websites suddenly filled their pages with badly produced copy, thinking more about their SEO efforts than their viewers.

The lasting benefits of any communication platform, whether video, text, podcast or picture, come from engaging with the visitor. Search engines want to give people relevant and interesting content - not reward webmasters for going through the motions.

If you engage with your visitors, your content will be useful, drive actions and aid your optimisation efforts.

Kevin Gibbons is Director of Search at SEOptimise .

Kevin Gibbons

Published 18 November, 2008 by Kevin Gibbons

Kevin Gibbons is UK Managing Director at digital marketing agency BlueGlass. He is also known as an SEO speaker and can be found on Twitter and Google+.

102 more posts from this author

Comments (2)


Katherine Burke, Content consultant at Kath Burke Ltd

This looks like great advice. A client of mine wants to use video on its new website to showcase their presentation skills. I've advised them to set up a Youtube account and put the video online there. And then embed that Youtube video in the web page.
I thought this would have seo benefits in that there'll be a link from the Youtube site to the client's website. And I thought it might save on bandwidth - because the video is still hosted on Youtube.

What benefits do you see in this approach I've suggested?


almost 8 years ago


Stuart Maister

This is really helpful advice and emphasises the need to integrate video into an SEO strategy. However, I want to support the comments you made about user experience: that's the key, with the SEO techniques being a 'top tips' to make it more useful.

However, there are other ways to ensure video content on your website is properly leveraged. One of the most important ways is to make sure your salesforce use it as reference material. This can be particularly important in B2B or telesales where good, targeted video content can be a virtual sales pitch and inject personality into the engagement. It can also help to cross sell and upsell existing clients by showcasing services or thought leadership of the firm.

It's also worth considering video banners as another platform for high quality video content.

The key is to design the content to fit into a wider sales and marketing strategy, with SEO becoming a key component of that activity.

almost 8 years ago

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