Most people know that search engines are blind to pictures and videos, right? Well, that’s sort of right, but making search engines pay attention to videos and spiraling the video outward can be easier than many believe.
Virtually everyone who accesses the Internet has heard of online social networking or social media. Almost all of those have at least one personal or professional social media site, whether with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, FourSquare, or any of several others, and often with several. So when it comes to optimizing your videos through social media, some of the tactics may be second nature while others take a little more thought.
Optimizing the content that titles, describes, and discusses the video content posted to a social media site is what gets the search engines’ attention. Good keyword usage and relevant content, used with links to others and from others are the basics of video SEO in social media.
Here are six areas you can take advantage of when optimizing a video on a social media site:
1. Keywords or Phrases: One, two, or three words in a string that relate directly to a target topic, most commonly the topic on a web page. Use of keywords in content that directly relates determines the “reputation” of the page: how well it relates to what it says it does by the keywords advertised or associated with it. To make the most of social media sites and profiles, make sure you include keywords in your biography, description, and profile. Also be sure to use keywords in your video descriptions and titles so they can be “read” by search engines.
2. Content: To a search engine, content is text — what’s written on a web page. Since search engines can’t read videos, the description of a video is vital when optimizing. The short description of a video posted to YouTube or any other social media site can mean the difference between getting your video recognized and having it lost among all the millions of videos on the Internet. The description must be keyword-rich and include enough information so the search engines know what type of content the video contains.
3. Links: Embedded directions to another web page often noting a keyword as the anchor (clickable) text. To leverage your social media sites, include links to your website in your bio, description, and anywhere else the social media profile site allows it. Also include links with keywords as anchor text in all your video descriptions.
4. Back Links: Those links that people place elsewhere that lead back to your website or specific web page within your site. The trick to gaining back links from social media is to create link bait, in this case videos. Make the content of your video is interesting, unique, valuable, or even funny so people will naturally be compelled to link to it from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and their other social media profiles. It also doesn’t hurt to include some links to your site in your own posts and Tweets.
5. Title: Make the written title of the video pertain directly to the video’s content and to the keywords. Create a written title that includes the keywords within the first 125 characters, including punctuation and spaces, of the title. Remember you are writing for both your human and search engine audience.
6. Description: A very effective use of a video’s written description is the first paragraph or two, depending on space allowed, or the transcript of the video, which you may want to make available, too. The keywords chosen should be interspersed throughout the transcript, and therefore, the video, fairly evenly, and with the correct keyword density (about once every 100 words).
We know what our video content is. We research what keywords best relate to that. We find out what keywords people use most when they search for content similar to ours, and we do that by finding the most viewed videos with similar content. Be sure to use a small selection of keywords in the video-related written content, like the description. Don’t just use one phrase over and over again.
Narrowing Down Keywords
After doing research using Google, your site’s statistics, and audience research, you no doubt have a long list of keywords you are considering targeting. But how do you decide which ones will bring the best results?
Let’s say our video is about obedience training for dogs. Keywords might include “obedience training” or “dog training.” But some research on Google
shows that those phrases are highly competitive—everyone is gearing for them. So let’s gear our keywords toward a secondary keyword phrase—
“obedience training for an Irish Setter,” for example.
We still use the primary or most-used keywords, but we will target a specific audience: owners of Irish Setters, which opens a foothold into a secondary
tier, which still gives credence to the primary phrase. This is what we want—a two-fold approach.
Placing your video on your website, on YouTube with a link back to your site, and links and/or the video on other social networking sites increases your video exposure. Blogging with a link or a video insert helps. Email with a link helps; just don’t send them blindly to strangers. That’s spam, and that’s illegal.
Using the right keywords and knowing where to use them will help you optimize your video on social media sites. Remember, even if you have an out of this world video, if the search engines can’t “read” the content through your well-written titles and descriptions, the video won’t rank and your view statistics will suffer.
About the Author : JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online colleges and online courses they can choose from to reach their goals, including earning an online bachelor’s or master’s degree, or even an online PhD.
Proper use of keyword-oriented, relevant content regarding your video, getting links out, and getting people to link back aren’t all that difficult when you take the process one step at a time. Transform your social media skills into real SEO opportunities. Get your videos watched and your sites advertised easily and painlessly.