By now, most everyone with an Internet presence knows the basics of search engine optimization, or SEO. The concept is pretty simple – Google and Bing rank your website on their search results pages according to how well they think it matches a given search term. If your website is titled “Fast Car Repairs” and uses that term often and prominently, there is a good chance that Google will list it high when someone searches for “fast car repairs.” If other sites relevant to that term link to your site, that may increase your ranking and improve your odds of appearing high in the search results, as well.
As you are probably well aware, the competition for a first-page Google ranking, even when you use every SEO trick in the world, is crushing. It’s easy to feel that you’re competing with the world.
Therefore, it’s worth noting that Google and other search engines are beginning to present search results in a new way. In a 2009 blog entry, Nate Elliott of Forrester’s noted that Google and other search engines had begun to display “blended” search results — maps, videos, and images, among other things, in addition to their traditional text search results. He observed that it’s now easier to get to the first page of the SERPs using a video than with traditional text. He noted that with keywords for which Google offered video results, a video had an 11,000-to-1 shot to make the first page of the search results. By contrast, he said, a traditional text page had a 500,000-to-1 chance to make the first page – making video SEO a compelling alternative to traditional SEO methods.
There are now companies that specialize in providing video SEO, but you can do it yourself if you have the technical know-how. Optimizing a video is similar to optimizing a text page. Start by observing the basic rules of good Internet content: make your video short, high-quality, and beneficial. You can increase your video’s chances of being viewed by giving it a file name and title that includes the keyword(s) that you think will be most relevant to your target audience and their searches. You should also use those relevant keywords in your tags and descriptions. If you or some other representative is speaking in the video, be sure to use your most important keywords in the presentation. You will, of course, put the video on your website, but it should also appear on You Tube and as many other video sites as possible, as well as your company’s social media sites.
More and more people are watching videos online, and the switch to video SEO is a function of that overall migration. Variety’s Todd Spangler quotes a Wall Street analyst as saying that in the next five years, You Tube alone could generate upwards of $15 billion in revenue, making it as big as CBS or Viacom. Although these realities are still relatively new, more and more businesses are taking note of them, and adjusting their SEO techniques accordingly.