Wednesday, 24 June 2009

8 top tips for video SEO and usability

These 8 tips are some best practice that you really should consider when posting videos online. Most are fairly common sense but still easy to forget.

Related post: For more detail on video promotion, keyword optimisation and transcripts (closed captions) see my original 4 video SEO tips.

This is from a presentation (news item 3 March 2009), originally given at the TFM&A conference by Webcredibles. I'll just summarise my notes here, their website has the original PowerPoint presentation (PPS, 7.4MB) with more information and screenshots.

Video still with big play button1BIG CLEAR PLAY BUTTON
I.e. In the middle of the video with the words ‘play video’ (unlike my image to the left!)
Video with title and description2Descriptive title and summary
a. This is essential for SEO
b. It also gives users a reason to the watch the video
c. Make the title really obvious and descriptive, the summary also to be obvious and provide more detail.
Video still of dolphins for a nature programme3HAND-PICK a good still image
A nice and intriguing still will encourage viewing.
Video still with run time overlayed in bottom right corner4Length of video
Include the video length wherever the video is seen – that includes in thumbnail links as well as the video itself – see YouTube results for example.
Video shown within body of article text5RELEVANCE & CONTEXT
a. Don’t have a separate video section as the primary method of finding video.
b. Include video with content – ie. The BBC often have a video at the top of an article. The article will then go on to summarize what's in the video.
Digital video camera6Good / professional quality
a. It’s a reflection of your brand
Transcript of a video7Transcript or/and summary
a. Essential for accessibility
b. Essential for SEO
c. Even if it's not a word-for-word transcript a summary will still help. Plus it may be a lot easier to produce than the word-for-word transcript.
Boxing promoter Don King8Promote your videos
a. YouTube channel – put all your videos on YouTube
b. Snippets – you could also just put snippets or teasers on YouTube with a link saying go to to view the entire video.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Check your web design in different browsers online

Check what your website looks like in multiple browsers and versions with

Different browsers render HTML differently. For example when I make a simple table in one of my posts so I can put an image with a caption under it hovering on the right hand side, I invariably find that it looks different in Firefox and Internet Explorer. See a comparison below:

Blog table in FirefoxBlog table in Internet Explorer
Blog image in Firefox 3
- lovely space around the copyright
Blog image in IE 7
- horrible text coming too close to bottom of copyright

Now this becomes quite a serious problem if the difference between browsers renders some functionality or usability of your website unusable.

It's therefore important to check on building a new website how it renders in other browsers, something I’ve done in the past by having a number of browsers installed on my PC. There are also a number of programmes that allow you to have multiple versions of different browsers installed at the same time - for this exact purpose.

That is a bit of a hassle though, and makes this easier. You just have to wait for an hour or so. The site provides a quick view, as below, and also the option to download all screenshots in a handy zip file.

This blog seen in multiple browsers on Browsershots

  • As it works on a page by page basis, if you want to check multiple pages you will have to wait each time for them to upload all the screenshots - which can be up to an hour and a half depending on how many different ones you want.
  • You're only allowed 100 shots in a 24-hour period. I've just done 37 so you can see how quickly you could use up your quota.
  • Both these problems don't exist if you pay for the priority service at €21.95 a month.
Related posts
SEO problems of white text on a dark background (Jul 2008)
What font / text size online and how to set it in the CSS (Oct 2008)
Improve and check your website's readability (Mar 2009)