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.

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