Optimizing Videos Embedded on Your Site for Search Engines

 

If you’re in the habit of putting embedded videos on your site, how can you help make sure those videos get ranked? What makes a video page rank, while others don’t?

Let’s examine some of the most important rankings factors, along with how you can get your embedded pages to the top of the search engines.


Step 1: Optimize Your Title Tag

 

Take a look at the keyword data for some of the main keywords in your market. You should try to target some of those keywords, especially to “how to” keywords and the “video” keywords.

For example, if you have a fly fishing website, you might target keywords like:

  • How to put a fly on a hook
  • Fly fishing video
  • Fly on hook video
  • How to reel a fly fishing rod

And so on and so forth.

Once you’ve selected your keywords, make sure the keyword is in the title tag of your website. Lead with the keyword, then have the title of the page after it.

Make sure your title tag is less than 66 characters. Why? Because after 66 characters, your title tag is cut off in the Google search results. The rest of the title will be replaced with “…”


Step 2: Optimize Your Meta Description Tag

 

Your description tag is what search engines will use to describe your website, directly below the title tag in the results.

To change your description tag, add or edit the meta description tag in your HTML <head> tags.

Step 3: Get Your Video Transcribed

 

As amazing as Google’s technology is, they still can’t “listen” to a video and understand what’s being said. Therefore, anytime you just have a video embedded on a page, Google won’t know whether you have a content-rich page or not.

You could either write a complete article to go along with the video, or you can just get the video transcribed. Just go on oDesk or eLance to create a job posting or to find a transcriber.

Many transcribers in India or the Philippines can be hired for as little as $5 an hour. It takes about 4x as long to transcribe as the video length, so a 5 minute video will take about 20 minutes to transcribe.

Here’s an oDesk screenshot, search results for “Transcriber”:


Step 4: Get Increased Distribution

 

To get more traffic to your main videos on your site, it often helps to distribute a few peripheral videos to other video sites like MetaCafe or Vimeo. There are literally dozens of such sites, and while none of them have the kind of traffic that YouTube does, combined they’re a formidable source of traffic.

Instead of distributing the videos by hand, the work will be much faster and less tedious if you used a service like TubeMogul (free) or TrafficGeyser (paid) to distribute your videos.


Step 5: Embedding Mini-Videos to Increase Page Views

 

One powerful way to get more views to your video is to place a small video on every page in your website. Every time the video is loaded, whether it’s played or not, will count as a view on the video.

Let’s say you run a career-related website. In the sidebar of your website, you embed a small 100 x 75 pixel video. The user can click play to watch the video if they want, but the majority won’t.

Even if they never click play, the mere act of loading your video (because it’s on your sidebar) will increase the view count by one. Every time someone visits a page on your site, it’ll load the video count by one again.

This way, your video count will go way up utilizing traffic you already have.

Step 6: Offer a “Put This on Your Site” Code

 

One of the factors that YouTube looks at when deciding how your video ranks is how many other people embedded your video. If many people are taking your video and putting it on their sites, YouTube’s going to assume that the video should be ranked higher.

You can make getting embeds easier by offering the embed code on your site.

Simply put the embed code below your video, with the heading “Put this video on your site!”

If you want, you can even hide the code so people need to click a button for the code to show.

Step 6: Getting Backlinks

 

Backlinks play a very large role in getting pages to rank. Some would even say it’s the most important factor of all.

Deep linking, or the strategy of linking to specific pages rather than the home page, is often more effective than concentrating all your links in one place. If you have many videos, try to build a number of backlinks to each of them.

Here are a few potential sources of backlinks:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Web 2.0 Properties
  • Article Directories
  • Guest Writing
  • Press Releases
  • Resource sections on other people’s sites

The most effective backlinking strategy in the long run is to simply put out top notch content. Other people with websites on your topic will then link to your videos as valuable resources.

Optimizing your embedded video page isn’t that different than optimizing a web page for search engines. Follow good SEO practices in your title tags and backlinking strategy. Make sure you always have text content as well as video content. Distribute your videos using a distribution service to get more exposure, and try embedding your videos in main pages to get more view counts and higher rankings. Finally, offer the embed code to visitors to help spread your videos through the web.

 

Michael Rockwell