5 MORE Tips for Smart Video SEO (Part 2)
Yesterday, I revealed five tips to boost your website videos on organic search engines. And today I share five MORE tips to seal the deal on ranking high for video SEO.
#6. Use good thumbnails
Even if you get your video results to the first results page, you still need users to click it. Research shows that video thumbnails on universal search result pages are one of the main reasons they draw attention and generate 41% more clicks than their plain-text counterparts. Moreover, for video results, it's usually the thumbnail that gets clicked.
Selecting the right thumbnail for your video search result can do wonders to its click-through rate. If you don't specify a thumbnail, search engines select a frame from the video – which, in many cases, is far from optimal. Instead, actively select a thumbnail that is high quality (at least 160x90 pixels), clear, inviting, and that emphasizes the main focus of the video. For product videos, a high quality image or graphic of the product as the central point of interest in the thumbnail is usually a good choice. You can specify a thumbnail to use in the video sitemap or schema.org markup (or, better yet, both).
Below are some examples of the SundaySky Show Reel thumbnail options.
#7. Consider building a video-centric experience
If you're introducing SmartVideo into an existing site with a lot of existing content, it may be difficult for you to free up page real estate for prominent placement of the video, at the expense of other key page elements. You may be tempted to place the video far below the fold, or in a popup with a hard-to-find button.
One strategy I've seen success with is building a separate section on your site, dedicated to a video-centric experience, such as the Nike+ video page shown at right. The pages in this section have the video as the central element on the page, with supporting content, and appropriate links to and from other pages on your site. Search engines also tend to prefer videos with dedicated landing pages. You may either create a new section of your site, or, you can create a video-centric variant for each of your existing pages, with a slightly different URL and clear navigation between the two variants. Search engines will index the video-centric version as a video result, and your non-video page as a standard web result.
#8. Employ standard, non-video SEO practices
This cannot be stressed enough. SmartVideo SEO cannot deliver results for a site that is not search engine friendly or is poorly optimized regardless of video. The essentials of keyword selection, page content, site structure, in-bound and out-bound linking, search-engine friendly URLs, anchor text, page load speed, and so on are important for success with video pages as they are for success with non-video pages. Do not imagine that a poorly optimized site will suddenly shine just by the addition of videos.
#9. Deploy SmartVideo at scale
Why drive traffic to a handful of video pages, when you can do so for your entire site? If you have just a few video pages, you will only get video results in SERPs for a small set of search queries. The more pages you have with relevant SmartVideos, the more searches will result in video results, driving more traffic to your site. When videos are manually produced this is difficult and costly. But SmartVideo is all about the scale. Use it.
#10. Stay educated and informed
Search engines are constantly improving their video search algorithms, introducing new tools, and tweaking their policies. To keep reaping the benefits of SmartVideo SEO, you need to stay educated and on top of these changes. Here are some resources you may find useful:
And, of course, follow our SmartVideo blog for continuous tips and best practices!