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7 Steps To Better Video SEO

Dave-Witting-A2YouTube released plans Thursday that allow channel producers to sell paid video subscriptions that will create a new marketplace for programming on the Internet, making it crystal clear why the company continues to build out an Internet-connected fiber network at 1-gigabit-per-second speeds. By 2020, that content could serve up on many of the 30 billion wirelessly connected-to-the-Internet devices -- up from about 10 billion today, according to ABI Research. What do marketers need to know?

Aside from the subscription service, marketers should prepare to see a variety of ads that embed video clips, such as a hybrid paid-search ad on Google and Bing shopping-like sites to help boost ecommerce. Q1 2013 ecommerce sales grew 13% year-over-year to $50.2 billion, according to comScore numbers released Friday.

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While Google research shows that shoppers using mobile devices tend to spend more in stores, video platforms like Joyus, the video shopping platform startup led by former Google exec Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, will become a catalyst for ecommerce built through video. Investment firms like InterWest Partners and Time Warner Investments think so, too. The companies recently contributed to an $11.5 million second funding round in Joyus.

Video has already been popping up in retail sites like Saks Fifth Avenue to demonstrate runway looks. Knowing how to optimize that content for search engines will become critical.

Universal search for categories from retail to travel serves more video clips in query results. Search on engines often times remain the starting point for in-store mobile consumers. Some marketers assume smartphone shoppers use shopping apps or navigate directly to brand and retail Web sites while in a store, but Google found that 82% of smartphone shoppers use mobile search to help make purchase decisions.

Dave Witting, VP of global customer success at Brightcove, provides seven quick SEO tips for marketers looking to optimize video aimed at driving more traffic to brand sites.

1. Write your video title and description for people

Google puts importance on writing for people and frowns upon stuffing keywords in your video title and description. Make sure you are writing titles and descriptions that are engaging and relevant to your audience, not stuffing keywords.

2. Tags will impact SEO, but only if you have a video site map

Adding tags to your videos is a great way to organize content within the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform, and it can help with SEO -- but only if you have a video site map that exposes those tags to the search engines. It's worth the investment for marketers with the development resources to create a simple video site map.

3. Schema is increasingly important to Google and Bing

Schema.org is a collection of HTML tags that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. The search engines are increasingly relying on these schema tags to improve the display of their search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages. Marketers should use the itemscope attribute to identify content as video to the search engines to increase SEO results. The Web site schema.org has an explanation on how to use the itemscope attribute and general instructions on using html tags to identify video.

4. Thumbnail quality is important

The editorial quality of your thumbnail trumps image quality. Put another way, choosing compelling thumbnails for your content can increase user clicks. Higher user engagement will impact your SEO results. It's also worth noting that an image thumbnail will always get better traffic results than a generic video icon or a "click here for video" text link.

5. Top search terms that return a video thumbnail result in Google

While you shouldn't "keyword stuff" your video title and descriptions, certain words will increase your likelihood of being found by the search engines. Words like "video," "show," "how to," "review" and "about" are all top terms that increase the likelihood that your content will return a video thumbnail result. Don't do anything unnatural, but if you can incorporate these words in your title or description (e.g. "Video tour of Aloft Brooklyn") it can make a difference.

6. Ensure that the site is optimized

The most flawless video SEO is worthless if your site is not optimized. It's always a good best practice to ensure your Web site's SEO is optimized before tweaking your video settings.

7. Page placement matters

If you have video, put it at the top of the page. This allows Google to understand its video content. It's amazing what kind of results marketers will see from this small change.

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