Video and Film Content to Improve SEO

Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 conference this August brought together a ton of industry content pros, including the wise and wonderful Rand Fishkin of Moz.

While in Boston we asked the SEO expert to tell us the secrets to getting video content to rank well on Google and attract the eyes of prospective customers.

As summed up from our interview, here are Rand’s top 4 SEO tips for video marketers:

1. Keywords are Important

Your video’s naming convention is your opportunity to stand out in search. Name your video with carefully chosen keywords in a clear phrase format. If you’re selling marketing automation platforms, consider that people searching on Google are not searching for “getting the most out of your marketing software”, they’re searching for “marketing automation” or “best marketing software” so your video’s title needs to have components like these in a logical sequence. This might seem elementary, and we keep hearing this particular nugget of advice, but you’d be surprised at how many videos have cool marketing-lingo titles and miss out on a better search ranking.

You can look to Google’s Keyword Planner to find ideas for relevant keywords to aim to rank for. The techniques you use to research keywords for written content and assets like infographics are applicable to video content as well.

2. Transcribe Your Video Content

Transcribe your video marketingAlthough video is a visual medium, the text component is very important when it comes to SEO. Google can parse content, however they’re not extracting all the text from your video. You’ll want to transcribe your video or use a service to help you extract the text component. As Rand suggests, Moz is fond of using Speechpad for their Whiteboard Friday. It’s low cost and when you include a transcription, Google is better able to qualify your content for relevance to an end user.

Including videos within blog posts (like this one) is a great way to use the keywords from your video in the text portion of the content and thereby control and shape your message for better SEO. As Rand suggests, a blog post with a video also gives your audience the option to scan through the content in a linear fashion versus watching the whole video. While you might assume most audience members prefer video, different types of learners will prefer different options and it’s best to cater to both.

3. Use Google’s Rich Snippets Video Format

Use this markup to cue search enginesIf you want to give search engines some contextual information surrounding the embedded videos on your website, you’re going to have to speak to the search engine using a language it understands. For videos, this language is called videoObject schema. Using this, you can tell search engines about a thumbnail, transcripts, video length, and pretty much anything else you could possibly want to tell someone about your video.

Using the documentation found at, add the appropriate markup (a fancy word for code) to the page upon which your video is embedded. Doing this for all of your embedded video content will not only ensure that you’re telling search engines as much as possible about your video content, but it will also allow your search results to include thumbnails, descriptions, and other pertinent information about your video which will give you a more visual presence on the results page.

4. Make Use of Multi-platform Promotion

Have you optimized video for search?How you appear in search can have a lot to do with distribution and the channels you’re using to promote your video. With Google and YouTube being the top two search engines, you’ll want to rank well for both, and yet you don’t want to cannibalize your own SEO efforts.

With this consequence in mind, Rand suggests that you embed videos on your own website (making sure you add all necessary metadata), and then alter the title slightly and upload the video to YouTube. Embedding your slightly altered video marketing in multiple places and then promoting the channels separately ensures that you’ll have an adequate presence on both.

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