December 28, 2010 \ Geoff Birmingham
Optimizing video for websites (video SEO)

In a time, not that long ago, Reflection Films’ website was a thing of absolute neglect.  No need to get into all the ugly details, but it’s worth mentioning that we absolutely dropped the ball with our website’s SEO.

In addition to getting the help from the fine folks at Flyte New Media, we’re also learning a lot on our own.  For those of you who might be interested, we thought we would share a bit of our learning journey toward SEO and Internet Marketing Enlightenment.

As the first installment, perhaps it’s worth mentioning a webinar I attended a little while back on creating video sitemaps that was a helpful primer for the uninitiated like myself.  Below are a few things I learned.  Don’t laugh if some of this stuff is obvious.

Universal searches. A blended search result that includes not only web pages, but also news, images and videos.

Video dominates universal searches. 38% of users who searched Google received video in universal search engine pages.  (So if you have video, put it on your site and optimize it.)

Video index. Google’s method for tracking video; a database in which information on videos is stored.

Video sitemap. Text that must be submitted to Google in order for a video to qualify for the index.

Elements of a video sitemap.
1. A video title
2. A description of the video
3. Player page that the video sits on
4. A thumbnail
5. A player location or content location

All of the above are mandatory.  Below are optional.
6. Video duration
7. Video expiration (if you plan to remove the video at some point, this would be the date you intend to do so)
8. A regional restrict (if you only want the video seen in certain regions, probably not relevant for most of us.)

The obvious question to all of this is how to create your sitemap and submit it to Google?  One of the panelists mentioned using Google’s Webmaster Tools to accomplish this trick.  After spending a bit of time in the support section of Webmaster Tools, I was left quite confused.

Once I figure this piece of the equation out, I’ll do a follow-up.   Here’s the full webinar if you want to watch some of it.