Video SEO Guide – Video Search Engine Optimization Tips and Techniques

Video SEO Guide   Video Search Engine Optimization Tips and Techniques

UPDATED: Read our complete guide for Video SEO Here

In this post, we will cover both how to optimize video content for hosting on your own website as well as how to optimize videos that you plan to upload and host on video search engines and video sharing sites like YouTube, MySpace, and others. How to SEO video.

How to optimize video hosted on your website:

  • HTML surrounding video.
    When you publish a video on a website, you will want to make certain that it is surrounded with HTML content. This way the search engines can get additional information from the surrounding page as the information contained within a video file can be limited.
  • Filename, title, description.These elements are not be enough to allow your video to rank well on its own but it is a necessary step and without this information, your video will definitively NOT rank well.
  • Video Files Metadata Optimization
    Make sure to encode the keywords into your video's meta data. Tag videos with specific keywords, even if it means tagging each scene.
  • Keyword "video”.
    Eric Papczun pointed out at the Search Engine Strategies conference in NY this past April, that a lot of people add the word "video" to their search query keyword phrase. As a result, make sure that you add the word "video" to your title, description, meta data, etc.
  • Links and Backlinks.
    Just as with SEO for regular webpages, you will want to get as many backlins as possible with the relevant keywords and phrases as the anchor text for these links. Whether this is your own page, or merely a page on a video sharing site that you want to have rank, you will need backlinks. In addition, it is a good idea to crosslink to videos using keywords in anchor text.
  • Video sitemaps / MRSS / RSS.
    In order for crawlers to easily find all of your online video content, you will want to create a sitemap, RSS, or media RSS (MRSS) file to help engines identify where to locate and index your videos.
  • One Video Directory.
    Keeping your video content at one place off the root directory helps in providing easy access to search engine crawlers. Move all of your videos into one folder and make sure to upload all your future videos to this same folder
  • No to Flash Video Players.
    Search engines have a hard time crawling video content inside flash players so stay away from them if you are hosting videos on your own site.
  • Optimize your URLs.
    In the same way that you do this for other web pages, you will want to optimize your URLs so that they to contain information about the video. Also, make sure you only have one video per URL.
  • Submissions
    • Upload Optimization – These type of video search engines required that your upload your video search files.
    • RSS Optimization – Submit your video to search engines that accept either RSS and/or MRSS.
    • Social Media Optimization – Add a social flair by getting your "friends" to submit or vote for you on the social media sites

How to optimize video hosted on video search engines and video sharing sites:
  • Filename, title, description.
    Same as above
  • Video Files MetadataSame as above
  • Keyword "video”
    Same as above
  • Links and Backlinks
    Same as above
  • Make good thumbnails, first and the last frames.
    A video thumbnail is what users view when they are deciding between which videos to watch. Different video search engines will grab thumbnails differently. Some will use the first frame while others will take a frame from somewhere in the middle. You will need to experiment with each site to make sure they are displaying the right thumbnail for your video.
  • BrandingThe first and the last frames are perfect for branding. Place your logo there, as well as your URL and any other information you think is applicable.
  • UniquenessMore than anything, make sure as well that your video is creative and unique. This is the best way to attract backlinks from people who want to share your video.

Additional Optimization Techniques:
  • Use social bookmarking sites and tools to assist in the visibility of your videos, add backlinks to your videos, and create traffic.
  • Train editors to think like video searchers

Optimization in the Future:
As search engines are working to better determine the content and relevance of multimedia content, the methods that we use to optimize websites and in particular, videos, images, and audio in the future may be quite different. Currently optimization still relies upon including Meta data and keyword information in or surrounding the current content.

With search engines like, who claim to rely more and more so on OCR (optical character recognition), voice/speech recognition, and image recognition, optimization of video content will likely be much more so about the quality of the video itself. For example, if relies upon voice recognition as an example, it would be important to make certain that you are speaking clearly in the video so as to make the job of voice recognition easier for the search engines.

However, take a look at this interesting post from Danny S. on Search Engine Land. Danny explains that Blinkx and other still rely heavily on meta data for searching. Danny also reviews some tests that he conducted with video searches.

Please check out my blog post about a test that I would like to conduct. I need some help in establishing the best way to test. Please read and let me know. Thanks.

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Posted in Video SEO
About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Clark

    Is this technique used in Youtube to get people to your website?

  • Lake Forrest Auto Mechanic

    Mark, Title and Description Tags are still very important for describing each page in a site…

  • West Covina Remodeling

    Can you add Keywords in the HTML video coding?

  • Abraxas Web Design

    I have used these techniques with good success even when embedding video from other sites.

  • Seo Firm

    Video SEO is going to be the next “big thing” in search but in the end what its true value ends up being is still yet to be determined. Surprised people aren’t calling it vSEO or something like that.


    Great tips. I'll keep these in mind as I always wanted to try video marketing. Hope these help me. Thanks for sharing.

  • Envision SEO

    If you aren't going to embed movies on your website with Flash, what do you recommend? HTML5? Windows Media Player?

    • Mark Robertson

      To start – why would you be opposed to a flash player with html5
      fallback PR vise versa?

  • Kay Guenther

    Just heard someone in a networking group talking about optimizing videos. Your article explained what he was talking about. Thanks.

  • VideoElephant

    This is a great article and really informative. The value video holds towards a websites SEO ranking is often discussed and equally often misunderstood. The full potential video has for improving your SEO score can only be realised if used in the appropriate way.

    However the process of producing or purchasing video content creates many cost and time issues for web based businesses and this is why we created

  • Rick Pua Pila

    The primary purpose of posting videos on your site is to offer information in a unique way. To allow video search engines to crawl your site in a hassle-free manner, opt for the following tips.

    · Optimizing the video file is the most critical step. To optimize, offer information that can include a title, summary, and few keywords.

    · While posting videos on your site, ensure that HTML content surrounds them. Information placed in a video file is usually limited. This strategy will allow search engines to acquire detailed data from the surrounding pages.

    · Pay special attention to the page text. Do not forget to write a keyword-rich and detailed description of the posted videos.

    · Arrange video files in a single directory. This will allow the crawler to access videos more easily.

    URL :

  • Rick Pua Pila

    In this situation, you may want to increase awareness about your company by getting in touch with sites that accept MRSS or RSS feed. Examples of such sites can include Blinkx and Yahoo Video. Optimizing videos for these sites involves various steps. These can include submitting a description, title, keywords, category, thumbnails, and a complete transcript.

    Submitting a full transcript is important, because it gives the site something to chew on.

    URL :

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