If a Video Plays in the Woods and No One’s There to Watch it . . .

. . . Does it still deliver the information or tell the story? Unlike the age-old Zen Koan, there is a definite answer – No.

We have lots of discussions with clients about how video can enhance SEO efforts. There is no silver bullet to achieve a #1 ranking, but we’ve learned a few techniques to help influence SEO rankings and give you an edge when it comes to Google and YouTube, the world’s first and second most used search engines.

What is seen and not seen. The video file-name may seem unimportant because viewers never see it. But it is looked at by something very important – the search engines. So name the file clearly. “PromoVideo1.mov” is vague and when scanned by Google will be over looked. A file named with specific descriptors and details gets results. NOTE: Use dashes instead of spaces and underscores for better results.

What’s in a name? A lot. The title of the video is extremely important to the potential viewer so make it count. A good title is the difference between clicks and no clicks. Be direct and to the point using your best keyword to optimize clicks. NOTE: Try to be brief; too many words can look like an amateur.

The quality of quality. A well-produced, high quality video is far more effective. Viewers are more likely to choose it, spend more time viewing it, have a better connection to the information and inherently recognize that your company has higher standards and is invested in the topic or product. NOTE: Producing a video in High Definition (HD) is a great way to have your video stand out and get viewed.

A clearly marked path. “Tags” are keywords added when you upload a video to describe who you are and what you do. A best practice is to develop a set of tags used for all the videos on your channel. Start with the obvious ones; name, product and brand and then add the secondary ones; purpose, industry, market, etc. NOTE: Ask your customers how they found you then use those findings to refine your tags so more customers follow the path.

Paint a picture without a brush. The description of your video is critical and should be carefully crafted – its seen by potential viewers and scanned by the search engines. Only the first two lines of a description are visible in the search results so they have to grab the viewer’s attention. Use of your keywords is a good way to quickly influence the decision to watch. Beyond the first two lines, YouTube allows for up to 5,000 words in a description, all of which are scanned by the search engines. NOTE: Include a link in the description using HTTP://. This will create a live link and make it easy for viewers to go directly to your web site.

There are other tips and tricks that can be used but, as you can see, by giving thought to the process and paying attention to the detail, the video itself can be developed, produced and posted in such a way as to drive more people to watch it. Maybe it is a bit Zen, after all.

This blog was written in conjunction with an article from The Next Practical Step. To read the original piece, click here.