Dr. Melody King, VP of marketing at Treepodia, recently wrote an article called "Pushing Back on Google Penguin: How to Improve SEO with Video Links". It's not so much about Penguin, as it is generally improving your ranking using video. Really, this is about doing better in search, regardless of whether you've been hit by an update, but with so many hit by updates like Penguin and Panda, webmasters are looking for ways to quickly recover. Done right, video just might be a great way to do so.
We reached out to King to discuss this a bit further. She says a site can bounce back quickly after being hit by an algorithm update, by using video.
"Google starts indexing the video sitemap practically immediately," King says. "I've seen immediately many times, but I hate to state it as an absolute. As soon as the videos are indexed they are eligible to start displaying in the universal search results, and in most cases that means video appears at the top of page."
On strategies to get maximum SEO value out of video, King tells us, "Put the results of your SEO research into the sitemap creation in a formula structure. I.E. Meta Title = Keyword + Brand + Category + Product name."
"The goal is to target the long tail searches that are popular & appropriate for your items," she says. "Doing it in a formula format makes this task super quick and easy. With Treepodia, the retailer tells us the desired formula and we take care of the rest. The formula can be unique for different segments of the catalog too – this piece is valuable to retailers depending on their unique product set and spread."
"You should host your own videos with a e-commerce video platform, which will allow you to add critical elements such as add-to-cart links, cross & up sell, analytics, etc. This also gives you greater flexibility with the sitemap content (thumbnail image, meta title structure, etc.) and piece of mind that the videos are being indexed to your domain," says King. "The ability to get videos indexed to your domain that are hosted by YouTube is a recent addition, and it's reliability is still under debate. However, it is a business decision to decide to ALSO syndicate your videos to YouTube as well."
"I'd also say that social backlinks are the best, and people are WAY MORE LIKELY to Facebook share a video than a static image or textual product description," adds King. "User generated product review videos would be the ultimate social video for an ecom shop, since it is likely to be cute, funny, entertaining, etc. (all great ingredients for a viral or semi-viral product video). An ecommerce video platform can also help filter, manage, and A/B test user generated videos for this purpose."
"YT is the second largest search engine & your site will get PageRank from the website link in the About section – but is it worth it to invest the time to manage the channel? Your call," she says. "I'd say yes (especially since YouTube is an insanely powerful social avenue - see stats here), but many retailers I've spoken to are not drinking the Kool-Aid, yet."
When asked about the importance of on-page text for video pages, King says, "Actually, we recommend using video to improve the PageRank of existing category, brand, and product pages – especially product pages because of the sheer volume."
Another article on the subject of video SEO published this week recommends 9 YouTube tips for better ranking. While Amanda Dhalla at Video-Commerce.com elaborates on each of them, they come down to: Don't be lazy, optimize your titles, maximize descriptive text areas, use annotations, create playlists, encourage sharing, customize your channel, use calls to action for conversions, and be unique.
Chris Atkinson at ReelSEO also posted a good video SEO article this week, discussing video metadata and its search benefits.