In collaboration with our good friends at Viostream, SEO Specialist, Roxanne Dwyer provides expert insights on how you can improve your google rankings with the use of video. Watch the video above to learn a range of practical SEO techniques and applications that you can implement for your own business.
At Rocket we love helping our clients take their digital marketing campaigns to the next level, so if you think you need help with your SEO get in touch with the team at Rocket today.
How can video improve your Google search results?
Most people know that video can be really powerful to enhance your SEO, or the ability for Google to prioritise your site over somebody else’s. But there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions around video and SEO. So joining me to talk us through that is Roxanne Dwyer from the rocket agency. Welcome, Roxanne.
Great, thank you, Nick.
Thanks for coming along. So generally speaking, if you want your video alone to rank highly, then putting it on YouTube is a good idea. Because Google will prioritise YouTube rankings over anything else. But if you want to use that video to make your site rank higher in Google search results, you need to take a different approach. Right? So talking us through that today, Roxanne is going to start off with video transcripts. How do they help Google prioritise?
OK, well first of all, you talked about YouTube and the cons of using YouTube. So it is important to actually increase the visibility of the pages on your site, which is why a lot of companies, a lot of web sites, opt to host the content on their own site. And transcripts are another way to improve accessibility.
So Google cannot actually read that multimedia content, which is why we place a transcript onto the page. And it’s actually all the dialogue within the video.
So you make a transcript of the video, that means that Google can actually read what is in the video to start with.
Got it. And to go with that, we also need closed captions enabled on our video. So there’s some people that are hard of hearing, those that have those language barriers, or even someone in an environment where they can’t actually listen to the audio.
I think closed captions are often thought of as being a requirement more for government and for accessibility, that’s something that they’re required to do. So there’s clearly benefits from a user experience, but also from a search perspective.
Exactly. Because anything to improve the user experience is actually going to improve your organic visibility.
OK, so they go hand in hand.
Exactly and it’s– like you said, it’s important for government regulation as well to actually have that on there for users that are actually hard of hearing.
The catchily named WCAG 2.0? Yeah.
Exactly. So there’s also live captioning. We can actually have that enabled as well.
We are starting to see more and more customers take up live streaming, actually, which is really exciting to see.
Exactly. So we’ve got transcripts, we’ve got the captions. What else?
Yeah, so that makes it easier for– those are the basic things that enable Google to better understand what’s in the content.
What else can you do?
Well, we’ve got the title of the video. So, the title of the video is similar to a headline, a catchy headline, that also incorporates keywords.
So you can use that as your H1 as well, the H1 for that page. And you should also be thinking about the surrounding text. So the surrounding text for that video, it could be an opening paragraph, something that kind of leads up to that video.
So, helping people better understand why they should be watching it.
Exactly. So creating that context. And then there’s also call to actions. A call to action is important for converting those uses.
So the maximising SEO means you’re going to have more people watching the video. And then including a call to action means you’re going to have more people clicking through from the video to take the next step.
Exactly. And OK, there’s various ways in terms of call to actions. You can have one on the page, you can one in the video.
Which is super easy now, with the call to action function in Viostream, actually. You don’t even need to upload an image. You can just type in what you want the button to say, and it pulls from the player branding. There’s really no excuse not to include CTAs now.
Exactly and it’s great that we’ve got those clickable call to actions, as opposed to something generic that’s just going to, you know, visit my website.
Right. Classic ending to a video, isn’t it, when people are already on your website, and you’ve got your website address come up at the end. That’s a real lost opportunity.
Exactly. You’re actually creating more work for the user.
Yeah, got it.
So, we’ve got the title, we’ve got that surrounding paragraph, we’ve got the captions, transcripts, what else? So, how can Google find all those videos as well? We can create an actual XML site map.
Right. What is an XML site map?
So, you may be aware that you can create one for all of the URLs on your web site.
Like a directory.
Exactly. A directory of your website, so, all the URLs on your web site they want Google to find. The same goes for videos. Create an XML site map of all those videos on your site so Google can find them.
OK, so you have one for the URLs on your site, you create another one for all the video content on your site. And then how do you share that or let Google know about that?
Well, you can hop into your Google Search Console and you can actually send me that XML site map. So you can upload it, click on submit, and then they’ll be able to populate if you have any errors.
Awesome, sounds pretty easy.
It is really easy. There’s also a guide that Google has available for developers as well, so they can hop in there and actually figure out exactly what needs to go into that XML site map.
OK, brilliant. Is there anything else that you can do from a sort of behind the scenes perspective for SEO? Here
Yeah, definitely. There’s something called video schema. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it.
So video schema, it’s something, a bit of code that you can put within the HTML of your page. And what it actually does is, it adds little elements to that video, to that search result. So it could be the length of the video.
Right, or the speaker’s–
Exactly. Or if you have a recipe, it could actually represent the number of calories for that recipe itself.
So is this the– sometimes when you see search result in Google, it will have the thumbnail and some other kind of populated content around it. Is that really what it’s pulling from?
Exactly I mean, there are various other types of schema at the moment. But I think some people forget about video schema. OK.
So you would use this in addition to the video XML site map.
Absolutely, because it’s another way to increase engagement. And it builds trust, it improves click through rates. So why not do it?
Sounds pretty straightforward. Are there any key elements you’d want to use in that, length being one, speakers another?
Probably length and speaker, the date of the video. Those are probably the most three important elements in terms. It depends on what kind of video content you have. So there are various elements.
OK, cool, that sounds pretty straightforward.
There is a website you can hop on called schema.org, and you can actually have a look at all the different elements you can actually include within that schema.
So, what else could you do? So we’ve created captions and transcripts to make it better from a user experience perspective, and easier to index. We’ve created a video XML site map and submitted a video schema as well, so there’s a lot of context around it. It’s easier for Google to see what video content is on there. Is there anything else you can do to really boost up the SEO rankings above that?
Well, let’s say I do have a bunch of videos. We need to think about where they’re going to go. So, we don’t want multiple videos on a web page.
Right, why is that?
Well, it’s not good in terms of the user experience. But also, you’re losing out on an opportunity to target key words across multiple pages.
So you should spread your video jewels across different pages for better SEO.
There’s also– we need to make sure that you should be able to share that content. So enabling the social sharing is really important as well.
OK, great. That’s easy to do in the player configuration of Viostream, actually. Anything else?
Well, there’s also embedding as well. So we need to make sure that you’re able to have that enabled to embed videos across multiple sites, so we can actually build links.
Cool, got it. So there’s a few things that we can do to make the video easier to understand. There’s a few things that we can do to make the content more easily indexed, or searched by Google. And generally, it sounds like it’s going to give a better user experience, as well as enhancing search rankings.
Thank you so much for running through all of that. For many people, this is somewhat of a new subject, using a video to enhance SEO. So if you do want to find out anything more about it, and anything we’ve talked about today, feel free to reach out to Roxanne directly at the Rocket agency. Thanks for coming in.
Great, thank you.