Savvy companies have increasingly been posting videos on their websites to help connect with customers. But, as video technologies continue to advance, there will be implications for web copywriters, marketers and business owners alike. To get an edge over the competition tomorrow, you need to ensure your company’s videos are ‘SEO ready’, today.
Video on the Web
The explosive growth in video web content over the past few years has mainly been attributed to decreasing video production and equipment costs, and east-to-use, DIY gear. Once limited to companies with large budgets, video production is now accessible to many businesses. Consequently, more companies are putting more videos on their sites.
The Internet and its surrounding technologies have also improved to better support video. Greater bandwidth and faster download times mean that clicking “play” no longer means risking a long wait time or crashed computer.
Changes to Google’s search algorithm have also supported the prevalence of video on company websites; Google’s search engine favours websites that contain a mix of media. By having a site that features text, video and other media you may improve your search engine results. However, this advantage is becoming less significant as more websites offer mixed media.
Why Use Video?
Several arguments support implementing video on your company website. Video is sticky — visitors tend to stay on your website longer. In theory, the longer visitors stay on your site the more opportunity to sell and solidify your company’s relationship with the visitor.
Video is also ideal for conveying visual information. It’s often easier to watch a how-to video on assembling a product than read how-to instructions. When conducting a product review, it can be helpful to show the reviewer testing the product rather than describing the experience.
Video and SEO: The View Today
If you choose to employ video on your company website, be sure you include supporting SEO text. Providing context for the video and describing its contents to Google will increase your views and exposure. There is nothing worse for users than sitting through several minutes of video and slowly realizing it’s not going to provide them with the information they want.
Video and SEO: The View Ahead
Video technologies continue to change, and we predict the future existence of widely-used software that automatically transcribes and indexes video. In 2008, Google developed a gadget that used transcription and indexing technology, which was applied to politicians’ videos on YouTube during the U.S. elections. Google’s elections video search gadget used speech recognition technologies to automatically transcribe from speech to text and to index it, making the spoken content searchable. Viewers could search speeches for different words or phrases.
Testing revealed some problems, however. Some words were transcribed incorrectly. The gadget also couldn’t return results differentiated by the context in which words were used. For example, if you searched an Obama speech for “Iran” your results could contain references to the country as well as Obama’s morning exercise routine.
Later in 2008, Google expanded this technology by adding a new transcription and indexing tool to their Labs site. Unfortunately, the current status of the tool, which they called GAudi, is unclear. Google removed GAudi from their Labs site and the Google Elections Video Search gadget is no longer available. Nonetheless, we’re betting that development on these technologies will continue at Google, and elsewhere.
When video content becomes searchable, SEO tactics will come into play. Implications are huge: video script writers and maybe even speech writers will need to write text that’s search engine optimized. If your CEO or client is delivering a speech that is being video recorded and posted on your company’s website, you’ll want to make sure his or her speech contains words and phrases that will help get desired search engine rankings and presence.
Get Your Videos SEO Ready
What does this mean for video production today? Once transcribing and indexing technology becomes available, companies will scramble to re-shoot SEO optimized video content. Those who have already addressed this issue and ensured their video content is search engine optimized will be well ahead of the game. The next time you are developing video content for a website, give some serious thought to making the content search engine friendly.