Effective SEO Use of YouTube and Vimeo

The “Will it Blend” videos have racked up tens of millions of views for BlendTec. This video where he blends an iPad has over 16 million views as of this writing.

Okay, here’s the third and final part of my series on effective video SEO. This has been quite a journey as I’ve learned all of this. I’m only now myself implementing these strategies. I hope to be able to follow-up later when I can share my own results.

In part 1 I addressed the three myths of video SEO. Part 2 covered how to use self-hosted, professional video hosting sites and video sitemaps to get rich video thumbnail snippets and true SEO.  Today I’ll cover a strategy for effectively using YouTube, Vimeo and other similar video sharing social media sites in your video SEO strategy.

Before reading on keep in mind this series is about SEO, not views. Some of you may not have a need for video SEO. If you just want to share your work online and engage with the creative community, that may be all the motivation you need to use sites like Vimeo.

Remember Your Objective is Traffic

The objective of a good video SEO strategy is to use video content to drive links back to your site.  As we covered, a combination of pro-hosted sites and video sitemaps will allow organic search engine results to display a video thumbnail rich snippet which links back to your website (as opposed to YouTube or Vimeo). (Again, Vimeo Plus and Pro users who turn off the ability for their videos to be found on those sites can achieve this too). That’s how you drive traffic using video from search engine results. But the $100,000 question I’m sure you’ve been asking, “But what about all those people on YouTube and Vimeo?” Okay, let’s talk about that.

When you need a plumber, chances are you are going to use Google (or Bing, Yahoo, whatever) to find one in your area. However, if you want to learn how to change a faucet yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll actually start on YouTube to find a “how to video.” You may go to Vimeo or YouTube to find a tutorial on your favorite software program.  Or maybe you just want to take an afternoon to be inspired by Vimeo Staff picks, or spend (or distract yourself) for 2 hours watching Key and Peele skits on YouTube (i.e. you want to be entertained). The majority of people STARTING searches on YouTube are looking for education or entertainment.

So those are the kind of videos you should be putting on sites like these. This is great news for all you wedding and event vendors, because in essence, that’s what your videos are. A bride looking for a wedding videographer will most likely do a search on Google (and hopefully you’ll have a video thumbnail rich snippet link to your site if you’ve done your video SEO right). But, she may also search Vimeo knowing all the talent that is on there. So, if you’re using Vimeo to host your videos, it goes without saying your descriptions should have links back to your site.

Can you see the possibilities? Use videos to produce content your potential clients would look for on sites like YouTube and Vimeo, then properly tag, title and describe them so they can be easily found. Here’s a small list of ideas:

  • A plumber makes a series of “how to” videos
  • A wedding videographer creates an online video podcast or “TV show” interviewing local vendors, giving wedding tips, etc.
  • A commercial video producer creates a series of tips on how to effectively use video in your marketing strategy
  • A creative brand or ad agency creates a series on how to effectively build a brand or use social media
  • A portrait photographer starts a series  giving moms tips on how to use their DSLRs to get great photos of their kids
  • A blender company creates a series of videos about all the different things their blender can blend

All the examples I cited above are actual examples of how I’ve seen other companies use video on sites like Vimeo and YouTube to drive traffic to their site. You’re creating content to capture the audience that is on YouTube and Vimeo.

But, you still may want to use pro-hosted sites and video sitemaps first. Why? For those people who do a Google search first to find this kind of content, it’s still YOUR site that gets the rich snippet (think of the TED video example I gave in part 1). Phil Nottingham at Distilled (who’s the true expert) suggests putting this kind of content on self-hosted sites first for about a month. THEN release them on YouTube and Vimeo. By then, your site gets the higher ranked rich snippet.

So there you have it. Effective video SEO in three parts. I’d love to hear about any successes you’ve had in your video SEO strategy. Share in the comments.

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