Video SEO is the big thing right now, but there is still many questions surrounding the best approach to optimizing for video. Do I host the video on my site? Should I use 3rd party video hosting sites? How should I approach branding? Where do my keywords fit in?
Depending on the objectives of you SEO campaign, there are several answers to the above questions. This post is going to zero in on the best hosting solution based on your SEO campaign objectives— in-house versus 3rd party hosting sites.
Your first step in determining where to host your video is to define your objectives. Whether link generation, branding, maximum viewership, or better organic rankings, a clearly defined objective will help guide your SEO video strategy.
In-House Video Hosting
Link Generation: Videos have the potential to earn a lot of links and link juice. If the purpose of your video is to increase inbound links to your site, then it is best to host the video on your own website.
To get the most out of inbound links, provide an embeddable video option on your site, which will visitors to easily embed the video into their site, blog, or social profiles. Make sure you optimize the anchor text in this link to include the keywords for that page. Each video that is embedded will act as a link back to your site, with keyword rich anchor text.
Improved Rankings: Improved ranking goes hand-in-hand with link generation. A good video can and will attract a high number of quality links, which will in turn increase organic rankings.If your campaign objective is to improve the rankings for your site, then consider hosting the video in-house. This will allow your site to take credit for the inbound links. See Link Generation above for some best practices to optimize inbound links.
Another bonus to onsite hosting, you have more control over the content that lives around your video. This includes branding, internal links, images and additional content. Just make sure that you video title and other page content is optimized for keywords!
3rd Party Hosting
Just because you host your video on a 3rd party site does not mean it will be viewed. Your video’s success relies on the content, titles, and social media aspects. Once you have created your engaging video, pay careful attention to the title. Videos are watched based on the title. In the case of maximizing viewers, it is better the grab the viewer with a catchy title over incorporating keywords.
Don’t discount the power of social media. This is the piece of the puzzle that will enable your video to go viral. Allow visitors to easily embed or share the video via email or on other social media sites like Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious.
Branding: The most effective medium for a video branding campaign is the 3rd party hosting sites— they are best for high traffic and pageviews. For the campaign to be effective, make sure your company logo is prominent on the first and last frame of the video. This way it is the first and last thing views see. The logo should also by on every frame. Make it easy for viewers to explore you brand further. The video should also include a call to action and your website should be easily clicked in your profile.
While this post focused on the best hosting strategy based on your campaign objectives, there are key best practices for SEO video optimization. So once you determine the best medium of distribution, don’t forget to focus on the nuts and bolts of video optimization.