At a recent Google Next Cloud Conference, Google unveiled a “Video Intelligence API” that will allow software developers the ability to parse video based on its content. Basically, it means users can search and discover video content based on the visuals that appear within the video, a feature made possible using Machine Learning Technology.
Prior to this development, platforms and programs have not been identifying the contents of a video without the help of text and tags. The API is still in private beta testing, and will initially only be made available to developers, and large media organizations (not individual consumers). However, you can see where this development and others like it will be taking us in the future with regard to how video is evaluated by search engines.
It’s important for us all to be aware of what’s to come, but it also shows the value of video in the development of new tools. It’s a good time to take stock of how well your business is leveraging video to improve SEO, and to make sure you are already following best practices, like the three simple ones we review below.
1. Video should accompany text, not replace it.
Currently, “Google does not know exactly what to do with a web page that only has a video on it.” Google’s programming cannot yet extract the content of the video to identify what is useful about it, or why it’s there.
So, when placing video on a website page it’s important to place corresponding text on the page as well. This text can be a direct transcription or commentary that captures or summarizes the information contained within the video. It should particularly include search keywords.
Google can associate the video with the page’s URL, text, and key words, all contributing to how the search engine evaluates, categorizes and ranks that piece of video content and the page that it resides on.
2. Leverage YouTube and Its Settings
Upload and host your video on YouTube, and embed it from there to your website. YouTube is owned by Google and currently both sites are the top search engines used worldwide.
Google references text content and other details like view time from the YouTube platform to return high-quality search results to search users. Moreover, Google also integrates such information into its advertising tools, offering better data and targeting for online ad promotions.
Of all YouTube’s many settings, the basic ones are perhaps the most crucial: Title, Description and Tags. Utilize YouTube’s Title and Description boxes to include text that directly relates to your video content, is a direct transcription, or includes valued key search terms:
- Rename your video file using a target keyword.
- Insert your keyword naturally in the video title.
- Optimize your video description.
- Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
- For more detailed instruction, click here.
3. Embed from YouTube to Your Website
You can of course upload your video to YouTube, and host it on your website separately, but embedding from YouTube to your site brings even more benefits. It connects the two areas where users and viewers interact with your online presence: from search engine, to social video platform, to website.
In some cases, having an exact transcript of your video on your webpage can be a bit much. It can disrupt the look and flow of your website, and a lot of text can make the page too overwhelming for viewers to take in. Too much text can actually drive down visitor engagement on your site. This is where embedding from YouTube let’s you add text content that helps to support and validate your video content.
You can use headlines and smaller segments of important text to provide context for your video on your website. Meanwhile, embed the video component from YouTube, and include additional text (even a full transcript) in the description box on the YouTube page.
It’s exciting to look forward as new developments in AI help us get more from our video content. It will undoubtedly make video an even more valuable tool for rich communication that delves beyond text. As it grows to help businesses target and engage viewers, it grows to help individuals meet the needs of other individuals, faster and more accurately. For now, the three best practices above can help us all do just that until the future arrives.