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Dos and Don’ts of Video for SEO

A well placed video can be of huge benefit to your website. Video is attention grabbing, easy information and keeps people entertained. Most importantly thanks to Google Search, video can drive traffic to your website. If you want to reap the full SEO benefits of your Video content you must follow a new set of rules. Here are a few dos and don’ts for SEO plus a few additional tips to get your visitors clicking. Created by your friends at


1. What Google wants: The relationship with Google Search is like any business partnership you must make it mutually beneficial. Thus you have to do your fair share and make life easier for the Google Bots, if you do this the SEO rewards are great.

2. Keywords: Titles, Meta tags and descriptions are vital to the way Google ranks your videos; Make sure they are meaningful and packed full of great keywords. (You can find plenty of good key word generating tools out there) The title tag is the single most important influence on your video’s SEO, so think long and hard. It is important to not forget the viewer in this process however, so make your title relevant, captivating and enticing. ( Dos and Don’ts work well)

3. Google can read: Include either a transcript or closed captioning for all your videos. Google will use either; you will be helping Google identify what’s in the video. Choose Video that is relevant to your site as Google places a high emphasis on Video. You want your site to be found by people that are searching for that topic or your bounce rate will be through the roof.

4. Let the Bots find your videos: Hand in your homework and submit a Video Sitemap to the major search engines. This means you don’t have to wait for Google, so once the work is done you get your SEO gold star. Make sure that the User-agent (Google Bot) is allowed in every nook and cranny of your website (Google will not enter beyond password protected areas or where it is forbidden)

5. Build links: The power of linking is great, internal and inbound links is the one area in which video SEO is similar to text SEO. An added benefit of internal links is you can keep people on the site longer, the same can be said for including related videos.

6. The importance of URL’s: If you wish, you can place multiple videos on a certain page, but make sure each video has its own individual URL. Otherwise the Google Bots get confused. You can give the video a hash tag each, but a unique URL is more effective.


1. Host videos yourself: The majority of websites do not have the bandwidth necessary to host the videos themselves. Insufficient bandwidth slows down loading and makes the Google Bots mad, lowering your ranking. You can use a content delivery network (CDN) instead creating faster video loading; this has the added benefit of improving the viewing experience for your sites visitors.

2. Do lazy tagging: Google expects that your website video tags be in a certain format i.e. (Capitalised, Spaced, Comma) Do not leave these blank, do them half-heartedly or enter them incorrectly. Another common error is to post dates in the wrong format Google want them as follows year/month/day.

3. Get video format wrong: Google currently only indexes videos that are in mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, ra, ram, asf, avi, flv, m4v and wmv if your video is not in this extensive list of formats then you won’t get the SEO credit and your efforts are wasted.

4. Disallow comments: Google Bots sees all; including comments on your video and user generated content can increase your SEO immensely. Your videos may not draw large amounts of comments, but you still should make it possible. Also viewer feedback can help you tune your video offering, if you’re still not convinced trial comments by having comments require approval.

5. Spread the love: You want the traffic to go to your site, thus you want the video on your site to come first in search engine results, if you have a version on YouTube this could appear ahead of your site when searched. Syndicate sparingly, placing Videos in no more than three sites, and do so only when there is a clear benefit to your company. Give syndicated videos their own titles and tags to avoid the duplicate content issue.

Hopefully this has left you a bit better informed as to the benefits video can have for your site and how best to optimize your video to get the most from your efforts. If you’re interested in purchasing some video content for your site have a look at our website