Video is a great way to engage with your customers and can be used in a number of ways on your site. Whether you are providing helpful video guides and how to tips or if you are showing product demos you need to consider how you optimise your website for video to make the most of the opportunities these videos present to you. Here’s some initial ideas to help you begin to make the most of video on your site.

YouTube Channel

Set up a company YouTube Channel and make sure it’s fully customised. YouTube offer the option to have a brand channel for your site

YouTube allows you to add a Banner to your channel, this can be a promotional image and is 970 pixels wide wand can be anything from 0 to 150 pixels high.

There is also a nav bar where you can add your logo

On the right there is a promotional area where you can add a description of your company, add a link to your website.

You can also select a video as a featured video on your channel, this will be the video which appears as the large video when people visit your channel

There’s a series of YouTube help documents issues from Google here however if you would like help designing a great looking YouTube channel please contact us today and we would love to help you.

When you upload videos to YouTube you have the ability to make sure these are optimised too.

Make sure your video has a good title and this contains things people might search for. Including a keyword in this title is a great idea

Give your video a description and include some keywords in this too, make sure your description reads well and tells people what the video is about.

If your video is about a particular product or service link to the relevant page on your website from the description of the video.

Allow people to comment on your videos, this helps with getting rankings and visibility for your channel in both YouTube and in the search engines

Make sure you update your channel frequently; this not only provides better engagement with your visitors but also encourages your videos to show up in searches in YouTube and also in search engines. More regular updates also encourages people to follow your channel. A brand channel with one or two videos doesn’t look as good as a brand channel with lots of videos.

Promote your new videos to your social media followers and write a blog about them pointing your visitors to the videos.

On your website

Make sure you host videos on your website as well as on YouTube. Video is part of your content and as such should be treated as such.

Video can help with making a sale as it shows people your products and services but can also be used as a great way of giving people useful information such as hints and tips.

Add content to the pages you add your videos to. A transcript of the video is a great way to do this and allows people to see what is being said on the video even if they don’t have headphones or speakers.

Don’t set videos to auto run when people view a page as this can put people off and increase your bounce rate.

When adding video to your website make sure that you create a video sitemap.

You can also add event tracking for Google Analytics into the video when you embed it which enables you to see when someone hits play on your vide etc. This gives you great intelligence about how people interact with your videos.

Video Sitemaps

Create a video sitemap so that your video is seen by Google. Add a link to this video sitemap to your robots.txt file and submit to Google Webmaster Tools to help Google discover this content.

To create a Video Sitemap.xml file you need to include the following things:

  • Title of the Video (maximum 100 characters)
  • Description (maximum 2048 characters)
  • URL to play the video
  • URL of a thumbnail
  • The location of the Raw video file

There are other optional items for the sitemap which can be used including the duration, and an expiration date, both of which are recommended and things like publication date (in YYYY-MM-DD) format and a category (no longer than 256 characters)

The full specifications can be found here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=80472 however if you run a WordPress site there are plugins which can do this for you including XML Sitemaps for Videos