VSEO: How does it work?
- 88% of companies use it as a marketing tool;
- When asked how they would most like to learn about a product or service, 69% of Internet users say they prefer to watch a short video. In comparison, 18% prefer to read text.*
A well-referenced video on the web is one of the fundamental tools to sustain your business. How does the SEOV work? We tell you everything.
The VSEO, literally Video Search Engine Optimization, is a set of techniques for referencing its video content. In other words, VSEO allows you to improve the visibility of your videos during a search on the web and to bring more visitors to your site.
Why optimize your video content for search?
Companies have a vested interest in using video to build their brand and promote their products or services. If a video is well referenced, it will reach its target audience in a relevant way. As a result, you will generate traffic to your website and increase your chances of converting leads.
How does it work?
To properly reference your videos on the web, there are a number of tools to know, strategies to adopt and steps to take.
A " classic " sitemap is a file containing the list of pages of your site, that you invite search engines to visit. All sites do not offer a sitemap while it is a great help for SEO.
A video sitemap (or "videositemap") is a structured file that contains information specific to the videos embedded in your site. Search engines find descriptions and thumbnails of videos that they will display at the top of the results "all categories" or in the "videos" category.
The video sitemap allows you to associate the video with the page of your site where it has been embedded, so that a click on the thumbnail will bring the user to your site.
The video sitemap can be generated automatically for your site via a "webservice". This is for example what Streamlike offers for all StreamTVs. It is updated automatically each time videos are added or updated. The video sitemap must be declared only once to the search engines, for example via the Google Search Console.
If you do not create a video sitemap, the search engine will not be able to make the link between the video and your site and will refer users to the host of the video. This is how many companies lose traffic by hosting their videos on YouTube: a search will systematically send users to YouTube - which will entertain them - instead of sending them to their site.
Note that even if a visitor is directed to your site where a video hosted by YouTube is present, he will be invited to leave your site to watch it on YouTube.
On YouTube, your visitor will be exposed to various solicitations, at best unrelated to your business, at worst, to competing offers. The goal of YouTube being to keep its visitors as long as possible, this is not ideal to promote traffic to your site and the conversion of your leads.
The importance of the video hosting
The choice of the video host is an essential step in its referencing. Choosing a social network or a professional solution depends on your objectives.
If you think your video can go viral and be widely shared, if it deals with a popular theme that makes it likely to appear next to a video on the same theme, then its place is on a social network, which will build an audience for it. Similarly, if it answers common searches (a tutorial, a demo of a consumer product...), it is in your interest to publish it on YouTube, which is the 2nd search engine after Google.
On the other hand, if it doesn't meet these criteria, it will be found by a classic search engine and hosting it on YouTube can become counterproductive because your visitors will be directed there instead of coming to you. A professional video platform such as Streamlike and similar ones (mostly American platforms) is the best solution to give you control over your traffic.
Google limits the number of videos that show up in the overall results. That's why it's important to describe your video in the metadata (title, description, credits, keywords, subtitles...) for more relevance. The fact remains that YouTube belongs to Google and one can wonder if YouTube is not favored in the search results.
So there is a "video SEO" and a "YouTube SEO", which are two very different objectives. The two can be combined and we often see brands combining a specific social media strategy with "pro" hosting to generate traffic to their site.
The only thing left is the "responsible" nature of the hosting. If you want to stream responsibly, social networks will not be your priority and you will prefer to host your videos on a sober and carbon-neutral platform, sharing their links on social networks instead of publishing them to the wind.
In the end, VSEO is not complicated. By declaring your video sitemaps and using professionals like Streamlike, you will make your videos your best marketing tools.
(*) Wysowl study, 2021