Google Video Sitemaps: Get Your Videos On Google

Video on the internet is far from new, but most internet marketers have problems getting their videos to be noticed. Uploading videos on YouTube can be effective, especially because Google gives YouTube preferential treatment, but you can increase conversions by bypassing YouTube or other video sharing sites and have Google index your video directly. YouTube is designed to have to user stay on the site as long as possible, while you want the user to get on your site as quickly as possible. Just like a sitemap for a webpage,  Google video sitemaps tell Google exactly what and where the file is. Google uses that information to index videos for video search. The sitemap is just a text file that gives Google the information on how to classify and pull up your video in search.

videoClicking on the video will take the user directly to your website. This gives the user one less click to have to go through to get to your site compared to going through Google search, to a video sharing website to your site. Creating a video marketing campaign through video sharing sites is still effective, but the point of this article is using Google as the index. Video marketing is a potentially very profitable enterprise because the competition in videos is much smaller than in websites in general.

The sitemap allows you to tell Googlebot the duration, title, and description that goes along with each video. It is much easier for Googlebot to read text and almost impossible for it to figure out what a video contains otherwise. Almost all types of video except live streaming video are supported. You will use text tags tell where your landing page is, post the video’s URL, specify a video player if necessary, give a thumbnail, and set the duration. The sitemap is added through Google Webmaster Tools and is limited to 50,000 videos. Most Internet marketing companies are not near the 50,000 limit yet, but having a large number of quality videos is a good idea, because then Google will start trusting you as an internet video producer.

Instead of a sitemap, you can also use an mRSS feed. RSS 2.0 allows for better video support and may be easier to make than a sitemap. mRSS is older so most browsers and software support this coding. Once your sitemap is uploaded, you can log onto Google Analytics and track the exposure of your video. Creating video costs more than other content so you will want to be able to see what works well and understand what your ROI is. An SEO company would track this by setting up 301 redirects from a unique url within your site for the video you submitted to see which visitors came from where. Without the sitemap uploaded, it is impossible to see if searches came from Google organic or video search.


Four Tips for Your Link Building Strategy

Link Building is Key for SEO

I don’t know about you but my life revolves around building links.  The more links I can get for a website the better chance I have of being listed on the first page of the major search engines.  With the number of people switching their methods of how they find information, getting on the first page of Google is a great way to gain new business. It is our job to handle the link building strategies, make sure traffic is growing and that their online visibility dominates their competition.  Since link building is so crucial I thought I would give a few tips for finding quality links for your website.

1.)    Relevance is Important:

Have you ever been on a website and noticed links for something completely different from the page content or theme of the website?  Chances are you did not click on them because you were not interested in a different subject. (EX –> you did not visit a website about power tools hoping to find information about real estate) Google’s main purpose is to provide accurate search results to keep the web surfers using their search engine.  That being said, we have found that we get more “link juice” from links that are relevant content.  It makes sense right?  If Google’s goal is providing accurate search results, links from sites that are not relevant should not be rewarded as much as those that are from related sources.  Although Google does not come out and say it, our SEO company has found the more links we can get from relevant sites or pieces of content, the better our ranking in the SERPs.

2.)    Make Sure You’re Being Followed:

If you are new to the SEO world you might be shocked to find out that there are links that Google will completely ignore.  There is actually a tag a web developer can include on the link that tells the “Google bots” to skip over the link.  In a search engine optimization campaign it is important to know the difference between a do-follow and no-follow link.  If you spend countless hours building links that are not being scanned by the Google bots you just wasted a bunch of your time.  There are a few ways to tell if a link is a no-follow link.  Check out the source code for the rel=“nofollow” tag or just simply download a toolbar application that will highlight no-follow tagged links.

3.)    The Name of the Game is Numbers:

Building backlinks is a numbers game, the more you get the better off you are.  Link building is an ongoing process; if you stop you will fall in the rankings.  Many people find this out the hard way and have to put even more time into their project than they would have had to if they continued to work on it.

4.)    Keywords Are the Key:

If you want to get ahead in the game, make sure you are using your keywords in the links you are creating.  If you are trying to rank for a search term lik “maui real estate agent” and you do not have any links to your site with that keyword phrase, it will be near impossible to rank well for that term.  A link that has anchor text is much more valuable that the simple because you are not telling the search engines or your readers what your site is about.


Hopefully this will help you when thinking about search engine optimization and has helped you understand the value of link building.  Remember, onsite optimization will only take you so far in the search engines.  If you want to show up for competitive keywords, make sure you are using a link building strategy.  If you follow these four tips, you should see a major improvement in your rankings in just a few months.


Why use alt text in your SEO campaign

Can alt text really help your SEO campaign?

Often times as I read through all of the resources online for internet marketing, I read about the importance of “on-site” optimization. We have discussed it ourselves in the past. Something I don’t think we had discussed was the importance of keyword use in the alt text or title tags. Granted many have disagreed with the importance of alt text or title text in the SEO community. It is important to understand that there is no SEO professional that I have met who knows the algorithms intimately. So while there are many opinions that using alt text or title tags does not provide a benefit to your search engine campaign, I would respectfully disagree as I will prove with an example.

We should probably begin with the explanation of “alt text“.

The entire purpose of alt text was to give a description of the image if the image could not be loaded properly as well as a resource for the handicapped (especially the blind) so that as their “text reading” program described and read the page, they would be provided with a description of the image. The attribute can be applied to many different forms of media including video, but is primarily used for images.

So, why bother with alt text on images?

As previously stated, alt text will provide screen readers and text readers with a description of the image, this also applies for the spiders that index the content of your website. By labeling images and media with alt text you are giving the search engines a description of media that they could not otherwise relate to your media. Surely by now you know that Google or any other search engine for that matter cannot see or comprehend what your image is without some kind of description from you the webmaster. So, they (the search engines) actually need you to tell them what an image represents. This is an awesome opportunity for you to influence the position in the search engines.

In the case of a project that we managed for a pet related business, we took the opportunity to label all pictures of the dogs with the name and breed of the dog. We resubmitted the sitemap to all the major search engines as well as created links to the pages as usual. Over the next several weeks we started to see a huge increase in the amount of traffic that we were obtaining for this account. The images were actually bringing in traffic themselves as they had been indexed and those searchers that were looking for images of the dogs that we had described were visiting our customer’s site after they had located the images!

Over the next several weeks, we noticed yet another increase in traffic as other sites were linking to our images and the pages containing the images from their sites. This brought in another wave of traffic. This project realized over 100% increase in organic traffic by simply utilizing alt text and title tags throughout the pages of our customer’s website.

I am not suggesting that alt text on all of the images of your site will increase traffic by 100%. At the end of the day, most of us are not in the pet industry or any industry for that matter where customers are looking for pictures of our product or services regularly. For example, if I labeled everyone of the images on our site with the keywords “Maui SEO“, it is very unlikely that I will obtain that many visitors from the images of my site; however, if I could get one of my images to show up in the organic rankings then perhaps my listing would stick out among all of my competitors as I would be one of the only results that had an image next to my title.

In conclusion, there is absolutely no way that completing alt text could hurt your campaign.

Sure it is an additional step while completing your onsite optimization, but the time invested seems like it would be worthwhile considering that it is a small investment. I do want to emphasize that I do not believe that alt text will make or break your search engine optimization campaign, but I do believe it is worthwhile to add this element to your site. Making your site more useful to your users is what we all want to accomplish, so make certain that you are not keyword stuffing the tags and using legitimate short descriptions as this could definitely help your rankings for long tail keywords as well. At the end of the day, if nothing else, alt text will at least make your site more accessible to the search engines and those that access your site with screen readers, etc. If you are working with a seo company you would definitely want to check your images and make sure that they have been optimized with alt text or title tags.