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Optimizing Video for Search Engine Rank

By Mikal E. Belicove

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Piggybacking off my February 2010 Entrepreneur magazine column ("Video SEO for Your Website"), a reader in New York City wants to know exactly how to optimize the video on his company's website. From Bob Bello, Founder and President of CiscoKits.com:

"I would like to improve and make sure the videos I am putting on my site are done properly from an SEO perspective. Can you provide a list of steps I should perform or tool to use to distribute them in a way that will provide SEO benefits? My website address is: www.CiscoKits.com and the videos are located at www.ciscokits.com/ccna-videos."


As I wrote in my February column, search engines need help in identifying and properly indexing video content. With that in mind, here's what CiscoKits--and anyone else in the same situation--can do to boost the visibility of their Web-based videos:

Thumbnails: Create and add a thumbnail image alongside thelink for each video. In the thumbnail image tag, include an alt ortitle attribute that contains the word "video." Search engines,especially Google, often consider image tags that contain the word"video" to indicate the presence of video content.

XML Sitemap: Create an XML sitemap and submit it via Google's Webmaster Tools.While having a sitemap does not necessarily guarantee that each andevery page or link on your site will be crawled or indexed, expertslike Benjamin Wayne, CEO of Fliqz,a full-service, plug-and-play video solution provider, agree thathaving a sitemap is the best way for leading search engines to get toknow the entirety of your website.

XML Video Sitemap:Submit your videos to Google (again, using Webmaster Tools) by creatingan XML video sitemap. Anyone having difficulty doing this themselvesshould consider using Fliqz's SearchSuccess product.

Video Length: Ifyour videos are much longer than the recommended target length of 90seconds, consider breaking them up into smaller segments. While thismay not be practical in all cases, doing so increases the number ofvideo submissions to Google, and helps maximize your chances ofobtaining a first page ranking.

Title Tags: Follow CiscoKits' lead and match the title tags of the page to the titles of your videos.

Video Titles: Assigna unique, descriptive name to each video, as CiscoKits already hasdone, that targets long-tail searches (Generic titles do not scorevery well with search engines like Google).

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. 

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