Most people prefer watching video to reading loads of text if they’re given the option, and it’s no surprise that YouTube is ranked as the third most popular site in the world by Alexa.
Anticipating the need to find great videos online, Google, Yahoo and Bing have created video search engines. These scour the internet for unique video content and publish it in their video sections.
The cool part about this is that, instead of posting normal text listings, the search engines publish thumbnail screenshots of the videos on the search engine results page (SERP). The thumbnail enables searchers to see what kind of video they’re dealing with before viewing it.
Universal Search – a system that blends image, video, news, blog, local and traditional search to form a more complete experience for users – is now integral to all three major search engines. And listings that have video thumbnails next to them have been proven to receive a much higher click-through rate than traditional text listings.
It has been foundthat people are automatically attracted to video thumbnails on the SERP and even skip listings above and below them entirely.
This means that listings with video thumbnails not only get more attention but they even cause other surrounding listings to be ignored by the user.
The benefits of having video on each search optimised page of a site are clear. Google, Yahoo and Bing all take video very seriously because they know that searchers prefer audio-visual content to simple text and images. Having video on a page definitely gives it a little spice. Reasons to optimise a site for video include both increased brand awareness on the SERP and higher click-through rates from existing search listings. If your page is already in position one for a keyword, that listing will earn a thumbnail once you’ve optimised it for video. You’ll also get increased time on site and page views, plus better user experience and increased conversion rates.
First, embed your web-friendly video on the page using any of the many video embed methods. For example, you could
use Flash, Windows Player, QuickTime and so on. Note: do not use YouTube, Vimeo or other video upload sites for this. The video must be unique to your website.
Create a thumbnail of the video for indexing, with a size of 80×60 pixels. Next, you need to create four meta tags for the video on the page,
Replace application/xshockwave- flash with the player you’re using.
Replace 280 with the height of your video. Replace 460 with the width of your video.
Create a video sitemap and submit it to the search engines. Google and Yahoo have clear instructions at bit.ly/avLLvs and bit.ly/dBnUm3. Bing doesn’t have a video submission process, so submit your sitemap directly to Bing (bit.ly/4ACvdG) and include the meta tags from step