In this guest post Steven Shattuck,  combines two things he knows best video and SEO. 

For small businesses, content marketing is a great way show off your expertise in an industry and introduce potential customers to your products and services. Video is not only a great content format to achieve those goals, but one that carries very specific and measurable SEO benefits. The best part is that any business, regardless of size and income, can take advantage of the power of video SEO.  A level playing field means that the corner mom-and-pop pizza joint can compete with the large national chains for customers. Here’s how to get started:

Make Video a Priority

Obviously before you can begin optimizing your videos for search, you need to start producing videos. Make a commitment to produce at least one video a week. Start off with something simple, like a customer testimonial or a profile on a menu item. The cost of video equipment is no longer a prohibitive factor, and many personal computers now come standard with basic editing equipment. One of my favorite services, Candidio, allows you to shoot your own video and upload it to be professionally edited.

Host on YouTube

There are several options open to you when it comes to video hosting, but YouTube is the undisputed king. No other provider can offer the SEO benefits that YouTube can; not Vimeo and certainly not a self-hosted option. With a massive amount of users, rich customization options, fast load-times and robust analytics, there’s really no better option. Most importantly, Google’s ownership gives YouTube an almost unfair advantage when it comes to video content showing up in the SERPs.

Be Diligent About Filling Out Video Information

Once you’ve uploaded your video, it’s extremely important to give YouTube as much information about it as possible. Be diligent with your video tagsCreate an enticing title for your video that includes your keywords. Include a rich video description that includes a call-to-action link to a landing page on your website. Most importantly, add your keywords as tags: this will influence if your video ends up in search results within YouTube. Be sure to head over to the “Advanced” tab to input the recording date and geographic location of the video.

Transcribe Your Videos

One of the best things you can do in terms of video SEO is transcribe your video. If your video includes interviews or voiceover, transcribe every word they say and upload it to YouTube. Click “Edit Video” and then “Captions.” There are a few excellent transcription providers on the web. is my favorite.

Screen Shot 2012 06 28 at 9.45.51 AMEmbed Videos on Your Website with Rich Snippets

Embedding videos on your website is a must. You don’t want to rely only on YouTube search traffic to get video views. YouTube will supply you with the HTML embed code to place your videos on a webpage, and includes customization options for look and feel of the player. The embed code alone isn’t enough, though. You’ll want to add microdata to the code to give Google additional information about the video. Check out for a list of rich snippets. This tutorial from Google explains the value of using markup.

Create a Video Sitemap

Similar to how websites have an XML Sitemap (which hopefully you have created), a Video Sitemap tells Google about your embedded videos on web pages of your site.  Check out this in-depth guide to creating a Video Sitemap.

Pay Attention to Analytics

YouTube Analytics gives you amazing insights into how viewers discover and engage your video content. This free tool shows you what search terms led to your video, where they watched it from and for how long, among many other data points. Make a point to check your analytics once weekly, and don’t be afraid to change a video title or add new tags if you feel it’s underperforming.

While video SEO may seem laborious, it can pay incredible dividends to those who are diligent in optimizing their content and observant of how they are performing.

Steven Shattuck is the Senior Marketing Associate at Slingshot SEO. Slingshot SEO provides enterprise SEO services to help clients achieve traffic and rankings by planning, managing and executing search engine optimization campaigns for targeted keyword groups.

Steven is also actively involved in the Indianapolis community as one of the organizers of Startup Weekend and the Irvington Halloween Festival.