Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
Okay so you have a great video library and are offering exactly what people are looking for. They are searching for something very specific they want, and you have it on your platform. But, how do you ensure that they’re able to find your platform easily? Are you making any efforts so that your viewers can reach you first hand?
There is a thing called Search Engine Optimization or SEO, that can help you get into the sights of your potential subscribers. Do you know, that according to studies, 80% of people research about a service/product on search engines before they can actually make a decision to buy it? And thus, if you aren’t already optimizing your platform to be found on search engines, you are missing on something very big.
Enabling the launch of OTT video platforms all these years, we have seen what adds to the success or failure of an OTT service. SEO plays a huge role in taking your video platform to the right kind of audience. These are some simple tactics, if done right, can add tons of value to the marketing quotient of your video streaming platform.
Best SEO practices for a video streaming platform:
1. Research and Optimize Keywords
As we all know Keywords are a very important part of any SEO strategy. It all begins with finding and optimizing the right keywords. You might already be doing that. Researching the most relevant keywords for your platform is a crucial thing in optimizing your video streaming platform for search engines. Think about all the key terms your viewers might be typing-in to search for videos or content that you host. You may also take help from online resources like Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Trends or some other Video Keyword Tools to take out a set of top searches in your niche. You may also get ideas from researching on what your competitors are optimizing for. Use keywords well on your platform but also ensure that you don’t overdo it. Place them well scattered in your content and in descriptions, titles and naming of videos/files. Knowing the right keywords will also help you create more relevant video content for the platform, since you now know what your viewers are exactly looking for.
2. Naming the files
As a video streaming platform, since you have a huge library of videos, naming each file the right way is essential. And this is where keywords come in. Name your files with the keywords you wish to optimize your videos for, and not some default name like “video415.mph”. Ensure that the file name and the title of the video matches and each word is separated by a hyphen. This will not only help search engines recognize your videos first hand but will also be easier for your viewers to find them easily, when they’re looking for something specific. Check out Google Webmaster’s complete guide to video indexing. Search engines do not crawl all videos, so make sure your videos are one of these file formats – .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf.
3. Optimize Anchor Texts
Optimizing anchor texts is another good SEO practice for online video platforms. Instead of using the classic approach like “for more information << click here >>” use keywords to hyperlink in the text. For example: Instead of writing “<<click here>> to sign up for Muvi and launch your own multiscreen OTT platform”, write “<<Sign Up>> for Muvi today and launch your own multiscreen OTT platform”. This will improve the quality of links on your platform and will also provide weightage to your keywords in search engines. Check out this complete guide on how to Optimize Anchor Texts.
4. Optimize Video Metadata
You got to tell Search Engines what your videos are about, in order for it to consider them relevant when a similar enquiry comes in.
- Title Tags must be short and catchy. These are the first things that will be noticed about your video and thus, make sure you optimize this section for the right keyword. Keep your title tag between 50-60 characters long.
- Description tags can be a little longer, where you can describe what your video is about, but don’t forget to incorporate one or two keywords in here. Keep your description tag no longer than 160 characters.
- Video tags will help you gain relevant traffic, but make sure you don’t go spammy here. Just one or two relevant keywords are sufficient, don’t go into variations or synonyms. Also, don’t forget to add locations, brands or any people in the video. Media broadcasters can tag names of their cast and crew.
5. Create Video Thumbnails
Thumbnails are the most important part of video information. A thumbnail is the first thing viewers notice about your videos, and thus, make sure you use this section well to provide a clear message about your platform and by incorporating the right amount of keywords. You may also go through some of the Thumbnail Best Practices to get an idea.
6. Create Video Sitemap
Another important thing to rank up your video streaming platform in search engines is to create a Video sitemap. Sitemaps provide another way to present video’s titles and descriptions, along with some more specific information like indication of country restrictions, platform restrictions or live streams, which will ultimately help rank your videos higher. Don’t forget to then add your video sitemap in your robots.txt file. Google provides a complete guide on creating Video Sitemaps. Also consider adding video transcripts wherever possible. Having written transcripts for your videos will help your platform get better indexing in search engines and will increase the usability of content.
7. Define OG Video Tags
Defining open graph protocols will enable your videos to rank higher in social graph when shared on social media platforms. OG tags are the tags that are picked up by-default by a social media site when a video is shared such as the title, media type, image, url, description, etc. You can also define other factors such as audio, location, determiner, site name, and many other criteria for better indexing and shareability of your videos across social media. Facebook invented OG tags and provide a complete guide on how you can optimize for OG video tags.
8. Create Video rich snippets
Creating snippets will enhance your appearance in search results. Adding video rich snippets will provide viewers a quick eye on what’s included in the result and they will better be able to take decision whether to proceed or not. Always make sure that the snippet is linked to the right video on the website. All you need to do in order to create snippets is to upload your video using shema.org markup in the page’s HTML code and submit it to google webmaster tools, that’s it. There are various tools available online that can help you generate Video Schema and Rich Snippets to aid this process.
9. Stay active on social media
Optimize and promote your platform on all social media channels possible. Social media plays a huge role today in popularizing media video content. You might also get advantage if your competitors are not that active on some of these platforms. There is no other bigger coverage for your new release, a new library, platform enhancement or a new feature. You will also gain links from your social media channels, which will eventually add value to the platform’s SEO strategy.
10. Build links from other Video Platforms
It is always a good idea to host your videos on your own domain. However, other video hosting sites such as YouTube, Vimeo can also be used to host trailers and short snippets of your full-length movies and then by providing the link to watch the full video on your domain will draw you the links back. Allow embedding and sharing of your videos on other websites, so, more the sharing and embedding, more will be your backlinks. Read our recent Blog on why hosting your entire library on YouTube may not be a good Idea.
Search engine optimization is all about taking small consistent steps and ensuring that your video platform is well structured so that viewers can find you easily. SEO may require you to make some constant efforts in order to appear on top searches; but you should never forget that ultimately content is the real king. If your platform offers entertaining and useful content, subscribers will certainly multifold when you make efforts to reach them using all right techniques.
The most important thing you should remember while choosing a technology partner for creating or launching your video streaming platform is to ensure whether or not they are equipped with all the right SEO tactics to make your platform SEO ready. And if your technology partner is as scalable and flexible as Muvi, you just don’t have to worry about anything. Muvi makes your website SEO ready from the day 1, and also allows various customizations as per your specific needs.