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We had a great reader question.  Is optimizing for video different than optimizing a page?

Youtube

Optimizing for video is quite different than optimizing for a website or pages within a site.  Here’s why.

1 – With videos, you primarily have only the video itself, its title, and its description.  With a website you have so much more.

  • context and supporting assets, which may include videos
  • images
  • title tags
  • meta descriptions
  • interconnected pages
  • sitemaps
  • backlinks
  • site structure
  • page load

Some of the items above may be able to be applied, too, like backlinks, but the point is that video is an asset within website optimization and the opposite can’t be said.

2 – Google also owns Youtube so there’s some that will argue that Google will favor Youtube hosted videos over other video hosting options.  While that may or may not be true, there are other advantages to hosting your video on Youtube.

  • quicker video load
  • better cross-browser compatibility
  • better cross-device compatibility

3 – Videos can be optimized differently depending on where they are hosted.  Youtube offers advantages and disadvantages over hosting on Vimeo, as do they both for and against Vine, Instagram, etc.  You may have your rules of how to optimize videos but you can only apply those variables when the destination host makes them available to you.

4 – With your website you can add context before and after your embedded video.  This improves on-page relevancy that surrounds your video.  You also have basic variables like title tags and meta descriptions available to you.  You may not on other video hosts.  Likewise, you can create a video sitemap on your site but you cannot on social media video sites.

We’ve found success in optimizing pages and videos together this way:

  • loading client videos to Youtube (for your best chance at universal browser/device compatibility and quick video load)
  • embedding the Youtube videos into a client’s site (enhanced contextual relevancy on your page)
  • generating a video XML sitemap (so search engines can easily find your videos)
  • identifying your video sitemap in your robots.txt file (so search engines can easily find your sitemap to find your videos)
  • then submitting that sitemap to Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, etc.

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