The Top Video SEO Practices Used by Marketers in 2013 [Report]

The Top Video SEO Practices Used by Marketers in 2013 [Report]

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2013-video-marketing-report-youtube advertising Video SEO, is the pillar that ReelSEO was founded upon all those years ago. It’s still as important today, as it was back when the site began. In fact, it seems that online video marketers agree according to our 2013 Online Video Marketing Survey and Business Video Trends Report, as seven out of ten of you say that you “have spent time or resources optimizing video content for SEO purposes.” The real question is, what’s wrong with those other three people, right?

Top 5 Video SEO Practices Used by the Video Marketing Majority

Out of the ten options in the “What practices have you used to optimized videos for SEO purpose,” half of them have been used by half or more of the 435 respondents to the question. Here they are bottom to top.

#5) Posting Video Content to a Blog

Showing that company and brand blogs are still being used regularly, 51.3% of the respondents stated that this is one of the things they’re doing to optimize their video content for SEO. Sharing it out to the blog not only gets it in front of the people who are already following your company or brand but it also puts another page in the search engine index with the video on it. That means more potential customers could stumble across it and pop on over to the site to see it.

#4) Allowing External Embeds

There’s nothing better than having your customers do the work for you say 55.4% of online video marketers. This is easily done by allowing them to embed the video into other sites. The more pages with the video content on it, the more potential search engine results and the higher chance of yet more potential customers getting to it. Plus, it allows industry sites to share the content with their readers (like ReelSEO!) and for review sites to use it in their reviews of products and services. Friend and family recommendations always carry a bit more weight than those of a stranger so people embedding the video on their social network presences and personal sites could mean not only a bigger search engine footprint but also new customers based on those recommendations.

#3) Optimizing Video Filenames with Keywords?

Just over 64% of online video marketers are putting their targeted keywords right in the file name. Why? Because if the specific piece of media is named KEYWORD.mp4 then it’s exactly what someone is looking for when they do a video search for KEYWORD, at least theoretically, right?

The truth is, this is one of the myths that we hear from time to time.  Optimizing the file-name of your video is good for archival purposes, but there really is no particular SEO benefit from doing so.  And despite what you may have read elsewhere, doing so for YouTube does absolutely nothing for YouTube SEO.  None-the-less, there’s no harm in titling files in a way that describes the content, right?  – said our founder, Mark Robertson.

#2) Optimizing YouTube Videos

Almost three-quarters of online video marketers say that just uploading videos to YouTube is not enough, you also have to optimize those videos as well. Properly choosing categories, tags, title and description text is vital, after all, that’s all the text that you get to associate with those videos. Or is it?

Here at ReelSEO we have also talked about the value of subtitles, closed captions, and annotations from a video marketing standpoint when using YouTube. They’re also text files, associated with your video content and if you’re talking about your content in a video you are sure to be using keywords that people might search for in those videos, right? If not, fire your scriptwriter and hire me!

#1) Tagging Videos with Keywords

Top of the heap with 77.2% is this gem of a video SEO strategy. Don’t believe me? Go search YouTube for “zamboni vfx Milwaukee.” Granted, there probably is not a massive market for that specific video content, but I don’t mention vfx of Milwaukee in anything… but the tags. zomboni-youtube

As an added bonus, it popped up my profile, even when I signed out and did the search. That gives me two top spots with one video search on the keywords I used as tags.

Five Other Video SEO Practices


I’m not discounting the other five options that were offered in the survey, I just wanted to highlight the top five first. At 39.5% annotating videos with details about content, duration, etc is quite popular and many of us know exactly why, it makes for better, prettier search engine results, and can be easily done with the schema markup. Plus, Google recently said it’s vitally important for video landing pages. Speaking of that, 30.8% of respondents are using a unique URL for website pages with video. Only 26.9% are offering transcripts of videos on their websites, 24.6% are using video content in press releases and finally, only 22.3% are creating video sitemaps for videos posted on their websites, tsk, tsk…


In a nutshell, video SEO is still high on the lists of activities for online video marketers which is great. I also like to think that many of them are doing things that we have been showing off here at ReelSEO for years and years. Then again, the really low number of marketers who are creating transcripts and video sitemaps worries me that perhaps we didn’t get our point across on how valuable they can be. So here’s a video from one of Google’s product managers, about video sitemaps.

And, another:

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