Video SEO Series: Best Practices for Linking to Your Video Transcript
Whether you’re brand new or experienced in video SEO, you understand the importance of links. Off-page SEO consists of the number and authority of inbound links that point to your site. Video plays a huge part in linking strategy, because it is a killer form of content that engages people. An analysis conducted by SEOmoz demonstrated that pages with video in addition to lists and images receive 70% more inbound links than pages with only lists and images (see chart below). When people find something remarkable, whether it’s creative or instructive, they link to it. Transcripts amplify the link-building possibilities of your video content.
First off, let’s focus on the linking we can control; linking from within our own site. With cross-linking you’re focusing Google in on how neatly your site structure is organized. Think of cross-linking internally as a net you are building to “catch SEO.” No page should be marooned without any inbound or outbound links in the site structure, that’s a bad sign to Google. As such, you’ll want to be sure all relevant content pages are linked to each other so users can easily find what they need.
How to Link between Content Pages
Take a spreadsheet and load your video titles into a column. Create at least three additional columns of pages you will link to. Interlinking asks you to put yourself in the shoes of your visitor. Make logical assumptions. If I read about X product, I might be interested (or better fitted) to products Y & Z. Link to those pages, looking at site analytics will help with this process. Start with your most popular pages. Consider linking to deeper pages, such as support, a blog, or a transcript. If you are using video as a lead generation tool, all videos should link to a specific conversion opportunity. Transcript pages should have a strong call to action to link back to the source video page.
The Linking Advantage of Video TranscriptsRepurpose Video Transcripts
With a video transcript in hand, you have a great resource to develop additional articles, blogs, white papers, and other content to link to. The key is to use your video transcript as a starting point and then develop content tandem to video content so that the consumer can absorb information in their preferred method.
A transcript is useful for on-page SEO, but it’s also valuable for off-page SEO. After building out a video landing page consider linking to a page containing just the text transcript. At the simplest level this is an easy way to add two pages to your site and create links. Furthermore, you give Google an additional opportunity to find and index you for the same keywords. Paginating long transcripts and grouping the text thematically will provide additional keyword and SEO benefits. We will address this more in an upcoming blog.
The Importance of Anchor Text
The text used to in a link sends important information to Google regarding what the linked page is about. This is utilized in all links across your site, as well as inbound and outbound. Anchor text best practices dictate you use descriptive, accurate text when cross-linking. The same goes for outbound links, be sure to reference sources. Nothing is worse than the dreaded, click here or here. If possible, consider contacting those partners who already link to your site and ask to have the link text changed from you company or blog name to the services you provide or subject matters you write on.Example: Anchor Text
When referencing a related video, which is the best anchor text structure?
A. In a previous video blog, we discussed…
B. In a previous video blog, “How to Optimize Traffic with Content,” we discussed…
C. In a previous video blog about optimizing traffic through content, we discussed…
Either B or C is acceptable. Using the title of a post, entry or page as we did with option B is virtually dummy-proof, as long as your title is succinct and keyword targeted. Option C might take a little more effort, but keeps the flow of the sentence while still being just as keyword minded.
Inbound Links Through Social Media Likes, Tweets and Shares
An important signal to Google is links from blog posts, social media and email. As such, you should make it as easy to share your video as possible. Below are some easy and effective inbound link building tips.
Add Social Buttons to a Video Player and Transcript Pages
Make it easy to share your video by adding social buttons to your player that incorporate the following social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Many players have options that are as simple as checking in a box.
Customize Video Embed Code
If a video viewer really enjoys your content, they’ll embed it. This is the epitome of online praise, but what’s it really doing for you? If you’re using a third party host like YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll find that the embed code links to their site, not yours. Take back your traffic and edit your embed code to link back to your site.
Court Key Social Influencers
Authoritative sites in Google’s eyes are sites that have many other websites linking to them, like news sites. There is some Klout to be considered for social profiles as well, meaning a share or a retweet by an authority figure will potentially garner more click-throughs and subsequent shares. Research who in your follower network is already an authority figure and if their audience might be interested in your content, then start building a mutually beneficial relationship.
CAUTION! Bounce Rates and Link Authority
A click-through to your site shouldn’t be wasted! Visitors have come to your site for information, conversation or entertainment. Give them what they need. Human behavior determines Google’s scoring of authority and relevance. If a visitor thinks they have been duped, they will immediately hit the back button, producing what is called a “bounce back.” Receive enough of these and your bounce rate could negatively impact your site’s overall rankings with search engines. This is why anchor text and the destination of the link need to be aligned appropriately. Keep in mind the user experience, a visitor should immediately be able to discern what this new page is about. Video transcripts are powerful for all media publishers because a visitor can skim a transcript quicker than a video can load and play. Reward your visitor with appropriate content and you reward your site with a higher visit duration and more authority with Google.
In closing, link building of the past used to be a fairly unscrupulous practice. It meant buying links or posting spammy comments on blogs. Some questionable characters even used to “guarantee” the number one spot on Google and then paste their client’s link all over “link farms.” Link building is now a strategy that goes hand-in-hand with your content strategy. Keep in mind, Google is built similarly to the rules of academia. Professors hate plagiarism, over-used/trite concepts and a lack of style, the same is true of internet users. Get some link love by first focusing on the website user experience, then brilliant content and finally, social publishing.