3 Ways to Increase Video SEO in 2019

November 9, 2018 BY JACLYN LEDUC
Updated: June 13, 2019

If you’re looking to increase your video SEO, we have three words for you: page load speed. Moving forward, the speed at which pages load on mobile devices matters thanks to the Google Speed Update algorithm. With this new update, it’s clear that Google is putting a real emphasis on user experience when determining SEO.

What does this mean for video, though? We’ll reveal 3 ways to increase video SEO with faster video, which will ultimately lead to a better user experience.

The Google Speed Update

In January 2018, Google announced that it would be rolling out a new update this year. After testing the update for several months, the company released the update to all users in July. The Google Speed Update, which has been in effect for all users for nearly 6 months, uses page speed in mobile search ranking. Speed has been used as a search ranking factor for some time now, but it was previously only focused on desktop searched. The main difference with the Google Speed Update is that page speed is a ranking factor for mobile searches as well as desktop.

Google Speed Update: Released in July 2018 for all users, the Speed Update uses mobile page speed as a search ranking factor.

The update is said to only affect the “slowest experiences,” but it’s important to think about how the performance of a page, both on desktops and mobile devices, affects user experience. The main goal of the update is to enhance the user experience across multiple browsers and devices.

But, how does this update affect video SEO strategies and what can you do to increase video SEO now and into 2019?

Why UX Matters for SEO

User experience (UX) is described as “a person’s emotions when using a particular product, system, or service.” In this case, we’re talking about a user’s experience while using the internet. Why does UX matter for SEO? When optimizing content, websites, and web pages, the best practice is to prioritize people over search engine bots. This is because Google, among other search engines, bases their search ranking factors off of what people care about most, including credible content and, you guessed it, fast page load speed. For this reason, UX should always be top of mind when thinking about SEO.

User experience is mostly subjective – so how does Google measure it? The company has been able to identify common pain-points that users face when searching the web. From that information, Google instructs search engines to measure engagement metrics associated with these common issues, like clicking through to a web page that doesn’t answer the inquiry or viewing an uber-slow video that endlessly buffers.

For optimal user experience, a web page must be: Easy to use, navigate, and understand, Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers, High quality, legitimate, and credible content.

In general, a website or web page must be easy to use, be professionally designed, contain credible content, and be accessible to modern browsers like mobile phones. Remember that a huge part of UX is accessibility, or ability for all users to access a web page. Slow page load speed, among other things like non-captioned videos, make web pages and content inaccessible.

How to Increase Your Video SEO

There are several practices which will help improve your video SEO under the new Google Speed Update, and they all focus around getting your videos loading at high-speeds.

The Lone Video Wins

Pages with tons of content or multiple videos take a while to load. Additionally, including many images on a page slows it down immensely. Hosting a video on its own page or on pages without too much additional content will increase load speed. An additional benefit of publishing videos in this way is that users feel less bombarded by web pages with minimal content. In the U.S., adults spend nearly half of the day interacting with media, be it news articles, their favorite television show, or video content. Hosting your videos on separate pages and designing your website to minimize information overload will yield a better user experience overall.

Use an SEO Embed

Curious? Learn more about SEO Embed.

An SEO Embed uses linked data to communicate to bots that your web page is hosting a video, and includes important metadata like the video transcript. 3Play Media created an SEO Embed tool to help boost video SEO and to drive more traffic to your videos. It particularly assists those who host videos on their own web pages but is also helpful for people who use video players to host their content.

Overall, the SEO Embed tool improves SEO for the video page by including the full content of the video behind the scenes rather than on the page. Though the SEO Embed doesn’t directly connect to page load speed, it still speeds it up. Including transcripts on video pages is a must for improving video SEO since search engines can’t watch videos but they can read and index text. The previous “best practice” was to include the video transcript on the page or in “no script” tags, which significantly slows down page load time for longer videos. With the SEO Embed, transcripts are posted to the head of the page, which improves the speed at which the page and the video load.

High-Speed Video Players

If you use a video player to host your videos, it’s important to be aware of whether or not that player supports quick load time for videos. Many video players pride themselves in their high-speed videos and boast limited loading and buffering time. Here are a few companies offering high-speed video players:

High-speed video players: JW Player, Wistia, Brightcove

JW Player says their video player has “lightning fast playback” with no buffering delays across desktop and mobile browsers. That’s good news considering the new Google Speed Update.

Wistia, who reiterates that page speed matters for SEO, recently released Vulcan V2, which is half the size of their previous player and less than a quarter the size of YouTube’s player. Because of its smaller size, pages load 10% faster than their previous player.

The Brightcove Player claims to be up to 70% faster than any other video player. Each player is optimized to minimize download size all in an effort to increas page load speed.

Looking for other ways to boost your video SEO? Adding captions to your videos is a great way to increase in search rankings. Learn all you need to know and more about closed captioning in The Ultimate Guide to Closed Captioning.

Read the Ultimate Guide to Closed Captioning

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