If you are an online advertiser, there is no better time to take advantage of online video to drive consumers to your website. Online video viewership and penetration continues to grow along with the increasing popularity of social platforms and smart phones.
Based on a recent eMarketer report, the number of US online video viewers will grow to 188 million in 2013, from 144 million in 2009. Additionally, more than half (59%) of the US population will view online videos in 2013.
Video capabilities have shown vast improvements over the past few years, specifically the streaming quality and availability of HD online content as well as the extended video duration. These video enhancements have attracted new audience segments, beyond the typical 18-24 year old segment. While the younger generation is still the largest demographic, several studies have indicated a boost in online video popularity among older adults and seniors.
One of the most popular types of video is Flash video. While Flash is extremely appealing to the consumer eye, it is often overlooked by the search engine crawlers—they have a difficult time recognizing Flash images or video. Therefore, advertisers need to be sure to optimize their videos so that the search engine spiders can find them. If search engine crawlers can’t find your video, neither will your consumers, leading to missed opportunities.
Although search engines are getting better at reading Flash files, the fact still remains that crawlers prefer to read text. There are a few reasons why Flash does not get indexed or ranked for its keywords within the search engine results. The primary reason is when a user navigates throughout a website, many sites dynamically load Flash videos under the same URL. This presents a problem because URLs need to be unique for proper indexation. Advertisers should separate videos into their own URLs and optimize the meta tags and body content (copy) around the videos in order to rank for relevant keywords.
Most Flash videos have very little text around them and often times if there is text it is typically filled with vacuous marketing copy that lacks important keywords. As a result, search engine crawlers have a hard time finding videos and indexing them. Advertisers should include copy around the Flash videos that includes keyword-rich text, relevant to the searchers’ query. For example, a video for an e-commerce site that is selling discount golf clubs should include the keywords “discount golf clubs” around the video. These keywords can also be incorporated in the anchor text that is shown when you hover the mouse over a video.
Online advertisers, particularly brand advertisers, should take advantage of the online video growth opportunity by using videos to connect and engage with the growing and diversifying audience. Advertisers can increase their brand awareness by incorporating videos on their website as well as on video sites, such as YouTube. These videos could be used to promote or demo a product or service or share consumer success stories that further validate the value of a product or service.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.