It sounds pretty scary and complicated. But it doesn't have to be so intimidating. So let's demystify. First, what's SEO? Search engine optimization. That's kind of a fancy way of describing strategies for getting your website to show up in Google and Bing. For example, if you search for video hosting, in Google, you'll see that Wistia is second to Wikipedia. That's pretty cool. And that's because we've used SEO to get our website to rank higher for that search term. So now when people search for video hosting, they come to Wistia and sign up, and we can get deals.
So where does video fit into the mix? Well, the biggest impact is that videos themselves can show up in search results in the form of rich snippets. For example, if you search "whiteboard Friday," you'll see a number of standard links to websites. And also, a number of links with video thumbnails. Google gives a lot of credit to video. That's because they're harder to make than text articles. They're more information dense. And there's not that many people making them yet. So when they see a page with a video on it, they give it more credit, and it ranks higher.
Research from Forrester showed that it was 50 times easier to end up on the front page of search results when you're using video. That's why video SEO is important. It's a great way to bolster your other SEO results. And sometimes, it can even get you into the top spots.
Now let's walk through the mechanics behind it. The key is making your videos findable by the Google search goblins. On its own, video is pretty hard to recognize and catalog. But by adding what's called a video site map, you can solve this problem. At Wistia, we provide this capability in all of our accounts. But you can still create site maps for videos your hosting yourselves, too.
Can't I just upload my videos to YouTube, and have them show up in search results automatically? Well, yes and no. If you upload a video to YouTube, it will show up in rich snippet results. But that link will actually go back to YouTube, and not to your site. If you're making great content, you should get the benefits of that traffic on to your own website. Just like SEO, there lots of tips and tricks you can use to optimize for video SEO. Things like transcripts, descriptions, and social shares can all help you rank higher in results.
So those are the basics of video SEO. So get out there, and start putting your videos to work.