March 18, 2015

As we’re all well aware now, search engines are the springboard for just about all internet activity these days, with Google alone processing 3.5 billion searches per day. According to The Digital House Hunt, a joint study conducted by Google and NAR, 90% of real estate buyers will search online for information on a particular property. Of that number, 86% will watch videos to get more information about a community and 70% will watch a listing video of a property. So it’s more critical now than ever to make sure your videos are optimized to return in search engine results. Here are a few tips to guide your real estate video SEO efforts:

1) Optimize Your Content With The Right Keywords

At the core of all search engine marketing, whether you’re looking for higher organic rankings or prime placement for paid ads, are keywords. Keyword research is one of the single most important tasks for search engine optimization success. The more closely the keyword matches the content on your page, the greater likelihood your content will rank well. Before you do anything, jot down a handful of phrases that are related to your content. The more specific, the better. If you’re not sure where to start, type a term into Google you think would be relevant to your content. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a list of related searches. For example, if I do a search for “real estate video marketing”, the following terms are displayed:

Google Related Searches

One tool that I particularly like to use is the Keyword Planner inside Google AdWords. While geared towards paid search more than organic search, it will still give you insight into the average number of monthly searches for a particular search term. Another great source is Ubersuggest. While this one won’t give you insight into search volume, it does give you a ton of suggestions for related terms. To learn more on the basics of keyword research, head over to They have an excellent guide to get you started.

2) Host Your Videos On Your Own Domain

Host your videos on your own site through a third party hosting platform instead of a free, non-focused platform, such YouTube and Vimeo. I know, this sounds strange. Free platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo certainly have their place in video marketing. They are great at driving brand awareness and building an audience. However, they do have some drawbacks as a hosting solution. Say you upload a video to YouTube and embed that video into your site. When that video is returned in search results, the user is sent to YouTube, not your site, as they are considered the publisher of that video. And as big and powerful as YouTube is, it has proven to be a poor source for traffic referrals. YouTube should still be a distribution channel, as it sees the second most search queries on the internet, but it shouldn't be your hosting solution. So host your videos on your own domain through an industry-focused video platform.

3) Submit a Video Sitemap

Once you're hosting videos on your own domain, submit a video sitemap through Google and Bing’s Webmaster Tools. Submitting a video sitemap is the quickest and easiest way to let search engines know you have a video on your website. The video best practices article in Google Webmaster Tools provides all the information you should be sending in your sitemaps to search engines, including recommendations for, on-page markup and video sitemaps markup. Markup is metadata about the video, such as title, description & video file location. This may sound complex, but a developer who builds the sitemap will know exactly what this is. And to reinforce the importance of keywords, make sure they’re included in the title and description.  

4) Include a Transcription of Your Video Content

Search engines can’t detect the spoken words contained in videos. A transcription service, such as 3PlayMedia, allows you to include the video content that search engines can read and index. This ties back into the first point mentioned above, choosing the right keywords. Make sure you’re including your targeted keywords in your transcription. But whatever you do, make sure the content sounds natural. Search engines now use latent semantic indexing. Content that looks and sounds the way humans would naturally speak about a topic will get returned in search results much higher than if it appears to be written specifically for search engines. According to Moz, 70% of searches are long-tail keywords, meaning they’re highly-specific, very unique searches. Search engines use semantic indexing to return results that they believe to be contextually relevant to the search term, and long-tail keywords contribute greatly in that 70%.

Moz Long-Tail Keyword Chart

So bottom line, include a transcription of your video that uses the natural context of human dialogue. Write content for your users FIRST, then think about search engines.

5) Distribute Your Videos To Your Social Channels

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a point about distributing your videos to your social channels. Search engines will favor videos that get liked, shared, and retweeted. So much so that many search engine experts believe it’s one of the most important out of the 200+ ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

Following these steps will have drive more organic traffic to your site and help your lead generation efforts. Of course, these are the technical aspects of video SEO. What isn’t mentioned is the need to create highly compelling, engaging videos. And we can’t stress this enough. You can knock all the technical aspects of SEO out of the park, but if your listing videos are thrown together as a quick walk-through with a smartphone, you’re still not putting your best foot forward. There is too much competition out there now to not produce quality content. Sure, a professionally produced video through a filmmaker will cost a bit more, but you get what you pay for. Make sure your commitment to quality service shines through your videos.

Need some help with your video SEO? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to chat.


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