How to Optimize Images, Video, and Podcasts for Social Media

By Jan Zimmerman, Deborah Ng

Because search engines can’t directly parse the contents of multimedia, you must take advantage of all opportunities to use your relevant search terms in every metatag, descriptive field, or <alt> tag.

Make these fields as keyword- and content-rich as you can. In these elements, you can often use existing keyword research, metatags from your website or blog, or optimized text that you’ve already created:

  • Title and <title> tag for your content: This catchy name should include a search term.
  • Filenames: Using names such as image1234.jpg or podcast1.mp3 doesn’t help with SEO; names such as PlushBrownTeddyBear.jpg or tabbycats-sing-jingle-bells.mp3 are much more helpful. Use terms also in category or directory names.
  • Tags: Use relevant keywords, just as you would with other social media.
  • <alt> tags: Use these tags for a short description with a search term, for example, Used cat tree for sale.
  • Long description metatags: Follow this example: longdesc=for sale-gently used, gray, carpeted 6 foot cat tree with 4 platforms.
  • Content: Surround multimedia elements with keyword-rich, descriptive content, especially in caption fields.
  • Transcriptions: Transcribe and post a short excerpt from a keyword-loaded portion of your video or podcast.
  • Anchor text: Use keywords in the text link that opens your multimedia file.
  • Large images: Upload large versions, as well as the thumbnails that are visible on your blog or website.
  • RSS and XML: Expand your reach with media RSS and site maps.

Check here for more information on indexing multimedia.

Even though search engines can’t read watermarks, you may want to mark both videos and large images with your domain name and logo to encourage visits, for branding, and to discourage unauthorized copying.