Another day in the life of the internet and users’ habits are changing. It was recently stated by Google that the video sharing provider YouTube has over 1.2 billion steams per day, worldwide! That is the equivalent to every internet user in the world watching at least one YouTube video a day!

These statistics help confirm the fact that videos are becoming a more important business and communication tool online. If you decide videos can help your online business model you may have considered the options of hosting your own or perhaps the more common choice to use sites like YouTube and Metacafe who host videos for you.

Do you choose to host the video’s yourself via a streaming host? OR
Use the video sharing services of YouTube or similar?

Why you should choose the big video sharing sites?

• It’s completely free and easy to setup and use.
• Uploading your videos is very simple. Upload Limits are now up to 2GB, so plenty for even a high definition video.
• Sites like YouTube are very popular, your videos are much more likely to get seen
• These sites make the sharing of videos extremely easy with the use of the ‘embed’ feature.

Why you should choose to host your own video, either on your server or by using a steaming provider?

• You will receive all the credit that goes along with a popular video, especially the links pointing back at your domain.
• You can brand the page your video appears on however you feel fit.
• No adverts will appear around your video
• Many more options are available for featuring longer and higher definition videos.
• If you plan to monetize your videos, the option of hosting videos yourself is much more appealing. If you are selling products or services, it’s much easier to design a layout with a prominent call to action and a checkout or quote area.
• Your video analytics will be more detailed than that of the large video sharing sites. The ability to test and research your findings will increase.
• If a requirement of your website is to improve conversion rates, then hosting your own videos is clearly the best option to boost traffic numbers through a combination of links and PageRank.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You may decide to use the large video sharing sites to entice traffic back to your site. Perhaps you could upload short video trailers on YouTube and then have links to a long, high definition version streaming straight off your website.

When launching your videos it is worth considering these Video SEO tips:

Keyword Rich Titles, with duplicate videos ensure you choose different titles.
• Feature a clear call to action within your videos
• Google are starting to transcribe video content to make them easier to search. Provide clear audio and plenty of on screen text
• Provide a transcript if possible or submit an article with the same title to a directory such as ezine articles.
• Remember to Brand your videos, it’s a great little advertising tool.
• Submit a video sitemap to search engines
• Set up a video RSS feed
• Use a good thumbnail when using video sharing sites
• Carefully consider the environment your video sits. With YouTube take time and set up a branded channel page. If hosting yourself, design landing pages with its purpose in mind.
• Give the video file a relevant and keyword rich name.
• Include all possible meta data: Tags, description and links.