If you have already started your journey as a video content creator or a marketer and haven’t heard of video SEO, you’ve likely already stumbled upon an impassable hurdle. Just like regular SEO, video SEO entails optimizing videos for search engines. The goal of doing so would be to get your video content indexed faster and have it rank higher on the SERPs. After all, don’t we all wish to rank number-one on Google video results? Not only would that bring us a ton of organic traffic, but it would also convert into a significant revenue boost!
Overall, regardless if you’ve dabbled in video SEO before or are a complete newbie, our eight video SEO tips will undoubtedly help you climb up the Google rankings! Here’s what we’ll cover:
Let’s jump right in!
As you probably already know, keyword research is the first step on every content creator’s journey. Well, the same applies to videos! Doing extensive keyword research before you get to making your content can make or break your entire video marketing strategy.
If you are new to content marketing in general, the rule of thumb would be to target long-tail keywords without much competition. That way, you’ll be able to build your brand and online presence up from scratch. But if you immediately try to target highly competitive keywords, you’ll never be able to compete with the industry giants.
Our suggestion would be to start your research on large video sharing sites like YouTube. Just type in your target keyword in the search box and look at the given recommendations. Use that to get some alternative keyword or topic ideas. Then, we advise you to check your targeting keywords on Google Trends to see which ones the users are actively searching for. On top of that, Google Trends can even provide additional long-tail keyword suggestions for you.
After you finish your research, you’re finally ready to start creating videos! Speaking of which…
This tip is probably the most valuable, but, at the same time, the most intangible one we can give you. So what does it mean to create valuable content? We’ll do our best to elaborate.
Essentially, providing value for your viewers entails making content that is more engaging, more informative, and overall superior in every way to your competitors’. You’ve likely heard of the phrase “content is king” before — everyone agrees with it, but no one can tangibly explain it. What we are left with is pure speculation on what makes quality content.
However, the consensus is that it all revolves around user experience; the better optimized your content is to the needs of your viewers, the better it will perform. So what can you do to improve the quality of your content?
First of all, on the technical side of things, you can make their viewing experience enjoyable by providing high-quality videos (1080p and higher), making sure you optimize them to eliminate any buffering time, and similar. Overall, make their viewing experience pleasurable, not tedious.
Secondly, you should do extensive competition research. Find out what the creators you’re trying to outrank are doing, and then do it better! But how do you know what is better? Unfortunately, you don’t — that is not something that can be measured or objectively defined. So follow your gut and learn from your competitors! That’s the only way you can surpass them in quality.
We hope that our last tip didn’t bum you out; don’t get discouraged. There are plenty more technical things you can do to enhance your video SEO, and optimizing your metadata is just one of them!
Just like in regular SEO, titles and descriptions play a vital role in your videos’ SEO. If you don’t designate anything for them, Google will take the liberty to place something there on its own. Now let’s see what you should look to optimize and how:
When you take into account that a video title is the same thing as an article title, you begin to realize the importance of adequately optimizing it. What do we mean by that?
Well, for starters, don’t create misleading titles! Long gone are the times of clickbaits — nowadays, your ranking will suffer if your title misrepresents your video’s content. Also, don’t make your titles too short. Anything of five words and up should suffice. And finally, you should use keywords in your video titles. You know, the ones that you researched as per our first tip? Oh, and try to put them at the beginning of your title — that should make your video more likely to rank.
Video descriptions are your equivalent of meta descriptions, so you have to make sure they are engaging and inviting! Aside from that, some of the regular meta description rules apply — include keywords (but don’t overdo it), make it brief and concise, and include a call to action (CTA). Note that you can also place a link to your site at the beginning of your description — that will not only improve your video’s SEO but will also drive extra traffic to your website!
Video thumbnails are the first things your viewers see before they even click your video. So it’s only logical you have to make them as appealing as possible, right? Precisely! But what’s the best way to approach that?
First things first, you should always create a custom thumbnail image! If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with a random frame from your video, which is unlikely to be appealing to the eye. On top of that, by customizing your thumbnail, you can even put your logo or watermark on it, which will vouch for your video’s professionalism. And finally, by coming up with personal thumbnail ideas, you get an opportunity to tell a story before they even click on your video! So use that to your advantage, and you’ll quickly see a spike in your viewership.
Last but not least, you should include appropriate tags after uploading your content. But what are video tags? Well, they’re merely keywords related to the topic of your video. They make it easier for the search engines to categorize your content and increase its visibility in search results.
Since Google is a text-based engine, the more text you can attach to your videos, the more you’ll appeal to the algorithm! That is why incorporating transcripts and captions in your videos is like sending Google a smoke signal. Not to mention that you can scatter your target keyword across your transcript too, which will boost your ranking even further!
Now, do you remember when we talked about user experience? Well, captions and transcripts can help with that too! For example, what if a person with hearing impairment wanted to watch your video? They wouldn’t be able to hear anything that’s going on. But wait, what if they could read it? Hopefully, you see our point.
As much as you’d like just to focus on your videos’ SEO and reap the rewards, your website’s SEO performance is also integral to your success. Namely, video and site SEO are like siamese twins — they’re two separate identities but codependent. So here are a few things you must keep in mind if you want your video to rank:
You can’t just put up a makeup tutorial video on a site dedicated to sports betting. Like… fire the person who came up with the idea.
The reason behind this course of action is that Google only indexes one video per web page. Since it stops crawling after the first one, if you wish all of your videos to rank, you’re better off dedicating a separate page to each of them. On that note…
If you want your video to be relevant, don’t place it under the fold! Instead, make it the center of both your web page and your content.
This point should not surprise you. After all, it’s only rational that you don’t want to compete with yourself! And that’s precisely what you’d be doing… So just don’t.
When faced with the predicament of choosing the video hosting provider that best suits your business, you have to first ask yourself: “What are my long-term goals?” Are they enhancing your organic traffic and getting new leads? Are they perhaps raising brand awareness? Do I want to earn revenue from my videos directly? Your video platform of choice will highly depend on these factors.
Now, there is hardly a right answer to this question, but there is a wrong one — Flash. We’re not going to turn this into a hit piece on this atrocity of a player, so we’ll just leave this here for the more curious among you.
Now, regarding your other choices — it all depends on your business needs. For example, platforms like YouTube are SEO- and user-friendly, but due to some flaws regarding their copyright terms and striking system, you might have trouble monetizing your videos. That might prove detrimental to businesses that are looking to earn ad revenue from their video content. Aside from that, YouTube’s player doesn’t leave much room for customization, so if you’re looking to give your videos a bit of branded touch, this platform is not for you.
On the other hand, white-label HTML5 video players like ours at Brid.TV might prove to be a better solution for publishers whose focus lies on video monetization. We offer a fully-customizable video platform and monetization solution that supports the latest versions of VAST and VPAID ad tags, as well as pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads. If you’re interested in learning more about our monetization solutions, feel free to check out this page.
But if neither of these suit you, there are plenty of other platforms out there. Check out our article on the best free video hosting services for more ideas.
If you thought we were going to disappoint you by not mentioning the importance of mobile optimization, you were gravely mistaken! Did you know that over 50% of people who watch YouTube videos do so from their phones? That means if you don’t account for that, you potentially lose out on half of your audience! So it’s essential to keep that in mind when optimizing your videos. Many online video platforms already offer optimization for mobile, but be wary if they don’t; you’ll have to do it yourself then.
Just like social media can provide a fantastic boost to your website’s SEO, it can do for you video SEO too! In this day and age, you’d be remiss not utilizing social media to its fullest as a business because all your competitors are already on it, and you know it!
By posting your videos on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you get more exposure for both your brand and your video content. Also, social networks are all about sharing, so if people like your content, they will pass it on, bringing in even more viewers.
And if you don’t believe us about the effectiveness of social media, maybe you’ll trust some raw numbers. According to Biteable, posts on social media that include a video earn 48% more views! And what comes with views? That’s right — social shares, and thus, more organic traffic to your website.
Patience is a virtue, and this is especially true when SEO is in question. Namely, you can’t expect to rank overnight. The same applies to video SEO. After all, SEO is a long-haul game, and you just have to remain a persistent player. It’s just like writing blog posts, but with videos! So keep creating content and apply all the video SEO tips we’ve outlined above, and your ranking is inevitable! It is only a matter of time.
So get in it for the long haul and best of luck!