A Unique Approach to Video SEO
by | Jun 12, 2018 | Editorial, How To..., Marketing | No Comments

With 11 awesome tips that will help you improve your video SEO efforts.

A Unique Approach to Video SEO

We are all well aware of how much of an impact video content makes these days. And how video changed digital marketing strategies of many brands in the past few years. Video has become the main tool for engagement and customer acquisition.

When you’re operating in a market that relies primarily on video, you have to make the most out of that format. For most marketers that means establishing a powerful social media presence. This involves shares, likes, as well as the effort to become viral in an already overcrowded market.

There is, however, another side to video promotion often neglected by many: the organic approach.

I’m talking about video search engine optimization (SEO).


For most marketers making the most out of their video means establishing a powerful #socialmedia presence. This involves shares, likes, as well as the effort to become viral in an already overcrowded market. Click To Tweet

What is video SEO?

What is video SEO? Well, the most frequently used definition is as follows:

Optimization of a video to be indexed and rank on the search engine results pages for relevant keyword searches.

While it is true, in a broad sense, we do have to make a difference between optimization of your YouTube uploaded videos (which is a different topic entirely) and videos served through native video player on your website.

What is the main difference between the two? Well, when you optimize your YouTube uploaded videos you are looking to rank well on YouTube search as well as in video section of Google search. In practice, that means you already have a template page for your uploaded video (the YouTube page), which you try to use to its full extent for best results. I’ll use trending topics ‘Halloween trailer 2018’ as an example throughout this post. So let’s take a look how does YouTube search results for it look like:

YouTube video search

On the other hand, a web page with native video player means you are trying to rank your video in the video section of Google search as well as your page in Google/Bing web search for the desired keyword. And here is Google search video section results for ‘Halloween trailer 2018’ topic.

Google video search

In both cases, search engine optimization implies to a set of rules, principles, tips, and tricks that will help potential viewers discover your video content relevant to their interests, preferably when it shows up on top of the search results page.

BRID.TV Tip #1: Before you get into video take a look at what are the must-have features of a modern online HTML5 video player nowadays.

 

Keyword research and video creation

There are two important steps you have to undertake before you dive into video SEO: keyword research and video creation. Unless you’ve done a thorough keyword research of your audience and tailored your video on those findings, chances are you won’t be reaching your targeted audience. Or they won’t engage with your content as much as you hope. Subsequently, that means you are wasting your time and resources.

One of the perks of being a video platform is having a chance to see, track and analyze what your publishers are doing in order to make their videos discoverable and indexable by search engines. Click To Tweet

Ways to optimize your video for search

Currently, there are many optimization strategies at play. One of the perks of being a video platform is having a chance to see, track and analyze what your publishers are doing in order to make their videos discoverable and indexable by search engines. Having done just that we have found that most of our publishers tend to focus on the following:

  • Technical video SEO: Host your videos
  • Technical video SEO: Speed is important
  • Title and description
  • Video Schema markup
  • Video transcript and Closed Captions
  • Attention-grabbing thumbnails
  • Video sitemap
  • SEO for your page
  • Make the video the focus of the page
  • Include an Embedding option for your video
  • Social Media sharing

 

Technical video SEO: Host your videos

Are you looking to boost your site’s ranking/traffic or build brand awareness with video content? While uploading videos to YouTube or Facebook is terrific for brand exposure, it’s not always as useful as you’d like. First of all, your website won’t get any traffic at all, regardless of how much reach videos get on those big-name networks.

Naturally, you’ve added a link back to your site in the description and added embed code of your YouTube video to your page. But even with that, search engines will rank YouTube video first, as opposed to your website. So, in case you are interested in gaining on-site traffic with video, explore alternative hosting video platforms (BridTV included). That is the power of having a native video player. It keeps all of your traffic on the site and allows you to earn engagement from your visitors on top of video playing.

BRID.TV Tip #2: Not every business needs a native video player. But, in case you are interested in using the one we’ve scaled the web for the best online HTML5 video player to show you where our player fits in this highly competitive industry.

 

Technical video SEO: Speed is important

It is not enough just to have a video hosting in place. You have to make sure that the hosting you’ve chosen is fast and reliable. Which brings us to Page Load Times, one of the most important metrics Google uses in page ranking (use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your webpage speed).

Google PageSpeed Insights

The simple truth is the faster your page loads, the bigger your chances are at ranking in search results. Having a fast loading video player with self-hosted videos, much like what we at BridTV platform offer, helps a lot. But, you’ll have to be sure all the other elements of your web page load fast as well. And don’t overload a single page with too many videos.

BRID.TV Tip #3: We know how important speed is. That’s why we’ve released async embed code that will asynchronously load our player, allowing the rest of the page to render simultaneously and significantly improve your page performance.

 

Title and description of your video

As with blog posts, having an effective Title and Description is what prompts users to check and click/watch your video. At the same time, it tells search engines what your video is about. Writing great headlines is a hard animal to tame. However, there are a few general tips that most of our publishers found helpful.

As with blog posts, having an effective video Title and Description is what prompts users to check and click/watch your video. Click To Tweet

Think of Title and Description as a way to spark interest in your video. While Title length should be between 55-70 characters (including spaces), give your Description a bit more ‘room’ (up to 300 characters). Try writing a description that is both informative and interesting to users and at the same time offer an answer to viewer’s question. Always include the keyword you want to rank for in both the Title and Description.

Finally, align the Title of your video with the page itself and, if possible, use it in your preview thumbnail as well.

Video Schema markup

Video Schema markup

Mark up your video content with structured data to make Google and Bing aware of the type of content you have on your page. You can provide details such as the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Those schema data help search engines categorize your page and your video.

Take a look at the official Video Schema markup page for more.

Insert a video transcript and use Closed Captions

Basic on-page SEO is a must. After all, you are trying to rank with your video page in Google/Bing web search as well. Transcript of your video on a page acts as a page copy. It makes your videos more scrapable by search bots and allows you to rank for more queries than initially intended.

Nowadays Closed Captions are a huge part of the user experience. By giving your users closed captions you are actually enhancing their session time, watch time and engagement, all of which influence your ultimate goal, customer acquisition, but also search engines in understanding quality of your content. Google uses all those metrics as secondary ranking factors.

For example, having a longer session time is an indicator to Google that the user might be satisfied with the content on your page, which in turn means your page is a good match for search intent behind keyword user searched for.

Attention-grabbing thumbnails

Before clicking on a video, before reading the Title and/or Description, the video’s thumbnail is the first things any user will notice. It has to be compelling, relevant to your main keyword or theme, beautiful, engaging and attention-grabbing! Make sure it’s relevant to what you’re trying to rank for. Make an extra effort here, it is one of the most determining factors whether people will click on your video or not.

Attention-grabbing thumbnails

It seems that the most engaging thumbnails, for our publishers at lease, are a combination of a large Title (your original keyworded video Title) in front of a clear focal point. Much like the ones in the picture above.

BRID.TV Tip #4: Previewing your videos with live video images helps a lot. Live Image is, basically, a small 5-second preview of your video. The live image will appear in your player when a user moves the cursor over your player.

 

Create a video sitemap

It may not sound like much, albeit including a video’s sitemap is another way to mention the video’s title, description, the subject matter, as well as the duration. Think of it as an add-on to the site’s existing general sitemap.

Having an #SEO optimized page and video increase your chances to appear in both search options. Click To Tweet

In truth, the video sitemap frequently gets overlooked in video SEO even though it is one of the best and most direct ways of communication between your video and search engine crawlers.

SEO your page

More often than not video is used to complement the rest of a page. In reality, there is no difference if you’re trying to rank well in the web search or video search. In fact, having an SEO optimized page and video increase your chances to appear in both search options. It is the consistency that matters to search engines ie having your page featuring video relevant and highly optimized for desired keywords will increase chances for higher ranking in web search, but it’ll also help the video in question.

To help you get started with SEO optimization take a look at aHrefs great guide on basic SEO and this years relevant Google ranking signals.

Put video at the focus of your page

This one is pretty obvious, although often overlooked, fact: if you want your video to rank well make sure it is in the focus of your page. Making your visitors scroll for video will not be good for your page and video engagement.

Put video at the focus of your page

Nowadays, the video is the main way people get their kicks on the Internet and they don’t want to scroll to the bottom of your page for it. Page SEO optimization, transcript etc; it all should be working for your video, not vice versa. So, make the video focus of your page.

Include an Embedding option for your video

While it’s prudent not to embed your video on multiple places (your website pages), users should have the option to embed your video to their site. That only means they appreciate your video content enough to put it on their own pages. While this very thing improves the credibility and reputation of your brand, it could also lead to an improved page ranking on SERPs.

Social Media sharing is a must

With embedding option comes social sharing. While having your videos on your own domain is vital, you certainly want to get noticed and shared as well. Stick to relevant social media channels be it on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc. In addition, do your best to spread the word of your video deeds.

Social Media sharing is a must

Once you’ve done that, you can expect a jump in traffic and more linkbacks to your site (although that’s not always a guarantee, it is definitely worth a try), which in turn influences your ranking in search engine results.

That said, it’s not just the video search

Producing videos isn’t cheap. Once you have created relevant and quality content for your audience, apply the above tips to get your video and page noticed, both by users and search engines.

Unless you’ve done a thorough #keywordresearch of your audience and tailored your video on those findings, chances are you won’t be reaching your targeted audience. Or they won’t engage with your content as much as you hope. Click To Tweet

Truthfully, it is pretty darn hard to rank with native or self-hosted videos in the video section of Google search. 82% of all video results in Google are from YouTube (and that was way back in 2015).

However, there is a silver lining here. If used correctly, with all the bits and pieces properly set, video can be a significant contribution to your overall SEO strategy. In more ways than one.

Tagged: SEO, Video SEO

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