If you thought that SEO and keywords really only matter for text-based content, think again. Knowing how to optimize your videos for search is the key to getting them ranked and seen by a wide audience. However, SEO strategies for video aren’t quite the same as those for written content. In this post, we’re going to dive into the best practices to know and use so that your video views soar.
“Every content creator is searching for that special sauce that will bring thousands of views, but with no real recipe to follow, you simply have to take what’s worked for some and see if it can work for you, too.”
Factors that Impact Video SEO
As you begin to optimize your videos, there are a few factors that have an impact on the overall success of your efforts. Your focus should be two-fold; first on optimizing your videos for universal search, and second on optimizing for the specific platform you’re using. You’ll want to employ best practices for both to ensure that your videos begin to rank and to rank higher.
When it comes to universal search, your website authority does matter. If you have a well-established site and an aged domain, that shows search engines that you’ve been around for a while. It can make your content more appealing to Google.
If you’ve just recently started your business website, be sure to post your best content and implement SEO tactics so that your written material make your site’s content clear. Over time, search engines will understand what you’re all about, and that helps them to deliver your content to your audience.
For videos uploaded on YouTube, they do have their own ranking algorithm that differs from Google. YouTube wants to do their best to deliver viewers the content that they’re searching for. They want to get viewers watching and then keep them watching, so finding the right content is essential for the platform.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by SEO, don’t be. These SEO best practices will help you thrive both in universal search and platform-specific search algorithms. As you create new videos, aim to use all of these tips and tricks to give your content a great start.
Spend Time on the Title
Your video’s title shouldn’t be an afterthought. Consider the main keywords you want to target when coming up with a catchy, contextual title. Choose keywords that people are actually searching for and that fit the content of your video.
Writing great titles isn’t always as simple as it sounds. It can be the deciding factor in whether or not someone watches your video. To make it as compelling as possible, use bold, powerful language. Don’t exaggerate or deviate from the video’s actual content because you don’t want viewers to feel duped. If you’re unsure about the best title to use, try a few different ones and run split tests to see which title generates more views.
Optimize the Description
Just like with the video’s title, you need to have an engaging and accurate meta description. Meta tags help reinforce for the search bots what the content is all about. If you’ve done keyword research, which you definitely should, then be sure to include a few in the description. Keep it short and sweet, but give a clear idea of what viewers can expect from your video.
Create an Engaging Thumbnail
A video’s thumbnail can play a key role in whether or not someone clicks play on your content. If the thumbnail is unattractive, bland, or off-putting, people won’t be compelled to watch. An engaging thumbnail will catch someone’s eye as they’re scrolling. It should depict or support the title with an enticing image. Make it stand out from the rest of the page so that it draws the eye to the video.
Include a Full Video Transcript
Video transcripts serve several purposes. First, they provide a way for people to watch and follow your video without having the sound on. This is so helpful not only for hearing-impaired viewers but also for the many people who watch videos without sound. WordStream reports that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. A transcript gives clarity on the content of your video.
Optimize Your Web Pages
Your video isn’t the only thing that should be optimized. The page where you embed it on your website should be optimized as well. Make sure the other content on the page relates to the video and includes keywords. This helps search crawlers understand what your content is all about.
Place the Video above the Fold
Make your awesome video content the focus of your page. Don’t hide it below the fold or place it just anywhere on the page, because then people will have to scroll to find it. You don’t want viewers searching for the video. Make it as easy as possible for them to click and watch right away. If your video’s hidden, search crawlers won’t be able to find it and it won’t get indexed.
Always Aim for Shareable Content
This is an obvious goal you should always have for your video content, but it bears repeating. Always aim to create shareable content that people will want to watch and spread the word about. When you put out creative, engaging, and exciting new material, your audience will stick with you. They’ll get excited about new videos and will be inclined to share it with their network. Keep your audience in mind with every new video you make.
Share on Social Media
While it’s important to have others sharing your content, you shouldn’t be shy about sharing your video on social media sites. Get it out there at an optimal time to increase views and engagement. The more popular a video is the greater chance it has of appearing in the search results.
Optimizing your videos for search engines helps your content get found, viewed, and shared. SEO actions may seem small and the impact isn’t always felt immediately. However, over the long term, they will definitely pay off. Good SEO is just one more factor that gives your content staying power. By implementing these simple best practices with every video you make, you can increase the value of your content and expand your reach.
If you’re ready to boost your SEO through the power of video and would like a free consultation, contact us today.