You’re probably familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the importance of optimizing your website and written content for search engines. But what about video? Are your videos ranking high on Google?
If you haven’t created a specific SEO strategy for your video content, the answer is probably no.
In this article, we’ll go through how video SEO works and how you can leverage it to make sure your audience will find your content.
What Is Video SEO?
Before we dive into the how and the why let’s define the what. Video SEO is the practice of optimizing your videos for ranking high on the search engine results pages (SERP) for the relevant keywords.
Many of the basic rules of regular SEO apply to video as well. But there are also specific strategies you can (and should) use to give your videos a higher chance of ranking, which we will outline in this article.
In recent years, video marketing has grown increasingly popular. More and more businesses are seeing the power of video and how well it converts, and it has become easier to create high-quality content without huge teams and budgets.
This has created a veritable tsunami of videos online, which means marketers face both the challenge of creating good content and ensuring that content gets found by their target audience. The explosion of video has made it harder and harder to get ranked in the universal search results.
To help make sure your video content gets high rankings by the search engines so that your target audience finds it, we’ve listed five important things to keep in mind.
5 Ways To Optimize Your Videos For Search
1. Choose the Right Hosting Platform
What platform you should choose depends on your overall objectives. Are you creating video to drive traffic to your site? Or to build brand awareness?
If you’re more focused on building brand awareness, consider hosting your video content on YouTube or Vimeo. There are many advantages of this, one of the main ones being that those platforms come with a built-in audience. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google and a powerful marketing tool.
However, if your main objective is driving traffic to your website, a hosting solution where you only embed the content on your own site is usually a better choice. The reason for this is that platforms like Youtube and Vimeo will usually rank higher than your site, meaning once a video hosted there is indexed, most of the traffic will go to them and not your own website.
2. Insert Video Transcripts & tags
The main thing that makes video SEO different from regular SEO is that while the search engines are geared towards text, they cannot watch videos. This means that if you don’t optimize your video content, the only thing Google will be able to read is the metadata, title, and tags of your video.
By transcribing your videos, you circumvent this issue and give the search engines access to all of the content. Transcripts add the missing textual element to videos and allow bots to crawl the information. This will result in a much higher ranking. It’s also a great way of catering to viewers who have impaired hearing or prefer consuming text over video.
In addition to adding transcripts, properly tagging your videos – using the keywords associated with the context of your content is extremely important as well. This allows the video search engines to associate your video with the keywords you’re trying to show up for.
3. Optimize the Title and Description
When you optimize blog content, the title and meta description are crucial elements, and the same goes for video content. Take the time to craft not only an engaging video title and description but one that follows basic SEO rules. That includes using your target keyword both in the title and as early as possible in the description. Make sure to do proper keyword research, so you’re targeting keywords that people are actually searching for.
4. Optimize the Page Where Your Video Lives
When you’ve optimized all parts of your video, you need to make sure that the page on your site where the video will live is also in its best SEO shape. This includes everything from header structure and URL to loading speed and user experience.
If you are including multiple videos on the same page, always embed the one you want to rank first since Google usually only indexes one video per page. If you nail all these aspects, the chances of your video reaching the first page are truly optimized.
5. Optimize Your Thumbnail Image
Remember that getting your video to rank high is only half of it. Once it’s ranking and visible to a large number of people, you need people to click on it. The thumbnail image is what the searcher sees when your video is indexed, and it strongly impacts the click-through rates.
Click-through rate (CTR) is not only important to get people to see your content. CTR is also one of Google’s ranking factors. Think of your thumbnail image as your one shot to make an impression. It needs to be compelling, relevant, and on-brand.
To properly name your image for SEO – it’s really as simple as making sure to save the image as the same title as your video (pending your title is carrying your target keyword).
Don’t Forget About Promotion and Distribution
One of the most common mistakes content marketers make is focusing on creation and forgetting about promotion and distribution. Sharing your video in the right places and with the right influencers will help you drive traffic to it. But it will also help you build backlinks much faster, and backlinks are the holy grail of SEO.
There are many places and channels where you can both share your video organically and where you can pay to promote your video. Depending on your target audience, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok are powerful for promoting your video content.
Also, don’t underestimate direct outreach and collaborative approaches. Having partners, influencers, or affiliates promote your videos can be a very efficient strategy. And if you focus on creating great content, many people will be happy to share it for free.
Would you like to learn about how Covalent can help you produce SEO-friendly and highly shareable video content? Get in touch; we’d love to hear from you!