Rank #1 with These 10 Video SEO Tips
Recent reports find that 78 percent of Internet users view online videos every week and 55 percent every day. Another report reveals that more than 1 billion hours of videos are being watched on YouTube alone daily.
This only means one thing: not only is online video marketing growing exponentially, it is also becoming mainstream. Smart marketers understand this; they know that video has become the most engaging type of online content. That's why 87 percent of them have now integrated videos into their overall content marketing strategy.
But with that number comes the competition. Yes, online video is effective for teaching your audience and drawing eyeballs to your offerings. But when 80+ percent of marketers are uploading 500+ hours of videos to YouTube alone every minute, it becomes necessary to adopt a strategy that can see your video contents to the top of YouTube search, Google video search results, and search results on other relevant platforms.
That's where video SEO comes in.
WHAT IS VIDEO SEO?
As you already probably know, “SEO” traditionally stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”
Thus, Video SEO is essentially optimizing your video content to be indexed and ranked for specific keywords on search engines such as Google and YouTube.
Sure, YouTube is a video hosting platform, but it doubles as a search engine, too. More and more people are turning to it to search for products and information. Alexa shows that YouTube is now the second most trafficked website in the world, after Google (beating Facebook to the crown).
As more videos are being uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and other relevant platforms, viewers now have more options. To stay atop your game, not only must you publish good quality videos, you also must optimize them to appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Below are 10 simple but effective tips for doing that:
If there's anything we've had to preach here on the SST blog again and again, it is that you should provide true value to your target audience through your content. This is our first rule of great, viral content.
In other words, if your content is ever going to rank, people need to have good reasons to watch your videos and even look forward to them. Plus, the more quality videos you have, the better your chances of becoming a trusted authority, building a great relationship with your audience, and ultimately making more money.
So don't just create videos, create awesome videos that add value to your audience. Once you do that, you've set the stage for the rest of the SEO tactics on this post to work effectively.
2. MAKE USE OF KEYWORDS IN YOUR VIDEO TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
When it comes to video SEO, the victory is mostly won on the video description space provided by YouTube. The words you use on the title matters, too.
That's why we often encourage video marketers to pay close attention to this section of their videos.
Here's a great example of the keyword “morning yoga” being integrated into the title and description of a YouTube video:
If you haven’t noticed it yet, more and more videos are being displayed in Google search results.
Expectedly, a large percentage of these results are from none other than Google’s video publishing platform YouTube.
Video SEO keywords works more like Google's standard keyword practices for the traditional search engine.
Here's what to do:
Include relevant keywords in your videos. And the places to do that is basically in the video description, title, and tag. Google has made those fields available, not for you to input random words, but to carefully select highly searched key terms and add them to the spaces provided.
YouTube and Google Search bots will automatically find those keywords and rank your videos.
3. MARK UP WITH VIDEO RICH SNIPPETS
Getting people to watch your video isn't just about what you show the visitors that drop by, it is also about what they see before they get there. You may have noticed a significant rise in the use of something called “rich video snippets” in Google search results.
If you are not sure what they are, here’s Google’s official explanation of the term to help out. But it is all about structured data, just as Schema markup applies to traditional SEO.
Using video snippets, Google displays information about the video embedded on SERPs, describing to the Google search user what the ranked video is all about what they'll be seeing if they click through to watch it.
Here's an example:
Marking up your video content with structured data makes Google Search an entry point for discovering and watching videos. You immediately stand out from other search results on that page and make searchers more inclined to see your video. Just be sure to make your video title and description on YouTube super compelling.
4. CHOOSING THE RIGHT VIDEO HOSTING PLATFORM
Before you settle for just any video platform, you should factor in all the reasons you need your videos to rank high.
Are you optimizing your videos for traffic and leads or only looking to enjoy more brand awareness? If traffic to your website isn't something you are very much concerned about, YouTube and Vimeo are great options. However, you must understand that with such platforms, once you make some headway with your videos — indexing and all — the bulk of the traffic goes to them rather than your website.
And this could also cause your potential website visitors to get lost in the fiercely competitive environment like the recommended videos displayed after yours on a site like YouTube.
Self-hosting your videos may be the best way to go if you are very focused on gaining on-site traffic.
Some alternative platforms like Wistia automatically insert SEO metadata to increase the possibility of being indexed.
You must, however, do your research when evaluating your options. Some platforms, for example, may use Schema markup and others may demand that you generate a video sitemap.
5. TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE A LANDING PAGE?
When visitors land on your website, you’ve only got the first few seconds to engage and capture their interests; and that's the whole essence of a landing page.
But things have changed, and people have gotten so used to seeing quality video contents that text-based content alone are no longer enough to keep folks engaged as much as you'd want.
But there lies the solution: videos.
By embedding a video on your landing page, you will increase the length of time visitors stick around, and also the number of leads that become actual customers by purchasing your product, which is why SEO exists.
6. INSERT A VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
That text included in your video is called the “video transcript.” It contains the text of what is said in the video and are a simple way of creating captions.
Video transcripts do not only make your videos more accessible to a broader audience; they do more.
Video transcripts help search bots easily crawl and index your video content because of the additional texts they contain.
Also, because transcripts do impact video ranking, you will especially want to pay attention to transcripts on a longer video given that the text is longer.
7. GET YOUR VIDEO THUMBNAILS RIGHT
Thumbnails are visual snapshots of your video, much like the poster for a movie. They have a walloping impact on a video's view rate and search ranking.
Ensure the thumbnail you use on your video is attention-grabbing and one that sums up the video to help boost your views.
The more people that click on your video in the search results, the higher Google search and YouTube bots pushes your content.
Why? Because Google often thinks that more clicks mean people love your content. So if users keep clicking on your result, the bots will automatically move it north while content with lower clicks gets demoted.
8. MOBILE OPTIMIZATION MATTERS
Mobile optimization isn't just another thing to consider when you get “a little less busy.” It demands quality attention as well.
Today, over half of all digital videos are viewed on mobile devices. In fact, Statista reports that during the last quarter of 2018, mobile accounted for 62 percent of online video views, up from 56.7 percent of the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
Yes, desktop video are essential, but your video SEO campaign may never fly if you fail to optimize for mobile consumption.
Thankfully, optimizing for mobile consumption is easy. Just ensure your website and video player is mobile-friendly. Also, most hosting services automatically offer mobile optimization for all contents.
That said, you still need platforms like YouTube even if you host your videos outside of them as they are well-optimized for mobile viewing.
9. DEVELOP RELEVANT METADATA
The necessary metadata included in your video will help search engines index it. With video SEO, some of the most vital information are the title, thumbnail, and description. Metadata provides information about the video title, the description, file name, and length of the video and all these should contain the relevant keywords.
The video title should be short, concise, and the description should offer additional details and relevant keywords to boost the ranking. Also, ensure the file name you pick is equally suitable for better keyword ranking.
10. OPTIMIZE FOR INTERACTION
Platforms like YouTube do not want your audience to “just watch” your videos. They want the audience to interact with your content actively. They gauge the quality of your content by how many people subscribe, like, comment, share and add your video to their playlists.
The more of these you get, the more valuable you become to their platform, and the higher they push your content.
To help max viewer engagement, do the following;
Ask your audience to comment and share their opinions
Always include a clear CTA (call to action) at the end or beginning of your video. Tell them to like the video and subscribe to your channel.
Respond to comments (very important!), even if it is for the first few hours after your video goes live.
There you have it — ten tips for improving video SEO.
Getting your video to the top of search results, whether on Google or YouTube, can prove beneficial for driving traffic and sales for your website. Use the tips we've provided above and you'll be well on your way to getting higher ranking + 1000s of views and clicks.
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