9 SEO Tips to Improve Your Videos
As a key part of any marketer’s plan, video has come to stay.
Getting your video content in front of the audience is paramount for its success. And when your video shows up at the top of the SERPs, you draw people your way and build a reputation while you’re at it.
With video content you're making an investment, any video production company will tell you as much. You will expect it to be rewarding - but it can’t happen without lifting a finger. Even the best video needs a little help.
But how does one help a video? Well, with Search Engine Optimization, of course.
Perplexing and ever-changing as SEO can be, we got you covered. Today we have for you the most crucial points to keep in mind when boosting your videos’ SEO.
Keep reading to discover how to skyrocket that visibility!
1. The Right Hosting Platform
The first step in this journey should be considering your video’s goal. Web traffic and new lead promotion? Or maybe increase your brand visibility or reputation. Either way, you’ll find that its objective influences your video’s final delivery.
If you aim for brand awareness then you’re trying to get your video in front of as many eyes as possible. In this case, you should consider uploading your video to a video platform, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Social media is also an ideal option. It will result in the most shareability and further reach for your content.
But if you are trying to attract customers to your business, using a third-party host might not be for you. The SERPs will lead the traffic to the hosting platform instead of your web page as intended.
Thus, if your goal is lead-oriented, then you should be hosting your videos on your web page.
2. Sticking to One Hosting Platform
Choosing between video platforms or web hosting, you'll reap different results from each. It can feel counterintuitive, but it will not help you to go both ways about it - at least not with the same video.
Displaying the same piece everywhere will only set you up to compete against yourself in the SERPs! So, best to stick to distributing your video content one way and one way only.
Different ends require different means, and we will cover all the bases of video SEO with you. Let's begin with some common ground, shall we?
3. Optimized Titles and Descriptions
Search engines are word-based. Therefore, the foremost words attached to your video should be carefully chosen.
Concerning SEO the keyword is, well, keyword. You have to start this quest with your homework done and your keywords researched. A word cloud is a practical way to visualize your keywords by relevance and can be a good place to start.
Once you have the keywords in mind, you’ll be ready to write your video’s title and description.
Brevity and relevance should be your goal. It goes without saying - try to steer clear of clickbait and other cheap tricks. Better to focus on quality content and the target’s interests instead.
A little-known fact that you should consider is the importance of naming your video file. Doesn't need to relate to your keywords or the actual video title. A few simple words describing the content can contribute its grain of sand to your video's SEO.
4. The Importance of Thumbnails
SEO is about being detailed in every aspect of your video. If you want your SEO strategy to be rock solid, leave nothing to luck. And that means no random screencap from your video as a thumbnail!
Like a book’s cover or a movie’s poster, the thumbnail is the first image your public gets to see of your video. And it will be judged by it, no matter what the refrain might say.
Going the extra mile and designing a specific thumbnail for your video would be best. Something enticing, well-composed and that works in small sizes too. Let’s not forget that the aim here is to have your video ranking high in the video SERPs! Have you seen the size of those thumbnails? They are tiny.
To guide you further, check out these tips for thumbnail design:
- Humans attract humans. Have a human face in your thumbnail when possible. Not so easy when it’s for motion graphics or whiteboard videos, we know, but try to apply whenever you can.
- A bit of text can go a long way if you can make it simple and readable in all sizes.
- The image should represent exactly what your video is about. Better yet if you manage to make it dynamic or a visually attractive moment.
- Don’t forget the play button. Compose your thumbnail image around it so it doesn’t cover anything important like eyes or words.
5. The Power of Transcripts
At this point, you may be wondering how to add more text to content that is fundamentally image and sound. Enter: the transcript.
This useful piece of copy is the audio part of your video, written down. If you need, there are auto-generating transcript tools at your disposal. Although we would recommend handcrafting it if possible.
Having a transcript not only improves your SEO through the power of keywords. Using it as video caption aids the hearing impaired and overcomes the ‘muted play’ barrier. Advantages all around!
Up to here, we’ve gone over the aspects to consider for any and every video’s SEO. But that’s not all! Keep reading for some details on embedded video and its SERP ranking possibilities.
6. Dedicated Page for Your Video
If you have decided to take the website route, it's up to you to make your video content shine.
First things first: embed your video content on a page related to its content. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship: the page is relevant for the video and the video is relevant for the page. Complementing and contributing to one another.
Your video content should be the star of the show. Doesn’t matter how brilliant your video is if your audience has to go down to the bottom to find it. If that’s the case, spoiler alert: they won't. Better to place the video front and center, above the fold, and let it work its magic.
7. Prioritizing Videos
You might want to have more than one video on a certain page. It’s not ideal, but it isn’t detrimental either.
There's a little thing to consider - web crawlers will only index the first video on the page.
What does this mean? Only the first video embedded on your page will show up in search results. Everything embedded after it won’t be indexed and won’t bring traffic to your website from the SERPs.
That's fine and dandy, just make your first video a conscious choice. No keeping the best for last in this case!
8. Video Landing Page Optimization
Your video content is at home sweet home on your website. Now you might feel tempted to relax and let the SEO strategy work its magic. Uh-uh! Optimization is no waiting game.
For starters, excellent video content won't do much for your SEO if the page itself is a proper mess. And we are not even thinking about customers here - crawlers won’t want to index your page!
You should be improving the SEO of the landing page itself for better results. Each and every element should be carefully and deliberately put to work towards the goal.
9. Beyond SEO
We said it at the beginning: SEO is no more than a way to get your video and business in front of the intended eyes.
However, notice how this chain of events has its origin in the audience’s web search. They are the ones instigating. And even if you do everything right, sometimes that might not be enough.
That’s why we didn’t want to part without mentioning the option of paid video advertising. Basically, bringing your video to the public before they know to look for it. It’s a marketing strategy that reaps nothing but good results - that’s why it’s expanding more and more. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Digital marketing as a whole, and video marketing in particular, are not a set playfield. The tides shift and turn at a moment's notice and the competition does nothing but grow steadily.
As you now know, SEO strategies rely on attention to detail and a heeding mind. Keeping your eyes open and your head in the game will help you stay attuned to the audience and the trends. On top of your game and on the top of the SERPs - where your brand belongs.
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.