More and more businesses are learning how to leverage the power of video production to reach new customers.
If you go through the effort of crafting remarkable, original content, it’s understandable that you might have hopes of your video ranking with Google or another search engine, like Bing. If it’s not, why not? And what can you do to change that?
Video SEO is your ticket to the top (or at least close to it).
What is video SEO?
“Video SEO” refers to the optimization of your video so it can be easily and efficiently indexed and ranked on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for related keywords, and ultimately direct more traffic to your video content.
The reason that video SEO is crucial is pretty straightforward. Back in the wild, wild West days of the Internet – video production wasn’t as commonplace as it is today. But thanks to insane advances in tech, virtually every man, woman, and child carries a mobile movie studio in their pockets these days.
Video is bigger than ever before, and everyone wants a piece of the pie.
That means competition is fierce – and ranking in the universal search results is not so simple anymore.
Get Your Video Noticed
To rank, you need to help the search engines understand your video’s content so that they can go about indexing it. Why? Because bots that are used to crawl, index, and rank can’t “watch” a video like us human beings binge-watch the latest season of “The Witcher.” You have to help them “see” your content in a different way. This is done by crafting metadata and uploading it via a video XML sitemap. This map is external to the page that your video lives on. It provides details about all of your site’s videos and is submitted to search engines using different software.
Another option is to use a www.Schema.org markup, which is delivered via microdata in the page’s HTML.
Regardless of your course of action, the following information must be conveyed to the SERPs. After being indexed, improve your video’s ranking by making periodic adjustments, tweaks, and updates.
- Video title – Optimizing your video titles boosts clicks. Split test your titles by tracking clicks over a certain period of time and making changes as you go. Compare the click rates of similar videos to get a feel for what works best for your unique content.
- Description – Video descriptions, like your text’s meta descriptions, can improve clicks. Google tends to smile upon video descriptions that are optimized for SEO, so spend some time researching keywords and choosing those that your audience is on the lookout for. But don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing can come back to bite you. Make your description engaging and easy to read.
- Length – While there is no magic number for your video’s running time, performance is generally better when length coincides with initial intent (and viewer expectation). Keep things short and sweet for something like a commercial, longer for something like a lecture.
- Upload date – Frequent updates to keep your site – and its upload date – current will keep you relevant and increase your ranking odds.
- Thumbnail – Eye-catching is the name of the game. When possible, create custom, colorful, dazzling thumbnails for each of your videos, and avoid automated suggestions generated by your platform. You can gauge the efficacy of your thumbnails in much the same way you test video titles. (Pro tip: including a face never hurts.)
Some additional things to consider when optimizing your video SEO:
- Transcripts and captions not only make your video more accessible to a wider audience, but they offer added copy and context for search engines. If you include them (try to do so), make certain they are accurate and contain your researched keyword phrase.
- Optimize internal linking. The more links that point toward your video online, the better off you’ll be. For starters, be sure to reference your new video whenever appropriate on your website(s).
- Understand, YouTube is a different animal. Will your video rank higher if you host on the Google-owned YouTube? Not necessarily. Google doesn’t play favorites. But anything uploaded to that site is instantaneously indexed for YouTube, so mileage will vary if you host your content both on your site and as a public video on theirs.
- Keep in mind, video SEO is simply one component of your campaign. You want your video to be seen, enjoyed and/or absorbed, and your audience online and in-person to grow and thrive. A professional marketing agency can help you supplement your efforts with paid strategies.
Questions about video SEO? We can’t wait to see what you’re working with.