How to Effectively Optimize Your Video Content for SEO
Video SEO isn’t quite the same as website SEO. For example, you might be struggling to create videos. Making quality videos isn’t easy – they are difficult to produce, edit, plan out, and cost time and money to create. But when it’s all said and done, your video isn’t ranking up. What’s happening?
First of all, there is definitely a difference between normal SEO and video SEO. Video SEO changes quickly, so having an ongoing SEO services package covering video SEO would be a smart idea for any small business.
Let’s first define Video SEO and then talk about the changes that have occurred recently.
Video SEO Defined
Video SEO works similarly to regular SEO, but they aren’t exactly the same. With video SEO, you must optimize your video to get indexed and rank on search results pages for relevant keyword searches. Luckily there are plenty of strategies for optimization to give your videos the best chance of ranking higher.
Recent Video SEO Changes
Recently in the past few years, video marketing has exploded in popularity with small businesses. After DSLR cameras became more available in the late 2000s and YouTube became mainstream, it was much easier to get high-quality videos online.
Now everywhere you go online, you see videos. We all carry smartphones in our pockets that let us capture high-quality video anytime, anywhere. However, with the boom in popularity for online videos, ranking higher in search results has become more difficult.
Here are some optimization strategies that might be helpful for you.
1. Selecting a Video Hosting Platform
When selecting the best video hosting platform, think about your motivation behind ranking your videos. Is it to bring in new traffic and leads? Or does it have more to do with creating brand awareness and controlling a narrative?
If you care more about promoting brand awareness, then Vimeo and YouTube are excellent platforms to consider. The key thing to know about platforms like YouTube is that most of the traffic going to their videos stays on their site and not yours. That could potentially lead to your target audience jumping to your competitors. For example, after they click a suggested video that plays when yours finishes.
2. Create Transcripts for Your Videos
When you scroll through the Facebook feed, you will probably spot many videos that have captions. These captions allow you to view the video without disturbing anyone else (it can also be viewed by the hearing impaired). That text playing alongside the video is called a video transcript.
These transcripts will allow your video content to be accessed by more people, including search bots because these bots look for pages that have additional text.
3. Create an Engaging Thumbnail
Your video thumbnail is what a person sees after they search and find your video. So, it will play a major role in getting people to click on your video. Consider it like you would a book cover or a website’s homepage. It should be attractive, compelling, and relevant to the video’s content and title.
Pro tip: Videos with human thumbnails usually get more plays than those without.
4. Put Thought Into Your Video Title and Description
Like with blog posts, titles and meta descriptions play a key part in getting your videos to rank higher. Therefore, you’ll want to take the time to craft a good title for your video along with a decent video description. Just like with meta descriptions, you also need to include keywords in your video description. You can get these keywords using the same methods: through keyword research, you’ll find the terms that people actually search for.
5. Make the Rest of the Page Relevant
It’s not only about video optimization when it comes to getting placed in SERPs. It’s also about page optimization as well. That’s because if the page isn’t optimized for SEO, a search engine won’t even try to crawl it, to begin with.
While it can be difficult to rank your site organically, creating good content and following SEO fundamentals will help. And finally, ensure that your video is relevant to the website/page that it’s embedded on.
6. Make the Page Focus on the Video
Too often, a video is located beneath the fold, which makes people have to scroll down a lot before landing on the video. This obviously results in a low number of plays since people don’t want to spend that much time looking for a video. The search crawlers are also unlikely to try and index a video that’s hidden.
Therefore, the best way to make your video easier to crawl is to put it front and center on the page.
7. Don’t Embed a Video All Over the Place
Embedding a video on multiple different pages will force you to compete with yourself. Remember never to do this because it’s pointless and can hurt your efforts.
The short explanation is that if you’re trying to rank a page and video that are both relevant to each other, there’s no point in embedding the video elsewhere on your site. You’d basically be competing with yourself, which doesn’t make any sense.
SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Promote Videos
While SEO is definitely important, it’s not the end all be all way to promote your videos. It also isn’t 100% reliable. Google will always be making changes to its algorithms. As a result, video marketing constantly changes as well. And, of course, hoping that search bots will rank your videos higher isn’t a great strategy either.
Consider Paid Advertising
In short, SEO is difficult to control and always changing. That’s why paid advertising can complement SEO in getting more eyes and clicks on your videos.
Plenty of places online offer video advertising opportunities – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. There are also non-paid strategies that you can consider, such as having influencers promote your video content. If you ever decide to consolidate your video content into a YouTube channel, be sure to make an excellent YouTube channel trailer.