Traditional search optimization methods are more important today than ever before. Whether you are uploading a blog post or a video, there is still a need for you to optimize your content for better visibility.
Search optimization for video content works a bit differently than trying to optimize for a blog article or piece of content on your website. Below we will outline four best practices you can use to help your video rank well on search engines.
A core benefit — by going through this exercise you help your audience find the unskippable video content you’ve worked so hard to craft.
Why SEO Still Matters
If you’re not a well-known brand with a YouTube account that has already racked up millions of views and subscribers, it is unlikely that people will search verbatim for your video. After all, they don’t know you or your content yet. For most companies, the video content they produce will have to meet customers where they are, and that can only happen with good search optimization tactics.
Because of Google’s evolving algorithms, SEO is an ever-changing aspect of digital marketing. Despite this, there are some key standards that apply. If you meet these standards you will make your video easier to find.
1) Insert & Optimize Your Video’s Transcript With Keywords
Search engine algorithms can’t watch video files, only text. A video without any supporting text will be more challenging to rank. However, your video’s transcript, which is a textual representation of your video’s spoken content, can be read by search engines. Therefore, you should include a keyword-optimized transcript along with your video if possible.
When keywords are artfully inserted into a transcript, Google is more likely to pick up your video content because of it’s textual component. As an added benefit, a transcript can help viewers follow along with your video if they cannot hear or listen to the audio.
2) Use Relevant, Attention-Grabbing Thumbnails
We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but that principle doesn’t apply when viewers see a video’s thumbnail. When uploading a video, it’s important to consider the thumbnail you are displaying.
First and foremost, it should align with the content of the video. For example, if you’re explaining how to use a thermostat, the thumbnail should have a relatable image to that subject (ie. A hand adjusting a thermostat).
The thumbnail should also be attention-grabbing. It can be an impactful screenshot from the video itself, or an image specifically made for this purpose. Regardless of its form, it should be something that makes the viewer want to click.
3) Craft Engaging & Well-Optimized Titles & Descriptions
Just like any standard blog or editorial piece, a video needs a good title and description. Well-written titles and descriptions do double duty.
First, they draw viewers in to click on the video because they’re worded in a way that reflects the user’s intent and sparks interest. With that said, the more clicks and views a video gets, Google will rank that video higher because more engagement is a sign that the content is useful to viewers.
The second aspect of a well-written title is its functionality. In other words, inserting the appropriate keyword phrases in a headline and description will give Google the opportunity to pick up your optimized copy. So, when a user conducts a search query, your content will have a higher chance of showing up in the search results.
4) Index & Embed Your Video Strategically on Your Own Pages
Too many videos on one page can send confused signals to Google when it crawls and indexes your website. Place just one video on any given webpage, assuming it is relevant to the rest of the content and subject matter on that page.
Also, keep in mind the placement of videos on your pages. Avoid burying them below the fold – this is a losing strategy because your viewers may not scroll down that far. Keep the video close to the top. Not only will your viewers see it sooner than later, but it will also help with the indexing of your page and video.
5) Use the Right Platform for Your Video
Last but not least is the use of the right platform for your video. You won’t go wrong uploading it on your own site or YouTube, especially if you optimize your transcript and titles appropriately.
Vimeo and DailyMotion can be great platforms as well, but they tend to be more niche. You can learn more about which platforms are right for your video and industry here.
Get your Video on Page One
When it comes to content being ranked, keywords may gradually play more of a background role as Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated and personalized. Nevertheless, there’s still a need to optimize your content, whether it’s a blog or a video.
By applying the five SEO techniques mentioned above, you will give your video a fighting chance of appearing on page one of Google’s search results. With a well-optimized video comes more views, more clicks, and ultimately more conversions.