Video content has become the most popular form of content today, thanks to the ease with which it can be consumed. You’ve probably already included video in your brand’s online marketing strategy. But just creating a video and uploading it on an online platform isn’t enough - no matter how good your video content is. You still need to make sure that it’s seen by the right people at the right time and gets the high engagement rates you’re looking for. That’s where Video Search Engine Optimization comes into place.

What Is Video SEO?

Video Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your video so that it’s easily crawled by search engines, ensuring it ranks higher for the right keywords and gets more visibility online.

Unlike normal SEO, Video Search Engine Optimization is not just limited to google search but also applies to YouTube, Vimeo and several other video streaming platforms. When done right, Video SEO helps these online search engines understand the value of your video content and how useful it is to the target audience and viewers. These platforms want to give their users the most relevant content to ensure the best experience for them. If you’ve optimized your video content well, and convinced the platforms of your video’s relevance to those keywords, they will further promote it to the audience you’ve targeted. With almost all businesses worldwide relying on video marketing for their marketing efforts, you’ve got a lot of competition online. Gaining rank with your video on universal search doesn’t just help your video become more visible to the audience, it also boosts the authority of your website, thereby improving your Website’s SEO in the process.

With the basics out of the way, it’s time to show you what you need to do to ensure your video is optimized for search engines, and ranks for the keywords you’ve targeted..

10 Tips For Great Video Search Engine Optimization

If you’re using video content in your marketing strategy, then you need to ensure that you’re optimizing it so that it is ranked by search engines and is easily found by the target audience. Below is a video SEO checklist that you need to keep in mind when optimizing video content.

1. Choose The Right Video Hosting Platform

While uploading any video, one must first be sure of what kind of performance results you expect from it. What is the purpose the video needs to fulfil? If you’re looking to boost brand awareness and get more views and likes on social media, platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are ideal.

If you’re looking to bring traffic to your website and push more leads towards conversion, then third party hosting platforms like Vidyard and Wistia are great alternatives to look into. The reason for this is when you embed a YouTube video on your website, any views for that video will go to the YouTube platform, and not add to your website’s SEO rankings. Not to mention, the ever annoying ads that will pop up and ruin the viewer experience.

2. Insert A Video Transcript

Video transcripts are like scripts to help video platforms and search engines understand the contents of the video better. Whenever you upload a video to the platform, ensure you add a video transcript as well. When search engines can better understand your video’s contents, it improves the video’s chances of ranking higher.

This is because you’re telling search engines exactly what the video contains. YouTube has a pretty cool feature where it recognizes the speech in your video and creates a transcript automatically. You can then use this auto-generated transcript when you upload the video to other platforms.

3. Insert Captions And Subtitles

Most social media users don’t bother unmuting the videos that show up on their feed. If they see a video they can’t understand, they will continue scrolling and your video’s engagement rates will go down. An easy way to solve this is by adding subtitles or captions to your video, so that viewers can understand it even without pressing the unmute button.

This will ensure your video is a scroll-stopper and keeps viewers watching. When more viewers stop to watch your video, it’s view rates go up, signalling to the platform that your video is popular among viewers. This will cause the platform to promote the video further, giving you better engagement rates in the process. Kapwing has a great subtitle editor that you can use. If you want to speed things up, use YouTube’s auto-transcript feature and use the transcript to create subtitles for the video. However remember that the program is still young, and will most definitely create errors when transcribing foreign dialects. So make sure you give the transcription a once over and make changes to the file when necessary.

4. Create An Engaging Thumbnail

The video thumbnail is what the searcher will see when your video is indexed. It’s the first handshake you have with your viewers, and plays a huge role in whether or not it is clicked.

You need to ensure your video’s thumbnail image is intriguing enough to get the viewers to click on it.

Don't just use a screengrab from your video - create a custom thumbnail yourself! Use contrasting colours, add faces with extreme expressions and use keyword rich text in the thumbnail.

5. Pay Attention To The Title And Description

The title and description of a video is also called the metadata. It is central to the ranking of the video and therefore must be carefully thought about when uploading. Ensure you carry out a thorough keyword research and shortlist keywords that can be used in the title and description to give it a better chance of ranking higher in SERPs.

6. Make The Video The Focus Of The Webpage

There are several websites that have video content that users can view only after scrolling till the end which naturally leads to low click-through and view rates. To get the maximum possible views and conversion stats on your video, make sure you place the video at the very top of the page, where it is easily visible and accessible to the visitor.

7. Watch The Length

Usually lengthy videos are more prone to being ignored. Thus, unless the content of the video is educational, one must try to keep the length of the video as short as possible so that more people reach to the end of it and this gives a positive signal to search engines about the content being engaging and interesting enough to get a better ranking.

If it’s done well, a video can generate a large number of links for a website; and often from some pretty reputable domains, too. The problem is there’s so much online video content up there that unless you create an exceptional video and have a great outreach/marketing plan, its success is going to be limited. People don’t link to or share any old rubbish these days.

So, to get the success you’re looking for, it’s important for you to really think about who you want to share the video and who you want to link to it. Essentially, your video has to offer some value to the viewer. It might make them laugh, educate them, amaze them, shock them, or annoy them (or even a combination of these). The point is it needs to evoke a strong sense of emotional reaction that they’ll want to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button or by writing a post about it on their blog/website (with a link back to your site, of course).

9. Embed Your Video On The Landing Page

When a visitor lands on your site, you’ve literally got just a few seconds to impress them and get them engaged with what you have to offer. This is the whole point of a landing page. But these days, people are so used to seeing rich media content on the internet that, quite frankly, text content often doesn’t keep them engaged. Embedding a video on your website not only will increase the length of time that visitors stick around, but, also, the number of conversions to paying customers, which, ultimately, is what SEO is all about.

10. Don’t Rely Solely On Search Engine Optimization To Promote Your Video

Lastly, it’s important to remember that SEO isn’t absolutely reliable. Google is constantly changing their algorithms, video is evolving at a lightning-speed pace, and relying on search bots to rank your videos is not a consistent strategy to guarantee eyes on your videos.

Video Optimization Gets You Results

Ranking your blog posts and ranking your videos are quite distinct. The above steps can help you ensure your videos stay interesting for the search engines, so they rank you high consistently, bringing in a steady supply of traffic and inbound links. Some things, however, never change. Be it blogs or vlogs, you need to keep your content on-point and engaging, offer real value and answer key questions. So, before you go optimizing your videos, ensure that you’ve put all the good stuff in the video, to begin with.