Videos are one of the most popular and effective marketing tools.
This is because most people would rather watch a video than read through long articles.
The thing is: you might have the best marketing videos, but if nobody sees them, then they’re not doing you any good.
What could possibly be causing your low video view count?
This is where video SEO comes into the picture. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is one way of making your videos more visible in an organic manner.
These days, search engines like Bing and Google have a special portion in their Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) specifically dedicated to videos.
Therefore, in order to ensure that your videos have a higher chance of being featured, your video Search Engine Optimization game has to be improved.
Let’s dive right in and find out how you can do just that!
What Exactly is Video SEO?
In SEO for beginners’ terms, when you perform a search online, search engines will usually use specific algorithms to determine which videos suit your input term the most. Search engines are not humans, and they cannot watch and understand the contents of each video.
Therefore, they depend on the video’s metadata. A video’s metadata includes its tags and video description that will be used by the search engines to understand and determine a video’s contents.
In the interest of more technical understanding, this process by the search engine is called indexing.
Therefore, as a video content owner or creator, you need to ensure that this metadata is optimized to make it relevant to those searching for this video. This is what video SEO optimization essentially means.
How Has Video SEO Evolved Over the Years?
The amount of video content online has been increasing exponentially in the past two decades. This is due to the fact that cameras have integrated to become part of smartphones.
The quality of images that can be captured by phones has been improving too, in addition to the fact that compact and portable video cameras such as the GoPro and DJI brand have also become more accessible.
The best part is therefore, everyone can easily create videos and post them online. Google has even improved the way it searches for videos that are relevant to a user, taking into consideration a user’s intent in addition to just their search term.
Over the years, Google has also learnt how to tell different videos apart, and recommend video content based on a users’ surfing habit so that they’re more likely to search for.
For example, if a user is using search Google or type a URL to look for the term ‘Kensington’ in Google, the results that show up will depend on a user’s past browsing habits.
Say, if a user is a history buff, videos of Kensington Palace might appear. If the user is a music lover, a music video of the Dutch rock band Kensington might show up. Alternatively, if someone is looking for a business, a local shop called Kensington might show up on their search results.
Video SEO vs Videos for SEO Marketing
With the rapidly changing SEO video scene, it is pertinent for marketers to understand the difference between video SEO and videos in SEO marketing.
Firstly, video SEO means working on the metadata of a video to make it more visible to your target audience – all via the search engine’s indexing and algorithm.
Next, we have videos in SEO marketing, and this is where videos are used as part of a larger, more comprehensive SEO marketing strategy.
SEO marketing usually involves multiple approaches with the same aim, which is to increase the traffic to a specific website. Having videos on that website is one way to make it more attractive and engaging.
Related: How to Drive Traffic to Website
However, the focus of an SEO marketing campaign is usually not on the video itself or optimizing the video’s SEO. Instead, it is part of the strategy to direct attention to a brand’s website or social media account.
Why Should You Optimize Your Video SEO?
It’s not always easy to reach people with your videos these days. This is largely because of the significantly high amount of competition.
Your videos could get lost in a sea of similar videos online, which is why you need to get your videos to stand out and be seen. Here’s where properly web optimized videos can help.
Here are some other ways SEO videos can benefit your brand.
1. Increase Brand Awareness and Visibility
One of the biggest video hosting and streaming sites globally is none other than YouTube videos, with currently 2.6 billion active users worldwide.
In Malaysia alone, the most popular YouTube channel, Les’ Copaque Productions (which make the very successful Upin and Ipin animated series) has more than 3.5 billion views on all their uploaded videos combined.
With figures like these, the opportunity to reach as many people as possible is limitless. Gaining attention for your videos can be done by tuning it to the needs of specific users.
2. Showcase Brand and Make Connections
Rather than just reaching more people with meaningless or repetitive videos, you can take this opportunity to use your SEO video marketing to create value-added content. This means that your content will be able to show the special characteristics of your brand.
Providing web optimized videos is the perfect way for the public to learn about and connect with your brand at a very human level. This way, you don’t just appear as another logo on a product. Instead, consumers will be able to feel closer to your brand too.
3. Drive Consumer Engagement
Connecting with consumers via video is the first challenge, but after that, your videos have to continue to keep users engaged. Engaging users via video on the internet means keeping them interested enough for them to go further with your brand.
This can include getting users to respond to your video’s call to action, getting them to follow your social media channel, and ultimately diverting the traffic to your business website. The more traffic a video drives to your website, the higher the conversion rates will be.
Engagement is also a form of video SEO, whereby videos with more engagement will rank higher on SERPs, as the search engine detects that users trust and interact with this video and therefore it is trustworthy.
4. Supercharge Your Conversion
Ultimately, you want to optimize your video SEO strategy to get people to make purchases from you.
When you invest a certain amount of capital into marketing, you want returns from this investment. This is called the ROI (return on investment) and it’s no secret that videos give one of the most satisfying ROIs in the marketing realm.
This means that videos are one of the main driving forces of traffic and conversion, and also one of the most effective marketing tools.
5. Provide Key Consumer Data
The more users interact with your videos, the more you can learn about them. Most video hosting platforms will provide you with analytical data pertaining to the engagement your video receives.
This information can include user demographics, peak interaction times, which types of videos are the most attractive, and so on.
You can use this data to further improve your overall marketing strategy, and not just your video SEO.
Here’s How to Optimize Your Video SEO
There are many baby steps you can take to increase how your videos can be listed higher on search engines. These video SEO tips mainly revolve around your video’s metadata, rather than its contents.
However, this does not mean that you should put out videos with poor or repetitive content. Both content quality and metadata should be optimized in order for your videos to rank well. These are some of the SEO video search engines strategies to use:
1. Make Sure Your Videos Are Indexed
When a search engine detects a video on your website or any other video hosting platform, it doesn’t have the ability to understand what your video is about. You have to ensure that you fill in all the metadata for your video to allow your video to be indexed.
Metadata merely means the description for your video, and it takes the form of its meta description, title, tags, thumbnail image, length, upload date, and location.
Make sure you fill up this information and don’t leave them blank. It will then make your video’s existence ‘registered’ with the search engine.
2. Understand That Titles and Descriptions Matter
There are two important things you should pay attention to when crafting your video’s title and description. The first is of course keyword research, whereby you should include relevant keywords with higher search volumes.
Related: Keyword Research Tools for SEO
With that being said, you should also pay attention to avoid stuffing your title or description with too many keywords.
Determine the most relevant ones through keyword research alone, then craft titles and descriptions that make sense and work to capture the essence of your content as succinctly as possible.
When it comes to titles, make them interesting but not click-baity, meaning don’t exaggerate or promise something that doesn’t exist in your content. Doing so might cause your videos to be reported.
3. Get Yourself an Attractive Thumbnail
Thumbnails are the display picture for your video when it is listed on a platform or on search results pages.
Uploading a thumbnail that best encapsulates the video will attract viewers, rather than an awkward video capture which will be the default image if you don’t set one.
Some tips for great thumbnails are to have bright and contrasting colors, a brief text overlay, and a person’s face on it for the human element, if relevant.
4. Have Your Video Transcribed
Video hosting platforms allow closed captions, usually for subtitles. However, we would advise that you take this one step further and actually provide a transcript of the conversations, monologues, or narrations in your video.
A transcript has several advantages. It allows those who are hearing impaired to enjoy your videos. This caters to also everyone who can’t turn their audio on for one reason or another to still be able to understand your content.
Transcripts are also texts that can be indexed and are tracked by a search engine, meaning that they increase the number of relevant keywords your video will have.
5. Determine The Right Platform for Your Video
There are many reasons for your brand to produce videos, and you need to determine the main objective for your videos. This objective will help you decide which platform is the best for you to host that video.
Usually, a blog post or website doesn’t host videos on the page itself, as this consumes a very high bandwidth and cost. Therefore, the video will be uploaded to another platform and then embedded into the website.
Choosing larger hosting platforms like Vimeo and YouTube is great for driving views to the video itself, but not so much for driving traffic to your website.
Therefore, if you want to shift focus to your website, you can pick smaller hosting sites that will index you without much other competitive content. Examples include Wistia, VooPlayer, and SproutVideo.
6. Optimize Your Video Specs
Make sure the technical aspects of your video are optimized for the audience. This includes the maximum and minimum dimensions, the aspect ratio, video formats, and of course the length.
Unless you’re delivering a long podcast or lecture, the rule of thumb is to keep your video under 10 minutes long.
These technical aspects are important, as you don’t want your videos to appear blurry or out of focus. You also want to ensure that it doesn’t look dated or awkward in terms of quality. Good quality videos are necessary to build trust.
Always test your videos, especially if you’re embedding them on your website. This is to ensure that the videos are easily downloadable and don’t disrupt the functionality of your website as a whole.
7. Optimize the SEO on Your Page Too
In addition to knowing how to rank with video SEO, the rest of your web page should also be SEO-optimized. You cannot just have a good video that is indexed and shows up in SERPs but then leads to websites with poor designs and doesn’t function well.
Apart from just good content, your website should be able to lead visitors on a customer journey that can subtly guide them to conversion. It should also be optimized for indexing, downloading, and functionality in general too.
It may take some time for your page to rank significantly, but SEO does work in the long term as an organic method to drive organic traffic to your website.
Optimizing your website’s local SEO, especially, will be beneficial if you’re a local business that depends on customers of close proximity for business too.
8. Make Sure There’s a Strong CTA
Each video should ideally have a strong CTA that is in line with your marketing objective. Of course, you should pre-determine what that objective is.
Hard selling may not always be the best choice, so perhaps you want to consider asking viewers to follow your social media page, subscribe to your channel, or interact with your video in one way or another (e.g. vote in our website poll).
Related: Soft Sell Advertising Tactics for Branding
9. Place Only One Video Per Page
One of the key aspects that makes a video rank well is how many users watch it and interact with it by liking it, leaving comments, and subscribing. The more people interact with a video, the more an algorithm interprets that the video is trustworthy.
Therefore, you need to center as much attention on your available videos as possible. This means not putting more than one video on each webpage. Also, you need to make the video the focus of the webpage by using texts and images to direct visitors’ attention to it.
Moreover, if you need to place more than one video on a page, make sure that the video that you want to be indexed is the first video. This is because search engines typically only index the first video on a page.
Therefore, the first one is the one that you want to optimize in terms of SEO.
10. Avoid Embedding Your Video in Multiple Places
In the vastness of the internet, your videos will naturally face stiff competition.
Therefore, increasing that competition by making your video compete with itself is a no-no. Instead, you need to work on your branding and marketing efforts to push that one video up the search engine results pages.
This part of the SEO efforts is pretty easy to understand and should be used in combination with your other omnichannel marketing efforts.
11. Track Your Video Performance
Keeping tabs on your video after you have launched it is also part of SEO.
From the analytical backend data, you should be able to tell what content works best, who is responding to your videos, which videos are the most popular, and when is the best time to post them.
Make use of these data wisely and try several things to see what works best for you. A winning formula for your content will eventually come to you.
Important Video SEO Glossary
You don’t have to be a video SEO expert in order to optimize videos well.
It does, however, help to know some of the important terms that are connected with SEO and SEO for video, in particular. Here are some of them:
Algorithm: A system that is used to store and retrieve information, as well as to arrange information in an ordered and meaningful way. For search engines, their algorithm is used to determine the relevancy of a page or a video to your search term.
Crawl: A crawl is the process by which a search engine discovers your website, video or other content. They pick up on description, content, titles, and the link and organize them. This organized information will be retrieved later by the algorithm as links for a related search term. Crawling is done by web crawlers, also known as web spiders or web engine bots.
SERP: This acronym stands for ‘Search Engine Results Page’ and is the page that displays all the relevant search results in a list when you type a word or phrase in the search bar. These days, search engines like Google display their SERPs in a more detailed manner, with different types of results displayed, such as pay-per-click ads, local listings, People Also Search For (PASF) sections, videos, and finally website links.
Rich snippets: Snippets are the data that accompany search results when they are displayed. Normal snippets consist only of the page’s title tag, meta description, and URL. However, rich snippets contain more information that is pulled from the structured data of websites.
Related: How to Write the Perfect Meta Title and Description
In order to get rich snippets, you have to first structure your data and then use markup plugins and generators to deploy them.
Structured data: This is a standardized format for displaying information about a page or classifying page content. This standardized format makes it easier for search engines like Google to gather clues and understand the nature and contents of the page. One popular method for structuring data is the JSON LD format.
Video SEO As Part of Your Marketing Strategies
Videos are a very effective marketing tool and there’s no doubt that they attract more attention than the usual text-based content. In order to ensure that videos work the way they should in your marketing campaign, video SEO optimization should not be a thing to turn a blind eye to.
However, you do have to keep in mind that SEO for videos takes time to show results. If your videos aren’t performing up to par, do feel free to speak with experts in the SEO field like One Search Pro Marketing.
You can contact us any time to book yourself a free consultation session and we will work out what can be done.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do You Use Rich Snippets for Video SEO?
In order for Google to display rich snippets for your video, you have to provide the right structured data markup for your video on the web page where your video is.
The structure of metadata that you have to provide Google with includes the description of the video, a video thumbnail URL, the upload date, and the video’s duration.
2. Does YouTube Affect Video SEO?
Yes, YouTube search has a different algorithm by which it recommends videos to users that is different from search engines like Bing or Google.
Therefore, you have to decide which platform you want to optimize videos for. YouTube search has a different set of keywords that are trending too, as compared to Google.
All in all, YouTube SEO is another different entity with similar and coinciding aspects compared to video SEO that we’ve covered up to this point.
3. What is SEO Video Marketing?
SEO video marketing is the act of using and including videos to promote a website and drive traffic to it, but the focus of the SEO optimization is not the video. Rather, the videos are there as a component of the marketing strategy.
It is different from video SEO, whereby the focus of SEO optimization is the video itself, as your aim is to make the videos rank higher on SERPs.
An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! All the best!!