Source: Sprout Social
We’ve all known for a while that video is a big deal, and to keep up with the demand it seems everyone has begun churning out a serious amount of video content. The real question is if people are finding all that content — that’s where video SEO comes in!
Before you start video SEO, keep in mind that it isn’t quite the same as SEO for written content. First of all you should not perform keyword research for video in quite the same way as you might for a text-based post or page. People tend to search for videos differently than if they were looking for a blog post or a website, so the search volume for the same term may be wildly different on YouTube vs. Google. There are also certain keywords that tend to bring up video results while others don’t, so make sure you’re optimizing for a keyword that brings up video results. An easy way to test a keyword is to simply search for it, and see if you’re served any video results.
Once you have the appropriate keyword for a given video, it’s time to optimize. If you can, try to say your keyword in the video once or twice — search engines can identify that and rank your video more accurately. If you’ve already filmed your video, don’t worry. There are still ways you can optimize! You’ll want to include your target keyword in the title and description of your video to make sure that you’re showing relevance to users, and to the search engine. It’s also beneficial to upload a transcript for videos on YouTube or social media. The transcript, title and description act as page copy and are more digestible for search engines to index.
If your video will be embedded on a page, there are a couple of other things to consider. The first is that when you want a video to rank, make the video the star of your page. There’s no better way to make sure your video doesn’t get seen than burying it at the bottom of an obscure page. Plus, Google tends to only index one video per page, so make it count! Prioritize the video over any others that exist on the page, or better yet, only include one video per page (lots of videos can increase page load time anyway).
It’s also best practice to keep your video in just one place on your site. Similar to optimizing for keywords on a page, if you use the same one on multiple pages, you’ll end up competing against yourself. Why compete against yourself when you already have to compete against everyone else?
The next thing to consider is the thumbnail. To make people want to click on your video and actually watch it, they have to be enticed by your thumbnail. While the quality of your thumbnail may not directly affect Google’s ability or willingness to rank your video, it will contribute heavily to your click and watch rates, and the more popular your video is, the higher it will rank.
Lastly, you’ll of course want to know how your video has performed! You can always check Google Analytics to see your referral traffic, but you can get even more granular. If you have a YouTube channel, you can check out your Analytics Dashboard within the platform to get all kinds of great information, including the keywords your video is ranking for within YouTube.
So that's video SEO in a nutshell. Now get out there and create some high-quality, optimized video content!
Ellie is an SEO/SEM specialist here at New Breed Marketing.