We’ve been talking quite a bit about how crucial video has become for businesses on social media, but the importance of video doesn’t end there. Video can (and will, if done right) improve your search ranking on Google – time to talk about video SEO.
Here are some simple video SEO best practices to follow in order to make the most of your video content:
The basics of Video SEO
The major tactics that drive great video SEO aren’t all that different from standard SEO. It’s still about making great content that people will link to and share, and including the right descriptions and keywords so that your content can be found.
Let’s break these familiar concepts down for video, and share some new, video-specific, ones as well:
Choose a strong title
Naturally, you want a smart title that stands out and draws in viewers. But your title is also the first bit of information search bots are going to use when indexing your video, so you need to make it informative.
Keep it short but descriptive, and put the most important keywords first or early. But don’t just make it a list of keywords, search engines are smarter than that. Just remember that if a user can’t figure out what a video is about from its title, a search engine probably won’t either.
Finally, avoid stop words (the most common words in a language) in your titles – Since they have nothing to do with the content of your video, Google will usually ignore them. Besides, users tend to phrase search terms without stop words anyway, so why waste precious characters on them?
Descriptions, keywords, tags and a video sitemap
Unlike the case with standard text pages, video descriptions aren’t just important because they entice viewers, they’re critical for video SEO. A search engine’s crawlers and robots can’t watch your video to understand it, so the bulk of information about the content (and, in turn, all the SEO value) comes from your description.
You have more length to work with here, so feel free to provide more context than you could in the title and don’t forget to add relevant keywords you want to rank for.
When writing a description for your video, consider your target audience. What words and phrases are they likely to search? And always be honest about the content of your video, the goal here is to pair your video with the people who want to see it most, not trick random people into watching.
You should also include a transcript of your video – more text means more information for the search engines to work with and more opportunities for keywords and phrases to be associated with your video.
Lastly, submit a video sitemap to further improve the likelihood of your videos showing up in search results (learn more about it here).
Pick the perfect thumbnail
When a video shows up in search results, it has a 41% higher click-through rate than plain-text results, so you already have a leg up.
However, you’re still competing with other videos. To win the most clicks, you want an enticing thumbnail that catches the eye. If the first impression of your video is a dull or confusing image, no one’s going to commit.
Good content is still king
Even if you do everything else right with video SEO, those efforts aren’t going to pay off if your video content isn’t high-quality. Interesting, original content will dominate search results because more people are linking to it, sharing it, talking about it, and engaging with it. As with any effort built on video, if you want the best results, it starts with a great piece of content.
Already have great content on your site? Check out our last post to learn how to repurpose content into video.