Video SEO Optimization: 10 Tips to Get Your Content Found
You've put your heart, soul, and countless hours of your time into creating videos that share your knowledge and experiences with the world. But why is no one watching them? Two words: video SEO.
Alright, technically it's four words: video search engine optimization. Just like the process of creating a website, your videos require some search engine optimization in order for your content to be found by online users.
Here's everything you need to know about video SEO, including what it means and how to use it to get your content found.
What is video SEO?
Video SEO is the process of optimizing your video content for search engine indexing and ranking. Doing so increases your content’s chances to rank on the results pages for relevant searches on Google, YouTube and the likes, thus increasing your audience reach and views.
Video content now appears in a quarter of all online search results, and YouTube has risen as the second largest search engine. Because of this, video SEO is not only relevant for media creators with dreams of becoming a successful Youtuber, but also for businesses and professionals across all industries.
How to do optimize videos for SEO
Now that we know what video SEO means and why it’s important, let’s dive into how to optimize your videos for search engines. Take a look at these 10 video SEO tips to get your content found online:
Come up with a worthy topic
Find the right keywords
Optimize the metadata
Create an engaging thumbnail
Write the transcript
Increase the watch time
Add it to your website
Surround it with relevant content
Promote it across other channels
Track the results
01. Come up with a worthy topic
Not all content ideas are suitable for video. For example, while many people search online about types of video formats, most prefer to read a short article about it rather than watch a video on the topic. When trying to come up with an idea for your vlog, tutorial, or promotional video, make sure that the format provides added value.
In order to find topics with a clear video intent, start by performing some research on popular video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo. This process will also help you understand the type of video content that draws more views. Search for your idea and see what the results have in common and how they are performing.
If the majority of them don’t have a lot of engagement, it’s best to move on to a different topic. No matter how much you work on improving your video SEO, your video won’t get many views if no one is searching for that topic in the first place.
02. Find the right keywords
Once you have come up with a video topic that people are interested in, you’ll need to make sure those people actually find your content. Start by investigating the most common search terms for your subject matter. This process is known as keyword research, and it will play a huge role in the organic success of your videos. Luckily for you, we have a complete guide on how to do keyword research that will make this process a breeze.
While the majority of online searches take place on Google, YouTube is the preferred search engine for video content. Since each of them has a different algorithm and caters to different audience needs, search results may vary significantly between the two. Because of this, it’s important to perform your keyword research on both platforms.
There are numerous free keyword research tools you can use to find the best keywords for your videos, as well as look for new topic ideas based on queries with large search volume. Additionally, using the platforms’ autocomplete features will help you find highly relevant long tail keywords for the topic you have in mind.
03. Optimize the metadata
Metadata serves as a description of the video in the eyes (or bytes) of search engines. It includes the title and description of the video, as well as tags in certain hosting sites. In order to optimize your video SEO, you should include your keywords in each part of your metadata.
Make sure to write your metadata in a natural manner, as bots won’t be the only ones assessing your content based on this information. When your content is presented to users on search engines, the title and description of your video will be a major factor in whether or not they choose to watch your work.
04. Create an engaging thumbnail
Video hosting platforms usually suggest a thumbnail taken from your video. However, you should not leave such a crucial element in the hands of destiny. Keep in mind that users have a long list of videos to choose from when searching for a topic, and your thumbnail will play a huge role in whether they click on your content or not.
The perfect video thumbnail is that which stands out and provides a clear look at the type of content it provides. There are three key steps you’ll need to follow in order to succeed in this quest:
Use a striking image: High-quality, vibrant photos make for a wonderful, attention-grabbing tool. Make sure they are directly related to the content and don’t feel too crowded. Brush up your knowledge on photography composition rules and photography balance to ensure you make the right choices.
Add title text: Adding a title to your thumbnail allows users to quickly identify your video’s content. Keep it short and simple, use typography that is easily legible, and make sure the text above the image is clear.
Develop a consistent style: No matter which field you choose to specialize in, it’s important to keep the look and feel of your brand consistent throughout your videos. You can do so by selecting similar tones or color schemes, using the same font for all your image titles, or creating a visual template.
05. Write the transcript
As much as search engine algorithms have evolved, the internet is still very much text-based. Since search engine bots cannot actually watch your videos, transcripts give them a deep understanding of the content and its relevance to certain search queries. To optimize your transcripts for Google, YouTube, and other search engines, make sure to say your main keyword at least a couple times throughout the video.
Video transcripts are also incredibly valuable for humans. First and foremost, they make your content more accessible to a large audience. This includes not only people with hearing impairments, but also users who want to see your videos on public spaces or simply without sound. Text on screen results in more engaging videos and higher watch time.
06. Increase your video’s watch time
Contrary to popular belief, SEO is much more than knowing what keywords to use and where to put them. The amount of time people spend watching your videos is equally as important to search engine algorithms. And just as there are many things you can do to improve your video SEO, there are also several steps you can take to improve the watch time of your content:
Create enticing openings: The first few seconds of a video are crucial for users to decide whether or not they’re interested in the content. Use a free video editing software to create an appealing opening you can use across all your videos. This will drive viewers in, as well as offer a peak into your style and creative approach. You can also search for free music for your videos in order to find the tune that best represents your channel.
Stay consistent: Your channel should maintain a cohesive brand identity. This includes everything from the style of your videos to your posting schedule. In addition to uploading on a regular basis, you should strive to maintain high-quality content and production value.
Use playlists: Much like Netflix’s binge-watch approach, YouTube’s playlist feature allows you to collect multiple videos together. This encourages viewers to continue watching your content immediately after each video is finished.
Engage with viewers: Involve your audience by encouraging them to share their thoughts and experiences in the comments. Responding to their comments right away will help users feel valued and understood, helping you build brand loyalty and trust.
07. Add it to your website
There are several reasons why you should create a website, but the bottom line is that every business needs a strong online presence in order to reach customers and stay competitive in their field. Not only does a website serve as a meeting point for your various social media profiles, but it also gives you full control over how to represent your brand. Plus, it significantly improves your chances of being found online.
Even if you chose a video hosting platform like YouTube as your main channel, it’s important that you also add your videos to your personal site. Tools like Wix Video allow you to automatically sync your YouTube channel whenever you upload a new video. From there, you’ll also be able to access new monetizing opportunities such as selling your videos and creating monthly subscription plans.
If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this step-by-step guide on how to create a video website. Feel free to use these ready-made videographer website templates to help you get your site live in no time.
08. Surround it with relevant content
One of the most often overlooked ways to improve your video SEO is to embed your videos on pages with relevant content. When you create a blog or a dedicated page discussing the topic of your video, your chances of ranking on text-based search engines increase significantly. More often than not, videos appear on most Google searches within the first half of the results page.
Furthermore, embeds are picked up by YouTube as a ranking signal, which can make a huge difference for small channels that are still not getting a lot of organic traction.
09. Promote it across other channels
Much like video trends, algorithm ranking signals seem to change every other week. This means two things: One, you should try to keep up with YouTube and Google algorithm updates to see what they’re looking for. And two, you should not put all your video eggs on a single platform basket.
Promoting your content across different platforms will ensure your videos keep getting traction even if there are changes in the way they are rated. Sharing them on social media networks not only allows you to reach a wider audience but also encourages social sharing, thus creating backlinks that improve your video SEO.
Another great way to promote your work without depending on ever-changing algorithms, is to build a subscriber base that you can notify whenever you publish a new video.
10. Track the results
In order to improve your video SEO, you’ll need to keep a close watch on how your content performs over time. Tools like YouTube Analytics allow you to track important metrics such as watch time, views, traffic sources, and keywords.
By tracking these stats on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see what type of content performs best and which areas you could do better in. Seeing what keywords your videos are ranking for gives you the chance to assess whether their performance can be improved by optimizing the metadata, or if it’s best to create a new video tackling a different query.
By Judit Ruiz Ricart
Editor of the Wix Photography Blog