Quality plays a crucial role in performance when it comes to video marketing. But quality isn’t the only factor determining how well your video content reaches your audience; far from it.
As any video company worth its salt will tell you, to have your videos’ viewing rates live up to their full potential, you need to implement effective SEO strategies that help them do so.
The thing is, videos aren’t really like other types of content out there.
And while they can indeed benefit from some of the most traditional search engine optimization strategies, there are more than a handful that is particularly key to videos you should be implementing every time!
This piece will go over some of the most effective ones and make sure you know the areas to tackle the next time you hit upload.
1. Finding the right hosting platform is key
When choosing a permanent home for your video, the goal is to choose the one that will make it shine the most. Also, if your piece is going to live under someone else’s roof, you need to know the house rules and conditions for that particular hosting service.
If you want to go mainstream, you know you need YouTube. As long as your video is less than 15 minutes long, you don’t need much to upload it since it is free and straightforward to create a user ID. It also allows you to improve your video’s performance through soundtracks, subtitles, and editing.
Pro tip: if you are targeting local viewers, it will help your SEO strategy to choose your location when uploading the video.
If you want to aim to a specific audience, more drawn to creativity and quality, Vimeo is the perfect option.
Although it gives you less space for free than YouTube (500 MB) and one HD video per week, it will probably be enough for your single piece to shine. If this is not enough for you and you are planning to share more than one HD video weekly, you can pay for a premium account, and the problem is solved!
It is not as popular as the previous two, but it has a crucial difference: it is not the file size that matters to them, but the traffic generated by your viewers. That means that the more people that watch your video, the higher your account fee will be. It also has SEO and marketing tools that help improve your video’s performance.
2. Optimizing titles and descriptions is a must
If you are familiar with SEO practices, you know how vital headlines, descriptions, and keywords are in general. Video content is no exception. These tools are just as relevant when posting your video, as they help determine how often it will be found and ultimately shared.
To start, think about an engaging and genuine headline that gets straight to the point in at least five words containing your keyword or key phrase. Try to put these words at the beginning of the title to give your video chances to rank higher.
To write a clear and compelling description –ideally, of at least 250 words-, be concise and tell your potential viewers what your video is about. Also, try to include a link to your website at the beginning of this text, so your site can get ranked and attract more traffic to it. Finally, don’t forget your keywords, but don’t overuse them either. The right balance is usually 2 or 3 times throughout your description.
3. Make effective thumbnails
If there is anything as powerful as the title of your video to capture viewers’ attention, it would be its thumbnail. This little image is a practical ‘hook’ for your audience, especially when it is a high-quality image that illustrates the best of your audiovisual piece.
If this snapshot is eye-catching and representative of your video, it will surely attract clicks. Start by checking the suggested resolution of your selected platform so that you can edit it accordingly. Then, move on to adding some eye-catching elements (expressive faces or interesting designs tend to work on many platforms). Lastly, cap it all off with a few branding elements, things like your company logo or color palette to make the piece feel distinctively yours from the get-go.
Pro tip: don’t rely on an algorithm to do the work! Create a meaningful thumbnail yourself, and optimize it to appeal to your audience’s preferences.
4. Using transcripts and subtitles helps
So, you worked on every detail of your video to make it rank better, but it can still use a push or two to succeed. Transcripts and subtitles could be the thing they are missing. Why? The great thing about them is that other relevant terms said in your video –and not only those previously selected keywords- can have an impact on search algorithm rankings.
What’s more, implementing transcripts and subtitles doesn’t just help as an SEO factor. They also provide accessibility, which will factor into view times and improve rankings. Sometimes, users need to mute their devices, but they still want to watch your video! Don’t waste these opportunities to increase viewership, and give them those subtitles and transcripts.
5. Tagging is crucial
Just like thumbnails and transcripts, choosing the right tags for your video will help search engines find your content more easily. That being said, the idea isn’t to go crazy and tag indiscriminately but to select relevant and specific words for your content.
Moreover, keep in mind that platforms like YouTube limit you to up to 400 characters for tags. Most videos have between five to eight, so you need to be very selective.
To find out which words are the most appropriate terms to use for tags, you can start typing something related to the core of your video in the YouTube search bar and see how the platform completes it. This way, you can check what the majority of users are writing exactly to find content similar to yours. Those might be the words you need.
6. Picking a single place to embed is a good move
You want your video to get ranked, so you think the more pages it inhabits, the more it will be played. Well, that’s not precisely the case. If you distribute your video on multiple pages and channels, it will compete with itself! So pick a place — like your website — and embed it there.
If you have many videos to share, give them the specific placement they deserve according to their purpose. For instance, a whiteboard animation video could be great for any landing page since it will explain how your product works concisely and engagingly. On the other hand, a short testimonial video could be conveniently placed on the ‘about us’ section, and a video series should probably live on your company’s YouTube channel.
7. Optimizing your video’s landing page is essential
When you have a good product or service to offer, a well-crafted video could be your best ally. But keep in mind that when you host it on a landing page, said page should be appealing, in tune with the content, and adapt organically to said website, so your audience doesn’t lose interest. If this happens, Google will make it harder for people to find it on web searches.
Make sure to create quality landing pages to host your videos, optimized for user retention and the proper CTA and design to make them effective placements for your video content.
Pro tip: Resist the impulse to set it to autoplay. That is a common mistake that drives viewers away since most of them don’t want to be forced to see (and hear) something without notice! Let them control when and how to watch your video.
Whether your business revolves around online sales, content creation, entertainment, or anything else in between, you should know and apply at least a bit of SEO to get the most out of your video content! Proper optimization will improve its accessibility, viewership, and engagement and increase the chances of your piece being a real hit.
SEO is much more than just keywords (although they are essential). From video placement to choosing the correct thumbnails for it, the main goal is also to make it likable and shareable and get those viewing rates increasing to have it rank better.
So yes, making a high-quality video is core. But once that’s taken care of, adding the right amount of optimization to the piece’s publication is the right way to go.