Did you know that 500 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube per minute? This means that around 2.500 hours of new videos are going to be ready for you to watch once you finish this article. So, how can your video possibly stand out from the crowd and reach your target audience? Well, that’s the art of SEO.
8 SEO Areas You Should Focus to Boost Your Videos’ Visibility
The best video production companies know that their job isn’t over once they export the final cut on their piece. Optimizing a video to be indexed and rank on the search engine result pages is essential to the whole process. After all, even the best video will do little for your brand if nobody sees it.
Luckily for you, in this piece, I’m going to walk you through some crucial SEO areas that will help you boost your video’s visibility and engage audiences across all demographics and niches.
#1: Choosing the Right Hosting Platform
Your SEO strategy should begin by considering the reasons why you want your videos to rank. For instance, if you’re looking to create brand awareness and reach a massive audience, then YouTube is a great place to start.
Next up, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram let you natively upload videos to their platform. This tip will come extra helpful since their algorithm prioritizes native content over embedded videos hosted on other sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
But if you’re more focused on gaining on-site traffic and generating new leads, you should consider other platforms that support it. Wistia, for example, allows you to host your video yourself, and it automatically creates metadata to improve your SEO ranking.
#2: It’s Keywords-Research Time
The following step should be to conduct thorough keyword research. They are the ones that will direct people to your videos, so you must choose them wisely.
If you’re unsure about which are the best keywords for your content, then there are a couple of tools that can help you. YouTube has a suggestion feature you can use to find out which are the most appropriate long-tail keywords for your piece. Google Ads also has a keywords tool where you can type a few keywords or phrases and see the estimated number of searches for each one.
#3: Titles, Descriptions, Tags, and Filenames
Once you’ve gathered your precious keywords, it’s time to put them to use. The title, description, tags, and the filename (yes, even the file’s name) of your video should include your main keywords. These are the most important pieces of information you can add to your video for SEO since they are the ones that will show up in search results.
The title of your video should include your targeted keywords and be eye-catching, while not coming off as too clickbait-y. To aid with your SEO, they should have at least 5 words and less than 70 characters. That way, you are sure that the entire title of your piece will show up in search results.
Think of your description as the answer to why someone should click on your video. Also, make sure it includes your targeted keywords and leaves some room for a CTA or a link to your website. And don’t go over 165 characters so that the users can read the entire text in the search results.
Tags don’t have a search value on Google, but they do on YouTube, so you must include your main keywords plus some extra phrases you think people will search to find your video.
YouTube recommends content creators to include keywords on their filenames to improve their SEO ranking. While it’s not entirely clear how this works with their algorithm, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Name your vid something you’ll remember by avoiding generic non-findable names like “my vid,” “my vid2,” or “video.mov.” Skip those names and you will have an easier time finding the file later.
#4: Creating an Effective Thumbnail
Just like a book cover, viewers judge a video by its thumbnail. While host platforms offer an auto-generated image, most of them let you customize your thumbnail (and you should).
Your thumbnail should reflect the content of your video, like a tease of what your audience is about to watch. Use a high-resolution screencap of your piece, and make sure it features human faces if you can (that way, it will connect with your viewers). An extra SEO tip is to include the title of your video on your thumbnail in a clean and legible font.
That being said, be very careful not to use a misleading thumbnail (nor a title or description, for that matter). You want your audience to trust your brand, and you will only achieve that through honest marketing and valuable content.
#5: Adding Transcripts and Captions
It’s unusual to think of it this way, but Google is essentially a database of text. So, the more text you attach to your video’s metadata, the better it will rank on search engines. This means you can also optimize your transcripts by including your main keywords.
Captions are also necessary when uploading your video on social media since most platforms play their content with the sound off by default. Platforms like YouTube offer automated closed captions, but you should check them for mistakes before making your video public.
#6: Shorter or Longer Videos, that is the Question
On the other hand, if you’re a brand looking to create videos that promote your product or service, you might want to focus on short-form content. After all, nobody has the time to sit through a long commercial.
#7: Designing a Bulletproof Landing
If you’re planning to design a landing page for your video, you should know that user experience has become an increasingly important factor in SEO ranking. So, to get more views on your video, you also need to optimize your site and make it more UX-friendly.
In May of 2020, Google announced a new update on its algorithm. The set of search criteria that the company defines as the Core Web Vitals and that you should consider when designing your landing page are:
- Loading times: measured by how long it takes for the largest block of text or image to become visible.
- Interactivity: measured by the time it takes a user to interact with your page.
- Visual stability: measured by the number of elements that move around as your page loads.
To put it more blandly, you should design your website to be fast, offer engaging content that makes your audience want to interact, and have a consistent look. Improving these metrics on your site will offer audiences a better user experience and will help you improve your SEO ranking.
#8: Exclusive Embedding
If you’re embedding more than one video on your landing site, then know that most search engines will only index one video per page. My advice is to put your most important video first and at the center of your site, making it as easy as possible for users to find it.
Also, make sure the rest of the content of your site is relevant to your video. If your content feels out of place or unrelated to your video, it will likely negatively affect your video’s view count.
In the last few years, algorithms and search engines have become a sort of intermediary between content creators and audiences across the net. And while we’ve seen plenty of tips and tricks to improve your video’s visibility on search engines, no one has the last word on SEO.
So, if you end this article with just one piece of advice in mind, it should be to create fresh, engaging, and valuable content for your audience. That is the best and most organic way to make a connection with your fanbase – one that will survive the coming and goings of algorithmic rankings.
Image Credit: Images from the author; thank you!
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