Video SEO: Maximizing Your Visibility On Search
Did you know that there are more than 500 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube every single minute worldwide? For every content creator or video marketer, this means one thing: it’s a battle for eyeballs out there.
Coming up with brilliant video content is one thing, making it visible to your target viewers is another. No matter how original and intriguing your video content is when no one finds it– let alone watches it, then what’s the point?
When we talk about making videos that stand out, we talk about video optimization. Most video marketing checklist includes optimization to make sure that all those efforts you’ve spent in the production are paid off.
SEO is a practice for text-based content, multimedia content like video needs to be optimized for search too. In this case, video SEO is strongly linked with YouTube videos– as the platform is the biggest, most popular video-sharing platform, even the largest search engine worldwide. But, of course, you can make videos on other platforms (social media platforms, landing pages, ads) more SEO friendly.
The essence of video SEO itself is not much different from regular SEO. But, since the content format is pretty much different, there are some SEO best practices that you need to consider doing for the more dynamic content format.
Now, the burning question is, “How’s to make my videos more visible on search engines?” Let’s find out!
Video SEO Tip #1. Choose Keyword-Based Video Titles and Descriptions
Search engine crawlers are smart. They understand the language of your content and try to match the keywords properly. Just like regular SEO practices, keywords matter in video SEO practices. Choosing keyword-based video titles and adding the keyword to the video description help search engines understand what the video is all bout– making it much easier for them to decide your video ranking.
A great video title doesn’t only include a keyword, it also:
- Describes your video accurately.
- Use the words and phrases that users enter in search engines to find content like yours.
The handiest way to find the right keyword for your video is through YouTube suggestions. Type a word or phrase relevant to your industry in the search bar and see the suggestions that YouTube offers. Keyword research tools like vidIQ, Tubics, Tuberanker can also help you find potential keywords for the video.
Video SEO Tip #2. Create Customized Thumbnail Images
Along with your video titles, thumbnails are the first thing that your target viewers will see when they find a video. YouTube will present random 3 screenshots to choose from– it also allows you to select a shot of a different moment in the video or upload your own image.
Coming up with your own image can make your videos more engaging to click. This, in return, will increase click-through rates that can tell the algorithm that your video is valuable and worth watching. You can use image-editing software like Canva or Pixlr to create your customized thumbnail.
Here are some quick tips for creating clickable customized video thumbnails.
- Use high-quality images with contrasting colors to capture attention.
- Use a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Use a consistent design/layout.
- Include a shorter version of your video title.
Video SEO Tip #3. Insert Video Transcripts
Transcripts are usually found in articles and blog posts. They are basically the words that appear below or next to the images. Since search engine bots cannot watch videos, they rely on accompanying text data to index them properly.
By adding a video transcript, you make it much easier for search engines crawler to “read” what your video is all about. Not to mention you also make the video more accessible for viewers with hearing problems.
You can add transcripts in your videos using different software like TTNMaker or Rev. All you need to do is add the text inside the video’s description and tags and assign the transcript to that text.
Video SEO Tip #4. Make Videos Mobile-Friendly
According to the statistics, videos are 1.5 times watched on mobile devices. Also, 92% of videos watched via mobile are shared with other users. Not to mention that more than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices. These staggering numbers show that making videos mobile-friendly is essential.
Mobile-friendly videos are videos that can be accessed by mobile users without any hassle; they have no problem with visuals, they can understand the audio, and they can see any texts that are included. It’s pretty much about making your videos fit in the smaller screen size of the given device.
Here are two of the most important tips to make your videos more accessible for mobile users:
- Include closed captions (CC) to keep the viewer engaged regardless of their access to audio.
- Use large text so that viewers can clearly read your message.
Video SEO Tip #5. Pay Attention to the Video File Name
It’s very important that you choose the right file name for your videos. The file name is the name that appears in your computer/device’s directory structure. Some of us are getting so used to naming the video with random titles, like "video 001-edit" or even longer, more “specific” ones like "video_project_35_revised_2." How does it have something to do with video optimization, though?
A descriptive video file name helps boost the relevance signal that a video is relevant to the user's query. It helps the search engine to determine that the video is an appropriate match for a given search query.
Therefore, it's better to name your videos with words that describe the image. For example, if you create a cryptocurrency video, try to rename your file to something like “best_cryptocurrency_to_invest_in.” You can also use the keyword for the name of the video file.
Video SEO Tip #6. Make the Video Shareable
Remember when you were told that the most important thing for a video is its reach? If a user can’t watch your video on a platform or device that it’s available on, then it’s basically useless for them.
That’s why you need to make sure that your video is accessible on all major platforms. The more you share the video across different platforms, the higher your chances to expand your reach and boosting click-through rates.
The most common platforms that your videos are going to be played on are YouTube, Facebook, and Dailymotion.
Video SEO might sound like a backbreaking job, but it’s a powerful way to make your video content stand out from the sea of content. Well-optimized videos do not only bring you a good ranking– and your company gains not only visibility but also the authority in your business segment.