TechsPlace | By now, we all know that there is no such thing as a random result when it comes to online searching. You want your content to rank higher in SERPs, but that will not happen as if by magic.
Even the most original, unique, and outstanding marketing video out there will fall short of expectations if you ignore all the variables that would make it crawlable and prominent on SERPs.
The question is, does SEO work the same for video as it does for regular content?
Well, the differences are minimal if you think of video SEO as an extension of traditional SEO: making engaging content and publishing in a way that could be easily indexable.
The thing is that, even though search engines are getting smarter, they still can’t perfectly index and classify multimedia content, and that means you need to take a few measures to help them do their job well.
So, if you want to give your video marketing strategy more opportunities to deliver results, video SEO is crucial, and today, we are going to outline five video SEO tips to get you started.
Craft Engaging Video Thumbnails
Have you ever heard the saying “never judge a book by its cover“? Well, it only exists because that’s precisely what people tend to do, and your video’s thumbnail works very much like the cover of a book or a movie poster.
If you are choosing between two movies and the only thing you can see is their poster, you’ll probably choose the one that attracts you the most. And when Google shows video thumbnails after a search, users are more likely to click that listing if what they see piques their interest.
An engaging video thumbnail, then, has to reflect what your video is about while still being compelling and attractive, inviting the user to click.
High-resolution images prominently showcasing expressive human faces tend to work really well to capture someone’s attention. If you can, also include text related to the keywords or niche you are trying to rank for, as the added context can have more people clicking.
The more people click, the more your video will be shown, and the higher it will rank on SERPs.
Optimize Your Videos’ Metadata and Advanced Metadata with Keywords
Metadata is information about other data, which in this case includes entered data like the titles, subtitles, descriptions, and tags.
Without it, search engines cannot properly crawl and index information about any type of content online. So, on top of asking yourself if this or that title is “clickable” or interesting, you also have to consider targeting specific keywords with significant search volume and including them in your video’s metadata.
Learning about searching volume can help you prioritize keywords since it varies greatly from one to another. Also, pay attention to both high and low competition keywords, as the higher the search volume, the more work is required to achieve higher rankings!
It may be more advantageous for you to target highly specific, lower competition search terms. In SEO, we call those “long-tail keywords”, and those often convert better because searchers are more specific and intentional in their searches.
But, how should you leverage these keywords in your videos?
Search engines are unable to crawl and index the information contained within a video, so if you want your video to rank higher, you’ll have to pay attention to advanced metadata elements such as transcriptions, time stamps, file names, and the like. Through them, you get to provide information and context to search engines so that crawlers get a better sense of in-depth what your video is about and improve the way they serve your content to users.
The more people that get to see your video content in a relevant context, the more people will watch them, and the better results you’ll get.
Transcripts and captions are an excellent way to increase engagement as well.
The amount of time people spend watching your video is key to rank higher, and these elements can increase viewership, given that they keep the viewer hooked on your video regardless of their ability to listen to it at the moment. Besides, adding them makes your video easier for bots to crawl since there’s additional text to analyze to figure out what your video is about.
Choose a Hosting Platform that Makes Sense
We all know there is no difficulty in getting videos online nowadays, but are hosting platforms all the same? When choosing a hosting platform, you have to consider the reasons why you want your video to rank: Are you concerned about getting traffic to your website? or are you more into creating general brand awareness?
All things considered, you have roughly three types of video hosting options, and all three have their cons and pros:
- Social video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo are free to use and ever-present across the web. The thing with this kind of platform, though, is that once your video is indexed, most of the traffic goes to them rather than to your website. Also, they can often be slow to load and have many ads, which might impact your audience’s experience.
- Self-hosting with a free video player allows you to have full control over the presentation and delivery of your video but can get tricky during the setup and lead to unpredictable costs with your service provider.
- Third-party host/paid video hosting is faster to load and includes additional features such as player customization but can be very expensive.
Take your time to consider your goals and resources available, and go for a type of hosting that makes sense under those circumstances.
Optimize Video for Mobile
It might be an obvious statement at this point, but remember that most people use mobile devices to consume content online, so making your content mobile-friendly is a must.
Moreover, since the number of mobile internet users keeps on increasing each day, Google has shifted to a mobile-friendly index, meaning that Google’s crawlers will read your mobile site first.
Having a site and video content that isn’t mobile-friendly will definitely result in fewer leads and less traffic.
Side-note: If you posted your video on your own website, improving your site’s load time is key since it can significantly impact the mobile experience. The chances are that when someone is looking something up on the phone, they are probably on the go or hurried. If your video doesn’t load fast enough, it will be hard to keep leads on your site. They’ll just simply bounce to another website even if your video could have helped them.
Pair Your Optimized Video Content with Quality Landing Pages
When a user arrives at your website, your landing page should invite them to stay and engage with your content – and for that, you don’t have that much time.
By creating custom landing pages, you increase your chances of generating conversions, but
you need to find a balance between making your video the star of your landing page and overwhelming the space surrounding it.
Make sure the proportion of your videos make sense in regards to the rest of your page’s content (like texts, CTA buttons, and complementary images).
Don’t forget that format, placement, and size make implicit statements about your content as well. Keep your landing page organized and balanced without distracting viewers from what you want them to see.
As you can see, video SEO is no mystery – especially if you are already familiar with traditional SEO – but it doesn’t happen by chance either.
To rank higher in SERPs, you should combine traditional and video SEO best practices to boost your content’s chances of featuring prominently at the top of search engines.
Last but not least, remember that SEO can only get you so far. Regardless of what you do in terms of search engine optimization (video or otherwise), the content that will rank highest is the one that is relevant to their product or service, and that satisfies the potential viewer’s queries.
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.