Video is one of the most influential types of content on the web. From a marketing perspective, neglecting a video strategy could keep your business from growing. And it’s not enough anymore to just film a video and post it online. To make videos work for you, whether you’re generating leads or creating brand awareness, they need to be optimised for SEO. As an SEO agency in Hertfordshire, we’re experts in getting content ranked. Here are our top tips for optimising video content for SEO.
Have Good Content – Engaging content is the foundation of your video SEO strategy. Even if you optimise your video for mobile, share it on all your networks, and craft the perfect title, people won’t watch it if it’s poorly produced or simply unappealing.
Produce a video that’s in line with your overall marketing strategy and don’t get so bogged down in SEO that you end up with sub-par content. If your goal is to drive conversions or create brand awareness, your videos should be likeable and shareable.
Do Your Keyword Research:
Just as you would optimise your text content with the right keywords, you should research the keywords you want your video to rank for. You’ll insert these keywords into the video title, description, and metadata.
Doing your keyword research involves using dedicated tools like the Google Adwords keyword tool. It also includes putting yourself into the mindset of your target audience. The most engaging and highly ranked videos either entertain, answer a direct question (“how to”), or inform on a buzzworthy issue. Think like your viewers and create titles and descriptions that speak directly to their concerns.
Optimise for Mobile:
Mobile devices account for over half of all digital video viewing; 69% of users reach for their smartphone first when searching for something. If your SEO strategy doesn’t include mobile optimisation, your chances of ranking decrease greatly.
If you’re hosting the video on your own site, make sure both your site and the video you’re embedding can run on mobile. Some video types can’t play on mobile at all, like videos with Flash. Videos that slow your website’s load time or simply don’t play will frustrate users and have negative impacts on your SEO. By uploading videos to platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, you can save yourself some trouble because they’re already optimised for mobile viewing.
Post on YouTube:
Only self-hosting your video on your website likely won’t generate the ranking you’re after. Self-hosting is great for conversions, but unless it’s expertly optimised, it won’t boost your SEO significantly.
Post on various platforms like YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. With the right title and description, having your video on YouTube will help rankings immensely. Directing users to YouTube instead of your own site might impact your conversions, but it’s a great strategy to promote overall brand awareness. You can always add a link to your website in the video’s description on YouTube, with a call to action urging viewers to visit your site.
Add More Text:
Google is a search engine that crawls text. So to have videos rank in search results, focus on the text of your video. As I mentioned, a good title and description including your keywords are essential. You should also optimise your metadata with words or phrases you want to rank for.
Also consider adding a transcript to your video, as this gives Google even more text to crawl. Adding a transcript can seem like a lot of extra work, but having it is a great SEO opportunity. Plus it might motivate you to script your videos ahead of time, reducing your workload.
Create a Good Thumbnail:
Your video thumbnail impacts the “clickability” of your video. Having a clear, striking thumbnail will attract viewers, like the cover of a book. The thumbnail is the first preview of your video, so make it as attention-getting and high-quality as you can; featuring a human in the thumbnail also has higher chances of being clicked.
To make a thumbnail that stands out, consider taking photos before or after the video is shot, rather than using stills from the video itself. This will ensure a higher-quality image and gives you more flexibility over how to arrange the photo.
Pair Videos with an Engaging Webpage:
If you make a great video that’s perfectly optimised for search rankings but host it on a page that’s not optimised at all, your video’s SEO will suffer. In addition, make the video the focus of your page. If users have to scroll down too much and crawlers have to hunt for the video, it won’t rank as highly.
In a similar vein, avoid putting too many videos on the same page, or put the one you want to rank first. Search engines stop looking for videos after they find the first one.
With these tips, you can increase the chances of your video being ranked in search results, whether that be YouTube or Google directory. Which helps your overarching aim of reaching more viewers and getting your message out to them.
Lorenzo Luiso is the founder of Brick Digital, a PPC and SEO agency in Hertfordshire. Specialising in growing businesses through search engine marketing and online reputation management. With an extensive history in online business, and an innovative approach to internet marketing Lorenzo shares his thoughts, tactics, and advice online through his SEO blog here.