It takes time and effort to produce quality video content.
So it’s disappointing when you upload a video and it gets almost no attention. SEO requires a slightly different approach for video than it does for other content – here are a few ways you can optimize your videos so they’ll rank higher in search engine results.
1. Spend extra time on the description. Google’s algorithm doesn’t actually watch your video, so it relies on metadata information to decide what the content actually is. The more detailed and accurate your video description, the more information search engines can latch onto to know how to rank your video.
2. Include a transcript. YouTube’s automatic captions are hilariously bad at best, and can be embarrassing or even damaging at worst. Including an accurate transcript of everything said in your video not only helps the hearing-impaired and those who are watching videos without sound, but it also helps search engines know what topics are being discussed.
3. Place keywords carefully. Craft your video title and description so that they accurately reflect the video’s content, but also pay attention to natural use of keywords. As with other SEO, don’t go overboard, but do make sure you research what keywords people are searching for, and add those to your metadata in moderate doses. Bonus tip: you can get an extra search boost by adding a keyword into the filename of the video before you upload it.
4. Create custom thumbnails. Most video services give you an option of two or three random frames for your video thumbnail, but they’re rarely as good as what you could make yourself with a little extra effort. A compelling and relevant thumbnail will greatly increase click-through rates, thus helping your video to rank higher. Keep in mind that thumbnail images are relatively small, so the subject of the image should be simple, well-lit, relevant, and enticing to the viewer.
5. Be smart about embedding. If your primary tactic is to place videos on your website, make sure that you’re paying attention to general SEO as a whole. There’s no point in having a great video if the page you put it on is badly-designed and difficult for search engines to see. As always, keep your content high-quality and relevant to the keywords you want to rank for – don’t just add a video into a generic page template thinking that the video will do all the work. Google usually only indexes one video per page, so you can either limit your videos to one per page, or place the most important video at the top to give it ranking priority.
Fine-tuning your video SEO can be challenging – we can save you time and money by helping you get it right the first time!
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.