Videos have a high capacity to draw attention, elevate brand recognition, and drive in more leads. A marketer’s journey towards business success must contain a foolproof video SEO strategy, that will optimize the videos for YouTube and other search engines.
There’s no denying the fact that videos enhance customer experience, as well as elevate a brand’s online presence. This happens solely because of the emotional connection a video can create. When a prospect is exposed to a video content that has a compelling story, captivating graphics and a smooth animation, it gets stuck in his/her head, creating brand awareness. Thus, videos are the main catalyst to boost your marketing efforts.
What is Video Search Optimization all about?
First and foremost, let’s broaden our views on what video SEO essentially means. Simply put, it is a strategical procedure to leverage videos to drive traffic to your website, and appear higher in search results. When videos are duly optimized, the chances of your appearing on the first page, increases. If your videos contain terms related to your business, that suggests optimizing your video content.
Importance of Video SEO
If you ask how videos can help your SEO strategy, the answer is simple. When your videos come up in the Google search results, people stream them as a trustworthy resource. With so many people viewing your videos, Google finds it as a content worth keeping on the top. Simultaneously, your brand is visible to so many eyes at a time, that enhances brand recognition. It’s win-win. Your chance of acquiring new leads grows, that you can convert with your other marketing tactics.
Each day, hundreds of thousands of video contents are produced. It is quite easy to get lost in the sea of such whopping numbers of videos. Your most promising bet is to optimize your contents with the best video SEO tips, that can help YouTube crawl your content.
YouTube being the prime juggernaut of social media and search, so ranking high on that video streaming platform is the aim for every marketer. One might find the numbers astonishing, but more than one billion users actively watch videos on YouTube, for over one billion hours each day. Such is the impact and influence of videos that cannot be denied.
The immense dominion YouTube currently has makes it a significant aspect for your Internet marketing and content marketing endeavors. Since video has become the most consumed digital media, if your business lacks a proper video SEO strategy, you are missing out a great many numbers of prospects.
Do I need a Video SEO Strategy?
Without a robust video SEO framework, it is difficult for your video contents to rank high, no matter how much value you add to it. And if the videos are not optimized, lesser is the chance of anyone viewing them, which in fact decreases your conversion rates. Gaining a lucrative real-estate in the Google and YouTube SERPS are paramount for a brand to carve a niche of itself.
So, if you are still doubtful as to why you need proper SEO to be done for your video contents, you may keep scrolling. Being a marketer, you may be aware of a few jargons like keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and the likes. But knowing an ultimate SEO strategy for video from start to finish is priceless!
We have compiled a few tried and tested video optimization and SEO tips and strategies that can help both your videos and your website get discovered by your prospects.
1. Optimize your Video Contents for Mobile Devices
Optimizing for mobile is perhaps the most vital way of taking your content in front of the world. Several pieces of research say that from 2012 to 2018, the total daily amount of time spent by an adult on a mobile device in the US alone, jumped from 88 to 203 minutes. What more exciting is, more than half of all video streaming happens through mobile device.
Hope these stats are enough to push you to get your videos optimized for mobile. Though desktops are still there and people do use them for work, most of the entertainment quotient is done through Smartphones. Videos targeted towards PCs are still a traffic source, but if you want your video to rank higher in the SERPs, mobile optimization is the key.
Just two years back, mobile viewing has surpassed desktop viewing regarding videos. And the truth is, this gap is widening with time. By the next two-five years, desktops will become obsolete, giving way to mobile devices. That said, your video SEO strategy must be aligned to the growing trend and ensure that your video contents are all responsive.
Now, the question that might come to your mind is, how can you do SEO for a video? It may sound tricky, but mobile optimization is not at all as precarious as it seems to be. There are a plethora of hosting providers that can extend their mobile optimization service for your contents. And this won’t make a hole in your pocket.
2. Manage your SERP presence for Quick SEO Results
Google observes everything. From the most current affairs to the frequent searches. It has a record of everything. It knows what its user wants and thus, it keeps on delivering the same. Given the reason, it has become imminent to be in the immediate notice of Google to reach and engage a wider audience.
How rapidly video contents have become a staple for the mass, this has also been noticed by the search engine giant. Nowadays, a simple “How to bake a cake” gives out results in videos. Because Google knows that people are more charmed by a video content on baking, than a textual article on it. One has to scroll two or three video results before coming to a blog.
Considering the paradigm shift in grasping information, videos quintessentially populate the first page of Google. So as long as your moves are right, your brand content can come up in the pages to enhance your brand visibility. Publishing a great video is one such move towards successful branding effort.
Since the crawlers cannot index the images and audios, everything depends on the supporting texts. If your videos are optimized enough, you have got plenty of engagements waiting for you.
Optimize YouTube channel with keyword-rich texts that match with the searches. For this, keep yourself updated with the newest keywords people use for searching a video. Also, notice your competitors as to what kind of keywords they are playing with.
3. Upload Transcripts to your Videos and add a Ranking Booster
Just as I had mentioned in the point above, texts are important for the Google crawlers to index your videos. Since the crawlers don’t register animation, insertion of captions and video transcriptions will add the substantial text, it needs to rank up and earn recognition from search engines.
Bearing in mind that Google is nothing but a database of texts, the more texts and relevant keywords you have in your video, the more it gets crawled. Video transcriptions function as page copy for the crawlers and are great fuels for YouTube SEO. YouTube gives a description field that fits 4,850 characters. This is a prime spot for Google crawlers to search and index your videos. So ensure it has enough keywords.
4. Leverage Social Media Networks and Enhance your Video Exposure
One of the most effective video SEO tips is to harness the power of social media. Even sometimes, when Google fails, social media (leading networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) helps in boosting your SEO. Marketers with year-long experience are kind of aware of this prowess of social media. And can testify the fact that SEO is more than what we associate Google with.
Users on Facebook, Twitter and the likes, vehemently find content that entertains them, as well as give them information. Such relevant contents when flash across them via videos and animations, the connection is immediate.
Videos break through the text clutter and give a gush of fresh air. That’s the reason we find videos to be consumed more than texts. You may find organic social media marketing for videos a bit hard initially. But when you get used to the flow, nothing is more ROI driven. Facebook often changes its algorithm; owing to which less than 7% of your target audience gets to see your post. But with videos, that’s not the case.
Given the popularity of video contents, Facebook has altered its algorithms and prioritize videos in its news feeds. Now anyone can share a video directly on Facebook. Native videos on Facebook perform better than shared YouTube links.
5. Optimize your Videos with Custom Thumbnails and ensure more CTR
If you want to boost your CTR then simply come up with captivating thumbnail graphics. Thumbnails that makes one stop scrolling are creative masterpieces. And that’s what you need to embellish your strategy. Thumbnails are the first things that a user sees about your video, when there’s no option for autoplay.
If you can grab their attention just by the graphic, be sure that they will click to know more about the video content. That is the primary function of an engaging video thumbnail. They significantly affect the rate of clicks on your video. Custom thumbnails also make your video stand out from the rest.
Target a keyword relevant to your niche and create a visual representation around it. That’s the door towards successful video optimization. Now with this comes the bigger challenge of choosing the right video thumbnail. There are a few best practices for enticing thumbnails that drive engagement. For e.g., the graphic must be in high resolution so that it doesn’t get pixelated.
The design must be colorful (try to align with your brand identity) and must not be a click-bait. Click-bait thumbnails are a strict no-no for ethical SEO. You may put a logo/watermark on the thumbnail to make it look professional. However, this is optional. One small rule of thumb is, make sure you don’t put anything of major significance in the lower corner of the thumbnail. Since YouTube shows the duration on that spot. Use perfect contrast with 16:9 aspect ratio.
And lastly, put considerable facial close-up graphics, as these work the best. YouTube will give three screenshots of your video to choose from. But it’s always better to use a custom graphic that explains the subject matter. You may also use some text as a visual cue for your audience. These are the tricks you can implement to optimize your video for search, mainly on YouTube.
6. Upload your Videos to Multiple Platforms for Additional Exposure
This is another golden tip to strengthen your video SEO strategy. The more you upload your videos to different channels, the more Google will crawl it. Which in turn, will increase the chance of your target audience to find it. Apart from self-hosting on your website homepage or landing page, do upload the video files on YouTube positively.
Because that video streaming giant is the key for your SEO success. Some marketers rely only on self-hosting, but unfortunately this practice is inadequate when you are eyeing at a higher rank on the SERPs. Though including video on your homepage is crucial for your website SEO and can also give your conversions an impetus.
But solely relying on it will prove ineffective in the long run. As mentioned above, share your video links to your social media handles for additional exposure and scope for higher ranking. Other than YouTube, videos can also be uploaded to Vimeo, Flickr, Dailymotion, Tumblr, Github, etc. The right kind of exposure is extremely needed to get higher ranks and acquire new prospects.
7. Keep an Eye on the User Engagement Quotient
Gauging the engagement quotient of your clients and users is one of the fundamental aspects of a meticulous optimization strategy for videos. The whole model of Google thrives on this concept. The nature of people’s response towards a particular content is what Google pays heed to.
Likewise, to understand how good your video is performing, focus on user engagement. The more your video contents can engage people, the higher is your chance of showing up in the Google search results. It’s that simple!
However, there are a few metrics that one must consider. For e.g.; the Session Watch Time. This happens to be a pivotal measurement factor for evaluating user engagement. YouTube’s prime motto is to keep people hooked to its website, so it wants more and more people to stay engaged with the videos. But did a viewer leave without watching a video? Or did a person watch one, or more videos in a day? This overall viewing session is a contributing factor for a proper YouTube video SEO.
The videos that keep watchers hooked to their content are mostly favored by YouTube and tend to rank higher on the channel. Next comes the User Intent. Understand the user’s intention behind a specific search, just like Google does. Google knows what exactly a person has in mind while searching.
If someone types “best ways to get more views on YouTube“, Google will come up with a result titled “10 Tricks to Grow your YouTube Audience with Zero Views and Zero Subscribers“. So use a title that answers the user’s intent, that will catapult your video content to the top of the SERPs.
Lastly, the Watch Time. Unlike to Session Watch Time that determines whether a video has been watched or how many have been viewed, Watch Time is all about the actual time spent watching a video but not the percent watched. Abiding by that principle, a 10 minutes video with 50% watch time will rank higher than 100% completion of a three minutes video.
The first 15 seconds is crucial to hook your viewers. So a video that shows how to prepare sushi in 10 minutes, must show the finished sushi nicely laid on a table. That will tickle the curiosity of your audience and make them want and watch for more.
8. Take Time for a Thorough and Well thought out Research
Research and Development – These two components are pivotal for any strategic framework to be built. And success comes from a well-researched approach. A video marketing campaign cannot sustain without through research and an effective SWOT analysis. Similarly, for an SEO strategy dedicated to video contents, also require bona fide exploration.
Building a video SEO strategy that delivers higher ROI and a visible upliftment in your conversions, demands some meaty fact-finding sessions. Consult experts and read resources that can give you the basic idea to start. Garnering diverse knowledge about video SEO is the beginning of a successful online business. Social media channels and open forums can give some fresh ideas as to how you can make your videos all the more reachable.
You might designate a professional SEO agency for the task, which is, of course, a best-recommended practice. But at the same time, knowing certain nitty-gritty yourself, definitely helps. Hunt for latest SEO tips for videos in various corners of the web – the more you research, the faster you can make amends to your ongoing video SEO plan.
9. Create Short and Relevant Playlists
Creating a Playlist is essentially the main YouTube tool that enables videos to play automatically. The videos you have synchronized in a playlist, those will start playing automatically without any click. This trick is effective in the sense, a person is exposed to all the contents you create without any efforts given.
This trick boosts views and user engagement rapidly. Sharing multiple videos at a time is amazingly easy through the playlist, by sharing a specific video link instead of a single video. However, your playlist must be short and relevant, consisting of four-six videos. Also, remember all the videos must cover the same topic or theme. Having a playlist is a great way to organize all your videos and entice new viewers. They can also be leveraged to drive additional session watch time.
10. Catch up with the Latest Trends
Keep pace with the latest stats and trends that prevail in the current digital marketing realm. But yes, sticking with the latest trends is useful, as well as dicey. Because aligning your contents to the current trend implies more relevance on your part. And relevance brings people closer to a content.
But the more you abide by the latest trends, you either increase your competition, or you become too common. Addressing current trends will nevertheless give you a good place on the search engines, so it’s better to follow that. And the best way to harness this under your control is to give a new angle to a popular pop culture.
Your video must not mimic the trend but serve as a fresh resource that the audience would love to spend time and watch. This strategy will elevate the status of your brand and your videos. After getting over-exposed to the same trends, when your viewers get something new and unique, rest assures that your video conversion will go north!
Give an exciting spin and showcase your originality through your video scripts. Your efforts for video SEO that talks about trends within your domain, will enhance your relevance on Google.
Optimizing your videos for the right speed is also highly important while chalking out an SEO strategy. A marketer must always optimize the video files to ensure a faster website load times. For this factor, the size and resolution of a file matter a lot. The ideal dimensions for a standard YouTube video is 1080p, or 1920 x 1080.
This is the highest HD resolution recommended by the network. Of course, the smaller the file size, the quicker the load time. But it is equally imperative to upload a high-resolution file. To reduce the file size don’t compromise with the quality of the video. Compress the files while keeping the image quality intact.
So Get. Set. SEO!
Well, to be honest, there are several more SEO tricks to boost your videos. But the ones mentioned above can help you start from somewhere. You must keep experimenting since SEO is a dynamic process that constantly undergoes change. Permutation and combination are much needed for any SEO campaign.
So, don’t be afraid to experiment. You might not get the desired success in the first go, but you will get to learn many things. So now that you are quite aware of a few extraordinary practices of video SEO 2020, start your journey now. SEO is no one-size-fits-all formula since every business is different and has a distinct niche.
You must already be aware of creating a search engine optimized website and web pages. So implement those techniques in creating an SEO strategy for your videos. Use your call to actions carefully within the videos to urge the viewers to take action. The overall goal for you should be gaining eyeballs for your videos, business will follow automatically. You may consult a professional agency to get such SEO-oriented promotional videos, that will make the viewers doff their hat!