A Guide to Video SEO for Video Marketers

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Do you think you can name the top three search engines on the internet in terms of search volume? Google is obviously first, and next you’d assume come Bing and Yahoo! On the contrary, the second-largest search engine on the internet is actually YouTube. When you factor in that more than three billion searches are processed monthly on YouTube – not to mention other video sharing platforms like Vimeo and Dailymotion – it’s easy to see why optimizing your videos should be such a high priority.

Video SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your videos and corresponding information for higher visibility on video sites and traditional search engines (remember, Google, Bing et al. also return video search results). YouTube bots can’t watch your video – they can only make educated guesses about its content based on the information you provide. Let’s explore how to optimize that information so you can increase the visibility of your videos in search results. Higher visibility leads to more brand exposure, more views, more traffic, more leads, and more conversions. 

Optimize Your Metadata
The core of video SEO is metadata – your title, description, and tags. Remember, YouTube bots can’t watch your video. They rely on metadata to index your content, rank it in relation to other videos, and select suggested videos for the viewer. Think about it in this context: if someone searches “how to contour my face” and you have an awesome video on the subject, how will they find it if your description is blank and your title is “video001.avi”?  If you want to maximize visibility, do not neglect this step.

With your raw video file, choose a relevant video name and include tags and comments. Choose an eye-catching title that includes your targeted keywords. Compose a fitting description that covers all your bases. Add relevant tags using your targeted keywords and their synonyms. With the above example, your keywords will be terms like “contouring,” “make-up,” “beauty,” “cosmetic,” “facial contouring,” “highlight,” plus long-tail keywords like “face contouring for prom.” Choose an appropriate category, and build up playlists as your video library grows. 

Interactivity Matters
On YouTube, there are so many distractions liable to draw the viewer away. Don’t waste those precious few seconds/minutes when you hold the viewer’s attention. Be interactive and include a call-to-action. Keep your viewers on the hook and persuade them to watch other videos you have made, subscribe to your channel, subscribe to a mailing list, or continue to your website. I highly recommend including annotations and cards to reinforce CTAs. 

The Benefits of Transcriptions
Including a transcription serves two important functions. For one, including a transcription makes the video more accessible to hearing impaired individuals and viewers who are unable to listen at the moment. Additionally, including a transcription improves the keyword density on the page in a very natural way. Transcriptions will give your video a boost in terms of search engine indexing, improve accessibility for your views, and give you easy bonus content that you can repurpose elsewhere, like on your blog page. 

Beyond the Video
Your Channel
Everything mentioned above is critically important to video SEO, but the videos themselves aren’t the only thing you should be optimizing. When you upload a video to YouTube, it becomes part of your channel. Your channel is your hub, and it matters – especially as you grow a large video library. Do you want your channel to look like a default YouTube page? If not, then you need to start customizing and optimizing. 

Channel Art
Your first step should be to add channel art. Establish your branding by uploading your logo or a professional photo as your profile picture. Select a background image that represents what you do, what you stand for, or an image that resonates. Remember, any image you upload should be optimized! Include your brand name and keywords in the file name, don’t just upload IMG_00031.jpg. 

Your channel can serve two equally noble purposes: it can direct viewers to your videos, but it can also drive traffic to your website and social profiles. Add links to your website (which must be verified), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest pages. 

Draw additional eyes to your videos with a simple yet effective marketing strategy. 

The easiest thing you can do is set your YouTube channel to automatically sync with your social media profiles. This means that every time you upload a new video, it automatically appears on your other social profiles, ensuring your audience can find the new video right away. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to link to or embed your video across the web. Link to it on your own blog page, share it with Facebook groups, on forums, microblogging sites, and much more. When your video has value, you should never be self-conscious about spreading the word. 

Paid Placements
Finally, you can generate more exposure by investing in paid ads. You can manage YouTube ads through the Google AdWords platform and choose a budget and delivery method that makes the most sense for your goals (like generating impressions, views, or conversions).  

Measurement and Tracking
You can connect your YouTube channel to Google Analytics via a tracking code. From there, you can get a sense of your audience demographics, traffic flows, and behaviours. Track dimensions like the location of your viewers and browser type, and metrics like the number of plays and the percentage of viewers who finished the video. 

You should absolutely track your video’s rankings (where it places in search results on Google, YouTube, Bing etc.), however the internal tracking system is not currently capable. You will need to use an external rank tracking service for detailed ranking analytics. 

You put a lot of effort into writing a great script and producing a great video, using many tips and tricks you learned from ProductionHUB and elsewhere. Don’t let your hard work go to waste – these video SEO tips will ensure your video gets the visibility it deserves. 

About the Writer  

Brock Murray is a digital marketing specialist for seoplus+. He has more than a decade of experience with web design, web programming and online marketing.

For more information on seoplus+, visit: https://www.seoplus.ca/index.php

Main image source 

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  • Ritz said…
    Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:04 AM
    Hey, this is a great article for video marketers.

    Anyways, if you have transcription needs, let me know. I am looking for 10 users to try our beta site. I've been working in non-fiction production for a few years and we've now built Simon Says (https://simonsays.ai), a website for automated transcription and we are looking for users to test the site and give us feedback.

    Thank you for the space.
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