So, you heard all the buzz going around video marketing and decided to give it a shot. You spent some time putting together an awesome explainer piece that reflects your company or recording a series of educational tutorials to share on social and nurture your online reputation.
You are all set, right?
Well, there’s a catch – People have to be able to find your fantastic new video easily, or all that time and effort can go to waste! So, how do you manage that? Well, the best way to increase your videos’ presence online is being aware of your good ‘ol pal Google.
Google can be very generous – awareness-wise – if you use all the available SEO tools to position your content on the search engine results pages… And very stingy if you don’t!
If you have your video ranking up on those lists, and it will have a better chance to deliver those results you are after: Connecting with your audience, delivering your message, and improving your site’s performance at the same time.
However, for that to happen, you need to tackle some specific SEO tasks to see it through. And that’s what we’ll be covering here today!
1. Choose The Right Hosting Platform
The first thing you’ll want to consider is your new vid’s hosting platform, and there, you are spoiled with good alternatives. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth it to take a closer look.
It might be an obvious choice because of its almost two billion users monthly and for being the web’s second-largest searching engine. But the main reason YouTube is unbeatable when it comes to search engine results is that it belongs to Google, a good father who will prioritize its son before anyone else.
So, if you are aiming to rank higher with your video and spend zero dollars in the process of uploading it, YouTube is the way to go. Besides, it allows you to know your audience’s interests better through YouTube Analytics, so you can detect which kind of content makes them click and stay.
Less popular sometimes means unique. That is the case with Vimeo, a video hosting platform with similar SEO optimization features as YouTube, but that aims for a more specific crowd. It also has fewer subscribers, which in time might translate into fewer competitors.
If you don’t need your video to go mainstream but instead want it to rank higher among a particular audience, a platform like Vimeo will give it the boost you are looking for. You should also keep in mind that it allows you less free disk space than YouTube (up to 500MB) and that you can acquire more by becoming a paid Premium member.
Although not as known as the other two platforms, Wistia has exciting SEO features to make your video more ‘findable’ in Google’s search results. For instance, it allows you to embed it on your website with a code so that the platform can add the metadata (title, description, thumbnails, and more) to your page’s header. You can also add transcripts to improve its SEO efficiency even more and includes a host of marketing-oriented features that can help you get the most bang for your video’s buck.
2. Write Effective Titles and Descriptions
SEO-effective titles should contain relevant keywords to your subject, but also –and more importantly-, keywords relating to content that your viewers will find engaging.
In other words, videos’ titles shouldn’t look like they were selected purposely to rank higher. More often than not, if you force a keyword into a headline, people can tell (and might feel sort of betrayed).
Descriptions are the other crucial part of your video’s metadata, with the power to boost SEO, subscribers, watch time, and view counts if used right.
Usually placed below your video, use your video’s descriptions to provide an overview of your content. Preferably, you should include specific terms at the beginning of the text. After that, the goal is to sound as natural as possible and include CTAs and links to your online presence and other content.
3. Pick Your Thumbnails with Care
Just like the trailer to a new movie makes you want to watch when done right – or avoid when done wrong! – a video thumbnail is that ‘hook’ that will engage your viewers or drive them away.
Never rely on an automatic selection for this! Always select or even design that preview yourself.
Different niches favor different styles when it comes to thumbnails, so you might want to take a stroll through high-performing pieces in your particular industry and emulate what’s working for them.
4. Use Transcripts and Closed Captions to Enhance Performance
Without a doubt, transcripts are the extra mile your video needs to walk.
Through them, you will make your content more accessible since many viewers can’t always turn up the volume to listen to it. But in SEO terms, it is especially convenient to transcribe what is said and done in your video to make it crawlable by search bots.
If you are using YouTube, those texts can be included by using YouTube’s automatic transcription services. Just remember that you should check that the spelling and grammar are on point and edit them if necessary once finished.
You can always also type it out yourself.
5. Optimize Your Video Landing Page For SEO
If you have a great video but a horrible website, you won’t get good results.
So, even before you embark on that video production adventure, make sure that the piece will inhabit a high-quality environment first. Otherwise, search engines will skip it, and your investment will go to waste.
There are plenty of ways to boost your landing page’s SEO, but the most basic one is to include well-researched keywords through your content and drive more views to it using email marketing strategies.
Also, long-form content usually ranks high in search engines, as long as it has valuable and useful information for your targeted audience. So, it can be a great idea to use a thorough blog piece or website write-up as a companion piece for your vid.
6. Prioritize Videos for Embedding
Whether you are an already established brand, or a fledgling startup looking to make their mark on the market, there’s a rule of thumb when it comes to embedding videos on your website: you should pick one and only one piece per page and make it the centerpiece.
Having several videos distributed all over your page will inevitably scatter the attention they get individually. So, prioritizing the best one and giving it all the visibility on a given page is often the best way to go. Save the rest for another battle.
This is particularly important for product description videos on eCommerce setups, where you want your video to reinforce the page’s singular purpose.
It might also be a good idea to give that one-of-a-kind video a stellar place on your site, making it accessible to click on and easy to be found by search engines. Often, great videos get hidden in layered pages on your site’s navigation or can only be discovered after an exhaustive scrolling down session that few will want to take part in.
7. Remember: SEO Is Just the Start
Since Google is in a constant state of change in its rules when it comes to algorithms, you shouldn’t rely just on organic SEO to guarantee your videos’ performance.
Videos are an excellent tool to power paid ad strategies, and they can work alongside organic traffic generators in a complementary fashion: Paid ads bringing awareness to your vid and the content having them stay and move further down your conversion funnel.
Then there’s the topic of social media and how incredible videos perform in that arena. Definitively something you should also explore in your quest to improve your video’s exposure.
To Sum Up
To ensure that your video marketing strategy is effective and your pieces rank high on SERPs, you’ll need to SEO the heck out of them! If you combine that with a high-quality piece that represents your brand and message flawlessly, you’ll have on your hands a powerful, attention-grabbing combo.
Mind your video’s hosting platform and where you choose to embed it, its thumbnail, description, and its positioning on your site, and you’ll be giving your awesome video every chance of success – and reap the benefits from it of course.
Give it a try, and you will discover that this effort pays off!