Business In News
It’s 2022, and video is bigger than ever. It has become the go-to marketing medium to communicate with and reach audiences across multiple platforms.
However, with so many companies leveraging the digital space for people’s attention, it’s easy for your content to get lost in all the noise. To ensure that your videos are easy for your target audience to find, they must be optimized to rank highly across SERPs (search engine results pages).
In this piece, we’ll focus on 7 key optimization areas you can work on to improve your video content’s discoverability and bring more eyes to your online presence.
Setting a Strong Foundation
Before deep-diving into the video SEO process, there are two vital optimization fundamentals we’ll be looking into first: video quality and keyword research.
Making Your Video Worth Finding
Ensuring your videos are easy to find is the end goal, but you have to start by creating a great visual content piece that will snag your viewer’s attention. Otherwise, all the effort you are about to make will be for nothing.
You can start by researching the type of video content that your audience likes, then use that as a blueprint to create a quality video that your audience will find appealing until you develop an original formula that works for your brand.
A good strategy for YouTube is to work on videos that teach your audience something relevant to their interest and also related to you and what you offer. A high-quality educational video like that is a powerful tool to have people finding and engaging with the rest of your content.
Approaching Keyword Research Effectively
While companies have to stay on their toes with ever-changing algorithms, one aspect of SEO that remains relatively consistent is the need for proper keyword research. It is the foundation of any SEO strategy and plays an essential role in key elements such as titles, transcripts and descriptions.
As you work on your video’s production, try and build a keyword bank. Keyword banks consist of short- and long-tail keywords, as well as primary and secondary keywords that are relevant to your industry.
Short-tail keywords are used for general search queries and usually consist of only one or two words. Long-tail keywords are used for more specific search queries, consisting of three words or more. Primary keywords are those that closely describe your business, products or content, while secondary keywords aren’t as specific.
There are many ways you can do keyword research for your videos. You could use online keyword generators or look at your competitor’s high-performing videos and see what keywords they’ve used. You can also use search engines themselves.
For example, if you go to the search bar on YouTube or Google and type in a search query, you’ll see that the autocomplete function provides a number of suggestions. These suggestions include phrases with the most popular keywords your audience uses when searching for products, services and information.
Optimizing Videos for Discoverability: What to Focus On?
While getting your videos to rank may appear intimidating at first, don’t be discouraged. It’s essentially like going through a checklist. So let’s review each component you’ll want to consider when it comes to optimizing your video’s visibility.
Which Hosting Platform Works for You?
An online hosting platform allows users to upload, store or play videos online. There are many platforms to choose from and the idea of the “right” one for you is largely dependent on the purpose of your video and your strategy’s needs.
Some companies use videos like short ads and whiteboard explainers to simply generate brand awareness or educate their audiences. In those cases, social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook can serve as great video hosting platforms and distribution channels all wrapped in one.
Moreover, this hosting alternative has become the go-to for companies that want to interact with their audiences and get in on any conversations, thoughts and opinions people may have regarding their brand.
The downside of third-party platforms like YouTube or other social media channels is that viewers will have to make the extra effort to reach your website by clicking on a link in the video, bio or description. Moreover, you have less control over your content, and sometimes less information in the way of limited metric reports.
So if your goal is to generate traffic or drive conversions, the obvious choice would be to use a self-hosting platform, such as your website’s servers, or use a hosting service that integrates with your site, like Wistia.
Optimizing Your Titles and Descriptions
When optimizing a website-hosted video to rank higher on Google, your landing page’s title tag and meta descriptions are two things you’ll need to work on and polish.
The title tag is the large blue text that appears on a SERP after entering a search query. Ideally, it shouldn’t be longer than 60 characters or it will get cut off. Meta descriptions go directly underneath the title and are 150 characters long. Think of it as a short, exciting sales pitch that convinces customers to click on your video. And be sure to include your primary and secondary keywords there too!
Meta-information is important for YouTube and social media-hosted videos as well.
The same keyword practices should be applied when optimizing their titles to rank higher in both Google and YouTube search results. YouTube videos can make use of meta descriptions as mentioned above, as well as on-site descriptions. These descriptions differ in the sense that they can be up to 5000 characters long, allowing you to add more detailed information such as website links or further insight into your brand and its offerings.
That said, for social media and YouTube, you’ll want to keep vital information in your descriptions above the “more” button that expands what the viewer initially sees.
Great Thumbnails = Higher CTRs
The more clicks and views your video receives, the higher it ranks. So the go-to question becomes, how can you maximize those clicks?
One of the best answers is with an eye-catching thumbnail!
When it comes to YouTube and Google search results, visuals and graphics are what people pay attention to the most, so your thumbnail needs to pop!
Views are just as important when gaining traction for social media videos and getting them to show up as recommended videos. So when your video appears on a user’s explore page, it should have a thumbnail (or an animated thumbnail) that draws them in and makes them curious to see what your content has to offer.
The Benefits of Transcripts
Transcripts serve two important optimization functions. Firstly, they can be used to create closed captions so that your viewers can watch your videos without sound. This is becoming especially important for social media and website videos as it lets brands provide content accessible even on muted devices.
Moreover, since transcripts are packed with loads of keywords (or at least they should be), it’s a good idea to add them to your video’s YouTube descriptions as well as your website video’s landing page. This will help improve your search engine visibility on YouTube and it can contribute to your website’s on-page optimization.
Another great optimization practice for video transcripts is to create subheadings known as video chapters.
Not only does this break the information up so that it’s easy to read, but it also makes it easier to include primary keywords and helps search engines to discover and classify your content. Remember that when ranking content, search engines prefer listed/ organized content as opposed to walls of text.
Get All of Your Tags in Ready
Tags have become an important element in most social media platforms to help users easily locate relevant content that meets their viewing needs. Moreover, it helps brands expand their reach by making their video content more accessible to target audiences that haven’t yet been made aware of their offerings. You can use the most relevant keywords you’ve researched to create both hashtags and YouTube tags.
Hashtags have become a staple on social media sites such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They should be included alongside your videos as you post or upload them. When a user searches for that specific hashtag via the search bar, your video will show up as a relevant content piece.
YouTube videos have a designated space for tags that serve a similar function as hashtags and keywords. Underneath the description box, you’ll see a textbox that allows you to add different tags that relate to your video’s purpose and/or industry trends. Doing this will help increase its discoverability when people type in relevant search queries in the YouTube search bar.
To Sum Up
An increase in video marketing across the digital space has made SEO essential for companies to get their videos to reach target audiences. Once you’ve created a high-quality video and researched the relevant keywords, you can begin the optimization process.
This includes refining video elements such as titles and descriptions, thumbnails, transcripts and tags to meet the requirements of the hosting platform on which the video is based. When done correctly, adding in these different elements will help you rank higher on SERPs and position your video within your audience’s reach.
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert and Founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.