Search engine optimization has come a long way over the years, with updates like Penguin and Panda driving new changes. Ranking your website takes more than building backlinks. It is more about churning out quality content that has the potential to attract links naturally over time. Moreover, it is also about creating content in diverse forms, including video content.
Sadly, video search engine optimization or VSEO is one of the most underrated forms of SEO. While brands and marketers realize the value of video content, they hardly prioritize it. They mainly focus on conventional forms like written content, images, and infographics instead. But it is high time to understand the significance of VSEO and optimize your videos for searches to achieve the best outcomes. Here is a comprehensive VSEO guide you can rely on.
Understanding video SEO
Essentially, video SEO refers to optimizing your video content to ensure it ranks high on video platforms for relevant keyword searches. It is much like ranking your content pages on search engines, But the strategies differ because you use a different content form (video instead of text). Moreover, the search platforms for VSEO have lesser-known ranking algorithms.
For example, you must learn how YouTube’s algorithm matches viewers to the videos they are likely to watch and enjoy. Expect it to be a challenge, considering that hundreds of hours of content clips are uploaded on the platform every minute. You must follow video SEO best practices to achieve high search rankings and visibility with your videos.
Best practices for VSEO
VSEO is much like conventional SEO, as you need to follow the search algorithms to know what works for search engines and viewers. But you must know the best practices that make videos (not text) rank. Here are some tips marketers can rely on.
Follow the YouTube search algorithm
Like Google, YouTube also follows a search algorithm to run its search and discovery systems. It sorts through loads of videos to identify the most relevant, useful, and informative results that match a search query. But YouTube’s algorithm does not stop here because it also follows the viewers along their journey. It considers factors such as what they watch and how much time they spend watching the specific content to understand their likes and dislikes. Getting your video ranking in YouTube searches requires covering both fronts.
Define your video content goals
Besides understanding YouTube’s algorithm, you must define your goals for creating video content. The primary objective for most brands is to generate a large number of quality backlinks for their website. You can achieve the goal by creating an exceptional clip and investing in a great outreach plan. Videos that offer something to the viewers have better chances of success. These may include a mix of the following-
- Educational videos and how-tos give an in-depth understanding of your industry and product to the audience. The goal of such pieces is conversion as they show the potential customers how to solve a problem with your product.
- Product demonstration videos are short videos that present your offering in a fun way. These content pieces are versatile as you can repurpose them for multiple channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Interviews with thought leaders enable you to position yourself as a niche leader and an expert. The objective of such videos is to elevate your reputation and create brand awareness.
- Case studies and customer testimonials include videos of successful projects and interviews with your happy customers. Case studies show the real-world instances of solving problems with your product. Customer testimonials boost confidence in your product, which leads to more conversions.
- Product reviews are typically posted on outside sources rather than your own channels. You can associate with an industry influencer to highlight the advantages of your product. It is a subtle form of promotion that generates new leads and increases brand awareness.
Educational how-to’s, explainers, product guides, and brand stories evoke a strong emotional reaction to encourage likes and shares and extend your outreach. Embedding a video on your landing page is a good option. Likewise, you may use rich snippets to convert through videos.
Know your target audience
Defining your VSEO goals gives you a good start, but knowing your target audience is crucial to creating attention-grabbing content. You must research your target audience to reach out to a loyal viewer base instead of random users. Audience research lets you understand the interests, likes, dislikes, and pain points of your target buyers so that you can create better content. Here are a few tips to know your target audience better-
- Go through customer feedback via feedback button to learn about common queries and concerns. You can seek input from your customer care team to get an idea of buyer pain points.
- Social media monitoring can serve valuable demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to build a buyer persona. You can rely on social listening tools to pick online conversations about the niche, brand, and products and analyze their authors. Go a step ahead by identifying the social media platforms they prefer, the topics they discuss, the questions they ask, and the content they share.
- Running a virtual focus group before publishing your first YouTube video is a good way to learn about the audience’s interests. You can offer free samples or discounts in exchange for feedback and use it to align the content according to expectations.
Knowing your target audience better enables you to understand the best topics to cover with your video content. You can solve specific pain points, answer questions, or even find ways to entertain the audience. Everything boils down to keeping them hooked and waiting for more.
Leverage existing resources to create authentic content
Authenticity is the key to creating compelling content that engages the audience and holds their attention well enough to fulfill your VSEO goals. But most brands end up believing that they require a hefty investment in equipment and entertainers to create perfect videos. Steer clear of this myth because you can even post videos filmed on a smartphone instead of a high-tech camera. You can even create them without presenters, so you need not pay a hefty sum to a professional host. The audience prefers to connect with real people, such as your employees and other customers. So leverage what you have and create authentic content without breaking the bank.
Follow a consistent publishing schedule
Maintaining a consistent publishing schedule is as vital as creating quality video content for your VSEO strategy. It works for your audience and the platform. The viewers have a fair idea of the timing of new videos, so they check your channel accordingly. Likewise, platforms like YouTube have algorithms that rank channels that upload the content on a schedule. Consider the audience expectations and your resources to decide on an optimal publishing frequency. Most independent YouTubers stick to weekly posts, but bigger brands do it more often.
Pay attention to YouTube SEO
You may have great videos to promote your products and brand and a consistent schedule to hook your audiences and video platforms. But you cannot expect YouTube to rank your videos by itself. The only way to take your videos to the top is by applying YouTube SEO strategies. Here are the ones you must consider-
- Power up the file name with a target keyword
Creating informative and valuable videos gives you a great start with VSEO. But you must go the extra mile with keyword optimization, just as you do with text content pieces. Begin by using the target keywords with high searches. You can rely on YouTube SEO tools to find the apt ones. Once you pinpoint a keyword, include it in the name of your video file. YouTube can read the file name and code, so your video has better chances of a ranking if its name has the keyword in it.
- Include the keyword naturally in the title and description
Including the keyword in the file name makes it visible to YouTube, and integrating it into the title does the same for the viewers. They are likely to click your video if they see a clear and compelling title which includes the keyword naturally. Videos with keyword-rich titles are also likely to rank in viewer searches. The same goes for descriptions, so you must research the keywords and place them naturally within the description.
- Use hashtags
Using related hashtags in the title and description is another way to ramp up your VSEO strategy. It enables viewers to easily find your video while they search for a specific topic. Optimizing your hashtags is easy because following a few rules is enough to make them work. Pick only the ones related to your clip. Less is more with hashtags, as saturating your description section with them does more harm than good. YouTube ignores all of them if a video has more than 15 hashtags.
- Choose an engaging thumbnail image
You can go the extra mile with an engaging thumbnail image as the searchers see it first when your video is indexed. A good one can actually make people click and view your videos. Consider it as the homepage of your website or the cover of a book you want the users to go through. Picking an appealing, relevant, and compelling image can significantly boost click-through rates. Experts suggest using custom human thumbnails as they have a better play rate than the other options.
- Create playlists
You may upload multiple videos following the same theme. Create a playlist to connect them instead of publishing them randomly. It boosts your chances to get them ranking high in the search results. Moreover, playlists can also increase the watch time since viewers are likely to stay longer with the content on the list.
- Use video-rich snippets
Video-rich snippets boost your VSEO strategy by differentiating your brand from other search results on the same page. Users are more likely to click your result and land on your website rather than the others. It translates into increased traffic that may lead to more conversions, sales, and brand awareness.
Embed the video you want to rank
VSEO is also about being aware of how to embed videos on your pages. Typically, Google indexes one video per page. So you ensure that the video you want to rank is first among the others on a page. Be selective and choose your best-performing video content because the search engine crawlers do not go beyond the first video. Experts recommend that optimizing for one video is a better alternative to having multiple videos on a page. Keep it focused on the video to make the most out of it.
Avoid embedding the same video in several locations
Besides putting one video on a page, you must refrain from embedding the same video on multiple pages. It is tempting to overuse a compelling and high-performing piece several times, but you may end up competing against yourself. It is probably the biggest waste of time and effort for your marketing team.
Ensure page relevance
Search engines prioritize relevance, and YouTube is not an exception. Think beyond optimizing your video to reach higher search rankings. If you embed it on a web page, ensure the page itself is also SEO-friendly. Relevance is the key, so the page featuring the video must be relevant to its content. Simply ensure that it relates to the video rather than having generic content. If there isn’t a connection between them, it is hardly possible to rank.
Think beyond SEO alone
SEO is a good way to promote brand and product videos, but you must not rely on it alone. Things can easily change because of the constantly evolving algorithms, and your videos may lose visibility sooner than you imagine if something goes amiss. The last thing you should do is depend on search bots to rank your video content. Consider investing in paid video advertising to take a strategic route. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads also give you a good reach, and they are far more affordable than search engine ads. Look for other non-paid strategies, such as having partners promoting your videos.
Besides these long-term VSEO tactics, you can follow some quick and easy short-form practices to go the extra mile. Let us list them for you-
- Figure out in the suggested videos
- Create shorts
- Leverage cards and end screens
- Follow up on likes and dislikes
- Try conquering “New To You” and Explore Feeds
Optimizing VSEO is only about creating great content and following the keyword optimization norms. If you know your SEO well enough, you can excel with video optimization too. The effort is worthwhile because video content can propel your brand by creating engagement, interest, and trust for the long haul.
More Frequently Asked Questions
What does video SEO stand for?
Video SEO refers to the process of improving the ranking, visibility, and outreach of videos in general or search engines. Ideally, you should try to get your video on the first page of search results with VSEO.
Is video content good for SEO?
Videos are far more engaging than text, and compelling ones can elevate your SEO results significantly. Video content can give your website a ranking boost, and more users are likely to click your website to yield an increase in traffic.
What is video sharing in SEO?
Video sharing in SEO is a technique of presenting your brand, product, and customer videos across video platforms. It also includes embedding them on your web pages and ensuring the feature in rich snippets so that the user clicks them and lands on your website.
How do I optimize my website for video?
Optimizing your website for video entails embedding videos on web pages. But you must not embed random videos anywhere. Ensure relevance to page content and optimize the file size to prevent slowing down the page loading speed. Also, limit the number of videos on one page because Google indexes only a single video per page.
How do I make video SEO friendly?
Making your video SEO-friendly involves several steps. You have to pick your keywords wisely and include them in the title of the video and the name of the file. You must also optimize your description, select a video category, use hashtags and eye-catching thumbnails, and add subtitles and closed captions.
What is YouTube SEO video?
YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your YouTube channel and videos. It gets them better rankings on YouTube. Since YouTube has a complex ranking algorithm, you must go the extra mile to achieve effective results.
How has video SEO changed?
Video SEO has emerged as an integral element of SEO over the years. Videos can hold the audience attention and hook them up for the long haul. The popularity of platforms like YouTube has also given VSEO a significant boost.