Unfurling our journey with the term that’s been creating quite the buzz in the digital world lately, “Video SEO.” Video SEO is an integral cog in the digital marketing machinery. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and when ‘video’ is appended to it, the term refers to optimizing video content for easy discovery by search engines. Video SEO is about striking the perfect balance between creating engaging video content for people and making it favorable for search engine algorithms. Now, that’s a winning combo.
Step By Step For Video SEO
- Understanding YouTube’s Search Algorithm: YouTube’s unique search algorithm pairs viewers with videos that align with their interests and viewing habits. It meticulously analyzes factors such as viewers’ watch history, likes and dislikes, duration of watch time, and feedback on content.
- Mastering YouTube Search Optimization: The ranking of videos on YouTube is determined by the relevance of the title, description, and video content to the viewer’s search query. Additionally, YouTube considers the watch time and engagement a video has garnered for a specific question.
- Optimizing for Suggested Videos: Suggested Videos offer a personalized array of videos that a viewer might be interested in watching next. To optimize for this feature, encourage viewers to watch another video in your series with compelling calls to action, utilize playlists, links, cards, and end screens to suggest the following video, and create a series of organically connected videos.
- Crafting Optimized Titles and Thumbnails: Titles and thumbnails serve as the initial point of contact between your video and potential viewers on YouTube. They should accurately depict the content of your video and create a sense of anticipation.
- Enhancing Descriptions and Hashtags: A description field is vital for helping viewers discover, understand, and decide whether to watch your videos. The initial lines of text should describe the video content using search-friendly keywords in a natural language.
- Optimizing for YouTube’s Home Screen: The Home Screen is the first thing viewers see when they visit YouTube.com or open the YouTube app. To optimize for this, maintain a consistent upload schedule, engage viewers for extended periods, and replicate successful strategies.
- Leveraging YouTube Shorts: YouTube Shorts are brief videos that last up to 60 seconds. Including #Shorts in your short video’s title or description can help YouTube’s system recommend your Shorts to a broader audience.
- Utilizing Cards and End Screens: Cards and end screens prompt your viewers to take action. Cards are preformatted notifications that promote your brand and other videos on your channel. End screens can increase watch time on your channel by directing viewers to another video at the end of your current video.
- Optimizing for “New to You” and Explore Feeds: YouTube introduced New to You to the mobile homepage to enable users to explore content beyond their typical recommendations. The Explore feed aids viewers on YouTube in discovering trending content globally.
- Optimizing Uploads and Playlists: A regular upload schedule can attract viewers to your channel. Playlists can help them quickly find more content they enjoy on your channel.
How Has Video SEO Changed?
Just as the digital world evolves, so does the concept of video SEO. Initially, stuffing your content with keywords might have done the trick. But now, search engines have become more innovative. They prioritize the viewer’s experience. Hence, the shift has been from simple keyword inclusion to the relevancy and quality of your content. This evolution means incorporating various strategies, so let’s dive into the big nine!
Making the Right Pick: Choose the Right Video Hosting Platform
Regarding video SEO, choosing the right hosting platform can be a game-changer. Whether you pick YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, or any other platform, it boils down to your goals. If you’re chasing maximum exposure and are okay sharing the spotlight, YouTube is your place. But if you want the traffic driven directly to your website, platforms like Wistia might be a better fit. Vimeo, for instance, achieved 80% faster page loads and 50% lower bounce rates thanks to good SEO practices.
Insert a Video Transcript
Importantly, video transcripts serve as a secret weapon for video SEO. They not only enhance accessibility but also provide additional content for search engine crawlers to index. By providing more context about your video, transcripts can enhance its visibility and boost its ranking on search engine results pages.
According to an article by Candace Aditya on LinkedIn, transcripts enable search engines to analyze your multimedia content and index it accordingly. A study by Liveclicker compared 37 web pages before and after adding transcripts. Pages with transcripts earned, on average, 16% more revenue than they did before transcripts were added. Adding transcripts generated more traffic, which in turn resulted in more gain.
The First Impression: Make Sure Your Thumbnail Image Is Engaging
An engaging thumbnail can be the critical difference between a click on your video and scrolling past it. It’s the visual hook that piques a viewer’s curiosity. Ensure your thumbnail is captivating and accurately represents your video content. After all, nobody appreciates clickbait.
In addition to being visually appealing, your thumbnail should adhere to specific technical guidelines to ensure it’s optimized for search engines. According to a recent update to Google’s video best practices document, at least 80% of your thumbnail’s pixels should have little or no transparency to enable video indexing. Your thumbnail should be transparent and opaque for the best SEO results.
Furthermore, the naming of your thumbnail file could impact your video SEO. While there’s debate among SEO experts about the extent of this impact, it’s generally agreed that using descriptive, keyword-rich file names for your thumbnails is best. This could help when a user conducts a Google image search and boost your video’s visibility.
The Headliner: Pay Attention to the Title and Description of Your Video
Just like a gripping book title, the title and description of your video play an integral role in capturing the audience’s attention. They should be informative, captivating, and, most importantly, include your keyword. In the vast sea of digital content, your title and description can make your video stand out.
Ensure the Rest of Your Page Is Relevant
A video does not exist in isolation on your webpage. The surrounding text, images, and other content should all be relevant to the video and optimized for SEO. Cohesive content delivers a superior user experience and paints a clearer picture for search engine algorithms, boosting your page’s SEO ranking.
First Things First: Embed the Video.
If you’re posting multiple videos on a single page, remember this golden rule: The first video you embed is most likely the one search engines will choose to index. So, choose wisely and place the video you wish to rank higher at the top of the page.
Make the Video the Focus of the Page
Your video should be the star of your webpage. Keep it above the fold, ensuring visitors see it without scrolling down. This positioning not only improves the viewer’s experience but also signals to search engine algorithms the relevance and importance of the video.
Utilize Schema Markup
Semrush suggests that video schema markup can significantly enhance your SEO by making your video more discoverable and comprehensible to search engines. This can lead to higher click-through rates and better user engagement. The process involves adding specific tags to your HTML to provide detailed information about your video content. These tags include elements like the video’s title, description, duration, and URL.
On the other hand, Google’s guide on structured data for videos provides a comprehensive overview of how to use schema markup for videos. It explains how Google Search can be an entry point for people to discover and watch videos. While Google tries to understand details about your video automatically, you can explicitly provide information, such as the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration, by marking up your video with VideoObject. Videos can appear in Google Search results, video search results, Google Images, and Google Discover.
Google also provides examples of how to add structured data to your videos, including standard video-rich results, LIVE badge, video host carousel, Clip, SeekToAction, and more. It also provides guidelines to follow when adding structured data to your videos, such as general structured data guidelines, video best practices, video sitemap guidelines, livestream guidelines, carousel guidelines, Clip and SeekToAction guidelines, and more.
In addition to the benefits of schema markup, it’s essential to consider the evolving landscape of search engine optimization. Google, for instance, has recently introduced a new feature called “Google Perspectives,” which aims to provide a more personalized and human touch to search results. This feature, as explained in a StudioHawk blog post, offers a variety of perspectives from different voices, including short-form and longer videos, images, and written posts shared by real people and content creators on discussion boards, Q&A sites, and social media platforms.
This development could mean a broader audience reach for video content creators as their content won’t be confined to the platform where they create it. Google can now help further distribute it to its Search users. However, this also means that the pool of potential competitors for creators is about to get a lot wider. To stand out, creators should make quality content that shares their unique expertise and experience.
Regarding SEO, Google Perspectives places strongly emphasizes generated content, quality, and originality of content, and personal experiences and stories. This means social media platforms, discussion boards, and Q&A sites could rank higher in the SERPs. As a result, businesses and content creators may need to rethink their content strategies to include more user-generated content or to engage more actively on these platforms.
Social Media and Video Marketing
In recent years, social media short video marketing has become a hot topic in academic circles. The appeal of this type of marketing lies in the characteristics of short videos, which include high entertainment value and ease of production and sharing. Research has shown that enterprises’ use of social media short video marketing can significantly influence consumers’ brand attitudes.
Video SEO aims to make your video content easily discoverable by viewers and search engine algorithms. It’s a combination of various strategies and techniques that, when done right, can significantly improve your video’s visibility, engagement, and overall performance.
Staying on Top of your Video SEO
If you need to become more familiar with SEO for all media types, we recommend staying on top of Google’s changes. Google is constantly adapting to user search behavior and updating its search engine. With every change, Google aims to become faster, more efficient, and more helpful.
By partnering with an SEO agency, you can benefit from expert SEO specialists without spending time researching. At Studiohawk, we’re constantly maintaining Google’s trends and changes to provide the best services for your website. Contact us today to learn more.
Liu, G., Gao, P., Li, Y., & Zhang, Z. (2019). Research the Influence of Social Media Short Video Marketing on Consumer Brand Attitude. Proceedings of the 2019 5th International Conference on Social Science and Higher Education (ICSSHE 2019). Retrieved from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Research-on-the-Influence-of-Social-Media-Short-on-Liu-Gao/e4aa702b2f9bfb044fb7d2236fc6bfd37724e0b9