Is there anything video can’t do? It informs, entertains, educates, helps your website rank higher in searches. What? You didn’t know about that last benefit? Video SEO is not the same as other kinds of SEO. A video can make your website or channel easier to find. We don’t just mean in a video search, we’re talking about a higher ranking even in a universal search. The way search engines and their related algorithms use video has changed significantly in the last few years. It’s time to take advantage of video SEO.
What is Video SEO?
Video SEO is the practice of optimizing your video so it will rank higher on search engine results pages. Video rankings are based a number of ways your video performs for users. For example, how long are users watching your video and staying on your web page? Do you have keywords related to your video and are you using them correctly? If you take the time to optimize your video, you can increase the chance of it showing up in search results. A video that’s well-optimized can increase its chances of scoring a front page Google spot by a factor of 53!
How Google Ranks Video
The goal of every business is to show up on the first page of a Google search. The dream is to show up as the first result—that is, after paid ads. Google ranks videos for relevancy and authority. Relevancy judges how relevant your video is to the search query and user intent. Authority is a measure of how many people trust what your video says, measured by backlinks and domains that reference your video.
Let’s look at a how-to video as an example. This kind of video ranks highly in video SEO. That’s because a search for how do I tie a bowtie? will likely result in a video called How to Tie a Bowtie. This result perfectly is relevant and exactly the information the user wanted. Google digs through video descriptions to find the best answer to a query. With the right description, including relevant keywords, a video can be a featured snippet. Dream achieved!
How YouTube Ranks Video
We all know YouTube is the place for videos and the second largest search engine in the world. So it should be no surprise that studies show 88% of videos on the first page of Google are from YouTube. When it comes to ranking, YouTube puts engagement at the top of its list. Engagement is determined by actions such as watch time, shares, likes, and comments. Video SEO is also ranked by how well the title, description, and video content align with the search.
Help your video rank higher by doing a little research. Consider what you would type into YouTube to find your video or information on the topic covered in your video. Use YouTube suggest to see a list of relevant queries and to see the keywords other similar videos are using. You can also add up to three hashtags on a video description that appears above the video title. Use every opportunity available to get your video ranked in a search result.
Title + Description + Page
Remember how you did that research to see what keywords are ranking for your product or service? Now it’s time to put them to use. The title and description of your video is the first opportunity to boost video SEO. Really think about the words you use here to cash in on relevant language that engages the reader. When the video shows up in a search, you want that person to be compelled to click the link.
Placement is also important for video SEO. Choose a page related to the video and make it the focal point by placing it above the fold. When a searcher clicks on your result, you want that video to be front-and-centre on the page. If they have to search for it, they may give up. Finally, keep the video on a single web page so it’s not competing against itself in rankings.
Tips to Make Your Video Rank Higher
Keywords are an obvious way to help video SEO. But there are some other tricks that can float your video to the top of the results list.
- Transcribe your video. Making your videos accessible to a larger audience and scrapable by search bots with additional text on the page.
- Shorter videos get better completion rates, leading to a higher ranking
- Put video on multiple platforms so that it’s ubiquitous
- Native uploads lead to more shares and a higher ranking
- Keep video metadata relevant and updated so it’s efficiently crawled by search engine bots
- Submit a video sitemap to Google along with some information using webmaster tool for better page indexing
- Choose a good, engaging, eye-catching, representative thumbnail for your video. This is what the searcher will see first to decide whether to click through.
- Insert your target keyword in your video file. This is another way you tell search engines what your video is about rather than a string of random number and letters.
- Optimize video descriptions. YouTube displays the first 125 characters, so make the most of them to engage searchers.
Raise Your Ranking
Video is no longer an afterthought when it comes to search engine rankings. Pay as much attention to how you index your videos as you do the rest of your content and ride the ranking wave. But remember this: without a video, there is no video SEO. Call us today for a free quote on a piece of content that will help people find your business.