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How to Optimize Video Content: 13 Essential Video SEO Tips

Lights, camera, and get ready to start rolling!

Over 61% of businesses use video content as a marketing tool. As more people continue heading online to watch and stream videos, more businesses are stepping up their video marketing strategies.

If you don't know how to optimize video content for search engine optimization (SEO), however, people might fail to find your video entirely.

By learning how to get rankings in Google with video content, you can boost traffic to your site. Then, more people will learn about your brand, so you can boost your business.

Here are 13 essential video SEO tips to help you strategize. With these tips, you can start attracting potential customers to your website, wow them with your content, and boost sales. Get started with these tips!

1. Choose the Right Platform

With over 3 billion searches every month, YouTube now has a higher search volume than, AOL, Bing, and Yahoo combined. Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine online, right behind Google.

Before choosing a video hosting platform, consider your goals. Why do you want your videos to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs)? For example, you might want to optimize video content to increase traffic to your site.

Other businesses prioritize leads. 

Is your main focus to develop your brand as a thought leader in the industry, or to build brand awareness?

Once you determine a specific goal, you can determine a platform. For example, YouTube and Vimeo are the best options is you want to focus on brand awareness. Once Google indexes your video, the traffic will go to the platform, not your company website.

If your goal is to increase on-site traffic so you can get leads, you'll want to explore other options. 

2. Know Your Audience

Before you start shooting videos, you need to consider who you're shooting them for. Your target audience can determine what type of video content you create. After all, you're trying to spark their interest.

You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, or Semrush to complete your keyword research.

What content are your customers search for? What questions are they asking, and what problems are they trying to solve? Understanding your audience's search intent will help you create content that aligns with their searches.

After all, there are many video styles to choose from, including:

  • Product reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Company culture videos
  • Tutorials/Walk-throughs
  • Profiles
  • Interviews
  • Q&As

Once you have a strong list of keywords, you can start creating videos that are optimized for those keywords.

However, it can take time for your videos to start ranking. To increase your chances, it helps to cover a range of different keywords by producing multiple videos.

3. Check Out the Competition

If your research feels incomplete, check out the competition. What keywords are your competitors ranking for right now?

Go ahead and watch their videos. Take note of what qualities draw your attention. Consider the type of information they provide, and how they engage viewers.

Don't forget to look at their titles, descriptions, and tags as well.

Then, take a look at their channels.

Studying the competition will help you recognize which strategies are working, and what falls flat. As you learn more about video SEO, you can become better at catching certain trends. The insights you gather can help you improve your SEO and your rankings.

In time, you'll stand out from the competition by ranking higher on SERPs!

4. Establish a Strategy

Instead of creating videos at random, get organized. Here is a list of items to consider for your video marketing strategy:

  • Establish your brand across your YouTube channel
  • Determine which topics you'll cover within your videos
  • Maintain a list of keywords that are relevant to what your viewers are searching for
  • Determine how long each video should run
  • Consider how often you'll release new videos
  • Discuss how you'll promote your videos online

As you continue making video content, your video marketing strategy will change. You can use YouTube's insights and review the analytics to see which videos generate the most attention. Then, you can alter your strategy as needed to keep your viewers engaged.

5. Type Out a Transcript

Think about the last time you watched a YouTube video. Often, captions appear alongside the video so you can read the script without playing the audio.

Adding a transcript will ensure viewers can still learn from your videos, even if they're at work and can't play sound. It helps you optimize video content for bots to skim through. These bots will check your transcripts for the keywords your customers search for.

Think of transcripts as page copy.

Adding the transcript also makes it easier for viewers to skim through your content. If the video aligns with their original search, they'll continue watching. 

Don't forget to consider including a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your videos as well. A CTA will encourage viewers to take a specific action, such as subscribing to your channel or emailing for more information. Make sure it's specific.

You can also use urgency ("Now!" "Today!") to add a fear of missing out (FOMO).

6. Update the Imagery

When people scroll through Google's videos and YouTube, it's the image that catches their eye first.

In order to effectively attract viewers, make sure your thumbnail image is eye-catching and engaging. A creative thumbnail can help you stand out from other videos on the page. Otherwise, your competitors might get the attention you deserve.

Make sure the thumbnail is relevant to the content and uses a high-quality image.

7. Check Out Your Title & Description

To optimize video content for SEO, your target keyword should appear in the title, meta description, and tags. 

Adding your keywords here tells bots and viewers that your content matches the search intent. 

Write a title that encourages people to click on your video. Then, pair it with an informative description that gives viewers an idea of what your video is about. 

Don't forget to make sure your keyword appears naturally within the description.

However, it's important to make sure you don't stuff your content with keywords. This is considered a blackhat SEO strategy that could result in a penalty.

8. Tag It

YouTube allows users to add tags to videos, which can help you rank for those keywords. Remember, YouTube is a search engine like Google. By adding tags to your video, you're telling YouTube and viewers your video is relevant to the original search.

9. Step Up On-page SEO

Many people post their videos as a blog post on their company website. As you post videos to your blog, it's important you optimize video posts for SEO.

Your keyword should appear in the:

  • Post title
  • URL
  • Body text
  • Header
  • Alt tags
  • Meta description

If your video SEO isn't optimized with keywords, search engines will fail to find you. 

You also need to consider the page itself. For example, Google now uses mobile-first indexing when considering page rankings. You'll also need to make sure your page loads quickly.

A slow-loading website can scare off visitors, which can impact your ranking. 

Use this SEO checklist to improve your pages.

10. Make the Video the Star

Google tends to index one video per page. If you intend on posting multiple videos on a single page, place the video you want to rank for on the top.

Then, make sure the video is the star on the page. 

A video that's hidden below the fold or at the bottom of the page won't attract attention. Don't make people hunt for your content. Instead, place the video above the page to improve your video's crawlability.

11. Don't Embed the Same Video All Over

Instead of embedding videos on multiple pages, give it one designated place to shine.

Otherwise, you're basically competing with yourself! 

Instead, give each video one dedicated page. This will improve your chances of ranking higher (and keep viewers from feeling confused). 

12. Start Promoting 

Almost 50% of internet users looking for video content related to a product or service before they head to a store. In order to make sure these customers find your videos, promote it online!

In addition to embedding the video in a blog post, you can also share your videos across social media. Increasing traffic to these videos will help improve your video's SERPs ranking. 

13. Optimize Your Channel

Don't forget to optimize your YouTube channel for SEO as well. 

After all, you want visitors to view more than one video. In order to optimize video content, think of your channel as another place to promote your business. 

To optimize your channel:

  • Use a unique header image and profile picture
  • Write a strong channel description
  • Encourage people to subscribe
  • Create a trailer for your channel
  • Organize playlists that autoplay to keep people watching

Don't forget to add keywords relevant to your business within your channel description! 

How to Optimize Video Content for Wow-Worthy Reactions: 13 Essential Video SEO Tips

Now that you know how to optimize video content, start rolling! With these essential video SEO tips, you can improve your ranking and start attracting new subscribers.

Expand your digital kingdom! Contact us to take your business to new heights today. 

Headshot of Nik Paprocki, head of growth at WebSuitable.
Nik Paprocki
Head Of Growth
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