Video content has skyrocketed over the past few years, and therefore it’s time to examine how adding SEO to your videos can impact rankings.
Video is everywhere and this is both a blessing and a curse, especially if you’re trying to stand out from the rest of the crowd at the top of search engine results pages. So consider the following video SEO tips to help put you ahead of the competition…1) Add value
As common as it may sound, your content should be relevant to your audience, adding value that will convince the users to dedicate the right time to watch your video. The more quality videos, the bigger the chances to serve as an authority, build a trusting relationship with your audience and increase the conversions.2) Host video to your own domain
If you are creating video content to improve the ranking of your site, then you need to host the video to your own domain, in order to ensure that search engines don’t direct the traffic to another site.
Let’s say for example that you prefer to upload the video on YouTube and add a link back to your site in the description. This may be a good idea if you’re trying to expand your reach, but in terms of SEO, search engines will crawl the Youtube video first, rather than your site.
Moreover, it may be a good idea to create a new page for each video, as Google mentions that this makes the indexing easier.3) Create interactive content
How about adding the necessary interactive elements to your videos to activate the viewers? Whether it’s the actual content, an annotation, or the caption, there are many ways that you can “gamify” a video to make it more interactive and engaging, helping grab the users’ attention.
You can even split the video into shorter clips, allowing your viewers to pick which one they prefer to watch, a strategy which has been implemented in many successful campaigns.4) Create relevant metadata
Your video should provide the necessary details to help search engines index it and according to Google, the title, the description and the thumbnail are the most important pieces of information.
Metadata offers more details about the video title, the description, the length of the video and its file name.
Video title has to be short and concise, while the description may provide more details and keywords, boosting the ranking of your content.
Last but not least, make sure the file name of your video is relevant, instead of a generic one like “video415.mph”, as this is another way to describe your content for search engines.
Here’s more advice on how to optimise video for YouTube.5) Optimise with keywords
Keyword research may also occur in video SEO and it may help you discover the most relevant content for your target audience. Is there a particular keyword, or phrase that could lead to better results? What’s the best way to describe your video?
Feel free to experiment with different keywords and always remember to create descriptive, but also legible content, helping both your audience, but also the search engines.6) Focus on the thumbnail
The video’s thumbnail is among the first things that users will notice and it might affect their decision whether they’ll actually click on the video.
How about picking a thumbnail that is clear and relevant to the content of your video?7) Make “shareable” content
It’s not just about creating an interactive video, it’s also about producing content that your audience will appreciate.
“Shareable” content is unique, creative and adds value for its target audience, making the sharing easier and the reach bigger.
It’s the quality of your content that will make your video stand out from the rest, and a clear call-to-action may also affect your site’s authority, with new links and mentions.
A full video transcript is the written version of your video and it can be very useful if it also includes the right use of keywords, helping search engines learn more about your content.
You can either include a transcript to the audio portion of your video, or you may also add it to the description box, along with the HTML of the page. This not only helps search engines to discover your content, but also the readers who may prefer an overview of your video.9) Create a video sitemap
A video sitemap provides all the necessary data about your video’s content and it provides the details the search engines need to get a clearer picture of its context.
A video’s sitemap is another way to present the video’s title, description, subject, duration and it may even provide more specific details, like an indication of the country restrictions, any expiration dates, platform restrictions or live streams.
It serves as an extension to your site’s general sitemap and although it may often be overlooked in video SEO, it is an important step to help your video’s ranking.
There are many ways to use an existing video and this may extend its “lifespan” and its reach.
For example, you may create a 10-minute video on your site, offering tips about video SEO. Your goal is to push this page to the rankings and increase the awareness and the traffic to your site.
Instead of simply promoting the particular page, which you should do anyway, you may also upload a preview of this video to your Facebook page for example, leading your audience to your site for more details.
Moreover, you can create an infographic, a slideshow, or shorter videos, all leading to the main source of content: your site.
It is a great opportunity to reach a wider audience and promote your main content, helping them discover your page in the most interesting and relevant way.11) Allow embedding of your video
If users want to embed your video to their site, or their blog, it means that they like it enough to include it on their page. This is already a win for your content and it may lead to a boosted page ranking on SERPs.
Thus, make it easy for your audience to embed your video, as you’re earning more inbound links to help your SEO efforts.12) Share on social media
Don’t be afraid to promote your content as much as possible to all the relevant channels, as this is the best way to spread word about it and reach the right audience.
This may lead to more viewers, new links, bigger traffic and of course, better positioning on SERPs.
Feel free to reach the right people that may find your content interesting, or even to use your network to promote it accordingly. Even paid promotion may be useful, if you think that this can contribute to your goals.
Social authority cannot be overlooked and in fact, it may be a great way to boost your video’s SEO efforts.Takeaway
There are numerous ways to apply search optimisation for your video content, but it all comes down to quality once again, as the starting point for your strategy.
It’s the actual content that will grab the audience’s attention and its optimisation can ensure that you are rewarded for your dedication with a higher position on SERPs.
Once you are creating relevant content of high quality, then it’s time to start applying the above tips to get your message noticed, both by users and search engines.
Tereza Litsa is a Writer at Search Engine Watch.
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