11 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search


SEO is quickly becoming the cool kid in the digital marketing block. Optimizing SEO now falls on the top of every online marketer’s list. However, as familiar as you may be with a solid SEO marketing campaign, you may be neglecting one critical element – online video marketing.

By the year 2012, the average human attention span was estimated to be 8 seconds. This attention span applies in written content but most especially in filmed content. You have to capture the attention of your audience even before they hit the play button. That’s why SEO video marketing is vital as we advance.

As it stands, the primary share of marketers relies on video marketing in their online marketing strategy. 87% of marketing professionals perfectly align with the statistics of users. Over 85% of internet users enjoy filmed content from one platform or another in the USA alone. This high number is not only seen in the Western world but everywhere.

You’re left with only one of two options as a professional digital marketing strategist. Either join the train and optimize your video marketing strategy or watch the ship departing and keep wondering why your business is stagnating.

Are you ready to up your video marketing game? Well, here are eleven ways to get you sailing.

Further Reading: The 13 Powerful Benefits of Video Marketing That Demand Your Attention

SEO is similar to taking the mic in a noisy crowd (image source)

First and Most Importantly, What is SEO Video Marketing?

What is online video marketing? Before that, we need to understand what SEO marketing is all about.

Imagine you’re in a noisy market trying to sell with all the competition around you. Where you are, everyone is shouting for attention, and at this rate, you’ll go back home without a single penny. So rather than shouting, you decide to get creative. You bring along your Dantax SX-80 vintage speakers and charm the people with some classic hits mixed with a bit of advertisement. Bull’s eye!

Well, you just pulled all the attention to yourself. If you’re the first to conceive such an idea, you can be sure that other sellers will soon follow suit.

That’s SEO marketing in simple terms.

However, in SEO, Google will decide whether they like your content enough to allow others to view it. As such, Google has a set of rules to determine which content will rank higher on their first pages. Follow the rules, make Google and other users happy, and you can be sure of fantastic results.

Many online sellers claim that the essence of SEO is to either generate backlinks to their site or enable brand awareness. However, all this is irrelevant if the kind of traffic coming your way doesn’t answer your calls to action. Eventually, SEO intends to sell. As a result, you don’t merely want to drive traffic to your site but incredibly high-quality traffic.

That’s where video marketing comes in. The year 2020 witnessed record film watching from consumers adding up to 23,000 years of video. That’s a heck lot of time watching video content. The question is, are you giving them the kind of clips they are looking for?

  • Are you humorous, or is your content lackluster?
  • Are you informative, or are you telling them something they already know?
  • Are you engaging your audience, or is it a one-man show?
  • Do you have anything shocking to convey?
  • If not, do you have something that will annoy them enough to come back to your site?

Perhaps one of the most thrilling clips that went viral and continue to translate to backlinks is the introductory video of Dollarshaveclub.com. Before posting the video nine years ago, no one had heard of the company. After some PR and a touch of social media video marketing, the video boasts 27 million views. The company continues to receive backlinks (like when we talk about it now.) That said, the founder of the Dollar Shave Club, Mike Dubin, had a video seeding background which worked to their advantage. But that’s beside the point. You don’t need to be a video guru to optimize SEO video marketing. 

To get you started on making high-quality content videos that translate to high-quality traffic, our team has researched and compiled these 11 steps to get you started;

1. Optimize your Video Content

The golden rule of digital marketing – Content! Content! Content! (image source)

Visitors come to your site to look for something new and meaningful. You need to start delivering on relevant content from the word go. Explain why the viewer needs to listen and highlight some of the advantages they will get from applying your solutions.

You may use your video content marketing campaign to;

  • Introduce consumers to your company and give them an insight into what happens behind the scenes.
  • Demonstrations on how to use your product or how your service works. Amazon takes this to a whole new level.
  • Shock your customers with news they never knew or exciting info about the product or service.
  • As you gain standing, trust, and authority, you can use your video marketing campaign to prepare your audience and build hype for upcoming events.
  • Aside from marketing your brand, you can give your customers generalized but meaningful non-brand content.

Estimates show that the typical internet user will spend an average of 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading online reviews before making a purchase. Mind you, they won’t spend all this time on a single blog or vlog. Make sure you give them adequate information before they move on to the next video. If you fail to capture their attention within the first minute, you set yourself up for failure.

2. The Purpose and Positioning of Video on the Page

Deciding on the content and purpose is the first step. Content will determine where you’ll place the video on the page as well as on what platform. Suppose you want to insert multiple videos on a single page. If that’s the case, then embed the most compelling video as the first one. Google will only index one video per page, and they have a liking for first videos.

If you have a long blog content that buries your video below, your readers may not be avid enough to go all the way down there. The video placement is of great importance and determines if your site visitors will access the content and watch it all the way through.

The purpose of a carefully crafted SEO strategy is to solve problems that will translate to a purchase. (image source)

Moreover, settle on the video hosting platform. If your prime goal is to drive traffic and gain new leads to your website, then you’ll need to be a little selfish. Only upload the video on your website. However, suppose you generally want to inform the masses and build up brand awareness. In that case, you can consider multiple hosting options such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Hosting on multiple platforms will reach a wider pool of probable clientele but could lead to lower organic traffic. However, if you opt for this route, you can work with a mass-upload service provider such as tubemogul.com.

3. Polish the Title and Description

Google’s algorithms may not be fully conversant with the spoken content in your social media video marketing campaigns. The algorithm may not manage to detect keywords in the video content. So how can you optimize SEO video marketing to rank higher?

Easy, polish your title and description. Google places a high value on the video’s title. And rightfully so. One of the first things that captivate your eyes mainly on YouTube is the title of any content. Indeed, the eyes can’t get enough of seeing nor the ear enough of hearing. Therefore, try as much as possible to fit the keywords naturally in your title.

YouTube will give you a maximum allowance of 1000 characters. However, you don’t want to fill this entire space aimlessly. If you’re going to provide more context for the video, maximize filling the first 100 characters with powerful content. Give the viewer no other option but to press the Read More link.

Further Reading: YouTube Video Optimization: Simple Tricks Beginners Can Implement To Rank Their Videos

Your audience should drive your content. Understand both they and their needs. (image source)

4. Make Maximum Use of Customized Image Thumbnails

Aside from the title, perhaps the other principle feature that allures your audience is the image thumbnail used. Custom thumbnails deliver the best results in terms of performance and engagement.  Your video content will receive a 30% higher play rate if you use a human custom thumbnail. Why? People relate best with other humans.

Customized image thumbnails are also more superior than generic stock photos in creating engagement.

Tips for Thumbnails

  • 1280×720 pixels for the image – that’s a 16:9 ratio
  • File size should be 2MB or lower
  • Supported formats are .png, .jpg, .bmp, or .gif
  • It should be relevant, compelling, and attractive.

Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words. Are you capturing that in your thumbnails?

5. Transcription Overrides Google’s Algorithms

Search bots may not listen in on your video marketing content minute by minute, by there’s something else that they can easily handle. The video transcript.

Aside from having higher ranking chances, transcripts add accessibility to the video content. Non-natives with difficulty in accent may fluently flow along with videos when transcripts are present. What’s more, if the video is on your website and is relatively long, the transcript will even boost the rankings of the video content. Instead of having a video on a blank page, consider using transcripts to provide more context and promote the SEO narrative.

6. Optimize on Video Clarity and Loading Times

Video clarity is another factor often overlooked by marketers. We recommend a variety of online tools that can help you make your videos clearer and load faster. Aim for at least an aspect ratio of 640 by 360 pixels. High-quality videos will work to your advantage but may eventually slow your loading times. An increase in loading time by five second is associated with a 90% bounce rate. You want to keep the bounce rate and exit rate at an all-time low. 

Lucky for you, you have a couple of online video compressors at your service, and some of them are absolutely free. Aside from compressing videos, other tips for faster loading and better video clarity includes:

  • Use MP4 or WebM video formats or other HTML5 supported formats.
  • Get rid of audio on muted videos to save on space.
  • Allow for easy streaming from the server rather than having visitors download videos.
  • Prioritize both web and mobile users.

7. Tagging and Categorizing Helps Especially on YouTube

Tags are not only necessary for users to find you but also help explain to YouTube and other video platforms the correlation between content and context. Thus, viewers are better able to understand what the video is about as well as YouTube itself. However, if you use irrelevant tags to spam the algorithm, Google will penalize you for this.

Tags and categories will place your content in the right audience hence better performance. (image source)

Categories work more or less the same way as tags. You can categorize your videos under YouTube’s “Advanced settings.” Listing your content under different categories will allow your upload to appear in multiple playlists. That’s a good move for visibility for any video marketing company.

Further Reading: The Top 11 Must-Know YouTube Tricks for Marketers

8. Consider Inserting Closed Captions and Subtitles

Much like the transcript and description, subtitles are also engaging content that helps your content ranking on SERPs. The beauty here is that you don’t have to rely on human transcription services to enjoy this option. Different platforms allow you to get and insert a transcript for your content automatically. However, the automatically generated closed captions are less professional and organic. The bots often might not capture what you say clearly thus fail to deliver a concise message.

9. Keep it Organic, or You’ll Face Google’s Wrath

Keywords play an important role in ranking your SEO video content. Not only should the title and description carry the main keywords, but also the file name. However, you may overuse keywords or simply insert them in a not-so-charming way. Consider the following two titles;

  • 7 Tips to Become a Successful Freelance Writer in 2021

and

  • Freelance Writer: Your Freelance Writer Guide to Become a Freelance Writer and Earn Money Freelance Writing

To begin with, your title should be a maximum of 60 characters. The first one is simple and conveys the message. The second one repeats the same message and tries to fool Google’s algorithms. Do you want to be the first or second creator?

10. Consistency is a GameChanger

Creating content is one step; regularly updating your site is another matter altogether. Your viewers value persistence. To demonstrate the power of consistency, Moz established itself in the industry as one of the leading SEO voices. Their Whiteboard Friday has become a phenomenal household name. They upload a video series every week on Friday. On one such occasion, their content received well over 1000 social shares, not to mention the 402 backlinks from 37 referring domains. That’s the kind of publicity you can’t take lightly in the SEO game.

To optimize SEO video marketing, you should be able to track the metrics. (image source)

11. Address Other Technicalities

Video marketing statistics show an epic rise in using films and short clips to relay content. By 2021, more than 500 hours of video content gets uploaded on YouTube after every minute. That’s YouTube alone. It would be in your best interest to address other technical details that may get in your way.

  • Include additional information concerning the page’s content in the URL. The main keywords featured in the URL will boost your SEO performance.
  • Create a video sitemap.
  • Be generous on the video length. It should not be too long or too short. 5-8 minutes is the recommended length as you embark on your campaign.
  • Keep track of critical metrics such as audience retention, exit rate, bounce rate, number of subscribers after watching, number of likes or dislikes. Use this information to make improvements in your SEO video marketing strategy.

Winding Up

There you have it – 11 game-changing SEO video marketing strategies that will get you on the right track. We’d be delighted to hear any other insights you use or questions you may have in the comment section below.

Here’s a secret many video marketing companies will not tell you. The first 24 hours after creating content are the most vital in your awareness attempts. Suppose engagement is low within the first 24 hours. In that case, clicks and ranking will generally be low throughout the life of the video. If the clip has lower chances of going viral due to its commercial nature, optimize an inexpensive advertising campaign.

How robust is your marketing strategy? Need help? (image source)

Remember that SEO may not be enough to boost visibility in your digital strategy. All the points listed above hinged more on SEO, including additional points generally used by marketers. However, suppose you still feel you need to take your SEO and video marketing campaign to the next level. In that case, you can reach out to a Fractional CMO with proven results. The future is now – let’s make it happen.

Hero photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Author Bio

Thomas Glare is an experienced copywriter and digital marketer with a master’s degree in media studies. He helps his clients identify their brand identity and core message, attract customers, and sell services. Thomas also loves blogging about marketing. It helps him to stay on top of all the emerging trends in the fast-changing world of advertising.



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