How to optimize your Videos for SEO

Video SEO is all about optimizing your videos to be indexed and ranked on the search engine results page (SERP) for relevant keywords. As we know, video is one of the most sought-after and effective content forms to convey your message to your audience. If optimized well for search engines, they are an incredibly effective way to make a significant contribution to your SEO efforts, in multiple ways. There are many optimization techniques to give your videos a better chance of ranking, and in this post, we hope to outline the key ones here. Let’s begin.


Where to host your video assets?

First off, you need to decide where to host your video. If you’re not too concerned about getting traffic to the website, but rather just want to get some brand awareness, YouTube or Vimeo may be options to consider. If you want to drive traffic to your own website for leads and conversions, then you have to self-host it and ensure it’s optimized and plays well.

You may wonder that Video SEO for search engines and SEO efforts for videos on YouTube might be the same given that YouTube is Google owned and the 2nd most used search engine on the web. However, do note that it has its own rules, keywords, and search intent. For example, searches conducted have a different intent…. they would not be transactional; rather, for YouTube, it would be instructional search queries.


Video SEO Must-haves for Ranking

Assuming that you decide to host the video on your website then here are some key things “to do” in order to rank your video on the SERPs.


Get an eye-catching thumbnail for the video

The thumbnail is what appears when someone searches for your video. It’s the first thing they see so it should grab their attention and entice them to click. Make your thumbnails relevant to the topic, eye-catching, and such that it immediately conveys what the video is about.


Upload your Video Transcript

Transcripts comprise the text that appears in your video’s closed captions. This is a very important step if you want your video to rank well, as Googlebot will crawl the text for indexing. It contributes/adds to the other text on your page and also helps people who can’t hear the audio to understand what the video is about.


Have a relevant title tag for the video

Your title tags are the words that appear at the top of the browser window when someone clicks on any link on your site. They are very important as they help determine how your video ranks on the SERPs. The title tag must contain your keyword or topic name so do some keyword research and write enticing copy for it.


Type in an appropriate Video Description

The concept of video descriptions is similar to the meta descriptions that you would use for your web pages for on-page optimization, but they’re used specifically for videos. Googlebot indexes video descriptions, so make sure you’re serving up what viewers want when they’re searching for your content. Write a short and concise description of your idea.


Include some relevant keywords

Embed the video correctly and ensure page content is relevant to it.  Embed your video at a prominent space higher on your webpage as you don’t want users to miss them. If there is more than one video, then do note that Google typically indexes only one. So, ensure that your main video is well-represented and is the focus of the page. Always try to keep the page content relevant to the video.


Final thoughts
The above best practices are applicable if you decide to host your video on YouTube too. These are very distinctively defined and available in YouTube Studio and in fact there may be additional fields to fill up which can aid the discoverability of your video. Besides solely relying on SEO to promote your videos, YouTube Ads is another option to spread awareness and drive traffic. Our 3-day hands-on digital advertising course is designed just for that.


Stay ahead of the curve with weekly updates

Get fresh insights about SEO, PPC, and social media to grow your business. Sign up for the newsletter today!

Instructor: Azhar Katib

About the author

Azhar Katib is the founder-director of WebSell Solutions Ptd Ltd., a company specializing in online presence management for SMEs in Singapore and Malaysia.

He has a background IT and Digital Marketing for the past 25+ years. He is also a trainer for Singapore SkillsFuture Programs