How to Optimize Video for SEO

By on March 14, 2018

If you’ve even so much as glanced at the latest internet marketing research, you know that video content is the future. In fact, views of branded video content have increased 258 percent on Facebook as of June 2017. But how can you increase the marketing efficacy of your videos? Did you know that video SEO can increase how often your videos appear online and boost your views significantly?

If you didn’t, don’t feel out of the loop. Video SEO is still a relatively new form of Search Engine Optimization, so not all businesses are aware of this internet marketing strategy just yet. But, the benefits of SEO for video content are staggering and there’s no better time to start implementing these optimization methods than today.

So, what are the video SEO best practices? And how can you ensure that you’re optimizing your videos in a thorough and systematic way?

In this article, that’s exactly what we will break down for you, so that you can feel confident in your ability to market your business properly using video content.

Are you ready?

Here is our complete guide for perfecting video SEO:

  1. Pick a Primary Keyword

Think about the video you will be sharing online. What is it that you want your viewers to learn about from this video? What is the key topic or subject matter? The answer to this question will help you determine what your keyword should be for video SEO purposes.

For example: if your video will be discussing the best techniques for applying gel nails, your video SEO keyword might be “gel nail tutorial” or “how to apply gel nails”. Since “tutorials” or “how to” videos are very popular amongst YouTube viewers, these types of keywords are more likely to be searched and yield greater results.

Once you have decided what your primary keyword will be, you can use it to create the foundation of your video SEO.

  1. Add Your Primary Keyword to Tags and Video Description

When optimizing a video for performance online, you have to ensure that your primary keyword appears in the places where search engines are most likely to find it. Two of these key areas are in your tags and in your video description.

Youtube tags are metadata keywords that help users find your video. The more closely a YouTube user’s search phrase matches the tags in your video, the more likely your video is to appear.

For example: if a YouTube user searches for “gel nail tutorial for beginners”, and your YouTube tags include “gel nail tutorial” and “beginner”, your video will most likely appear in the results that the user is given.

YouTube no longer displays video tags to viewers who watch your videos. However, if you are curious to see what tags other YouTubers in your industry are using, you can install the Tags for Youtube Google Chrome Extension. This extension shows you what tags are being used on any YouTube video, even though YouTube now “hides” this data in the back end of their site.

Video descriptions are exactly what you think they’d be: the description that a YouTube user sees below your video that describes what will be covered, talked about, or shown in your recorded content.

Below is an example of a YouTube video description by Nail Career Education:

You will notice that the content creator included the terms “Gel Nails” and “Tutorial” in her video description, which are likely the keywords that she is optimizing for.

In order to effectively implement video SEO for your content, you’ll need to include your primary keyword in both of these locations when uploading your video to YouTube.

  1. Fine Tune Your Title

Did you know that if your video’s title is longer than 66 words, your title will be cut off when it appears in Google search results? It’s true!

Below is an example of YouTube video results when you search “gel nail tutorial” on Google:

Notice that the video with the longer title ends with an ellipsis, with the remainder of the title being cut. This is less than ideal for your video SEO results.

You want YouTube users to be able to see exactly what your video is about, so always keep your titles below the 66-word count and always include your primary keyword in your title.

For example: “The Ultimate Gel Nail Tutorial for True Beginners” would be an effective title, since it follows both the 66-word rule and includes the “Gel Nail Tutorial” primary keyword.

  1. Use Captions

YouTube provides every content creator with the ability to turn on video captions. When turned on, YouTube will automatically transcribe your video based on the language it is spoken in. For example, if you are speaking English in your video, YouTube will transcribe your video in English once you have selected “English”. From there, you can sync the transcription with your video.

Now anyone who is hard of hearing or watching your video without the sound on can read along as you are speaking.

Why is this important? Once your video has captions, your content is more likely to appear in searches from all around the world, since YouTube can now transcribe your video into any language.

YouTube provides a full step-by-step guide to implementing automatic transcription here.

  1. Make Your Thumbnail Pop

Thumbnail images are one of your most persuasive tools for getting YouTubers to watch your video. If your thumbnail image is captivating, your video SEO receives a rocket-fueled boost.

Why?

Because thumbnails are one of the most influential reasons why YouTube users decide to click on videos, after search engine results. If you use your Thumbnail right, people will want to know more about your video and what happens in it.

For example: Below you will see several results for gel nail tutorial videos on YouTube. One of the content creators edited her thumbnail to be more engaging, the others did not. Thus, the highlighted video is more likely to be clicked on based on Thumbnail appearance alone.

Why is this thumbnail more likely to be clicked? Because it includes the keywords “Gel Application Tutorial” and it sells the convenience of the tutorial by stating that it is “Fast and Easy!”.

Of course, if other channels have a higher number of subscribers, their videos will be viewed more times, since once a user has subscribed to your video, each new video you upload appears in that person’s subscribed feed. This is the equivalent to being friends with someone on Facebook and seeing their status updates appear in your newsfeed.

Wondering where to find examples of great thumbnail templates? Design Wizard has a fantastic selection to choose from that you can customize and make your own.

However, with effective thumbnails, you can build your subscriber base over time by drawing in more search traffic than your competitors. A perfect video SEO strategy!

About Claire OBrien

Claire O'Brien is the Marketing Manager at Design Wizard. Claire has more than 10 years experience in content creation including visual content, digital marketing, email marketing, social media and advertising. She has an avid interest in all things digital and software related.
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