It is frustrating to spend time and money producing videos, only for them to receive very few views. To put yourself in the best position to increase video views, optimise your video content for search engines. Video SEO can help your videos rank well in search results, getting more eyes on the content in which you invested.
I have prepared seven tips that will help you to SEO your videos.
What is video SEO?
Video SEO is the process of optimising videos to appear in search engine results and improving these videos’ organic rankings.
Why is video SEO important?
Search engines, such as Google, often show videos in search results for relevant queries. Not optimising your videos to appear in search could significantly reduce the number of views your videos receive.
Essentially, video search optimisation ensures that videos are accessible to search engines and can communicate the content of the videos in a format crawlers can understand.
Top SEO tips for videos
Make sure search engines can access a web page with your video
Firstly, ensure that your video is embedded on a page that search engines can access. You should not block crawlers from accessing the page. Also, link internally to the web page with the video so that search engines can discover the page simply by crawling your website.
Allow search engines to access the video file
Not only should search engines be able to crawl the web page with the embedded video, but the video file itself should also be accessible to crawlers. Allowing access to search engines will enable them to understand the content better and create video previews. Do not block the video file with robots.txt, and do not noindex the page. Also, use a static URL rather than an expiring one.
Use a keyword-rich title and description
Make sure that you include your target keywords in your video title and description. These two pieces of information are some of the most important, helping search engines determine your video’s content. You still need to write your title and description for humans, so make sure they are enticing but place your keywords where possible.
Submit video sitemaps to search engines
You can use a video sitemap to help search engines find your video content and provide them with more information. Video sitemaps can tell search engines what the video title is, the description, the thumbnail and more. You can find out more about how to format video sitemaps here.
Use video structured data
You can use structured data to provide information to search engines about a video. This data can be added to a page in a variety of ways, including JSON-LD and microdata. You may need a developer for this if your website does not currently have the functionality to add video structured data. However, if you are using a platform such as WordPress, then plugins such as Yoast SEO can help to add structured data to a page without needing web development. You can find out all about video structured data over on the schema.org website.
Include a video transcript
A video transcript is excellent for web accessibility as well as SEO. Transcripts allow search engines to understand the content of a video, and the additional text on a web page increases that page’s relevance for associated search terms. Yes, producing a long video transcript can be time consuming, but it is worth the effort.
Create an enticing video thumbnail
Google uses click-through data to determine which search results are most relevant. So, the more clickable your videos are, the higher they are likely to rank. To do this, create enticing thumbnails, as this is one of the first things people see when searching. Look for inspiration on YouTube for examples of great thumbnails. Perform a search to see which videos have the most views and if there are any common elements you can see in their video thumbnails that you can use for your own videos.
You should now have a much better understanding of how to optimise your videos for search engines. If you have any questions, please do post them below.