6 SEO Tips to Skyrocket Your Video Marketing Strategy
Thanks to the availability of broadband Internet, video content has become enormously popular over the last decade. That has caused video marketing to become more and more popular with savvy businesses in particular as a result.
This, coupled with the fact that marketers began to get their hands on cost-effective, high-quality DSLR cameras in the late 2000s, made it significantly easier than ever before to produce impressive videos and get them online. Suddenly, you no longer needed a degree in videography to make an impact with your target audience – you just needed the right equipment and a free YouTube account.
With the explosion of video, however, it’s also become much harder to guarantee that your content is ranked well in the universal search results.
Harder… but certainly not impossible.
With the right approach, it IS possible to help make sure your videos always rank at the top of the search results. Not only that, but it’s likely far easier than you might be imagining. All you need to do is keep a few key SEO best practices in mind and make sure you’re focusing your attention on the right areas.
1. Insert a Video Transcript
This is one of those tips that may seem straightforward and even overly simple… but the impact it can make is profound.
As smart as crawlers are, they still can’t comprehend video content. By inserting your video transcript alongside with your video, crawlers can index the context of your video, which will help them show your video to more searchers on search results pages.
But more than that, consider the fact that the vast majority of your users are going to be engaging with your video content on a mobile device. Indeed, this is true of even over-the-top service providers like Hulu or Amazon Prime. They’ll be listening on their lunch break or during their morning commute and they may not always have headphones – which means they may not actually hear your video. They’ll just see it.
Because of that, transcripts are one of the most effective video marketing tools that you have available to you. It makes sure that people can still understand and enjoy your content, regardless of how they choose to interact with it.
Not only does adding video transcripts make your videos more accessible to a larger audience for that reason, but they also make your videos more “scrapable” by search engine bots because there is no additional text on the page that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
2. Make Sure Your Thumbnail is Engaging
This might seem simple – but the importance of having a compelling thumbnail is something that it is literally not possible to overstate. Thumbnails are the difference between a user actually engaging with your videos on your site, and a user leaving your page as soon as they land on it.
People tend to form an impression in fractions of a second – meaning that from the moment they encounter your video collateral for the first time on your page, they’re going to know almost immediately whether or not they actually want to devote time to it. An attention-grabbing title will help swing things in your favor, but an engaging thumbnail can really help push them over the edge. Think about OTT platforms like Netflix and YouTube that give you countless movies and videos to choose from at any given time. How do you pick what you’ll watch for the evening? Simple – you probably gravitate towards those options with the most compelling thumbnails.
Wistia, for example, found that their videos with custom thumbnails (meaning ones that were carefully selected and designed) tend to receive a 30% higher play rates than those without. This higher click-through rate also directly impacts the engagement rate, thus empowering the ranking on Google as well.
3. Make Sure to Include the Word “Video” In Your Page Title
If you want people to discover and enjoy your content, you have to let them know that it exists in the first place. Simply including the word “video” in the title of a page will go a long way towards accomplishing exactly that.
Including the word “video” on the page that you embed your video content on will again not only drastically increase the content’s click-through rate, but it will also help your page rank higher on Google as well. Keep in mind that according to one recent study, video content is literally 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than just plain text alone.
4. Embed the Video You Want Ranked FIRST On Your Page
A lot of people don’t realize that thanks to the way Google currently works, the search engine typically only features one video per any given page on the search results pages. This means that you could include 10 videos on the same page and all of them could be equally enjoyed by your target audience, but it ultimately won’t matter – only that first video will show up in the search engine results pages.
This is not to dissuade you from including more than one video on a page if the situation calls for it. Just know that if you are including multiple videos, make sure the one you actually want to rank is included first.
5. Don’t Embed the Same Video in Multiple Places
Along the same lines, make sure that you NEVER embed the same video in multiple places. You’d think it would help that content rank, but in reality, the opposite is true.
If your page and the video contained on it are both relevant to one another, and your ultimate goal is to get that page and video ranked as highly as possible, there’s no sense in embedding that video elsewhere. All you’re really doing is competing against yourself, which could cause keyword cannibalization and ultimately HURT your page ranking, not HELP it.
Likewise, after Google’s recent Diversity update, the search engine giant only allows one to two pages per domain to rank on its first search results page anyway. So don’t make things needlessly difficult for yourself.
6. Consider Adding Video Schema Markups
Finally, consider adding schema markups to your page – which are a type of structured data that are literally written to help search engines “understand” the content and structure of your pages.
Schema markups allow you to go into greater detail about certain qualities of your video, including the name, a description, the duration and more. Never forget that search engines are built to help people find what they’re looking for in the most efficient way possible. Schema markups are a great way to help them in that goal, and you can read more about how to implement them on your own pages right here.
But maybe the most important thing for you to understand about all of this is that it will be a combination of these techniques that helps usher in the stronger results that you’re after. Not only do you need to account for all of these factors, but you also need to do them for every single video you create.
Is the process time-consuming? From a certain perspective, yes. But it’s also absolutely worth the effort, especially when you see just how powerful your video marketing strategy has become when built upon the rock-solid foundation of these types of search engine optimization best practices for video.
At that point, you can simply focus the entirety of your attention on creating newer and more relevant content on a regular basis. You won’t have to worry about people actually finding that content – that part will more or less take care of itself.
Author: PJ Taei
Bio: PJ is the founder and president of Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video creators and businesses to distribute and monetize their video content online.