What is Video SEO?
Are you aware that video content is also a powerful tool to raise your SEO rankings? That’s right. By fine-tuning your visual content production through creative and technical adjustments, you can increase traffic and awareness - saving costs and manpower on advertising campaigns. But how can you get started in the world of video SEO?
Video content is the key to stand-out brand communications. Video can cut through the noise and illustrate your brand ethos, products and services, authenticity, and tone of voice in seconds through visual storytelling. As a leading video production agency, we’re keen at VidOps to show that the benefits of high-quality video content go far beyond visuals.
In this guide, we’re breaking down the basics, to give you the insight into video SEO that you need. You’ll be able to use these tips to implement video into your SEO strategy right away - allowing you to quickly reap the benefits!
What is Video SEO?
In a nutshell, SEO is the formatting of content to promote search terms and domain authority. Average consumers will only scroll through the first two pages of search results, meaning that if you’re not on the first two pages, you should be aiming for them.
Search engines such as Google and Bing use programmes called ‘crawlers’ to trawl the internet using a set of guidelines to score content.
Score highly, and you’ll push yourself up the page rankings of search engines for your preferred keywords, making your business synonymous with certain search terms. But score poorly, and you’ll be penalized meaning your ranking will suffer.
SEO is a huge industry, with marketers the world over understanding the need to improve their content to boost their search visibility. Most businesses are up to speed on how to format landing page content, blog posts, and pay-per-click promotions, but there are many ways that companies are missing out by ignoring video content as part of their strategy.
Why Do we Need it?
A critical reason to implement video SEO into your content marketing strategy is that it can increase your overall website engagement (a key factor in SEO rankings!)
When somebody watches a video on your landing page, for example, they are more inclined to spend more time on your site, as opposed to quickly scanning through a chunk of text.
Videos can also be used to quickly showcase your products and services to your customers, or explain technical features, or address common questions. When a prospect understands exactly what’s on offer, and its benefits, they’re more likely to click through your website for more information.
Likewise, if you mention that a video on your website addresses a technical issue or burning question, consumers are compelled to click through to the video, increasing your ‘pages per session’ score.
Time on site and pages per session were the two metrics recently found by SEMrush to be the second and third most important factors in SEO ranking (after high-quality content).
You’ll also find that video content:
- Reduces the much-feared ‘bounce rate’ (users immediately leaving a website page they have just opened)
- Reinforces your keyword strategy (through precise descriptions, titles, and alt-tags)
- And increases your index listing - meaning more quality content with your name on it available for crawling by search engines, and promoting visibility to search engine users!
How to Maximise Video SEO in 3 Steps
Essentially, there are 3 steps to ensuring maximum visibility to search engines. These steps will give you the best shot at boosting your rankings, whether you’re hosting the video on your website, or a video hosting site like Youtube or Vimeo.
1. Optimise Your Video Content
Start as you mean to go on.
Before creating your video, bear in mind what keywords you are hoping to rank for, and ensure that these are addressed in your video. The title is important, the script is important, and so is the description of the video.
The keywords need to be included- but don’t sacrifice quality information to keyword stuff. Relevance and quality are critical in SEO rankings and capturing your audience authentically.
A video production agency like VidOps will ask if you have any crucial keywords that you’re hoping to promote in your video content - this ensures that the content will align with your strategy.
You’ll also need to consider your ‘tags’ when uploading your video content. Tags work in the same way as hashtags in social media, to categorise your video and make your content easier to find for search engine users.
If you’re posting the video to your own website, make sure you post it at the top of the page, with any transcripts or descriptions underneath. Search engines prioritise the primary piece of content on a page, and this will be made clear by posting the video right at the top.
You should also consider hosting each video on its own page. This landing page should be appropriately formatted including a header, description, and header tags. Using separate pages per piece of video content allows search engines to rank you per piece of content, instead of just one video on a page hosting 5. Make each piece count!
This can get quite technical, but once you get your head wrapped around indexing, it shouldn’t prove a problem.
To qualify for ranking and boost your visibility, you need to make sure you’re included in the Index of a search engine.
Using a Schema in the backend code of your website is the key to indexing and making your video content visible. Video hosting platforms have these built-in, and you should always make sure that an embedded video on your website has the appropriate code. Many hosting providers offer this coding in their templates and formatting, but it’s important to understand so that you can troubleshoot if necessary.
Simply put, a Schema is a piece of HTML code that will display appropriate information to search engines. These can vary, but a successful schema will include:
- Name: A great title, with appropriate keywords
- Description: A limited space to sell your video. One sentence is usually enough, so be sure it’s a clear descriptor for customers and search engines.
- Thumbnail URL: Your carefully designed thumbnail should be uploaded, or search engines will pull a snippet at random. This will make sure you control the visuals of your video.
- Duration: This is very important to search engine users, as some people simply aren’t in the market for anything too long. Clearly mark the duration so that your ideal audience can find you.
- Upload date: Search engines require an upload date to authenticate your video.
- Transcript: A transcript can be included to highlight your carefully written script, and allow search engines to “see” the keywords and information not included in your description.
If you have a team that is proficient in HTML, none of this will be difficult. If, however, you’re building your website from scratch or part of a small team lacking a web-master, it will be reassuring to know that you can find out more about the process here.
You can also generate a schema in seconds using Sistrix. Simply copy and paste the link to your video and watch it generate your code for you. It’ll even remind you where it needs to be included to work correctly.
The final step will come as no surprise to those in marketing.
We need data.
SEO is a long-term strategy and you are unlikely to begin to see ranking results without consistent effort across a few months (at least!)
This means that measuring results is a critical part of optimizing your video content as you can track the ROI from your work.
Any good content strategy includes the KPIs the business is hoping to improve and use to measure success. The best tool to do this is Google Search Console, which can be adapted into dashboards giving you specific data for your video content.
As we said, you can keep tabs on ‘time on site’, ‘bounce rate’, and ‘page per session’ to give you some measurable insight into how your strategy is working. This gives you workable numbers and the opportunity to change anything that’s not working, without having to wait around to see how your rankings are affected.
Not so complicated after all, right? Video SEO is still an under-utilised tool for many businesses, but the benefits on offer to those who are willing to put in the work are enormous.
Try out these tips when planning your next video project, and boost your visual content marketing with ease.
At VidOps, we believe that video corporate video production should uphold any SEO strategy, and are dedicated to tailoring your video to meet your exact specifications.
That’s just one of the reasons we offer 24/7 service through our remote platform. You can access all your videos, edits, scripts, and idea boards at the touch of a button, giving you control over your projects, without ever having to leave the office.
To see how a VidOps project can work for you, book a free consultation with us today.