What You Need to Know to Improve Your Video SEO

Video SEO makes your videos easier to find in search engines like Google. Here is what you need to know to implement SEO in your video.

October 29, 2023
5 min read
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What you need to know to improve your video SEO

As a video creator, your goal is to reach your audience and connect with them in a meaningful way. To do this, you need to make sure your audience is discovering your videos through online searches via Google, YouTube, and more. That's why video SEO is so important.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can sound complicated, but you can drastically improve it by implementing a few simple skills that ensure your videos are accessible and easy to find.

What Is Video SEO?

Search engines try to prioritize the best information. If you can rank #1 in a Google search, you probably have good SEO. On video content, search engines look at external metrics of engagement, keywords, and more. SEO is the art and science of "optimizing" your content so search engines will put your content at the top of search results.  

SEO is most commonly associated with content like blog posts and webpage copy. However, you can perform SEO on any piece of digital content including photos, graphics, and videos.

How Is Video SEO Different From "Standard" SEO?

Though some of the specific practices vary between the different types of content, the overall concept of SEO remains the same.

Search engines want to connect their users with the best content. Assuming your content is already high-quality, SEO helps these search engines understand what your content is about and shows them that your content is high quality. This applies to video SEO just as it does to text SEO.

What is different though are some of the specific practices that apply exclusively to video content. That's why we're providing some tips on how to improve your video SEO below.

Youtube: Your New Favorite Search Engine

When you hear the term "search engine", you probably think of websites like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. However, YouTube is also a search engine. In fact, it's the most popular search engine specifically for video content. It is also where the majority of videos are hosted online. For this reason, most of the tips below can be applied to improve your search ranking on YouTube. However, they can help you rank in traditional search engine results as well.

Google owns YouTube, so Google has a vested interest in displaying videos from its own platform. And even other sites like Bing.com will often display YouTube videos that are relevant to their users. Even if you host your video with a provider other than YouTube, the tips in this post should still help you improve your video SEO:

How To Improve Your Video SEO

1. Focus on quality content

The best way to improve video SEO is to make sure it is high-quality and relevant to your desired audience. This may sound simple, but it's at the core of improving your search ranking. Creating content for the sake of content generally just produces "fluff" and will not get you very far. If you can focus on providing value to your audience, search engines will want to prioritize your video content.

It should be well organized, clear, and concise. Consider asking for feedback from your audience and other content creators so that you continue to improve your quality.

Your video's introduction is also extremely crucial. Try to hook viewers in the first 15 seconds... those first few seconds are where your audience will decide whether or not they'll continue watching. With this in mind, make your introduction clear and succinct. These vital first few seconds should offer a preview of what they're going to get from the rest of the video.

2. Create longer videos to increase total watch time

An important way YouTube decides how to rank your video is by "total watch time." According to Brian Dean's video How to Rank #1 in YouTube, you should actually consider producing longer videos – that way you increase the potential amount of time a person watches your video.

If you think about it, YouTube wants to increase the amount of time users spend on their platform, so if you can help them do that, they will reward you for it. But you must focus on quality. Don't sacrifice quality for being long-winded.

3. Encourage viewers to like, share, and comment on your video

Search engines use metrics to determine whether or not your video is useful. The most useful videos are ranked higher in search engines. And one of the ways they measure this is by social engagement.

This includes engagement on YouTube – so you ought to dedicate a short segment of your video to remind viewers to like, share, and comment. This also includes engagement on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so be sure and share your videos on the social networks you use and encourage your followers to engage.

4. Determine your keyword(s)

Search engines use "keywords" to match search queries to all types of digital content. So it is important that you determine the best keyword before you even go to film your video (you'll find out why in the next point).

For starters, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience – what would they be likely to search for on YouTube or on Google to find the answers that your video offers? You can also use tools like the 'Keyword Planner' tool in Google Adwords or VidIQ to research keyword density and discover alternative keywords.

5. Say your keyword in the video.

Believe it or not, YouTube has gotten smart enough to listen to the speech in your video to know exactly what it is about. For this reason, make sure you actually say your keyword phrase at least once in the video (preferably in the intro). Also, be sure and use synonyms for your keyword and alternate keywords that you discovered in your research. All of these things will help YouTube determine what your video's main topic is, as well as provide alternate search terms that your audience may be using.

Adding detailed information to your video will make it easier to find.

6. Craft an eye-catching video title

To improve your video's SEO, make sure you pay special attention to your video's title. Your title needs to include your main keyword, and it should be eye-catching.

Not only does this help you rank in search results, but it also helps increase your engagement when you share your video on social media.

For a great tool for crafting your title for blog posts and videos, check out Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule.

Improve video SEO by adding the video transcript to the description field.

7. Write a detailed video description

Adding detailed information to your videos will help search engines categorize your video even better, making it easier to find. The video description is a great place to add these details in the form of a video summary or detailed outline. The description also should include your main keyword, as well as alternate keywords and synonyms.

Adding a video transcript to the description field can be a great way to accomplish this. Doing this automatically adds all of your keywords, and allows your viewer to go back and view shownotes.

Zubtitle is a great tool that can help with your video's SEO because it automatically transcribes your video. With this tool, you receive a transcription text file which you can simply paste into your video description.

Click here to use Zubtitle to improve the SEO of your next video.

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