Video SEO and how you can rank on Google

The techniques applied when implementing SEO for a website are different from those applied to a video SEO. Video SEO is nothing like website SEO.

According to a 2017 report, over 60% of YouTube videos that appeared on Google had a different ranking hierarchy on YouTube. Despite strategizing, optimizing, and editing videos, some of the videos that ranked on Google failed to rank on YouTube and vice-versa. So, what must have gone wrong?

At Seattle New Media, we have a team of SEO professionals, experts at optimizing videos for search engines. As a digital marketing agency based out of Seattle, we encourage our team to constantly updates themselves with the changing strategies to offer our clients the best.

Before we find out further about the strategies to optimize videos for search engines, let us learn more about video SEO.

What is video SEO?

Video SEO helps in optimizing videos and video content pages so that these videos appear in the search results whenever a relevant or related keyword is searched for.

When we say video SEO, what exactly are we optimizing?

  • Visibility of our website in video and universal search
  • Visibility of our videos on social media platforms, which covers a brand’s social presence within the search engines

Having a video on YouTube is not your one-way ticket to improving your website’s rank within search engines. Unless a video is not properly optimized according to the video SEO guidelines, your website cannot rank with the video – regardless of the platform you choose.

Though Google indexes and ranks YouTube as a default option, keep in mind that this is not a “preferred” option. A lot of work is involved in optimizing videos for search engines.

Let us understand the types of queries (process involved) that will return video results, thereby helping the video rank on Google.

  • [keyword] video
  • How to [keyword]
  • [keyword] tutorial
  • Tour of [keyword] (usually city name)
  • [Movie title] review
  • [Video game] review

We did a little research of our own with the above queries. We could understand that over 95% of the videos that appeared in the search results came from YouTube.

Evolution of video SEO

Now, video marketing has become a trend among businesses. Anyone who had a passion for creating interesting videos could create a video and upload it online – without the need for any particular specialization in doing so. Marketers have started taking advantage of this passion for creating high-quality videos and uploading them.

But, getting them to rank in the universal search results has become a challenge. According to Phil, a Video SEO Expert, “All websites can rank in the video tab, but not all can rank in universal search with a video.” Getting a video whitelisted is challenging when compared to getting a video indexed on the video tab.

Implementing video SEO to drive traffic to websites

Creating a video and then working on optimizing that video for search engines could be challenging. Only if your videos rank higher on Google can you drive traffic to your videos from the search results pages.

Below are some tips to help your videos rank higher on Google:

1.   Are you using the right platform?

A lot of time goes into deciding the platform to post the video. This decision is determined by several factors when it comes to video SEO. Besides YouTube, you can choose from an array of platforms to host your videos. Just like YouTube, the videos hosted on other platforms are accessible to all viewers, regardless of their geographical location, and search engines.

A video on YouTube will make it appear for relevant search queries on that platform. A video with interesting content can go viral. However, relying on YouTube for traffic is not recommended as YouTube doesn’t focus on driving traffic to your website.

According to Google’s John Mueller, Google hardly focuses on factors, such as the platform used to host your videos. But he emphasizes the importance of having the same SEO value for every embedded video as that of hosted ones.

In short, if you are looking to drive traffic, choose platforms other than YouTube to host your video. But if you are looking to improve your social following, YouTube would be an ideal choice.

2.   Have you done keyword research for your video content?

Just like website SEO, you can plan your video SEO strategy starting with keyword research. Research and see what are the trending topics in your niche. Think of what kind of questions people would have in their minds about your business and its services or products. Your video should have content that is the answer to all these queries.

Viewers often use certain terminologies with regard to a particular product or service. Include those terminologies in your video content. This is where keyword research will come in handy. When researching, you’ll also be able to find videos that are returned for your search query. In that case, you’re moving in the right direction. Don’t choose a specific topic because it sounds interesting. Make your choice based on how you can add value to your viewers’ lives, thereby driving traffic.

3.   Thought of inserting a video transcript?

The captions (text) that appear with a video are referred to as video transcripts. These additional texts on the page make the videos scrapable for bots, making them further accessible to a wider audience. According to Phil, “transcripts act as page copy, making your text more indexable, thereby improving your ranking for a greater number of queries.”

For longer videos, it is ideal to include transcripts as these can enhance the chance of improved rankings.

4.   How engaging is your thumbnail image?

Your video’s thumbnail is the first thing that the viewer will see when a video is indexed. It is one of the decisive factors that make a person click on a video.

5.   How interesting is your video?

Remember that Google will index only one video per page. It is better to keep a page dedicated to your video. Search engines will not rank a video unless it is clear as to what this video is about.

Limit the number of videos you post per topic. It is ideal to keep one video for each topic, listing only that one video on that particular page.

6.   Do you have content relevant to that video?

The rest of the content on the page should be dedicated to the video. Also, don’t forget to optimize the page for SEO. If the page is not SEO-optimized, Google will not rank it.

You can focus on creating high-quality content and put together all other SEO components in place. This will drive traffic.

Again, if the video is irrelevant to the page where it is embedded, it will not rank. So, everything should fall in place – the content and video – to drive traffic.

7.   Do you focus on writing relevant titles and descriptions?

What kind of titles do you use for your videos? It is important to ensure that you have great titles, describing your video. Also, the title should be appealing to the viewers if you want them to click through.

The titles should not exceed the limit of 70 characters. Do not keep creating multiple videos under that particular topic as it would be challenging for search engines to pick a video to rank.

Summary

Video SEO is important to rank higher on Google. Some of the following tips will help you to rank your videos on Google:

  • Choosing the right platform to host the video
  • Keyword research
  • Inserting video transcripts
  • Using an engaging thumbnail image
  • Using only one video per topic
  • Writing relevant titles and descriptions

Seattle New Media is a Seattle SEO services provider, offering all kinds of digital marketing services. We focus on implementing the latest SEO tactics to take your website to the top of the search results.