Videos can attract a ton of inbound links and social shares if done right. Video is the most-consumed digital content format out there, so if you’re not making videos, you’re falling behind. Like blogs and landing pages, videos can be optimized for search engines in order to rank better. You may not immediately think about SEO when it comes to videos because it’s not as straightforward as a text-heavy medium like a blog post, but there are many ways you can add SEO value to your video content.
Optimize Title and Description
Make sure your video description and title include keywords while staying clear, interesting, and clickable. Don’t just fill the space with as many keywords as you can—this makes you look spammy. Instead, use relevant keywords but write them into full sentences that describe your video and convey your message.
Provide a Transcript
Pages with a significant amount of text rank better for SEO, so providing a transcript is a good way to put relevant copy on a page where the main focus is a video. A transcript also makes your video more accessible to those with disabilities, which will get you ranking higher in search engines and allow you to reach a wider, more diverse audience.
Location, Location, Location
The position of a video on a webpage is more important than you may realize. Make sure you place your video in a spot that makes it accessible and visually easy to find. You want to make sure the video is placed above the fold (the part of the page visible without scrolling down) so that viewers don’t have to look through the whole page to find it. If someone clicks to your site and can’t immediately see how to watch the video they are looking for, it’s very likely they will simply leave and choose a different video instead of sticking around to search your page.
Pay Attention to Your Thumbnail
Pick a thumbnail that is representative of the video and makes people want to click. A good way to think of your thumbnail image is as if it were the cover of a book. It should show something that draws the viewer in and tells them a bit about what to expect in the content that they are about to consume.
Stick to One Video per Page
In the same way that a landing page should stick to one topic, to optimize videos for SEO you want to stick to one video per page, with relevant content supporting the video. Having multiple videos on different topics will just confuse search engines and make the page look crowded and messy.
Optimize for Mobile
Your video needs to be responsive on mobile because many people are consuming content from their phones. Make sure that when you publish a video, you check it on mobile and create a good user experience for those watching the video on their phones.
Self-hosting is a good idea if it is an option for you. This way, your video will generate clicks back to your site instead of to a third party like YouTube or Vimeo, which means more traffic (and ultimately more revenue) for you.
Keep it Short
Videos should be no longer than 10 minutes, but no shorter than 1 minute. 2-4 minutes is generally the sweet spot you want to hit, but of course this number changes depending on your industry and the type of content you want to share. Make sure that your video is long enough that it gives the viewer valuable information, but not so long that you lose their attention.
Include a Call to Action
Go ahead, ask for what you want! Include a clear call to action requesting that viewers like, comment, and share. People are far more likely to do what you want them to do if you clearly tell them what that is.
Make sure that you take the video’s file name into consideration when optimizing for SEO. Treat your file name the same way you do the rest of your metadata and give it a title that describes that video’s content and includes relevant keywords.
Make it really clear that you want people to share your video and make it easy for them to do so. Be sure that your video can be embedded so that people can share it to their own blogs if they want to.