Search engine optimization is a process that improves the visibility of your content in search engine results and drives organic traffic to your website. Google and other search engines want to match search intent with the best results.
Video SEO is optimizing traffic for your video content from search engines. Unlike images, search engines see videos as part of a wider page. This is why it’s important to embed a video where it makes sense and surround it with relevant visual and written content. You can rank your videos in vertical search and within universal search by using a video-rich snippet.
Decoding the latest SEO Algorithms: What you need to know
Google’s search ranking algorithms constantly change. Some of these changes are major changes but minor changes take place all the time. One of the core changes that happened in the past was to stop the practice of keyword stuffing to influence Google rankings. Websites following this practice were demoted in the search results.
Google recently tested out showing videos first in response to search queries. It understands that users find the greatest value in video content.
Another recent algorithm change is placing more value on authentic and helpful content that shares personal insights and experiences. You may start to see more search results from social media posts, blog posts, and forum posts. Testimonial video for websites has great value in terms of social proof and Google is recognizing this.
- Quality video content: In addition to focusing on specific SEO factors it is important to make quality video content designed to meet viewers’ needs. You can get so caught up in all the technical aspects of SEO that you lose sight of the big picture. Google has never confirmed that it prioritizes video content. However, many content creators and marketers say their results show this is the case. Pages that contain videos appear to bring in the most organic traffic.
- Metrics: Videos can help with other metrics Google takes into account such as the time a viewer spends on a page and the number of backlinks that refer back to your domain. Viewers tend to spend twice as long on pages with videos and videos that contain quality content attract backlinks.
- Video sitemap: Using a video sitemap also helps Google to understand the structure of your video content and index it.
- Google’s Search Console: Using search console allows you to see how your video content is performing and pick up any errors. It shows you whether your videos are properly indexed and appear in search results.
Crafting SEO-friendly video descriptions and metadata
Search engine crawlers don’t yet understand ‘moving’ images so you need to help them. SEO helps them to understand what’s in your videos so they can index them.
Your video title and description help Google to index your videos. The thumbnail image also helps. The length, location of the video file or embeddable player, and the upload date of the video are also useful information to Google.
Video title: The days of creating misleading clickbait titles are over. Your ranking will suffer if your title doesn’t represent your video content. Placing your main keyword at the beginning of your video title will help it to rank.
Meta description: A meta description helps provide the context in search results that can increase clicks. It summarizes the content of a page for users to see in the search results. These descriptions don’t have a direct SEO benefit but the more people that click on your result, the more your content will move up the rankings. A misleading description can increase your bounce rate and lower trust in your business. Here are some tips for creating your meta description.
- Make it concise and relevant.
- Use active voice to make it more actionable.
- Match the content of your page and include your main keyword.
- Include a call-to-action.
If a search keyword matches a part of the text in your meta description, Google will be more inclined to use it and highlight it in the search results.
Video tags: You must include appropriate tags to help with video search when you upload your video content. These are keywords related to your video topic and they also make it easier for videos on Google to rank.
Finding the right keywords
To find the right keywords for your videos you can use a tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner. Specialized keyword tools generate and evaluate video keywords based on metrics such as competition and search volume. They will help you to find long-tail keywords that are less competitive and more specific. Your keywords should:
- Reflect on the message and value proposition of your video.
- Have relevance in your niche.
- Match audience search intent.
- Have a reasonable level of competition.
It takes consistency and dedication to rank for a range of keywords relevant to users’ search intent. If you show consistency in executing your keyword strategies over time, search engines will recognize this. By consistently adding high-quality videos containing appropriate keywords you will increase user engagement and your overall ranking power.
The power of video transcripts: Accessibility and SEO
Video transcripts have the benefit of enhancing accessibility for a wider audience. They also provide text that helps search engines identify and index your videos.
- Accessibility: Video transcripts make your video content accessible to a wider audience, such as viewers with hearing impairments. They also benefit viewers in environments where sound is unacceptable, such as in libraries or on public transport. Wider accessibility means more viewers which can boost SEO rankings.
- Indexing videos: As previously discussed, the only way search engines can index videos is with associated text to show what they contain. A transcript makes fully visible in text form the content of your videos.
- Make your keyword strategy more diverse: Your landing page will incorporate your main keywords in the URL, title, image alt text, etc. Your transcript provides a way to incorporate more keywords. These keywords must align with those you use on your landing page. You can layer secondary search terms into your transcript to create a more diverse keyword strategy.
- Boost engagement: Viewers can skim through the transcript quickly to find out exactly what they want to watch without having to go through the whole video. This increases viewer engagement which can boost visibility.
Creating engaging thumbnails: Click-worthy SEO elements
Video thumbnails can have an impact on SEO and on click-through rates. They appear in the search results alongside the video title. The visual aspect of thumbnails can make them eye-catching. A video platform may allow you to automatically generate a thumbnail but it is worth the time and effort to create one yourself. It can help to encourage users to click through.
Using Canva to create thumbnails
A platform like Canva gives you a user-friendly way to create video thumbnails. You can use various text and design elements to create a clickable thumbnail. Explore a variety of templates and customize one to suit your purposes. It has an easy drag-and-drop interface and you can tweak a snapshot you pull from your video by adjusting the brightness, and contrast, or creating a filter.
Tips when creating thumbnails
- Customizing your thumbnail with your logo gives it a more professional look.
- Selecting two bold, contrasting colors can help your thumbnail to stand out.
- For a talking head, lecture, or product demo that includes speaking directly to viewers, you can include the head and shoulders of the speaker in the thumbnail. Ensure that the person’s features are clear at the smallest thumbnail size. Humans are attracted to the faces of other humans and the expression on someone’s face is a good way to attract attention.
- Your thumbnail gives you the opportunity to include more text to support other text like your title and video description. Stylistic text can add to the visual appeal of a thumbnail. On Canva, you can choose from a wide range of fonts to complement the subject matter of your video.
A video thumbnail makes a rich snippet and searchers are more inclined to click on a rich snippet.
Cincopa – a video-boosting platform
Video hosting for websites varies considerably and some video hosting platforms are better than others at enhancing your SEO. Cincopa is a video platform that pays special attention to video SEO. Whether it’s video on demand hosting or live streaming, it helps you to optimize your videos in many ways to help them to rank.
Customization options: If you want to give your videos a branded touch, you need a video platform that offers you customization options. Cincopa allows you to add your own logo, use your brand colors, and change player controls on your video player. All of this helps to elevate your brand visibility and drive more conversions for marketing videos and others.
Automatic transcripts: Cincopa automatically generates closed captions with speaker recognition for videos. You can review the captions and publish them live. The system automatically recognizes different speakers so viewers can easily follow the dialogue. You can change system-generated speaker names.
Upload your own thumbnail: Select what you want to use on your thumbnail within a video and make it into a compelling thumbnail on Canva. You can also easily upload a thumbnail you created to the Cincopa platform.
Built-in SEO: When you upload a video to Cincopa SEO is automatically generated. Cincopa uses JSON-LD metadata which contains the video title, description, and captions of your videos. This is all within the embed code you will paste into your website.
JSON-LD works fast which means the embed code speeds up the loading time of pages. When people play your video, it is streamed from Cincopa’s servers which reduces lag time on your website and improves user experience. Page load speed is an important factor for SEO.
Sitemap: Sitemaps on Cincopa support JSON-LD and video tags so Google can scan all the video information it needs to index videos.
Secure video hosting: When your videos are more secure with measures such as watermarks, encryption, and password protection, this offers a better user experience. This, in turn, gives good signals to Google.
Actionable video analytics: You can get insights from in-depth analytics to keep improving your video content and align it closer to user intent. This helps it to rank more highly in the search results.
The results of using video SEO won’t be seen immediately. However, your video titles, descriptions, transcripts, and chosen thumbnails will all work together to help your videos to rank. If you use the right video SEO, it’s just a matter of time before you will start seeing the results.