Video SEO can be complex, and it keeps shifting as search engine rules change. Web crawlers can’t ‘see’ video content so they need help. Metadata helps them to figure out the content of videos. The majority of a search page consists of metadata. Search engines match video content with what people are searching for. Video metadata also helps with organizing videos and making them easier to find. This offers a more user-friendly experience. Here’s some information for marketing teams and anyone else who would like to make their videos more discoverable.
What is video metadata?
Video metadata refers to the information and tags associated with a video. There are different types of metadata but the ones that apply to videos are descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata. The metadata acts like a bridge between search engines and your videos. The most important type of metadata to help you get your videos discovered is descriptive metadata. This contains contextual information such as the title, description, tags, thumbnails, and transcripts.
- A video title helps users to identify what a video contains. You need to consider factors like its length and best practices for creating titles.
- A description of video content gives them more context and information. It displays underneath the title in the search results. Informative, keyword-rich descriptions can entice people to watch a video.
- Tags provide another way to tell search engines about your video content. You need to try to maintain consistency and relevance in the tags you use.
- Thumbnails: A video thumbnail can entice viewers to want to watch the video. To do so it has to accurately represent what they will find in the video.
- Date and time information shows when a video was created or modified.
- Duration refers to the length of the video in minutes and seconds.
- Resolution of a video is often shown in pixels such as 1080p.
- Video transcripts give search engines information about the video content.
- Location shows where a video was recorded.
Each type of digital content uses metadata for discoverability and classification, including videos. Video metadata makes it possible to classify similar resources together and this makes them easier to find.
What is video SEO?
Video SEO is a significant part of any overall SEO strategy. It is optimizing video content to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS). When done effectively it can help videos to reach a much wider audience. Without proper optimization, even your most compelling video may not receive any attention. From an SEO perspective, you want your videos to generate shares, build links, and increase your conversions.
If your videos attract links, embeds, and shares, it will significantly increase your site traffic. This gives you more opportunities for conversion. Getting inbound links from high authority websites is important and videos can help you do this. When well-respected websites link to your video content, it shows the trustworthiness of the information you provide.
Google’s universal search is posing a challenge for marketers of business videos. It incorporates videos in the search results which makes ranking high even more competitive than before. An effective overall SEO strategy that includes video SEO will increase your chances of appearing in the universal search results.
One of the important factors for Google is how users interact with your videos. Metrics such as play rate, view count, completion rate, number of shares, etc. show viewer engagement. If there’s plenty of engagement on a video, it’s a sign to Google that the content is useful.
Search intent is very important to Google. If someone’s search query is “How to create an animated video”, its algorithm will show at least one video using the same keyword.
The power of video SEO
Why does Video SEO matter? Businesses use videos for so many different purposes today from recruiting new hires to providing better customer service. This explosion of videos makes it much harder to get ranked at the top of the search results. If you want your videos to be discovered, you need to use Video SEO. You can’t just post a video today without focusing on the SEO elements it needs to perform.
As most customers watch online videos before they make a purchase, the growth in online video marketing is not unexpected. Spending time, money, and effort on videos without managing to get them ranked can be extremely frustrating. For a video to have an impact on a purchase, a potential customer must find it first.
Many people want to watch videos rather than read long articles. If you can optimize your videos according to what they are searching for, it will help your video to place well in the search results for a certain query.
- Generate traffic: A marketing team can use online videos that rank highly to drive traffic to the company website.
- Improve brand image: Videos can help to promote a brand to large audiences around the world. A comprehensive SEO strategy gives these audiences more opportunities to find them.
- Engage potential customers: Videos can help to create an emotional connection with potential customers. A marketing team can create compelling videos that connect with an audience and optimize them so they can find them. The most compelling videos help to humanize a brand message and foster trust.
- Find leads: Marketing videos help with finding leads if they offer the solution potential customers are looking for. Optimizing videos that offer solutions as part of a marketing strategy can attract more leads.
- Convert leads and make sales: A marketing team shouldn’t just make marketing videos because other businesses are doing so. They should have a purpose to them and use an SEO strategy to achieve this purpose. For example, an SEO-optimized explainer video could help potential customers further along the marketing funnel to make up their minds to purchase.
Crafting effective video metadata
Video metadata can supercharge the visibility of videos and ensure that stand out from those of competitors.
It’s important to do some keyword research so you know which keywords to target. You can brainstorm potential keyword phrases by using tools such as the Google Keyword Planner. Analyzing the keywords competitors are using can also help you to identify which ones to use. The aim is to find keywords with low competition and high search volume. Integrating keywords seamlessly into your title, description, and tags will help search engines align your videos with search intent.
1. Title and description
Your video title and description should work together to draw viewers to watch your video. Think about what users may type in when looking for video content like yours. The title must be captivating and yet simple. It should be easy to identify from the title what the video is about.
A video title should generally be about 70 characters in length. A description can technically be of any length but keeping it to around 155 characters means it won’t get truncated in the search results.
You should add your main keyword in the title and the description. Put the keyword close to the beginning of the description. Descriptions don’t directly impact rankings but they influence click-through rates which does have a direct impact on rankings.
Tags also help search engines understand video content and group similar media content to make it easier for users to find. You should use relevant tags and keep them short and concise. They should be a maximum of 55-65 characters, including spaces.
3. Thumbnail images
An SEO strategy for videos must include using engaging thumbnails. They help to attract viewers and boost click-through rates. A marketing team needs to ensure that a thumbnail is relevant to what it wants to rank for. It should also reveal more to viewers about what to expect from the video.
Strong thumbnails can have a real impact on video SEO metrics. Their presence results in a “rich snippet” in search results which tend to have better click-through rates. It’s important to ensure that the text on thumbnails is readable at a small size and that images depict key moments from a video and evoke emotion.
4. Video Transcripts
Google takes clips from video transcriptions to use in the search results. When you use transcripts, it helps to boost your keyword density and diversity. Transcripts are great for search engines because they can understand what’s in the video and promote it to those searching for that information. A transcript of a long-form video can have a significant impact on rankings. It can also make your videos accessible to a wider audience, such as the hearing impaired. TED talks, for instance, include transcripts alongside all of their videos.
Captions and subtitles can also improve SEO by offering accessibility to more people, such as those who speak a different language. This type of accessibility can help to foster a more diverse, inclusive community.
5. Video length
It is important to tailor the length of a video to its purpose. Short videos are extremely popular today but there is also room for longer videos. A focus on strong engagement helps to prevent early drop-off in a longer video. Video chaptering also helps users to navigate straight to content of interest instead of having to watch a whole video.
6. Video format
Different video file formats can influence loading times and user experience. This will ultimately affect your website performance. You need to have a balance between file size and video quality to result in fast loading times and a smooth user experience.
Cincopa for Video Marketing
When it comes to video hosting, the platform you use can play a significant role in the visibility of your videos. Using a video hosting platform like Cincopa offers many benefits when it comes to SEO optimization of videos. Marketers can make videos more SEO-friendly in many ways.
JSON-LD: The Cincopa platform automatically inserts SEO metadata using JSON-LD. The JSON-LD metadata contains the video title, description, and captions. This increases the likelihood of videos being indexed. JSON-LD is a method of encoding Linked Data and provides an embedded code standard to add SEO to videos.
Not all hosting solutions use JSON-LD. You may even have to create your own video sitemap on some platforms. When using Cincopa’s JSON-LD all you need to do is copy and paste the embed code onto your website. It quickly loads a video onto a webpage and search bots can scan it more thoroughly. The loading time of a web page has an influence on SEO. Search engines prioritize websites with pages that load quickly and efficiently.
Other SEO-optimization benefits include:
- Video chaptering enables viewers to go straight to the content they want without having to watch a whole video. This can decrease drop-off and offer a better user experience.
- Automatic transcription of videos informs search engine web crawlers immediately about what videos contain.
- Subtitles and captions help to make videos accessible to wider audiences, such as those who speak other languages.
- Customization of thumbnails helps to make them more compelling and clickable.
- Playlists allow a marketing team to group relevant videos together. This creates a more organized, seamless viewing experience. Playlist tags can help to generate more views.
- Video analytics give you insights into the behavior of users who watch your videos. Video heatmaps show their engagement in visual form. Aligning insights from analytics about user behavior with your SEO content strategy helps you to make better decisions.
Google is constantly changing its algorithms and video keeps evolving too. Understanding and leveraging video metadata is essential for a successful video SEO strategy. Optimizing video metadata increases the likelihood of videos appearing in the search results. The metadata offers important insights into video content and assists search engines in ranking them. This helps to unlock the full potential of videos and make them more successful.