Like regular content-based SEO, a main aspect of SEO for video marketing is keyword research and usage. Many keywords that rank well on Google and on YouTube include the following words or phrases: how to, tutorials, reviews, etc. With these keywords in your video title and description, your video could generate higher on Google even if the person searching is doing a web search. For example, if someone searches “how to tie a tie” into Google web search, and your video is titled How to Tie a Tie, then your video will most likely populate on the first page above other text-based articles.
Specifics about your video, such as your title, file format and video length, are also very important for your SEO status. Your title should be short and sweet; make sure it catches the person’s eye instantly and entices the viewer to click and watch. A good rule of thumb is to keep your YouTube video title around 65 characters. In order to improve SEO for video marketing for you or your business, make sure to create videos with valuable and engaging content that are at least 5 minutes long. Most of the top five videos that appear in searches in YouTube are 5 minutes or longer. Lastly, this may sound like an obvious step but it is crucial; make sure your YouTube video is in one of the following formats in order to be evaluated by Google: mpg, .mpeg,.mov, .wmv, .mp4, .m4v, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss some of the Google and YouTube metrics that are vital in helping you improve SEO for video marketing.
When you upload a video to YouTube, the worlds second largest search engine, Google has specific metrics that they measure to denote quality of videos. Some of these metrics include number of views, likes and dislikes, subscribers, and other user engagement metrics, which I will discuss later. Another aspect that helps improve your video SEO value is the use of a video sitemap. These video sitemaps provide Google with valuable information about the content of your video, such as category, description, and target audience for each video. Add these sitemaps to your website for each video you post and your SEO value with Google will increase. YouTube also has a tool called YouTube Analytics, which operates much like Google Analytics, where you can track valuable data for each video you post.
User engagement on your videos , as I mentioned earlier, are vital to your SEO rankings. One major aspect that determines audience engagement is the appearance of your main channel. If your channel for you or your business is organized, clean, and professional, then your viewers are more likely to subscribe to your channel and view your other videos. Other factors such as likes, dislikes, views and audience retention are also key to your SEO. Include a call to action at the end of your video or during the middle, to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel or “like” your video. This keeps them engaged and boosts your SEO rankings. It’s simple; ask and you shall receive—if you insert a CTA into your video, viewers are much more likely to take those actions as opposed to if you don’t mention them at all. Another simple but effective SEO tactic to increase user engagement is replying to comments. If a viewer takes the time to comment on your video, be sure to reply in a timely manner in order to encourage others to comment as well. The more consistent user interaction you have on your channel and videos, the better. This tells Google and YouTube that you have valuable content that viewers are interacting with, which will boost your rankings in searches. Another simple yet effective tool is creating an eye-catching thumbnail image for your videos on Vimeo or YouTube. Studies show that color thumbnails on Vimeo generate more traffic than black and white photos, and a stunning thumbnail will attract viewers to look at your channel and other videos.
Lastly, one of the most important factors to improve your video SEO rankings involves adding transcripts and descriptions to your YouTube or Vimeo videos. A transcript is simply a text version of what was said in your video. Since SEO robots cannot physically view or hear videos, the transcript and descriptions with the keyword focus are the main source of information for them. Including a detailed transcript and description allows Google and YouTube bots to understand what your video is about and to rank accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of typing a 20 word blurb about your video in the description box; make sure to include a catchy first sentence and follow with the entire transcript.
Long story short, make sure you follow these guidelines above to improve SEO for video marketing. Understanding the basic formatting, Google metrics, and importance of user engagement and transcripts will be beneficial to you with your YouTube and Vimeo videos.