Yet, despite these efforts, he isn’t able to crack the puzzle that is video traffic. What Daniel fails to see here is that videos and SEO together are a winning combination.
Unfortunately, this is a big missed opportunity.
In fact, most marketers are willing to spend up to 40% of their total marketing budget on video production and distribution but are completely overlooking SEO. By doing this, they’re literally throwing this money and effort down the drain.
But I’m here to help ensure you don’t face the same struggle! Let’s now dive deeper into how you can use SEO tactics to grow your video performance.
Video vs. text-based SEO
To understand the foundation, it’s important to note that traditional text-based SEO and video SEO are a bit different.
Traditional SEO generates website traffic with text-based content. These types of searches are often intended to quickly look up a piece of information, read an in-depth article, or shop for something online. In this case, SEO is focused on ranking for a keyword with search volume that matches search intent.
However, video content works a bit differently. Users who wish to find videos on the web are generally looking for actionable keywords – particularly those starting with “how to ..” as in they want to see the exact steps to do something. These searchers are more interested in consuming visually-driven content than reading an in-depth content piece.
Below is an example of how videos appear on the SERP and what the keywords they’re found with look like:
Notice how these videos appear at the top of the SERP right after the featured snippet? That’s how powerful video SEO is—it prioritizes a perfectly optimized video more than text-based content for the right keyword.
Five tips to rank your videos higher on Google
If you’re someone like Daniel struggling to get their videos ranked, you’d know by now that video SEO doesn’t work like traditional SEO. While the basics do remain the same (keyword research, competitor analysis, traffic analysis, etc.), the working principle differs.
So let’s get you equipped with the best practices you need to make your videos generate the traffic you need.
1. Transcribe your videos
Transcription uplifts the quality of a video by making it more accessible. It’s especially helpful if your audio quality didn’t come out as expected.
A lot of factors can hamper the watching experience of your video, such as:
- The audio is muffled
- The person watching the video is suffering from a hearing impairment
- They’re watching the video while traveling or sitting in a public place
- The presenter in the video speaks in a foreign accent, which is difficult to understand in low volume
With a transcripted video, the viewer can enjoy the video irrespective of the surroundings and video quality.
While that’s about improving the video experience—how does transcription help SEO?
You see, having any text in your video helps crawlers index your content and increase your searchability for a keyword. While Google and YouTube automatically transcribe the video for you, they lack accuracy.
I recommend using a video subtitles generator that helps you create accurate subtitles in no time and customize the font, size, positioning, and text as you deem. These tools are incredibly helpful, especially when you have multiple videos in the pipeline, which helps you save hours of manual word-to-word transcription. Moreover, they help you generate subtitles in different languages to suit your audience.
2. Create actionable video content
Videos perform differently on YouTube and Google based on user search intent. Searchers generally surf YouTube to look up things like product reviews, recipes, or even a travel vlog. On the other hand, videos on Google perform well for actionable keywords, especially with “how to do x thing” that involves something visual.
That being said, both platforms can show different results for the same keyword. See the example of the result I got on YouTube for the keyword “Italian living room.”
Similarly, this is what I found on Google for the same keyword, with Google prioritizing text and image-based content.
So the key element here is to prioritize video SEO to focus on keywords that invoke a visual information requirement. In a nutshell, make it actionable!
Tips for creating actionable content:
- Use action-based verbs such as optimize, create, install, make, adjust, set up, and so on. Searches include these verbs in their search queries, for example—how to make YouTube videos from a phone.
- Aim to include the keyword you’re targeting in the video introduction—and make sure it’s clear and isn’t lost in accent.
- Focus on the video quality and minimize the noise as much as possible.
- Showcase your product in your videos—especially demonstrating how it’s being put to use. Studies show that brand videos have a huge impact on sales, as searchers get to see your product in action.
- Searchers tend to dismiss or ignore a video with a poorly made thumbnail. Make sure the one you have aligns with the content and your branding. Use contrasting colors to stand out.
3. Prepare your video content for SEO
While you still need to follow most of what you usually do for SEO, video SEO requires you to add a few additional optimization practices to the routine. This includes:
- Optimize the meta data: Include the keyword you’re targeting in all components of your content while also ensuring that they align with what’s in the video.
- Include timestamps: Timestamps are a game-changer in video marketing, as they help the audience and Google understand the content inside a video, such as in the image below:
You do this by marking these specific timestamps in your video description on YouTube, and once Google crawls and indexes that video, they appear as ‘key moments’.
4. Self-host videos on your website
When it comes to increasing traffic and bringing sales, self-hosted videos work like a charm. As you can see from the below example, these videos are embedded in the website itself. So, whoever clicks on them will be redirected to the website’s landing page, not YouTube.
Another key element to mention here is rich snippets such as the thumbnail you see appearing on the SERP. It lets your searchers know there’s a video inside this particular post, enticing them to click on it.
For this to appear, you need to add schema code to your page and update your XML sitemap to enable Google Search Console to index the information. The added opportunity with this tactic is that schema markups have a huge potential to boost your SEO efforts since only 30% of websites use them in their code.
5. Leverage the high-ranking pages
Ready to take your video SEO efforts to the next level? Provide your visitors with additional insights by embedding relevant videos on top-performing pages.
As a result, it will help you bring more traffic to your videos and get social views and subscribers to your YouTube channel, while also increasing the authority of your already-ranking page. Your visitors will always have more to consume and a constant stream of content coming their way. That’s a win-win for everyone!
Rule the SERP with video SEO
Video SEO is a sure-fine way to optimize your SEO efforts drastically and see significant results. Now, with every business and marketer venturing into video marketing, you must make your mark by being extra proactive about improving your SEO game.