Branding 9 min read
20 Video Search Engine Optimizations for SERP Performance
- 10 May 2021 9 min read
Video search engine optimization practices are little-known in the field, but should actually be implemented more to ensure consistent, high-impact results.
This is because video content will always be the preferred content format of consumers over text and audio any day.
In fact, businesses are wholeheartedly embracing it with over 87% of marketing professionals having video content included in their digital strategy. That’s because videos help boost SERP rankings by lowering bounce rate, increasing click-through rates, and improving backlink profile, among others.
That’s why digital marketing specialists continuously practice video SEO to make sure that the content produced is able to maximize business ROI, not just brand awareness.
YouTube is the leading video content platform in the world with more than 40 million monthly active viewers. Google will show results to YouTube first before any other channels as its search algorithms match. That’s why marketers are also exploring YouTube video optimization SEO tactics for better SERP performance.
If you want to rank high on Google, uploading video content on YouTube can be your golden ticket.
As a leading SEO agency in the Philippines, we’ve laid out 20 foolproof video SEO you can try to boost your traffic, engagement, and conversion rate with your videos:
- Use video analytics as your compass
- Do extensive keyword research
- Create compelling and keyword-driven titles
- Use relevant descriptions
- Create relevant tags
- Use high-resolution thumbnails
- Post content relevant to the host page
- Create fresh, engaging, and informative content
- Upload only in high resolution
- Go for high-quality audio
- Include closed captions
- Boost your subscriber base
- Post and share your videos at the right time
- Embed your videos in blog posts
- Use the Playlist feature
- Link your video in your email signature
- Make mobile-friendly content
- Accelerate your loading time
- Earn backlinks to your website
- Gauge when to use long or short videos
1. Use video analytics as your compass
If you want to know how to optimize YouTube videos, then it’s always a good practice to set up analytics first to help gauge the performance of your video content.
Setting up analytics provides invaluable information on audience retention or the length of time people watch your video before exiting.
Audience retention is the main ranking factor, and it will help you in creating the right content for your audience. YouTube Analytics lets you know what’s working and what’s not.
Use it as a compass in developing new content and monitoring the ongoing performance of your existing ones.
Pro tip: Include data analytics not only in your video SEO but also when it comes to reaching your audience efficiently to make sure that your videos land on the screens of the right people at the right time.
2. Do an extensive keyword research
Keywords will direct people to your videos, so it is a must to use accurate ones. Keyword research is equally crucial as any of the points mentioned in this guide since these are what your audience type in search engines when looking for your product or services.
Doing keyword research helps you with the following video SEO insights:
- Identify your keyword space for a range of topics and content you can produce
- Prioritize what keywords should appear on your YouTube videos
- Map out your focus keywords to specific videos or pages
- Find out the customer intent of the keywords you’re ranking for.
Learning how to optimize YouTube videos isn’t just solely focused on creating better videos production-wise. It should also be anchored on extensive keyword research that is related to your target audience and niche queries.
3. Create powerful and keyword-driven titles
Once you have all your keywords set up it’s just a matter of piecing them all together to craft an interesting title that encapsulates what your video is about. A subheader can also be helpful in enhancing your title’s appeal to better orient users on what your video is about.
Your titles should reflect the real content of the video. The titles must contain your target keywords to aid with your SEO and should have at least a minimum of five words.
Remember that when it comes to video SEO your titles and descriptions should satisfy both Google bots and customer intent to make sure that your content can perform well on search.
4. Use relevant descriptions
When creating content, keep in mind that you are competing against countless content online. Stand out by knowing how to execute and optimize video descriptions.
YouTube only displays the first 157 characters out of 5,000; so make sure it contains your target keywords and call-to-action statement.
5. Create relevant tags
Never take tags for granted, as these can effectively help with your video SEO. Similar to titles and descriptions, tags help accurately describe and archive the content and its topic.
These must be related to your targeted keywords. The YouTube search bar can help you choose the right tags to use. Other tools you can use for tags and keyword research are Soovle, Ahrefs, and SECockpit.
6. Use high-resolution thumbnails
A video thumbnail can greatly influence a person’s decision to view your content. Similar to a book cover, viewers judge a video by its thumbnail. Ditch the auto-generated still with something customized.
Custom thumbnails are “dedicated, professionally shot, professionally edited images, designed to tease you about what’s inside the video,” according to content strategist Rob Wilson.
Go for high-resolution thumbnails showing human faces that connect with your viewers.
7. Post content relevant to the host page
Only post related videos relevant to the main discussion of the topic
As you optimize your YouTube videos make sure that the content in your pages must be cohesive. Going back to our above example on digital marketing frameworks, populating it with a video on PPC or leader generation can hurt the SERP performance and intent since the content is loosely related to the parent topic.
Each of your contents must apply specifically to the content of its host page.
8. Create fresh, engaging, and informative content
Quality content is one of the most important ranking signals to YouTube and Google’s algorithm.
What is quality content? Google sets out the basic principles and a list of specific guidelines on what you should not do, but nothing is categorically stated as definite rules in creating quality content because it still depends on who you are addressing it to.
You can improve your ideation for topics by performing a content audit which can help you identify content gaps and leverage that data against your competitors.
9. Upload only in high resolution
When optimizing your YouTube videos, always aim for high-resolution content that is flexible in the encoding and playback processes, and improves user experience.
The recommended resolution is at least 1280 px x 720 px for a video with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and at least 640 px x 480 px for a 4:3 aspect ratio. But if you want to maximize your video quality you can also opt for 1920 px x 1080px or 4K footage.
10. Go for high-quality audio
Poor audio can easily discourage viewers from playing videos and negatively affect your SEO rankings. To yield the highest quality for playing audio on YouTube, use only the supported formats (MP3, PCM, AAC, and FLAC), the minimum audio bitrate for lossy formats (64 kbps), and the minimum audible duration (33 seconds).
11. Include closed captions
YouTube has a global reach. Making your videos consumable to a wider audience can lead to higher user engagement and higher SEO ranking. Consider using closed captions (CC) which provides a video transcript. CC can also help increase your viewership and accurately index your content for SEO.
12. Boost your subscriber base
Screenshot from Brian Dean YouTube Channel
A strong subscriber base can boost your video SEO. Encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel and receive updates on new uploads by inserting a call-to-action at the end of every video. You may also include this in the description and add a widget on your website.
13. Post and share at the right time
As with any content marketing strategy, timing your posts is essential to drive maximum engagement to your content.
Using your brand personas can help you determine the best time to post content depending on what your consumer behavior insights dictate. If you haven’t don’t have a brand persona yet, then you can try these key steps in finding the ideal audience for your content.
14. Embed your videos in blog posts
One of the most effective ways to do video SEO is to integrate your content with YouTube is by embedding your videos in your blog posts. Videos are an effective visual aid to heighten the discussion and drive more engagement with your blogs.
You can also reuse old videos by linking them to new blog posts. Check out YouTube guidelines in embedding videos and playlists to a blog or website.
15. Use the Playlist feature
Search Engine Journal’s YouTube channel. Videos are properly archived according to the parent topic
Another tip when archiving your video content is to place them in video playlists with proper titles like what Search Engine Journal does on their YouTube page.
Playlists tend to rank higher than standalone videos in SERPs. This YouTube feature helps keep viewers clicking through related videos, increasing the view count, and encourages your viewers to stay longer on your page.
16. Link your video content in your email signature
User engagement measured by the comments and shares in your videos is a powerful ranking signal. You can further boost this by linking your content in your email signature, sharing it with your subscriber or customer base.
After all, when you’re doing video search engine optimization they are the ones who are the most interested in receiving news and updates from you.
17. Make mobile-friendly content
With 73% of the global population or 4.3 billion people using mobile phones, it is a no-brainer that all your content must be mobile-friendly.
Remember to use a player that is viewable across devices. The player size should adjust to the screen size. It is also advisable to use a bold splash screen image that is visible in any device size and visually appealing.
18. Accelerate your loading time
A mobile video that loads slowly will only increase your bounce rate and hurt your rankings. You can accelerate the load time of your videos by reducing the size of the images, animations, and audio. Use formats that can pack videos into small file sizes without sacrificing quality. Choose MP4 and WebM for YouTube.
19. Earn backlinks to your website
Backlinks or inbound links represent a vote of confidence from one website to another. There are various ways to practice link building effectively for your video SEO such as adding a link to your blog or website in the description. You can also contact other high-authority sites to promote your content with a link that leads back to your video or host page.
20. Gauge when to use long or short videos
Psychologists say that while the average attention span of a human is 20 minutes, but when it comes to videos it seems to be about 60 seconds.
However, when it all boils down to video SEO, it usually depends on what your customers need and what your topic is about. Yes, discussing a 2-minute YouTube video may be ideal but the danger can fall on the discussion too surface level for your viewers.
One video optimization practice you can do is to cut your main topic into chunks and produce a series that can comprehensively discuss each subtopic.
Another effective practice providing video markers that your viewers can skip to jump on topics that fall on their interests.
As you continue to practice effective video SEO for your YouTube content keep in mind the following key takeaways:
- Always prioritize user experience on top of your video optimizations as Google’s ranking signals are primarily user-centric.
- Creating well-structured video content doesn’t just fall on production, there are also technical SEO steps that you need to satisfy such as your keyword research, a mobile-friendly UI, and even the content specifications of your video in terms of audio and video layout.
- Keep in mind that learning how to optimize your YouTube videos doesn’t just focus on what you can do on the platform. It also depends on your SEO efforts in Google SERP and how you are effectively promoting your video content on your respective brand channels (website, social media, etc.)
- There many types of YouTube video content ideas that you can try out for your brand. Just make sure that your executions are aligned to what your customers want and your brand voice.
The right SEO techniques will lead the way. Jumpstart your digital marketing game plan with video optimization. Got any thoughts or comments on this article? We’d love to hear from you! Drop the Propelrr team a line over at our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts.