Video is the most consumed digital media... and that's both a blessing and a curse. New possibilities for video content are only starting to be tapped but the sheer glut can be overwhelming to people. If you’re trying to stand out from the rest of your competition, your videos need to be at the top of search engine results pages. After all, if nobody can find your content, then you certainly won’t experience any conversions. That's why optimizing for search engines is so critical to success.
Although you may know some video SEO basics like using keywords and optimizing the title tag, here are some powerful tips to maximize your video's visibility in search results:
Optimize the Content
No matter how good you are at SEO, this is only part of the equation. If people are not watching your content, then you're missing the point. Video content and SEO work together to give your brand more visibility.
To optimize your content, make sure it is “shareable” and “linkable.” Provide relevant and informative content that gives people a reason to share and encourages publishers to link to it. Your video must be high-quality, engaging, and valuable to the viewer to get the most growth.
Feel free to reach out to thought leaders and organizations people that may find your content interesting, or even to use your network to promote it accordingly. Even paid promotion may be useful, if you think that this can contribute to your goals.
Create Interactive Content
How about adding the necessary interactive elements to your videos to activate the viewers? Whether it’s the actual content, an annotation, or the caption, there are many ways that you can “gamify” a video to make it more interactive and engaging, helping grab the viewers’ attention.
You can even split the video into shorter clips, allowing your viewers to pick which one they prefer to watch, a strategy which has been implemented in many successful campaigns.
Repurpose the Content
Never look at a video as a "one-off" - it doesn't exist in a vacuum. There are so many ways to extend the lifespan and reach of every video you produce. For example, you may create a 10-minute video offering tips about web marketing. Instead of simply promoting the particular page its on, upload a preview of this video to your social media sites, leading your audience to your site for more details.
Beyond that, you can create an infographic, a slideshow, or shorter videos like pre-rolls, all leading to your web site. By leveraging your content in multiple ways, you can reach a wider audience and help them discover your page in an interesting and persuasive way.
Focus on Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is no longer just a part of video SEO; it's the central focus. Two years ago, mobile video viewing surpassed desktop viewing, and the gap only continues to widen. Although desktop video remains a key aspect of driving traffic, your video SEO campaign will die without mobile optimization.
When optimizing videos for mobile devices, make sure your website and video player are both responsive to mobile viewing. Many hosting services automatically offer mobile optimization for all your content. YouTube, Vimeo and similar platforms that are automatically optimized for mobile viewing.
Pick the Right Thumbnail
A video’s thumbnail is one of the first things viewers notice and it can affect their decision to actually click on the video. Make sure your thumbnail is eye-catching and relevant to the content of the video. An engaging thumbnail is one that leaves people wanting to know more about the video.
Some qualities that make an effective thumbnail include images that are colorful, well composed, tells a story, are branded and don't look like "click-bait." A watermark or logo on your thumbnail also shows potential viewers that this is a professional video providing quality content.
Upload to Multiple Platforms
Do not resort to only self-hosting your videos. This is problematic for several reasons. If done properly, self-hosting can help with your website’s SEO, so including a video on your landing page is also highly effective in increasing conversions.
YouTube is the key to getting your videos to rank so, at a minimum, all your videos should be uploaded there. Maximize your exposure and improve your rankings by uploading or posting a link to your videos on all your social networks. Other video hosting platforms like Vimeo and Dailymotion can also give your video more opportunity to grow.
Because Google is a text database, it can read closed captions and capture more information about the video itself. And the more text you can attach to your video, the more recognition you will earn from search engines.
You may even consider scripting your videos with keywords so they will be optimized for search engines. Here are some SEO tips for YouTube videos that will help your video projects rank higher with any Google search.
Add Calls to Action
Part of interactive content is having a call to action at the end of your video. Calls to action should prompt viewers to do something, such as visit a website, where they are exposed to a product, service or content that's designed to turn them into customers.
Calls to action don't have to be a simple “Call us or email for more information." While that may work for some people, it's usually too generic. Consider being a little more creative with your approach:
Ask a Question – Then invite viewers to “join the conversation” with your brand’s social channels or a dedicated hashtag.
Enter to Win – A structured giveaway on a dedicated landing page of your website or on a social media site is an easy way to generate response and interaction with your brand.
Bring out the Vote! – Ask viewers to vote on something they care about in a simple poll on your website.
Sign up for a Webinar – If you give webinars to highlight elements of your product or service, asking a viewer to sign up for the next webinar is a great call to action to include at the end of your video.
Watch another Video – After the viewer watches your short overview video, invite them to take a deeper dive with more focused snackable content about your product or service.