How To Optimize Video Content For SEO

How to Improve Your Video SEO for YouTube and Beyond

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the art of making your website and other content appear on search engine results. This began with editing text content for Google, but today, SEO has gone far beyond that. One thing that savvy brands have noticed is that SEO for your images and videos can make a powerful difference. Just as descriptive alt-text and a great Pinterest game can boost your visibility through images, Video SEO strategy can drastically boost your views and online following for your videos on YouTube and native social platforms.

So how, exactly, do you optimize your video for SEO? It starts with the title and description, as you might guess, but there’s also more you can do. Let’s take an in-depth look at how to boost the SEO of your YouTube videos and social media clips.

Optimize Your Video Titles

First, make sure you’re writing strong video titles. That title is the main anchor for keyword search and topic matching. Be clear, descriptive, but also short and pithy. Try to use one or two relevant keywords – maybe even a hashtag or two – but don’t go too long. Keep it below about 60 characters and put your episode numbering at the end.

Optimize Description Text

There are a few key strategies for a strong video description.

  • The first two or three lines are what your viewers will read. The rest is below “Show more.”
  • Make sure each description is unique, therefore uniquely searchable.
  • Share lyrics or landmark timestamps
  • Mention and link to your channel and series videos

A Few Key Hashtags

Hashtags are an effective tool when preparing SEO for your videos, both for YouTube and for social media sharing. But just choose two or three. Any video with more than 15 hashtags will be penalized by YouTube and the tool will stop working. 

Customize Your Thumbnail

Your thumbnail is the preview image that shows for your video and the couple seconds of preview that shows when hovered. Adjust your thumbnail and clip to show a compelling and easily identifiable image and short sequence. It helps if you can shoot and edit your video with the thumbnail in mind.

Include Closed Captions

Include a closed captions file. Closed captions are not only accessible for the hard of hearing and those who don’t have headphones in quiet spaces. Captions can also be read by web crawlers where videos cannot – so all your keyword-rich video content is suddenly readable by search engines in Google, YouTube, and social media platforms.

Create Organically Connected Videos

If you want to boost your SEO across multiple videos, make a connected video series. Related videos like sequential phases of a how-to project or chapters in a story will encourage those who see one video to seek out the previous, next, or the whole series to watch from your channel or tune in for the next episode.

Choose Popular Video Content Formats

Choose types of video that people commonly search for. Doing a challenge video, a how-to, or even a science experiment video is similar to choosing a “Top 10” format for your blog – it gets the clicks and you can share really useful content in these formats with a little creativity.

Post Regular Engaging Videos

Lastly, keep the videos coming. Make more videos, connect the series, reference previous videos and link them in the description. Cross-promote with other video channels and hosts. Keep your audience engaged and reward them for checking back and subscribing to your channel with a steady stream of engaging content, useful guides, and/or new ideas.

Boosting your video content can be done solo, but it’s always better with a team of specialists including content designers, video editors, and SEO experts. Contact us today to build your video production team and improve the SEO, visibility, following, and impact of your brand’s video strategy.