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Optimize Video for SEO Success

Video SEO: Learn How to optimize video content for SEO success

Sanjoli Arora


Videos are becoming an increasingly popular way to engage with customers and establish a powerful presence in today’s digital marketplace. With video search technology rapidly improving, video SEO has become essential for any business that wants to maximize its online visibility. Even on a shoestring budget, you can create a video that will become viral within hours.

According to Google Data, video searches for “which [product] should I buy” have doubled since last year. Thus video searches are not only limited to informational intents but can help businesses gain transactional value and profits. 

Video SEO is optimizing videos to be easily found and ranked highly by search engines or platforms like Youtube. It can result in more viewers and visitors while increasing brand awareness and lead generation.

If you’re looking to maximize your video’s visibility, reach, and SEO success, then take some time to read through this video SEO guide. You will learn how to optimize your videos for SERPs and improve video load speed performance to align with SEO best practices.

SEO Video Optimization Explained

Video SEO optimizes your video content for search engine algorithms and user engagement. It involves various tactics, including creating keyword-optimized titles, descriptions, and tags; and optimizing video length and load speed.

When you search for a video on Google or Youtube, Google will rank videos based on the text about the tape rather than the video itself. Due to this reason, you need to perform video optimization.

In today’s world, video SEO has become an essential element of a company’s overall SEO strategy, as it can help to drive targeted and organic traffic to their website. When optimizing videos for search engines, ensure that the video is correctly embedded or published and follows all SEO guidelines.

Why Optimize Video for the Web?

Google is the number one search engine. It has multiple SERP features that allow users to see results against their query. One such feature is the video snippet. If Google thinks videos are better for a particular question, it will show video results first.

Google picks up videos from website pages or videos uploaded on Youtube. Hence, your videos must follow certain best practices to rank your videos on Google. According to research by Statista, internet users who watch streamed or downloaded videos at least once per month will reach approximately 3.5 billion by 2023.

Here are some top benefits that video SEO efforts can bring to your business:

1. Improve Brand Awareness: By optimizing videos for SEO, you can increase visibility, improve engagement, and generate more traffic to your website. By uploading SEO-optimized videos on any platform, your chances of reaching a broader audience increase dramatically.

2. Enhance Customer Experience: Embedding videos on web pages aid and assist the user experience journey. SEO-optimized videos ensure that your videos are engaging, compelling, and quickly accessible to people for a better user experience.

3. Improved Website Ranking: Video optimization improves the chances of your videos appearing high on SERPs. It increases your content’s visibility for multiple queries and improves your website’s rankings.

4. Generate Leads: As stated above, video searches for transactional queries have doubled. Thus well-optimized videos can be another lead-generation source and convert users into potential customers. An optimized video demonstrates that you take your brand seriously and can be a reflection of how you serve your customers.

Overall, SEO video optimization is vital to any of your marketing strategies. Combining video optimization for the web and other content optimization efforts will help increase visibility and generate more traffic to your website.

How is Video SEO Changed Over Time?

Video SEO has evolved significantly, adapting to changing search engine algorithms, user behavior, and technological advancements. Some fundamental changes in video SEO success over time include:

1. Improved Video Indexing: Search engines have become better at indexing videos, making it easier for video content to be discovered and ranked in search results.

2. Enhanced Video Metadata: Video metadata, including titles, descriptions, tags, and transcripts, has become more critical for SEO success. They help search engines understand the content of the video and determine its relevance to user queries.

3. Mobile Optimization: With the rise of mobile devices, video SEO has shifted towards mobile optimization. It includes responsive video player design, mobile-friendly video formats, and video schema markup for better visibility in mobile search results.

4. User Engagement Metrics: User engagement metrics, such as watch time, likes, comments, and shares, are now considered important ranking factors for video SEO success. High user engagement signals to search engines that the video is valuable and relevant to users.

5. Social Signals: Social signals, such as social shares, likes, and comments, have also gained importance in video SEO. Videos widely shared and discussed on social media are seen as more relevant and authoritative.

6. Video Thumbnails and Rich Snippets: Video thumbnails and rich snippets, including video previews and thumbnails in search results, have become prominent in video SEO success. They provide visual cues to users and can improve click-through rates.

7. Video Sitemaps and Schema Markup: The use of video sitemaps and schema markup has become more prevalent in video SEO success. These tools help search engines understand the structure and content of video content, leading to improved indexing and ranking.

It becomes necessary for every organization to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in video SEO to ensure your videos rank well in search results and attract organic traffic.

Video SEO Best Practices for Google SERPs

Now that we know how video SEO helps your business let us see what steps are required to make the most of your video optimization strategy. Your video optimization strategy should align with your business goals and your user’s needs. 

Video SEO has various aspects. The critical point is that Google keeps updating its algorithm to rank videos on SERP. It is advised to keep changing your video SEO success strategy to align with algorithm updates. 

Below we mention the video SEO best practices to remember and follow.

Video File Type, Name, and Size Optimization

1. When optimizing videos, selecting the correct file type is essential. Popular file types such as MP4, MOV, AVI, and WMV are all widely used and supported by most browsers and devices. 

2. The name of the file is also essential for video optimization. It should be descriptive and contain relevant keywords that search engines can recognize. File names will make it easier for users to find the video.

3. Choosing the right video file size can significantly impact the download speed and quality of the video. Depending on the source and the intended use, videos can range from as small as a few kilobytes to as large as several gigabytes. 

Add Video Captions & Thumbnail Images

1. Thumbnails can draw more people to watch a video, as many people searching for a particular type of video will click on the most visually appealing one. Thumbnails should also be optimized for social media, showcasing the video in a way that would attract more clicks. Additionally, using eye-catching thumbnails can help to minimize the risk that potential viewers may overlook the video.

2. Adding captions below your video embed is an excellent way to let the users and search engines know what the video is about even before they press play. Captions should accurately describe the content of the video and include target keywords when possible. Captions also improve the chances of your videos reaching the right target audience.

3. Utilizing closed captions allow viewers to watch your videos without sound, making them more accessible and allowing for full-text searches. In addition, closed captions can help viewers better understand the video and achieve video SEO success.

4. Add a bold CTA at the end of your videos to convert viewers instantly. Your call to action can redirect viewers to the following video, an essential piece of content, or your service page. When crafting your CTA, make sure it is concise and clear. It should be easily understood and should capture the attention of your viewers. Also, include a deadline so viewers can take advantage of your offer.

Optimizing Video Speed & Loading Times

Once you have determined the video file name, type, and size, you need to optimize your website for page loading speed. Google recommends that web pages and their content should load fast to provide a positive user experience. Websites with fast-loading elements rank higher on SERPs.

Generally, smaller and compressed videos are quicker to load and deliver. As a result, it is vital to ensure that your videos are as small as possible without compromising their quality. Some ways to ensure faster loading of video elements include:

1. Hosting videos on a dedicated server can significantly reduce loading times instead of downloading them from different sources. 

2. A content delivery network (CDN) can help distribute the videos to multiple locations, improving loading speeds. 

3. Implementing a caching mechanism can speed up video loading times by reducing the number of requests to the server.

4. Finally, adaptive streaming protocols, such as HLS and DASH, can help ensure seamless streaming and playback on different devices. Adaptive streaming uses multiple bitrates to provide different versions of the same video. It helps to ensure that viewers with slower internet connections can still watch the video without too much buffering. 

If you want to optimize your overall web page speed, check out our blog on Google Page Speed Index and learn how it affects your website ranking.

By considering video loading time on your website, you can ensure that you offer the best user experience with well-optimized videos.

Add Video Structured Data

Graphic elements like videos are more challenging for search engines to crawl. But you can facilitate crawling by adding structured data to the visual elements on your web pages. Structured data helps search engines understand the contents of your video and improve their rankings for search queries.

You can markup your video with VideoObject schema in a search engine-friendly format such as JSON-LD. Some schema properties to include are

1. Description: A brief description of the video’s contents. The video description is an excellent place to add keywords.

2. Name: Title of the video

3. ThumbnailUrl: The URL to the video thumbnail picture file

4. UploadDate: The date on which you first published the video

Furthermore, Google uses this structured data to offer user-friendly video features such as previews, live badges, and critical moments. By providing structured data, you also increase the likelihood of video content displaying rich results in the universal search. Read more on how to utilize video schema for Google SERPs.

Correctly implementing schema markup code is vital. Once you have added structured data to your video, ensure search engines can validate it. Google Search Console’s video indexing report can assist in highlighting how your videos are performing on SERPs. Also, ensure that each video is accessible via a public web page where viewers can see it. Check that the page is not blocked by robots.txt or the noindex robots meta tag; this guarantees that Google can discover and index your website.

Regular optimization and competitor benchmarking of your structured data additions can increase your video search traffic. The Quattr SEO platform can help optimize structured data on your website and ensure they align with business goals to achieve SEO success.

The keyword recommendation view in Quattr allows you to test changes to your structured data entries or add extra schema markups for competitive parity. Analyze how changes affect your content quality scores and confidently ship them on your website.

How to Make Your Videos Discoverable?

Making your videos discoverable involves optimizing various aspects of your content and distribution. Here are some tips to help you make your videos more discoverable:

1. Promote Your Videos: Promote your videos through various marketing channels, such as your website, email newsletters, social media, and collaborations with influencers or industry partners. It can help increase the visibility and discoverability of your videos to a broader audience.

2. Engage With Your Audience: Encourage viewers to like, comment, share your videos, and respond to their comments and questions. Engaging with your audience can help build a community around your videos and increase their discoverability through word-of-mouth and social sharing.

3. Share on Multiple Platforms: Share your videos on various platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and social media, to increase their visibility and reach. Each platform has search and discovery features to help you reach a wider audience.

Optimizing Video Embeds on Your Website

Embedding videos on your website provides an added level of engagement for visitors and encourages them to stay on your website for longer. The extra content is excellent for SEO success, whether you’re embedding instructional or tutorial videos or promotional videos. Optimizing the video embeds on your website is essential for improved user experience and search engine rankings. 

When embedding videos on your website, remember to follow the best practices stated above. Some other points to address are:

1. Website owners should ensure that the embedded video works seamlessly with the overall user experience. It includes ensuring that videos have clear play/pause options and are easy to control. Videos should also remain on mute until clicked by the user. 

2. Analytics are critical in determining the success of any video content. The data gathered from analytics helps website owners understand how viewers interact with their videos. Analyzing how long people watch a video, which videos are shared more, or how often users pause a video can help website owners create better content for their visitors. Ensure your video embeds have Google Tags installed and track them in Google analytics.

Video content positively influences your audience and can explain things better than written copy. Optimizing the video embeds on your website can significantly improve the visitor experience and make your website more search engine friendly. With the right tools, tracking and optimizing videos can become integral to a successful website.

Youtube Video SEO

While it is necessary to do video optimization for search engines like Google, you must recognize the potential of Youtube to reach the target audience. According to Invideo, 90% of global internet users use Youtube to stream videos.

Creating videos for Youtube is a great way to increase your visibility and reach. You can embed your youtube videos on your website or share them on other social media channels.

YouTube's search algorithm is a complex system that determines the visibility and ranking of videos in YouTube's search results. It aims to deliver relevant and high-quality content to users based on their search queries, engagement, and user behavior on the platform.

Optimizing videos with relevant keywords, compelling descriptions, engaging thumbnails, and creating high-quality content can help improve the visibility and ranking of videos in YouTube's search results.

From optimizing title tags to optimizing your video content, Youtube Video SEO ensures that your videos get the attention they deserve. While Youtube SEO is a vast topic, we cover some basic best practices below.

Youtube Video Title & Description

Providing an attractive title and description is one of the most recommended practices for Youtube video SEO success. A good title has two elements: your keyword and an attractive crown. You should write a title that touches the user's pain point and has the target keywords.

Youtube videos description has a 5000 characters limit, so aim to keep it inside that range. A good rule of thumb is to mention your keyword multiple times in your video description to optimize it for SEO success. Refrain from stuffing your video with the same keyword. Instead, use numerous keyword clusters that target user search intents.

Technical Video Optimization for Youtube

Optimizing the video file size, quality, and technical aspects for Youtube SEO is one of the essential practices to ensure the right people see your video. It’s also an area where many people make mistakes that can significantly reduce the visibility and effectiveness of their videos.

Youtube video file requirements are very similar to Google. Youtube recommends that your video file size should be manageable. It is also essential to ensure that the video is compressed and optimized to the highest possible quality.

Since YouTube is a streaming platform, it heavily emphasizes good video resolution. The recommended video resolution is at least 720p and encoded using the H.264 codec in .mp4 format. Ensure that the video is encoded with the correct bitrate, as this affects the quality of the video. 

Finally, you should ensure that the video is transcribed and contains subtitles. Remember to optimize your videos for mobile, desktop, and tablet devices.

Youtube Posting Schedule & Analytics

When it comes to Youtube, consistency is the key. Creating videos at regular intervals ensures you continually deliver value to your users and improves your chances of ranking high on Youtube searches.

Once your videos are uploaded, Youtube analytic tools can help determine how your videos are performing. They can also help guide your Youtube video creation strategy. 

Some key metrics to observe for your Youtube videos:

1. Views help measure the number of video views. It helps gauge the level of interest and engagement for the video.

2. Watch time measures the total time viewers spend watching a particular video. It helps identify what content is more engaging and resonates better with the viewers.

3. Likes measure how much the audience appreciates a particular video. Counting the number of likes will help you understand the popularity of your video.

4. Shares identify how many people shared the video with their contacts. It can help measure the video's reach and estimate your video's exposure beyond subscribers.

5. Comments can help measure engagement and interest in the video content. It can also help identify viewers' issues or concerns with the video.

Youtube is an ever-evolving video platform with new updates and features. Optimize your profile and create content for different video formats to make the most of your Youtube channel.

Closing Thoughts on Video Optimization for Search

Videos are a robust tool for communicating with your audience. They offer a personalized experience and allow users to understand information more rapidly. But more than simply creating and uploading videos on your website is required. You must employ effective SEO video optimization strategies to ensure your videos rank on search engines and platforms.

Using effective SEO video optimization strategies, companies can drive more high-quality traffic to their website and provide valuable content to make an informed buying decision.

Track & Optimize your Video SEO efforts with Quattr

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Video SEO FAQs

What is video optimization in SEO?

Video optimization in SEO is optimizing videos for search engines and ensuring they rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs). Video optimization in SEO involves optimizing the video’s title, description, tags, thumbnail, and other elements to ensure that search engine algorithms easily find it.

Can Videos Improve SEO?

Yes, videos can improve SEO. Videos improve SEO by improving the overall user experience, providing more relevant content for search engine crawlers to index, increasing the time visitors stay on a page, and creating more inbound links to your site.

Are Videos & GIFs part of Google's Index?

Yes, videos and GIFs are part of Google's search index. In addition, they can be indexed separately in the Google Video Search and Image Search. The process of indexing includes Googlebots looking at the file size, file name, and metadata, as well as any text that is associated with it.

About The Author

Sanjoli Arora

Sanjoli Arora is a Content Strategist at Quattr and helps our customers create intent-driven content that ranks on search engines. She writes about content marketing, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, and SEO technology.

About Quattr

Quattr is an innovative and fast-growing venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California USA. We are a Delaware corporation that has raised over $7M in venture capital. Quattr's AI-first platform evaluates like search engines to find opportunities across content, experience, and discoverability. A team of growth concierge analyze your data and recommends the top improvements to make for faster organic traffic growth. Growth-driven brands trust Quattr and are seeing sustained traffic growth.

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