How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

How To Optimise Your Video SEO Strategy

While more consumers are embracing video content, research shows that marketers are struggling to keep up. In fact – 59% of marketers still consider video content creation the most challenging content to make.

So how do you optimise your videos for search engines quickly and effectively? Video SEO is constantly evolving and staying current on video optimisation best practices is absolutely essential.

optimise Video SEO strategy

Today – YouTube’s algorithm tries to match each viewer to the videos he or she is most likely to watch and enjoy. With more than 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, this is quite a challenge.

In this post – you will learn how YouTube’s algorithm works and find actionable advice on video SEO best practices in order to give you a step-by-step guide to optimise your videos SEO strategy.

How Does YouTube’s Search Algorithm Work?

YouTube’s search and discovery systems tackle this task by sorting through loads of videos to find the most relevant and useful results to a user’s search query.

YouTube’s algorithm then follows the audience by paying attention to things like:

  • What they watch.
  • What they do not watch.
  • How much time they spend watching.
  • Their likes and dislikes.
  • Not interested feedback.
factors affecting video seo

Stop using the old tips, tools and tricks that you learned some time back and get up-to-date in your understanding of how YouTube’s search and discovery system works?

These are in no order or importance since all of them are equally important in your video SEO optimisation strategy.

1. Choosing The Right Hosting Platform

Choosing the right hosting platform for your videos matters more than you may think. When you base your SEO strategy around video content marketing, each video acts as an anchor that draws in search engine traffic.

If your website goes offline then it could be disastrous for your revenue since the average unplanned website outage costs businesses between £4,327 and £6,429.

choose the right hosting platform

Therefore you should choose your host carefully. The right hosting platform for your business will depend on two main things:

  • the length and size of your video and
  • your website host since not all hosts support embedded videos from all platforms.

For the best results always use a widely adopted hosting platform like YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia or Daily Motion.

If your video is small then you may opt to host it in-house but make sure you test it before pushing publish to ensure it loads quickly.

2. YouTube Search

Like Google’s search engine – searches on YouTube strive to surface the most relevant results according to specific keyword definition queries.

Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description and video content match the viewer’s query.

Beyond this – YouTube also look at which videos that have received the most watch time and engagement for a particular query.

Youtube search

Want to know which keywords and search terms to target for video SEO? In simple words – YouTube search results are not a list of the most-viewed videos for a given query.

Keyword search tools can give you lots of options but you need to select just a small subset of them for your newest video and your selection should help your target audience find the videos they want to watch and also maximise their long-term engagement and video satisfaction.

3. Titles and Thumbnails

Titles and thumbnails on a video are usually the first things viewers see when browsing on YouTube. They help viewers decide whether to watch your videos and build anticipation – if they accurately represent what is in your video.

YouTube will know if viewers are enjoying your content if they click on your video and stay to watch most or all the way through.

However if your video titles and thumbnails do not deliver on their promise then viewers will leave immediately and this can limit your discoverability on YouTube.

The longer you can keep people watching your content on YouTube – the more your content may get surfaced.

Here are some tips for optimising your video titles:

  • Write titles that spark curiosity and include keywords.
  • Keep titles concise up to 60 characters – with the most important information upfront.
  • Save episode numbers and branding towards the end.
  • Check that your titles do not get cut off in suggested videos, search results and mobile.

Thumbnails are usually the first thing viewers see when they find one of your videos and 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.

When you customise your thumbnails – be sure you have a strong, vibrant image that looks great large and small and conveys key information about your video.

You can always apply the rule of thirds – to compose interesting and dynamic images then overlay them with your branding and/or descriptive text.

video titles and thumbnails

Always make sure to use a font that is easy to read on screen when adding text and think about how it can be eye-catching and age-appropriate for your target audience.

Here are some guides for optimising your thumbnails:

  • Think about your thumbnail before you shoot so you can capture several options.
  • Align any text to the left  since YouTube put buttons on the right-hand side
  • Use bright colours to grab viewer’s attention
  • Make a high resolution thumbnail and keep it under the 2MB limit.
  • Specifications: 1280 x 720 pixels – 16:9 ratio as a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP or .PNG.
  • Zoom in and out of your thumbnail to see if it looks good small and large.
  • See if your thumbnail would stand out among other thumbnails.

4. Suggested Videos

Suggested videos are a personalised collection of videos that an individual viewer may be interested in watching next, based on his or her prior activity.

These videos are shown to viewers on the right side of the watch page under Up next below the video on the mobile app and as the next video in auto play.

YouTube researchers have found viewers tend to watch more videos when they see recommendations from a variety of channels hence the Suggested Videos. Recommendations are ranked to maximise engagement for the viewer.

Signals that contribute to these recommendations include:

  • Videos that viewers watch along with the current video or videos that are related topically. These could be videos from the same channel or from a different channel.
  • Videos from a viewer’s past watch history.

You can see which videos bring viewers to your channel from Suggested Videos in the Traffic sources report in YouTube Analytics by clicking on the Suggested videos box.

YouTube Suggested Videos

Here are some tips for optimising your videos for Suggested Videos:

  • Make strong calls to action to encourage viewers to watch another video in your series.
  • Long endings may delay viewers from watching more so be mindful of how your videos end.
  • Use playlists, links, cards and end screens to suggest the next video to watch.
  • Develop a series of videos that are connected organically.
  • Make videos relating to popular formats on YouTube such as challenges or lists.

Last but not least – you can expect Google to roll out Related Topics for Videos on YouTube fairly soon.

5. Front Page Or Home

Front Page or Home is what viewers see first when they visit or open the YouTube app. It is their personal primetime destination – a place where viewers can discover the most relevant, personalised recommendations.

It is a great place for your videos to be found by non-subscribers since over 200 million different videos appear on Front Page or Home each day for viewers around the world.

When a viewer visits Front Page or HomeYouTube displays videos from their subscriptions, videos watched by similar viewers and new videos.

YouTube Home Page

The selections of videos are based on:

  • Performance: How well the video has engaged and satisfied similar viewers among other factors.
  • The viewer’s watch and search history: How often the viewer watches a channel or topic and how many times YouTube has already shown each video to the viewer.

It is worth noting that subscribers watch more from their subscriptions via Home than through the Subscriptions tab.

Here are some tips for optimising your videos for YouTube’s Home Screen:

  • Upload new videos on a consistent basis to give your target audience an expectation of what is coming as new content.
  • Keep viewers engaged for longer and encourage them to come back for more via a long video or several short ones. The longer you keep viewers watching the more your content is likely to get surfaced.
  • Consistency – when you create something that is working for your target audience then do it again. YouTube surfaces more content that your viewers like so do not be afraid to experiment but be mindful. Observe feedback from your target audience and give them time to adjust.
  • By going to your YouTube Analytics Traffic Sources report – you can see how often your channel appears on Home –globally by clicking the Browse features box and looking at the stats for Home.

6. Cards and End Screens

Cards and end screens encourage your viewers to take an action. Cards are preformatted notifications that you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.

Once they are set up – a small teaser or rectangular box will appear in the top right corner of the video to give your viewers a preview of the message.

If fans tap or click the teaser – the card associated with the video appears below the player on mobile devices in portrait mode or along the right side of your video on desktops. If they do not – it disappears from their view.

Cards work well when they are:-

  • in conjunction with scripted call to action or
  • relevant to your video content.

So if you mention a specific video or a piece of product then you could try adding a card at that exact moment.

cards and end screens

Here are some tips for optimising your cards:

  • Use cards and scripted calls to action to link to other videos, playlists, associated websites, to prompt your audience to buy a product or support your crowdfunding campaign.
  • Use cards in older videos to highlight your most recent uploads or to promote product or fundraising campaigns.
  • Use up to five cards per video.
  • Use cards to cross-promote other creators and credit collaborators in your video.

End screens are also a powerful tool that can help extend watch time on your channel by directing viewers to something next at the end of your videos.

You can add them to the last 5-20 seconds of a video and they appear on both desktop and mobile.

Here are some tips for optimising end screens:

  • Use end screens to promote up to four different elements: a video or playlist, encourage viewers to subscribe, cross-promote another channel and link to approved websites.
  • Consider leaving space at the end of your video for your end screen elements to sit.
  • Do not use card teasers and branding watermarks during an end screen because both are suppressed.

7. Include Video Transcripts And/Or Closed Captions – CC

Did you know that 83% of consumers watch videos on mute and it is true. Research from Verizon shows that 80% of people are more likely to watch a video in full if it has captions.

Therefore if you want to keep this traffic then you will need to add closed captions to your video and should also include something else like a video transcription.

add transcripts and or closed captions

Adding a video transcription and a closed caption to your video will help your web page rank better as Google’s crawlers will scan the text for keywords and rank the page accordingly.

They will also help you attract more voice search traffic and make your content accessible to people who cannot listen to videos.

To add a transcript and closed captions to a video – simply use a transcription tool or manually insert them yourself.

8. Video Likes and Dislikes

Likes and dislikes are among the hundreds of signals that YouTube considers for ranking. Their recommendation system learns from whether or not viewers are choosing to watch a video.

The system learns how much of the video the viewer watches and if they are satisfied. Your overall video performance is decided by a combination of these factors.

Typical Audience Retention Data learns how YouTube Analytics now reports key moments in audience retention to help you understand what is working and what is not.

YouTube like dislikes share comment save

You now understand why many YouTube creators ask viewers to like their video, post comments, share the video on their social networks and subscribe to their channel.

All of these are forms of viewer engagement and satisfaction – they are all signals that YouTube considers for ranking.

9. Supplement Your Video With Good Website SEO

While video SEO is an excellent strategy in itself, search engines would not rank your videos unless the rest of your website is search-engine friendly which means that you need to optimise your website by:

  • Checking your website is not blocking crawlers with a robots.txt file
  • Using keywords in your web page title tags and meta descriptions so search engines can understand the page contents
  • Optimising your images so search engines can index them correctly via naming your images – social media strategy rather than IMG392848.
  • Ensure your website loads in three seconds or less as faster websites rank better
  • Launching a sitemap
  • Minimising page redirects
  • Installing an SSL certificate
  • Using a mobile-friendly theme
  • Targeting keywords relevant to your niche
videos with good website SEO

If you want to ensure your website’s SEO follows best practices then you should also double-check that you are not making any technical SEO mistakes.

10. Video Uploads and Playlists

Regular publishing schedule can draw viewers back to your channel to watch more videos and by using playlists – this can help them easily find more of what they like on your channel.

To stay on top of viewers’ minds – many creators find that setting a routine publishing schedule will help viewers know when to expect their next release. It is like anticipating when the next episode of your favourite show is coming out next.

Subscribers can find your new uploads in their subscriptions feed and can opt-in to mobile or email notifications based on their interests.

YouTube video uploads and playlists

11. Measure Your Performance

If you want to succeed with video SEO strategy long-term then you will need to measure the performance of your videos so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. This means you will need to track metrics like:

  • Watch time – the total amount of time people spend watching your video.
  • Average view duration – how long the average viewer spends on your video.
  • Viewer demographics – what gender your viewers are and where they live.
  • Conversion rate – how many people buy your product or service after watching your video by using link tracking software.
  • Bounce rate – how many people leave your website after only viewing a single video or page.
measure your performance

Stay Ahead of Video Optimisation Developments

Video SEO has changed dramatically over the years hence use these guides to optimise your videos for search and discovery as quickly as possible.

Marketers have forecasted that millions of YouTube viewers will watch the platform’s content on connected TV – CTV devices in the near future.

Now YouTube viewers have pivoted to TV screens as their method of choice for watching content – a trend that is experiencing significant growth during the height of the pandemic.

connected TV - CTV device

Using a TV clicker to tap out each letter of your target term on your CTV can be long winded and painful.

Maybe the integration of voice search will make this easier in the future or maybe getting found on Home or Suggested Videos and Related Topics will make YouTube Search a relic of the past.

Watch this space!!!

Get Started with Video SEO Strategy Now

If there was ever a time to add videos to your digital marketing strategy – that time is now. Research shows that online videos will account for 82% of internet traffic in the future and rising.

If you want to win some of that traffic then you will need to start producing videos now with our Video SEO services.

Now that you have learned how to use video SEO to your advantage – there is only one question left to answer: how can we help you incorporate video into your video SEO strategy?

video seo services include

At Best-Digital Marketing, we utilise video SEO best practices and techniques to get you the results you want so call us today on 07794 113 607 or for a customised video SEO plan pricing.

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