If you’re going to produce a video for marketing purposes, you want to make sure you’re maximizing your return on investment. One way that you can raise your ROI for video production and content is to optimize it for search engines.

Video content can be a powerful part of your larger SEO strategy, and the following are things to know. 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process that a business or website uses to increase its visibility organically so that when people are searching for what’s related to them on a search engine like Google, they’re showing up and ranking high. The more visibility you get in search results, the more likely you are to attract prospective clients to your business. 

A search engine like Google will use bots that crawl web pages. These bots move from site to site, and they collect information about pages to put them in an index. 

Algorithms will analyze the pages in the index, and consider hundreds of signals, which are ranking factors, to determine which order the pages should appear in search results for any given query, which is just a search. 

SEO is organic, meaning you can’t pay to rank in search engines. A lot of potential upsides come with investing in SEO, even though it takes longer to see results. The biggest is that it’s sustainable over the long term, and the work you do on SEO often builds on itself, so you aren’t paying for every click like you are with advertising. 

Video SEO is optimizing videos of any kind to be indexed and ultimately rank on search engine results pages for keyword searches that are relevant

There are a lot of ways that you can give your video content a better chance of ranking. 

How Can Video Help Your Organic Rankings?

Video is quickly rising to be one of the most important forms of content marketing, and when you pay attention to it, it can end up being one of the most impactful things you do in all of your optimization strategies. 

Google shows a video thumbnail next to a search result for around 26% of all results. Users are more likely to click those video listings. When the listing has the video thumbnail, it means the result is what’s called a rich snipped. A rich snippet will often have a higher click-through rate than a standard snippet. 

While we can’t say for sure, there are also rumors that Google prioritizes search results that have a video over those that don’t. 

Google hasn’t confirmed this, but based on independent analysis, it appears to be the case. 

Video helps with some of the known metrics that Google considers in its algorithm. Two of the most important are the time users are spending on your site or page and then the number of backlinks to your domain. Videos can improve both metrics. 

Research shows people spend more than twice as long on pages with videos compared to those without, and the higher your quality, including video content, the more likely you are to get backlinks to it. 

There are direct and indirect reasons that video can influence your SEO. 

How to Optimize Your Videos

If you have a low-quality video, or you have one with little value or context, it’s not going to help your rankings. You need to make sure your videos satisfy the intent of people who are searching so they leave your site quickly. If people go to your site and the video isn’t what they were looking for, it increases your bounce rate. That’s a red flag to Google that your page lacks value, and then you won’t rank well. 

General things to remember when creating videos include:

  • Use videos on your website. You want your videos to make logical sense where you place them. You can also publish them on YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine in the world. 
  • Don’t publish your video to a blank page. Instead, try to surround it with other content, written and visual, that’s relevant to what people will be seeing in the video itself. Some people will create transcripts of their videos so that they can target keywords. The more you can show Google and users how a video fits into the content that you have on-page, the better. 
  • Your videos need to be informative and problem-solving. You have to make videos that cement your authority and credibility. Your videos shouldn’t be like advertisements. In fact, they should have little, if any, selling tactics included within them. 
  • Be consistent when it comes to video creation. You want to rank for a lot of keywords that match the intent of your targeted customers. 
  • Ensure that you have an engaging thumbnail. This is what a searcher sees when your video is indexed, so it’s a big determinant of whether or not someone will click on your video. 
  • Make sure that you’re optimizing your title and description, just like you do for a blog post. Do keyword research for both. 
  • Embed your video that you want ranked first on the page. Google will usually index only a single video per page, so if you have multiple videos on a page, make sure you’re keeping that in mind. 
  • Don’t embed the same video across multiple places. If you do, you’re competing against yourself. 
  • If you’re uploading your video to YouTube, you want to make sure that you’re putting the right information on the backend so that your video is going to be crawled, categorized, and prioritized the way you’d like it to be. You want to think about including keywords in your description tags and your video length, and you want to encourage people to like and subscribe. 

Finally, you can’t rely on SEO alone for your video. You also want to publicize it in other ways, such as on your social profiles, because you’ve put effort into making it.