While brand videos are great for marketing and engaging even indifferent audiences, gaining viewership can be challenging.
You might already be doing everything you can: Sharing the video across different social networks, using the best trending hashtags, distributing it throughout your contacts’ list, writing blog posts … But those views just refuse to reach your goals. Don’t worry –We’ve all been there.
What most of us forget, is that video hosting platforms are also search engines. For this reason, video SEO is a critical need for videos to perform.
Here are some tips on how to use video SEO to get more views.
Ranking your videos on a video platform/search engine is a process, not an event.
Not to say it can’t happen in a day. It can happen in an hour or sometimes in ten minutes too. But that’s a real rarity.
These tips and techniques will ensure consistency in the growth of your channel:
Keywords are the micro labels that search engines use to identify your content (both textual and visual). So, just as you would research keywords before writing a blog post, do the same for your videos.
The largest video platform in the world is YouTube. For a better reach, start off with keywords that are popular on both Google and YouTube.
To make keyword research easy, here’s a list of things that you can do.
- Use tools: While guessing different keywords and their popularity is like betting too much, using keyword research tools is a great alternative to that. Tools like Google Keyword Planner allow users to know the search volume and popularity of the given keyword(s) along with new relevant keyword ideas. All you need to do is simply place your keyword and ‘Get Started’.
The tool will shower you with a number of keywords which can be sorted by difficulty (to be faced in order to rank), search volume and CPC for ads.
Now you see how it works? It’s simple. Go to Google Keyword Planner and explore your options.
- Keep trends in mind: One way of making sure your video doesn’t fade away over time is to keep trends in mind. Google trends can help you with that.
Just head to the website and enter your search term or topic. It’ll tell you everything about trends relating to that topic/keyword.
It’s always better to pick keywords and topics which are already trending or are probable to trend in the near future.
- Make use of Google and YouTube autocomplete: Another way of finding great video keywords is by using Google and YouTube autocomplete.
These are the best video keywords (highly specific (long-tail) phrases occurring in both YouTube and Google Autocomplete).
Let us see how we can find these.
YouTube Autocomplete (complete the phrase)
Google Autocomplete (fill in the blank)
As you can see, the screenshots above are snippets from YouTube and Google Search bar showing the autocomplete suggestions as you type in a search term.
You can use this for getting new video keyword ideas in your niche.
NOTE: Using the underline character ( _ ) followed by a search term helps you find keyword ideas Google autocompletes. Google fills the blank and presents ideas based on that.
While finding the right keywords might seem a quick and easy task, when taken seriously it can be really time-consuming. But, then it’s worth the effort. After all, keywords are the labels that your content needs to rank in the search engine.
Just as it is for every blog post that you write, your video content also needs to be great.
If we talk about video content, there’s a number of things that go into creating a great piece. To make it easy for you, here’s a list of factors to make sure your videos are spot on and rich with awesome content. Always!
- Keep your customers in mind: First thing that goes into making an awesome video is empathy. It is one useful element that can transform the face of any piece of content. The key is to be empathetic towards users/customers, to know the problems that they are facing and the solutions they are looking for. In addition, you should find out more about where they live, their gender, and their interests. Once you know as much as can be known about your prospect, you can startdrafting content for your video.
- Be useful: One of the most important characteristics of any good piece of content is its usefulness.There’s no point in creating content (textual or visual) if it isn’t helping anybody. The aim is to entertain the audience and be of use to them. Keep this in mind and don’t just make videos for the sake of it. Create videos that add value to your viewers’ lives. Whether it is by making them laugh or by introducing a legendary product that they’ve been longing to find.
- Keep it concise: Another thing you need to ensure is that your video is concise. Anything too long or less informative would just cease to rank in the SERPs. Reason? I’ll come to that later. The point here is to set the focus. Filter out the redundant shots. Make it as clean and concise as it can be. And you’ll see how your video will be liked more both by your viewers and search engines.
- Be engaging: Nobody wants to watch boring videos. And do we even need evidence for it?
All of us have at some point in time come across videos that totally lost us in the first minute (or even before that). Would you want your video to do that to your audience? Certainly not!
So, think about it. And Keep it interesting and engaging.
Videos that are too long, boring or hollow will turn viewers off. This results in reduced watch time → high bounce rates → poor search rankings → lost business opportunities.
So make sure your video and your brand don’t have to go through this.
Once we have created content and laid a structure for the video, we need to incorporate it with the right keywords that we found in the first step.
To move ahead with it, use the keywords at least a few times in the video. It’s not about stuffing. Don’t say it to say it.
It’s like, if you are talking about ‘creating a good graphic’, you’d naturally be using the keyphrase ‘creating/create a good graphic’ at least a few times.
That’s how natural you have to keep it. And don’t worry about using the exact keywords. Partial matches. Related keywords. Long-tail key phrases. All of these can work.
Once your video is ready, you might want to upload it at the earliest. Nothing wrong with that. But right before you do it, make sure you have named it correctly.
Do you know how image names affect their search rankings when uploaded to a web page?
Even if you use the right alt text (according to your focus keywords), uploading a randomly named image (for example img_01.jpeg) will always inhibit your search rankings.
The same goes for your video and thumbnail files.
So, instead of uploading a video file as mov001.avi or random_name.mp4 upload it after naming it as your_keyword.mp4.
This is a small measure that can make a huge difference when search rankings for your video are concerned.
Your video’s title and description are its support content. While the main content of the video comprises of what the video includes, the support content here is the one that goes into textually describing what the video is about.
Remember, the first point points out: “Keywords are the micro labels which search engines identify your content (both textual and visual) with.” This is how the search algorithms will find your video and rank it (based on this and the other factors as mentioned in the sections below).
So, make sure you use the right keywords in your video’s title, description and tags before you publish it.
All the major video publishing platforms allow users to add titles, descriptions and tags.
Another great way you can game up your video’s SEO is by creating a guest post targeting the same keyword as in the video.
First of all, this will give you a chance to occupy two spots in the SERPs (one for the video and the other for your blog post).
Secondly, when you’ll create a blog post for backing up your video, you’d be embedding the video in your article.
This will encourage users to spend more time on your blog. Shower your video with more views and love. And will, in turn, improve its search rankings.
Also, you can place a link to your blog post in the video’s description.
(Yayyy! Free referral traffic)
Don’t you love it when you can watch a video on mute without wondering what’s being said?
Subway travelers would feel me.
Well, give your viewers the privileges that you’d want as a consumer.
Using closed caption feature in your YouTube videos helps your viewers understand your content better as they can read out everything that’s being said.
For example, this shows your text over the video which is being played.
Also, it can be translated into different languages, which increases your video’s reach even more.
Using this option also gives videos a new way to be indexed in the search engines (because of the keywords written in there).
Feeling lazy about uploading a new video but want to gain more views (and of course, subscribers) for your channel?
Don’t worry, there’s a way out: You can optimize your existing videos.
To start …
- Head over to the Studio.YouTube.com
- Click on Analytics and then on Top Videos. This will display all your uploaded videos.
- Click on the video that you want to start optimizing
- Click on ‘Traffic source’ and select YouTube search
- This will show you a page featuring the search terms that your audience is using to find your video.
- Optimize that video’s title, descriptions and tags using these keywords.
TIP: If you see a search query that your video isn’t currently catering to, congrats! You just got an idea for your next video.
Brand videos, when used in the right way, can do wonders for marketing your business. But then, it’s sometimes tough to crack how video SEO works.
In this post, we tried to break it down for you. We shared 8 SEO techniques that will get your videos the love and eyeballs they deserve.
Still got doubts? Don’t hold back. Share and discuss this piece with your marketing buds for even more ideas.
**About the Author: Deepasha Kakkar is the founder of Crackitt, a boutique visual-marketing studio that produces business videos, GIFs and infographics to help brands attract, educate and convert their audience.