Video is king of the marketing game. Around 81% of businesses are using video in their marketing strategies, and that’s because it works. But with all that video fighting for space online, how do you give yours a fighting chance in the search results?
So glad you asked.
Although video SEO might be a beast of its own, it’s a beast you can tame with the right video-targeted tactics up your sleeve.
Read on for six video SEO hacks everyone should have in their video SEO toolkit. (And if six hacks just aren’t enough, take a look at this everything-you-need-to-know guide to video SEO.)
Hack Your Way to Better Video SEO
1. Stick to what you already know about on-page factors (non-video rules still apply)
Even though we’re talking video ranking, it all comes back to the page itself. Search engines aren’t ranking the videos themselves, but rather the pages they’re on. Which means if you’re up to scratch on all the usual on-page factors, you’re gonna ace this one.
We’re talking things like:
- Highlighting that target keyword in the page title
- Headers – the H1s, the H2s, we love them all
- Changing it up with variations and related keywords in the body text
- Giving a heads up in the page title or meta description when the video is the scene-stealer of the page (whacking [Video] at the end of your title is a favorite)
2. Keep video company with relevant copy and keywords
You want the video rolling its eyes at how #relevant the copy always has to be. Surround the video with all that on-the-mark copy, full to the brim with your targeted keywords. Bonus points for shoving those keywords into a header for it, too.
3. Give your video no choice but to pull focus
Keep the video as close to the top of the page as you can and don’t skimp on the sizing – bigger is better.
You want to send the message that the video isn’t a side-character in this whole shebang. It’s clearly bagged the starring role.
4. Make sharing shamelessly easy
What on earth? Who put those bold, classically overstated social sharing buttons right near the video like that? Someone’s mouse could slip and copy that embed code to their own site!
Whoever it was must have known how helpful it is to have people linking back to your video. The more eyes on your video, the better your chances of it ending up in front of someone who thinks it’s a link worth sharing.
Since (like always) backlinks directly impact where pages rank in search results, make as much use as you can of the inherent shareability of video. It’s engaging, it’s more fun than reading, and people are generally more likely to link back to it.
5. Translate your video to Search Engine Speak with schema markup
It’s a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions: Google can’t actually watch your video masterpiece. Which unfortunately also means it can’t decipher what’s happening in the contents of your video unless you tell it. Which you should.
Schema.org markup lets you translate the innards of your video into Search Engine Speak so everyone’s on the same page. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say.
Essentially, you’re entering in info like the video’s title, a brief description, the thumbnail, and maybe even a video transcript if you’ve got one. Here’s a comprehensive how-to guide by Google with all the nitty-gritty schema markup need-to-knows.
6. Map your way to success with a video XML sitemap
Keeping (and maintaining) a video-specific XML sitemap for all your video-related data is a move you want to make.
Video sitemaps help Google navigate and understand the video content on your site, helping it find videos and pages it otherwise might not. The more Google knows about your video, the more likely it is to pop up in all the places you want it to.
Here’s another Google rundown with all the video sitemap specifics you might need to know, including a handy table highlighting the key things to include (title, description, duration, all your relevant URLs).
Don’t forget to submit your sitemap to Search Console to keep Google in the loop.
Google: Your Neediest, Most Helpful Friend
Put these tactics into play and boost your video’s chances of rising up Google’s ranks.
Although keeping on top of best video SEO practices can get a tad tedious from time to time (we’re looking at you, schema markup), it’s what’s going to set your results ahead of the masses.
If you find yourself pushing high volumes of video content or just want to make your SEO life as seamless as possible, schema markup plugins and automatic solutions can help lighten the load.
Google might be a bit of a needy friend when it comes to video SEO, but it’s a friendship worth putting the little extra effort into.