10 Video SEO Tips to Improve Your Rankings

8 October, 2018  

Video marketing is truly becoming the most powerful medium in digital marketing. According to HubSpot’s survey last December 2017, video usage is on the rise.

Over 99% of HubSpot’s respondents said they will continue to use video marketing in 2018. On the audience’s side, data shows that most people watch 1.5 hours of video on a typical day.

Visuals draw the viewer’s interest and retain their attention better than text found in blogs. Further data shows that 76% of marketers who used videos have increased website traffic and sales. Amazing, right?

If you haven’t begun using video in your digital marketing campaigns, now is the time to start. Here are 10 tips to help get your videos on the front page of search engines quickly!


Write a good video title

Audiences click on search engine results because of attractive titles… But what makes a good one?

Internet users are looking for content that will help them know more about a topic. So, make sure your titles focus on solving a problem. Additionally, attractive titles introduce the solution as the easiest and fastest in existence.

Good headlines typically have the following characteristics:

  • Up-to-date (The Best Headline-Writing Tips Today)
  • Uses synonyms of “amazing,” “effective,” “easy,” and others (like awe-inspiring, productive, convenient)
  • Introduces the “wow” factor of the content (How I Had Abs In 4 Easy Weeks With This Simple Workout; [Brand] is Slashing 90% Off Its $1,000 Package Until Tomorrow Only)

Simply put, a good headline that is helpful, convenient, and irresistible will generate great amounts of views.

Another thing to consider is how search engines serve videos automatically for a “how-to” search. According to Google’s guidelines, context is very important for videos, and we couldn’t agree more. From an SEO perspective, the video title expresses the content’s context.

Search engine algorithms will pick up context from video titles. This means a video entitled “How to Write a Script” will appear when users search for “how to write scripts.”

ebook: How to rank N1 on Youtube

Make your descriptions interesting

Unlike blog posts, video titles do not have secondary headlines to help elaborate their topic. Fortunately, video descriptions come to the rescue.

However, writing descriptions are a little different. The first 150 characters of video descriptions will show up in the search results. Considering this, make sure they describe what the video will discuss without giving away too many details.


For example, if your video is about saving more batteries while using a particular device, the first sentence can talk about the problem. Then the subsequent sentence can give a preview of the methods the video will discuss to solve the problem.

Finally, make sure to write them in a similar fashion to writing headlines.

Be informative and value-adding

Your video headline and descriptions offer viewers the promise of a convenient and effective solution. However, if it fails to deliver on these promises, your video will not gain any traction.

In fact, it will affect your brand negatively. To avoid this, make sure to produce quality content.

Quality content has the following characteristics:

  • An excellent flow: The video discusses each topic point concisely in a simple and easy-to-understand manner
  • Well-researched: Data, experience, and other tangible evidence prove the video’s points
  • Achieves results: The proposed solution or process achieves the results your headlines promise.

Remember, if your audience finds your content value adding, they will share it with their networks. In doing so, they increase the likelihood that search engines will prioritize your video content in the search results.

In the words of Marie Fincher, TrustMyPaper content specialist: “A content writer’s focus must be on crafting the most amazing pieces ever – pieces that will engage, entertain, and/or inspire their readers so much that they have to share it. If the content is unique and valuable to readers, it will naturally become unique and valuable to Google.” 

Consider high-definition videos

Having HD content helps your video retain audience attention. Beautiful and flowing visuals help illustrate points and avoid information overload.

In fact, some video sites including YouTube and Vidyard prioritize high-definition videos than lower-resolution videos. However, if the number of video views proves its great content quality, then lower-res videos will definitely reach the top of the search engines.

Maximize the power of thumbnails

Thumbnails are the first thing users see in search engine results. Therefore, this makes it important to create a thumbnail that grabs attention.

Here are a few guidelines on creating excellent video thumbnails that make all the difference in video views:

  • Emotion: images that express strong emotion captures the attention compared to a person in a stock-photo posture
  • Include Headline-Style Text: most video platforms allow thumbnails to have headlines in the image itself.
  • Use Bright-Colored Backgrounds: brighter video thumbnails grab more attention, so make sure to use them!


Always add captions where applicable

Videos and photos help viewers digest informative content. However, they do little to improve your search engine rankings.

Therefore, insert text in any area allowed within your video. Captions help improve your video SEO.

In addition, it helps viewers understand the video’s topics in a clearer manner. If you’re posting videos on Facebook, which generates 8 billion video views per day, then captions are important. In fact, 85% of Facebook video viewers watch videos without sound.

infographic: How to write a script

Improve video metadata

Make sure to fill out the video tags, select the category, and add the description of your videos where possible. These may not be the only areas where you can improve the video’s metadata, but it’s a good place to start.

Here are other things to consider:

Video Filename

Instead of naming your files as “video2.mp4,” insert parts of the video’s target or context keyword in the name, like “car-repair.format.”

Schema Markup

Schema markup describes several technical properties about the video. This provides essential search engine information that indicates video length, upload date, width and height dimensions. Here are the complete guidelines.

Video Sitemap

If you’re using site-hosted videos, you can increase views by creating a video sitemap in Google’s Search Console. Here is how to do just that.

Allow viewers to embed your videos

When people embed your videos on their website, it’s similar to having free brand advertising. In this light, it doesn’t hurt to make your content easy to embed.

In addition, you earn indirect inbound links because websites that embed your content must cite you for creating it.

Remember, in SEO, more inbound links from different sources improve your page rankings. It works the same way with videos.

Include social media share buttons

Make it convenient for viewers to share your content. For site-hosted videos, include a call-to-action to share the content and include social media buttons for hassle-free sharing.


CTA buttons work well in influencing consumer decisions, and this idea is especially true in video marketing. Of course, the video’s content will help make it viral, but a little “nudging” through call-to-actions and buttons will improve the video’s visibility. 

Performance improvement through analytics

Most video hosting platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have video activity trackers. These record and calculate the average time users spend watching your content.

In addition, they also record the number of video embedding, citation, “hot” video timestamps when they jump from one point to the other, and more.

This data helps you gain insight on the flow, length, and other details audiences look for in your videos. By knowing the weak and strong points of your content, you will continue to improve their performance with continuous data collection and analysis. 

Final Thoughts

Visuals are faster to digest than text and audio. Therefore, using video is a must for any digital marketing campaign. To gain more visibility in your videos, you will need well-researched, informative, and value-adding content.

Several optimizations indicated earlier will also help you attract more clicks, improve audience retention, and make your content easily go viral on social media. By using these tips, you’ll see an improvement in your video’s visibility over time.


Author Bio: Callum Mundine is part of the marketing team at One Egg. He is an Amazon marketplace & white hat link building specialist, and has launched multiple successful brands on Amazon.com. Callum like his eggs boiled.

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