Have you ever wondered why your stellar video is buried in the results pages? Well, even if you’ve created the best marketing video ever, it is worth nothing if people don’t see it. Don’t you think?
In this article, we’ll share with you a complete step-by-step guide with everything that needs to be done to optimize a video and some extra tips about video creation that you’ll love.
Let’s start this journey that will make you a video SEO ninja:
Just in case you haven’t done it yet, I must tell you that If you want your video to rank in the second largest search engine behind Google, you need to upload your video on YouTube. What is more, videos are displayed as Google search results too because its algorithm understands that the best answer to some questions is audiovisual content.
These topics are more likely to show video results:
How-to keywords (“how to cook brisket”)
Reviews (“new Samsung mobile”)
Tutorials (“Clean your toilet”)
Sports (“Home run”)
Funny videos (“Cute cats”)
In addition to this, you should strive to upload quality content that reflects your brand or company. Whether that means enlisting the help of skilled or becoming a visionary filmmaker yourself matters little. The fact is that people online will determine the value of your video content on appearance at first glance, and you very rarely get a second chance!
With that out of the way, let’s see how you can optimize to give your content more exposure.
The first step to optimize your video is to know what your potential clients are searching for. First, try to come up with ideas for words that are related to your business. Then, you can search for them on the keyword planner tool on Google AdWords and compare how many queries that set of words have had on average.
Some of them have hundreds of thousands of monthly search queries. That means that a lot of companies will fight for them.
Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to rank higher for that set of keywords, but it’s too difficult to achieve that from the beginning. Instead, try to fit that keyword into a longer and more specific sentence that will be less competitive.
Let’s see an example of this.
To rank one of our videos on YouTube, we chose a long tail keyword, “Explainer video styles,” which has a maximum of 1K average monthly searches instead of 100K:
The strategy is based on starting with a medium-competition keyword, and in the long-term, you’ll reach the one that has more demand.
Following this strategy, our video nowadays has reached 360k views organically only, with a very limited budget for ads at the beginning of its campaign:
The third step is to inform YouTube what your video is about. Remember that the platform can’t view your video (yet), so unless you provide information about it, leveraging all of YouTube’s features, you won’t rank for the right search queries. Let’s start with that:
Use the long tail keyword that you’ve found in the previous step. Be brief and clear about your content and never write a misleading title. Keep in mind that YouTube rewards audience retention, and if people click on your video because of its title but then realize it was misleading, they will back off, and the search engine will denote it.
Write a paragraph telling the viewer what your video is about. Use two or three keywords but don’t repeat them too much. Don’t forget to add a link to drive traffic to your website and your social media profiles. Last but not least, always include the video transcript in which your keyword is mentioned so YouTube can “read” it. Check out how we’ve done it here:
Although as a ranking factor they are not as influential as other elements, you should use your keyword first and some variations of it later. If your video covers some other topics, add them also as a tag.
With an analytics tool like VidIQ, you’ll know what tags your competitors are using. Include them on yours so that your video is added to their suggested video sidebar. These are our explainer video’s tags:
Be aware that your video will be shown among many others on the ranking list. Of course, viewers will click on the most engaging one. The percentage of people that click on your video is your Click Through Rate or CTR, and YouTube’s algorithm pays close attention to that.
When you upload your video, YouTube will offer three random thumbnail captures. Those are probably not the best ones, so if you want to boost your CTR; you should create attractive thumbnails stating clearly the topic of your video. For example, for our video, we chose the upper-left image:
No matter if your primary marketing goal is to bring more traffic to your site or subscriptions to your channel, you should ask your viewers to take that action. Don’t be shy! Encourage them with a final image, YouTube Cards (a sidebar call-to-action) and end screens. Don’t forget to insert your call to action at the beginning and the end of your video.
This useful YouTube tool automatically plays every video on a list that you set up. Just choose a few of your videos that cover the same topic and add them to a new playlist. This simple but effective trick will boost your views faster!
Did you know that your channel itself can rank on YouTube and help you to get more views? You should carefully design a logo and banner for your channel. Also, add links to other social media profiles and write a channel description mentioning your keywords.
Of course, your goal is to sell your product. On the other hand, YouTubers are looking to solve problems, learn a craft, or be entertained. The challenge is to satisfy both with your
video. There are some types of marketing videos that fit this criterion: educational videos, for instance, provide valuable information to your potential customers.
How-to videos are also very popular and gather thousands of views. Also, a great way to show your product and be entertaining at the same time is to create an animated explainer video like this:
Overall, try to think about what kind of knowledge you can share about your business with the audience. I bet you already have some ideas!
This is a tricky question. It depends on how complex your topic is. Some experts say “the shorter, the better” because the audience’s average attention span is short. However, in a recent analysis of 1.3 million YouTube videos, Backlinko found that longer videos significantly outperform shorter videos.
Indeed, the research revealed that the average length of a first page YouTube video is 14 minutes and 50 seconds. Try to think your video’s narrative structure over to establish its perfect length.
Whatever length you choose, bear in mind that YouTube’s algorithm rewards audience retention, meaning that if people keep watching your whole video (or most of it), the platform assumes that it provides useful information and good quality entertainment. In that case, your video will rank higher.
Taking the previous insight into account, nothing is more important than the beginning of your video to retain your viewers. You need to start with the right foot because those first few seconds are precious to hook in your audience and make them watch your video.
The topic should be stated as clearly as possible, and you should anticipate what you’ll explain later or what will happen to keep them interested in what you’ll show later.
Keep in mind that who watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video will watch for at least 10 seconds, and 45% will watch for 30 seconds. To maximize engagement in those first few seconds like this company did in this very popular marketing video:
Here you have the golden rule: high quality. No matter how perfectly you optimize your video’s data, if it’s boring or lame, nobody will keep watching it, and YouTube will harm your ranking. A professional video should be structured right from the pre-production stage with a thoughtfully written script, high-quality images, and compelling music and sound effects. Don’t skimp on that or you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
The video’s voiceover will be automatically transcribed. You can leverage that feature by mentioning your keyword at the beginning of your video to let YouTube know that your content is all about that topic.
Even if your main aim is to sell, YouTube channels should be more informative and educational than sales-oriented. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and try to imagine what they are searching for on the video platform that may be related to your business.
Optimize your video by following all the steps we’ve mentioned to let the search engines know what your video is about.
Always, I repeat, ALWAYS look for a high-quality video to ensure audience retention and a higher ranking position.
An engaging video will help you to convey your brand message in a compelling way that will effectively build up your brand reputation online and boost your rankings. Are you ready? Do you already have some ideas? Comment and share them with us!