How to use video to improve your SEO

By Tristan Morris


What is video SEO?

Video SEO, sometimes referred to as VSEO, is the technique used to optimise your video content to boost your brands online visibility through organic search rankings. If done right, video can be an extremely powerful content form within a wider SEO strategy.

Why should brands care about video SEO?

Google alone processes over 3.5 billion searches daily, making search one of the most lucrative marketing strategies for brands that have an ambition to drive high volumes of quality traffic to their website. Video search results are 50 times more likely to rank organically in Google SERPs than text based content and drive a 41% higher click through rate (CTR).

When it comes to search, Google dominates the search engine space. So it’s no surprise that the Google owned video platform, YouTube, is the second largest search engine in the world; more than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask combined. 88% of videos that rank in the top 10 for YouTube will rank on Google SERPs for the same search. Savvy brands will capitalise on this alignment, using their video content to drive traffic and engagement through the two biggest channels in the digital landscape.

The goals of your video SEO

It’s important to consider what your video SEO objectives are at the initial stages of your plan. Are these videos aiming to drive traffic to your website or is it more of a priority to achieve brand awareness? These objectives will impact where you choose to host your video. For example, if your aim is to drive traffic, it would be better to use a hosting platform that will insert SEO metadata to increase your likelihood of being indexed, like Wistia. Using platforms like Vimeo and YouTube are great for reaching huge audiences, however the nature of these platforms is to keep their users there – not to go off to your website. So, considering the platform should be a priority, alongside understanding the YouTube search algorithm and how to capitalise on the traffic that comes to your video content.

If you’re including video into your wider SEO marketing strategy you have the opportunity to rank multiple times from one video. For example, if you hosted on YouTube and then also embedded it on an optimised page on your website, you could rank in the following ways:

  1. Website page on Google organic SERPs
  2. Website page on Google video SERPs
  3. YouTube video on Google video SERPs
  4. Video within YouTube search results
  5. Either the website page or YouTube video on Google video snippet

That’s a lot of visibility opportunities for your brand to benefit from!

Quick tips for optimising for video SEO

1. Transcripts

Transcripts are helpful for user experience, but to Google, they signal as indexable text. This means your video can rank for more search queries = better chance of visibility.

2. Title and descriptions count

Treat your video title and descriptions the same as you would your meta data usually. Keyword research should underpin these to help craft copy that will rank for relevant searches.

3. Engaging thumbnails for better CTR

This will be the first thing your audience is likely to see when searching and your video is indexed. Getting it right is really important for the first stage of engagement, so it needs to clearly show what your video is about, whilst being inviting and true to your brand.

4. Embedding with relevance

Google focuses on user intent and content that is going to be relevant for the user experience. With that in mind, ensuring that the video you want to rank for is positioned high up on your web page and with on-page copy that is also relevant to the search query will help your rankings.

5. Avoid duplication

Embedding your video you wish to rank in multiple places is going to only cause confusion to Google and additional competition with yourself. In effect, you risk cannibalising your own content. Only embed your optimised video on the page that is most relevant to its content. For example, if you have a video about ‘How to cook vegan lasagne on a budget’, put that on the page dedicated specifically to that niche, not on additional pages that might out rank your page but lead visitors to bounce, like, ‘cooking on a budget’ or ‘cooking lasagne’.

6. Promote, promote, promote

Whilst it’s nice to think doing just the above will secure your video a top spot on Google’s SERPs, anything you can do to gain an advantage shouldn’t be ignored. Sharing the link to your video through social channels, paid ads and digital PR can help drive relevant traffic and signal to Google that your video is the most relevant, quality content available, and so should rank highly.

Is your brand making the most out of video?

Creating great video content takes time, resource and professional equipment. That’s why we’re here to help. We are TrunkBBI, an integrated team of award-winning video production and digital marketing specialists. We understand the complexities of video content and how to get the best ROI for your budget.