If you’ve got a website or blog for your business, odds are you’ve heard a little something about search engine optimization, or SEO. And you also may have heard that using video can be good for SEO, helping you rank higher in search results.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into video search engine optimization. We’ll show you why video SEO is important, and how to build a video SEO strategy that’ll help your website get discovered. Check out the table of contents below to find out more about what we’ll cover and click through to jump to a specific section of the guide.
Table of Contents:
First things first, we’ll take a look at what SEO video marketing is. To put it simply, SEO is the practice of using video to appear higher in search results and drive more traffic to your website. Using properly optimized video, you can appear closer to the top of the search results when someone searches for terms related to your business or industry. This applies both to queries in search engines like Google, but also in video search engines like YouTube. We’ll dive into both of those in this article.
Video improves your website SEO by improving your rank in the SERP, or Search Engine Results Page. Here are the ways that video can help improve your search ranking and drive your website pages to the top of the SERP.
When your content is a mix of text, photos, and videos, it signals to Google that the page contains rich media relevant to the search request. Moreover, as consumer video consumption continues to rise, search engines will likely increase the ranking factor of video on your landing pages. Having video on your site to boost page rank is becoming increasingly important.
When people stop to watch a video on your page, it increases dwell times, or the amount of time a user spends on a web page. As people spend more time on the page, it signals to Google that your content is relevant and interesting. As others continue to search for your topic, Google then puts your content in front of them.
Pages with videos have also been shown to have higher conversion rates. This means that viewers will be more likely to click through to purchase or check out more content. In turn, this helps lower the bounce rate on pages, which also works in your favor in the SERP.
For starters, using video can help increase your visibility in Google search results by moving your page higher in the results page. Adding video to your content also opens up the opportunity for it to be displayed in the "Videos" results in the SERP, as in the example below.
To help you start reaping the benefits of SEO video marketing, we’ve put together some video ideas. As we mentioned in the previous section, these videos aren’t just good for search ranking, but they can strengthen your marketing strategy as a whole.
Note: All of the examples featured in this section are video templates that you can use for free. Easily customize them for your business by adding your brand colors, changing the font, dragging and dropping your own photos and video clips, and adding your logo.
Creating an eye-catching video that tells the story of your business! Embed it on your “About” page or homepage for added SEO oopmh. Not sure how to embed a video on your website? Check out our guide.
Hook visitors into your website by sharing an explainer video on your homepage. Explainer video can quickly illustrate the value of your product or service in a compelling way, rather than relying on text.
Help set new customers up for success by incorporating video into your onboarding process. Create videos that show clients how to get started and where to look for more help. You can add these to your blog or help center for on-demand access.
Provide value on product pages—and make them more SEO-friendly—by embedding product videos. Share an overview, show off the product in use with a demo, or showcase different products within a single collection.
Demonstrate how to use your product with a how to or tutorial video. You can post a video like this on a product page, in a resource center, or incorporate it into your new customer onboarding experience.
These videos are also great for YouTube, where potential customers or existing customers may be searching for tutorials related to your product, service, or industry.
People respond to other real people, and testimonial videos are a nice way to show potential customers that you’re trustworthy. Creating tutorial videos is easy! You can either interview real customers on camera, or compile quotes from reviews you’ve received online.
Educational, webinar-style videos are also a nice type of video that can help your video SEO strategy. These videos often answer the types of questions your potential customers are searching for. Educational videos can also help you drive new traffic to your website and showcase your expertise.
Videos that showcase your company culture are a nice way to spruce up your About Us or Jobs page. Not only will they help make these pages more discoverable, but they also make your business more attractive to candidates if you are hiring.
In order for video to have the biggest impact on your video search engine optimization, you’ll need to make sure it’s set up right. In this section, we’ll dive into some tips for properly optimizing your videos for search.
According to Google, "A video sitemap is a sitemap with additional information about video hosted on your pages. Creating a video sitemap is an excellent way to help Google find and understand the video content on your site, especially content that was recently added or that we might not otherwise discover with our usual crawling mechanisms." You can learn more about video sitemaps on their support site.
When saving video files that’ll be uploaded to your website, use keyword-rich filenames. This’ll help both humans and bots understand what the video is about. This means calling your file something like how-to-use-a-garden-utility-knife.mp4 rather than video2343345.mp4. Here are some AI tools you can use to generate name files and meta descriptions easily.
The thumbnails on your videos should both explain what the video is about and entice people to click and watch. Depending on what the video is about, try using copy in your thumbnail as a visual cue that explains what viewers will get when they watch. If you’ve got a person talking in your video, try using them in the thumbnail as a human connection can help drive engagement.
If you’ve got videos with a talking head or voice-over, include a video transcription on the page. The transcript lives in the background of your website, in the code, and includes what is said in the script of your video. This helps bots know what your video content is about.
A webpage with a video transcript increases the word count of the landing page and acts like a long-form blog post. This gives you the opportunity to get more relevant keywords on your page, and increase keyword density, without having to repeat keywords within the visible written content on the page. Learn how to use AI to generate video transcripts and streamline your video SEO strategy here.
Video schema markup can be used to give search engines more information about the content of your video. Google bots cannot “see” your video and understand what it entails. So the only way the bots can know what your video is about is for your code to tell them.
Adding schema markup enables Google to find your video and understand what the video is about. It can also lead to your video being displayed in the “Videos” results in the SERP for search queries related to your video. To learn more, check out this great how-to article on video schema markup from SEMrush.
Last but not least, optimize videos for quicker website load times. The videos you upload to your site on your own should be optimized to load faster. AKA, the smaller the file size the better. Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice quality so it’s important to compress your videos for faster loading while maintaining image quality. Here is a great tool that reduces video file size without degrading quality.
You can also embed the YouTube player on your page, instead of hosting the video yourself. This can help you show up higher in search results too. In fact, research suggests that pages with videos using YouTube embedded players appear, on average, two positions higher in the SERP.
However, there are some shortcomings to using the YouTube player to host your videos, such as an inability to customize the way the videos appear on your landing page. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of using either YouTube or your own player on your website long term. But if you’re just getting started and are looking to increase your visibility, YouTube is a good starting point.
Ready to start SEO video marketing? We’re here to help! An Animoto subscription gives you everything you need to drag and drop your way to powerful and professional videos that you can post on your website.
Customizable video templates, including the templates included in this guide, make it easy to create your own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than 1 million businesses worldwide.
Try it for free today!