With video content on the rise, it is essential to follow video SEO best practices in order to rank on search engines and increase site traffic.
Video is projected to claim more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019, according to Forbes. By adding video marketing and video SEO to your digital strategy, you can improve your site’s SEO, increase click-throughs, and enhance conversion rates. In fact, embedding videos into your website landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80 percent.
Optimizing Your Video SEO
With video SEO, your content will be able to gain more views, increasing your brand’s visibility and driving traffic to your website. In order to rank better on search engines and encourage engagement, your video needs to be properly optimized. You must first consider how you want to add the video to your website. There are three main options: you can build the video directly into the structure of your site, you can use YouTube to upload the video and embed a copy into your site, or you can use a video hosting platform such as Vimeo.
Building videos into your site is ideal if you want to use a background video. This is also a good way to engage website viewers once they are on your site. On the other hand, using YouTube allows you to promote your video on the popular social network, which can build brand awareness and boost engagement while also driving more traffic to your site. Vimeo works well for videos that may not be as successful on YouTube. The hosting platform will also give you more control over how the video appears on your site.
Now that you’ve decided where to put your video, it’s time to optimize it with video SEO. Here are several tips to make sure your video is ready for the web:
- Keep your videos built directly into your site in as small a data file as possible. Compress videos to minimize buffer time for a better user experience.
- Steer away from using auto-play videos to let users decide if and when they want the video to play.
- Make your videos stand out on the page. For example, if the video is the primary content, place it towards the top of the content.
- Make sure the video quality remains clear for users regardless of the device they’re watching it on.
- Make sure your video is compatible with HTML5, which has replaced many other video formats.
Video SEO Best Practices
Search engines rank videos with similar ranking factors as written content. By following these video SEO best practices, you’ll become more visible in search results, improve your rankings, and drive more traffic to your website.
1. Transcribe Your Video
Search engines can’t actually watch your video. Providing video transcriptions can help crawlers identify your video content, making it more likely to appear in search engine results pages.
Transcriptions can be optimized for search in the same way as other written content. When transcribing video content, you can either provide a word-for-word script or content highlights. While full transcripts provide more SEO engagement opportunities, highlights are good for longer videos and can improve views by teasing readers with the most compelling content that’s discussed in the video.
2. Optimize Video Metadata
Just like you would optimize a page on your website with meta titles and descriptions, make sure you do the same for your video content. Search engines will display this metadata information in results pages, and you’ll be able to rank higher and increase engagement if metadata is properly optimized.
Choosing the right thumbnail is also critical. You should create a custom thumbnail that represents your video content, attracts attention, and sparks engagement.
3. Implement Schema Markup
While some users conduct searches using the video search engine function, many just use the general search tool. To help videos stand out, use schema markup (semantic vocabulary) to provide search engines with the information they need to crawl and rank your site. With schema markup, general search results will appear in the same way as video search results, providing a video thumbnail and length.
4. Create a Video Sitemap
You can increase the chances of search engine crawlers finding videos on your site by creating a separate video sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console. Video sitemaps must include video title, description, play page URL, thumbnail, and raw video file URL, and must also match the information included on your site. This information will give search engines a better idea of your video content, helping you rank.
5. Conduct Keyword Research
Like website and blog content, it is important to focus on creating videos for relevant keywords that populate search results. By conducting keyword research, you can find targeted keywords that users are searching for.