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13 Ways to Optimize Your Videos For Search

Video is one of the most effective digital marketing tools. Internet surfers love to watch exciting and informative videos. Hence, videos are a great way to connect with potential customers, grab their attention and gain increased visibility on social media platforms. 

Over the past few years, video marketing has been on the rise and has become a top favorite choice for both marketers and audiences. In the late 2000s, DSLR cameras became more affordable and easy to use. As a result, the average person could shoot videos and upload them on popular platforms such as YouTube. 

Additionally, the cell phone’s camera quality has improved, and millions of videos are shot daily. These technological developments have caused an explosion of videos. The volume of video content uploaded on the internet is immense, i.e., more than 500 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. This being said, the competition is tough, and many videos may be lost in the sea of other videos. 

As a marketer, you want your video content to stand out and reach your target audience. However, your video content may need more visibility with such tough competition. So how can you ensure that your video content stands out from other videos? 

Optimizing your video for search is the right way to go. Video SEO is the process of optimizing your videos for relevant keyword searches. Video SEO increases your content’s search engine ranking. Higher rankings result in greater visibility and getting your content across to the right audience. 

This article will look at the top 13 proven ways to optimize your video for search. 

13 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search

Select A Video Hosting Platform That Serves Your Goals

  • Before shooting a video or working on its script, selecting a video hosting platform that serves your goals is crucial. What is the end goal of your video content? Is it to drive more traffic to your website and gain more leads? Or do you want to improve your visibility and enhance brand awareness?

If the latter is true for you, then famous video hosting platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo are the most suitable platforms for you. However, if you wish to attain more leads through video content, YouTube and Vimeo can be counterproductive. 

  • The reason is that most of the traffic will go to these platforms rather than being directed to your website. Suggested videos and other content on YouTube can distract your potential customers from your products or services, which you aim to market through these videos. 

To gain more on-site traffic through your video content, choose other video hosting platforms, such as Wistia, that are exclusively designed to support video content for B2B companies. When a video is uploaded on Wistia, SEO metadata is automatically inserted. This improves your search engine ranking.  

Hence, choose a video hosting platform wisely. 

Discover Trending Topics Through Extensive Keyword Research

  • To create relevant content that strikes a chord with the audience, it is essential to know which topics are trending. What does your target audience want to learn about? Creating relevant videos about popular topics ensures that the audience is interested in your content.

Extensive keyword research can help you understand your audience. Note the following parameters related to the keywords:

  • Keyword volume
  • Competition
  • Video intent
Some topics, such as ‘baking a cake’ or ‘how to use an air fryer’, can be better described through a video than text. This is called video intent. Users prefer to watch a video on that topic rather than read about it.
  • Keyword research can help you determine whether a particular topic has video intent. For example, if you type ‘how to bake a cake’, video content will be displayed in the top results. It means that viewers wish to watch good-quality videos regarding this topic. 

Add Captions To Your Videos

Videos engage our visual and auditory senses. To make videos more comprehensible, add a transcript or captions to your video. Video transcript is the audio-to-text translation of the video’s dialogues. Video transcripts have several benefits:

  • They make videos more understandable. 
  • Viewers can enjoy and understand videos even when they are in silent mode. 
  • Video transcript provides additional text which is easily understandable by search bots. Text can be indexed easily. This helps improve the video’s ranking.

Use An Engaging and Relevant Thumbnail

  • Thumbnails are a vital component of videos. Viewers form the first impression of your video by looking at these thumbnails. Thumbnails help viewers decide whether they want to click your video or not. Research indicates that thumbnails influence the click-through rates of videos, and therefore, should be engaging, exciting, and relevant to the content of the video. 

Statistics show that 62% of consumers rely on the Internet to learn about any business or product. They prefer using the Internet to find relevant and reliable information rather than using other means. Hence, the opportunity it provides for companies to connect with customers and improve their sales is immense. 

Interestingly, thumbnails that include a human being have a 30% higher pay rate than those that don’t have a human element. For. example, if your video is about playing poker, the ideal thumbnail should feature a person playing poker rather than displaying a poker table. Featuring a human in the thumbnail makes the video more relatable for the viewers, and prompts them to click on your video. 

Improve Off-Page SEO Through Audience Engagement

  • On-page SEO is crucial for better video rankings. However, some actions that you can take outside of your website can positively impact your rankings. This is called off-page SEO. Regarding video content, audience engagement results in good off-page SEO.

Search bots perceive audience engagement as a positive sign. When more people view, like, or share your video content, it sends the message that your video content is highly relevant to what the audience is looking for. 

The following actions constitute better audience engagement:

  • Like
  • Subscribe
  • Share
  • Comment

Therefore, always ask your audience to perform these actions when they view your video content. 

Page Optimization and Relevancy To The Video Matters A Lot

  • Along with optimizing your video for better rankings, there are numerous other things to consider. The webpage where the video is embedded should also be optimized for SEO. Search engines will only rank your video if the webpage is well-optimized.  

Another factor to consider is the page’s relevancy to the video’s content. For example, if you have embedded a video about skydiving on a page about the weather, search engines will not see a link between the two, and your video will not receive higher rankings. Embed specific videos on specific pages, not on generic and irrelevant pages. 

  • Relevancy, content quality, and optimization of the web page directly impact the SEO rankings for the video.

Video Should Be The Main Highlight of The Web Page

  • If you want your video content to be well-received by the audience, ensure that it gets the spotlight on the web page. Sometimes, a high-quality video with engaging content is embedded at the end of the webpage, forcing users to scroll until the end to view the video. For the most part, the users will not go through the entire page just to look for the video. In this instance, your video will receive fewer views and low play rates. 

Poor visibility will negatively influence the video’s ranking because search crawlers cannot find a hidden video. Hence, giving the video the spotlight it deserves for better rankings is essential. 

Avoid Using The Same Video On Different Pages of The Same Website

  • If you want to attract more customers through your video content, avoid embedding it in multiple places across the same website. Viewers want to see fresh content. You drive customers away from your website by giving them repetitive and stale content. 

Try to create fresh, organic, and relevant video content for all critical web pages.

Divide Your Video Into Different Sections for Better User Experience

  • For improved user experience, use timestamps. Timestamps divide your video into different sections and allow users to watch a specific section of the video. Add timestamps in the video description so users will know where a particular portion of the video begins, and can view it accordingly. 

On YouTube, videos can be broken down into different sections using the ‘Chapters’ feature. When you add timestamps in the video description, YouTube will automatically generate Chapters based on these timestamps. The video progress bar also displays the sections and their names. 

Optimize Your Title and Description For Better Ranking

Title and meta description are essential components of your video content. Fun, engaging, crisp, and to-the-point titles and meta descriptions serve the following purposes:

  • They attract users and prompt them to click on your video. 
  • Adding relevant keywords in your title and description helps search bots find your videos and link them to relevant search queries. Make sure to include the primary keyword in your title so your video can get better rankings on SERPs. 

Adding keywords to your title can take time and effort. You have a limited number of words to play with, and you want to create a catchy title that is both user and search-bot-friendly. Overstuffing your title and description with keywords can penalize you and make your title stiff and incomprehensible. 

While creating titles, keep in mind the following helpful tips:

  • Write short and crisp titles. Too lengthy of a  title can be off-putting. 
  • The title should reflect the content of the video. 
  • Add a number to your video title if your video content is divided into different steps. 
  • Video titles written as questions pique the users’ curiosity and prompt them to click on the video. Interrogative titles are search engine friendly, as well. 
  • Primary keywords should be placed in the first part of the title. 

Longer Videos Result in Improved Audience Engagement

  • The length of the video may not seem like a critical parameter, but research indicates that longer videos boost audience engagement. Hence, they get better SERP rankings. If the videos are less than two minutes long, they will have lower search engine rankings. As per the findings of a study, videos that occupy the top five positions of search results have an average duration of 11 minutes and 44 seconds. 

Longer videos usually mean that the video is more in-depth, well-researched, and informative. However, this is the general rule of thumb and only applies to some niche and target audiences. To find the optimal length for your video, test various lengths and determine which duration gives the best results. 

Add Popular Tags To Your Videos

  • Video tags are an easy and effective way to boost the search engine ranking of your videos. Tags are specific phrases that add context to your video, help categorize it, and make it easy for users to find relevant content. 

Video tags help Google to bring relevant content to users, which matches the users’ search intent. For example, Google recommends ‘similar videos’ to users based on the tags added to the video. 

  • However, Google penalizes videos with irrelevant tags, so be mindful when adding tags to your videos. 

These are some of the most effective ways to optimize your video for search. Nowadays, video is one of the most effective marketing tools. If you want your video content to reach a larger target audience, optimize it to increase its reach and improve its visibility.

Picture of Daryl Bryant

Daryl Bryant

Daryl is Co-founder and CEO of Hudson. Prior to founding Hudson, Daryl worked as a software developer for a tech startup while running a few successful side businesses. At Hudson, Daryl oversees all operations and new business opportunities, helping to guide the company’s strategic partnerships and overall future direction. He also acts as a consultant for fellow entrepreneurs and CEOs to help them plan for success in the constantly-changing digital world. When he’s not working, you can find him spending quality time with his wife and three children, as well as living a highly active lifestyle.

Picture of Daryl Bryant

Daryl Bryant

Daryl is Co-founder and CEO of Hudson. Prior to founding Hudson, Daryl worked as a software developer for a tech startup while running a few successful side businesses. At Hudson, Daryl oversees all operations and new business opportunities, helping to guide the company’s strategic partnerships and overall future direction. He also acts as a consultant for fellow entrepreneurs and CEOs to help them plan for success in the constantly-changing digital world. When he’s not working, you can find him spending quality time with his wife and three children, as well as living a highly active lifestyle.