Remember how YouTube is actually the second largest search engine just after Google? And remember how you need to optimise your content for Google if you hope to rank?
Well, the same thing is happening with your videos. You need video SEO to boost your ranking and improve your visibility - that’s marketing language to - get people to watch it!
So, what do you do? Do you start shopping for video SEO services?
If you have the budget - go for it. Just like every other segment of marketing, video SEO services are best done by professionals. DIY is the next best thing if you don’t have the budget for a pro or you just want to do it yourself. You have your reasons!
It’s the 21st century, guys! Videos in all sorts of shapes and sizes are swallowing the Internet. You may like it, you may hate it, but as a business - you can’t afford to skip on this trend.
You need videos on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube - wherever there’s that “add video” option - you want to add it!
But, not all videos are created equal, right? There are great videos and then there are…the other kind. First of all, you need to create a solid video with content that’s relevant to your audience. Edit it, make it look nice, brand it, and then it’s time for some SEO.
Here’s what you can do in-house, at least as a first-aid type of thing for your video SEO.
Well, of course, we’re going to tell you that captions are about to save the day! But, it’s not just because we are the best captioning tool ever. It’s because it’s true. No, really! Think about it.
Google, YouTube, and all those algorithms - they can’t watch your video. They don’t understand it. So, how can they rank it if they don’t know they are relevant for different search queries.
Let’s say you want to install your new dishwasher. You go to YouTube and search for a “how-to” video about installing that particular model. How can YouTube offer you some relevant videos if it can’t see the videos?
It can READ! It can read the title and the description, and it can read the CAPTIONS.
Optimising for a certain keyword is not just about the title and description. Yeah, you want your keyword there, but what about those synonyms and context?
Google and other search engines are becoming freakishly smart when it comes to reading the context of your keyword. So, captions are the perfect way to provide such content and get your video ranking for all the relevant searches.
You just need to upload your SRT file together with your video and watch the magic happen.
Optimise Your Titles and Descriptions
You need proper keywords before you start doing any sort of SEO. You want to optimise your titles and descriptions with keywords that have good search volume, but also not too much competition.
There are some amazing tools out there, like YouTubeBuddy or VidIQ that offer excellent YouTube video optimisation tips and tools. Both of them have strong keyword research tools that you can use.
Here’s a video from TubeBuddy explaining their keyword research tool. The video is not the newest ever, but it still contains relevant keyword strategies and showcases their tool.
vidIQ has an excellent article doing the same - explaining keyword research using their tool and how to put it to practice to optimise your videos on YouTube.
Add Chapters to Your Videos for Key Moments
Let’s not turn this into another complaining session about how people don’t read, and have short attention spans. It’s getting a bit old, isn’t it?
It’s not that people don’t like to read articles or watch videos, it’s that they get bored more easily. You don’t have to make short content, but you have to make interesting content.
Still, there are always those who came to your video because they want a short and straightforward answer to their question, or they are looking for a very specific piece of information.
They won’t stick around to hear your intro or whatever. If you force them to go through two minutes of you telling your origin story, they are gone! Puff! You lost them!
There’s a great way of keeping your video length with everything you want to say in your video AND giving people the option to skip to what they want to hear - adding chapters to define key moments in your video by using timestamps. You’ll see them even in Google search results:
It’s an example about chapters using chapters as an example. Very meta, right?!
Boost UX for Improved Watch Time
It’s hard to tell where SEO stops and where UX begins. SEO is all about making your content appealing to the robots, while UX is all about making it appealing for your fellow humans.
But, since robots are trying to figure out the way humans think so they can serve the best results, SEO and UX are overlapping.
Two important video SEO metrics are views and watch time that show video engagement.
Views show how many times your video has been viewed (shocker!) and watch time shows how long they stuck around.
That’s why you need to make your video attractive and catchy for people to click on it, and then interesting enough for them to stay and watch it. Here’s some stuff you can do:
- Make enticing thumbnails.
- Use people in your thumbnails.
- Add music to your videos.
- Add subtitles to get the views from those who watch videos on mute.
- Keep it on point. Usually, this means short, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Optimise your title and description.
- Add chapters.
Spread the Word
Give your video some love! Whenever you make a new one, promote the heck out of that thing. Instagram, Facebook, even your own blog - any channel that you own. If it’s relevant for your email list, blast an email with a link to your video in it.
This is where Subly comes to the rescue. Spreading the word means you’d have saved your video in different aspect ratios. For YouTube and everywhere else where you can add an SRT or VTT file separately - you need them for optimisation. For those platforms that don’t allow subtitle files - you need to burn your captions into your video file.
Subly will save you SO much time with this. You can upload your video ONLY ONCE. Seriously. Once. One upload. Uno. Eins. That’s it.
In your Subly editor, you get to pick a ratio (we have pre-made ratios that match different social media platforms’ requirements ready for you) and download your video in as many formats as you like without having to upload it again.
Moreover! (yes! There’s more!) You can download a version with burnt-in subtitles or a video and SRT, TXT, or VTT subtitles as a separate file.