RS Raghavan CEO and Founder, Animaker shares 9 ways you can jump over the barriers of SEO and push your video at the No.1 spot in search results.
Video SEO isn’t rocket science!
At the end of the day, it is just optimizing your video to get indexed and ranked on Google search results for relevant keyword searches.
So how did we crack it?
All it took was a bit of side hustle aside from just creating & posting high-quality videos.
Here are 9 hacks to help push your videos to the No. 1 spot in Google search results
#1. Optimize your video file even before uploading it onto YouTube
Just like on-page SEO and image optimization, YouTube will read the name of your video file to understand what the video is about.
This means you have to optimize your raw video file before uploading it onto YouTube. Here’s how you do it:
-Right click on your video file that is to be uploaded and click on get info.
-Add related tags to your video to help YouTube understand it better.
-Under “Name & Convention”, give a suitable name for your video. A good Video name should contain the keyword you want your video to rank for.
-Give a brief description for your video in the comments field.
Now your video is ready to be uploaded. Once you upload the video to YouTube, the name of your video will automatically be taken as the title for your YouTube video.
#2. Optimize your video title for a long tail keyword
Sometimes, ranking no.1 for a very famous primary keyword can be hard as more authoritative channels might be creating videos targeting the same keyword. In that scenario, It is better to optimize your video for a long tail keyword that has lesser competition.
This can help you in two ways,
-Weed out the competition.
-Rank your video for a very specific and highly targeted keyword
-This also helps improve your channel’s authority slowly. This eventually builds up to a scenario where you will start ranking for even some of the most competitive video keywords.
As you can see in the above image, one of our videos is ranking for a highly specific long tail keyword - “Create Animated Infographics for free”
If we had tried to rank for “Infographics” directly, we would’ve had a tough time ranking for that keyword.
So unless you’re a celebrity or already have a huge authority and an active subscriber base, avoid optimizing your video for a short tail keyword at the beginning itself.
Pro Tip: Adding a compelling Video title also plays a key role in increasing the CTR of your videos.
#3. Choose an SEO ready Video Hosting Platform
If your video’s objective is to drive traffic to your website and converts visits to leads, using YouTube or Vimeo to host your video won’t be a good idea, as most of the traffic goes to them rather than your own website.
If this is the case, you can go for a video hosting service like Wistia with automatic Video SEO optimization.
If you host your videos on Wistia, It’ll automatically inject the video metadata into your web page’s header to direct traffic to your site.
The metadata includes the video title, description, and transcripts, all of which will help your video rank higher in Google.
#4. Write a detailed description for each of your YouTube videos
Longer descriptions will help YouTube understand what your video is about. This will also help YouTube to suggest your videos to people who are not exposed to your channel yet.
Here are a few tips you should follow while crafting your YouTube video description:
-Ensure your description is 200 words or more.
-Write a unique description and don’t use duplicate content.
-Make sure to include the keyword you’re looking to rank for at least twice in the description. But don’t overdo it as it might penalize your video.
-You can also insert transcripts of your video in the description.
Pro Tip: YouTube will display the first 125 characters of your video description on search results. So make it compelling enough for people to click on your video. This will also improve the video’s CTR.
#5. Make your videos more accessible for the search engine
To make your video more accessible to YouTube’s crawlers, be kind enough to upload your own captions to your video.
Adding captions to your video will boost its SEO, by making it easier for Youtube to match it to the people who are looking for it on search results.
After all, YouTube does not have eyes to watch your video, it can however understand 90% of your video with the clues we leave for its crawlers. The more the clues, the easier it is for the crawlers to crack it.
This will not only help the search engine understand your video wholly, it will also help your video show up in suggested searches.
#6. Ensure that people don’t bounce after watching your video
Session watch time is a very important ranking factor on YouTube. It is a measure of how long a viewer spends on YouTube channel after watching your video.
This means you have to make people stay on your YouTube channel for as long as possible after watching your video. If you do this right, YouTube will boost your channel’s videos as a whole as you are helping YouTube keep their users on its platform for a longer period.
Here are a couple of ways you can improve your session watch time:
Create a YouTube Video Playlist
This will naturally improve your session watch time when someone watches your video playlist.
Add an End Screen
Another way to encourage your audience to stay on your YouTube channel is by adding an end screen towards the end of your video, preferably in the last 5 - 20 secs of your video.
As shown below, you can use end screens to link to another video on your channel or ask your audience to subscribe to your channel.
#7. Your Landing Page and its featured video should be made for each other
It is no secret in 2019 that landing pages with a featured video will perform better than ones that don’t! But it is also important to make sure that the featured video is relevant to the Landing Page you’re embedding it on.
If both are talking about two different things then the chances of your video getting ranked at a good spot is pretty low.
Moreover, you have to ensure that even the landing page is properly optimized for SEO. This will increase your probability of ranking as high as possible in the SERP.
#8. Use Custom Thumbnails - An automatic CTR booster
Adding a custom thumbnail can make your videos stand out and improve the CTR of your videos. The more CTR your video has, the higher it will rank on YouTube.
Moreover, 90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.
#9. Make people link to your video
The key to getting your video ranked on top of Google search results is by building quality backlinks to your videos.
Building high-quality backlinks will increase your probability of ranking for a highly competitive keyword.
There are a lot of ways you can make that happen:
Promote your videos to your subscribers:
Whenever you launch a new video, announce it to your subscriber list as well. This will provide the much needed spike in video views.
If one of your subscribers, has a blog of their own, chances are they will embed your video on their blog. Each embed creates a backlink to your video.
Embed the videos on your blog:
You can also embed your videos on relevant blog posts on your website. This can have a huge dent on video views and expose your YouTube channel to your blog readers.
Leverage Social Shares
Aside from posting the video on your social channels, you can also post your videos to relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. This will definitely boost your video views.
Moreover, like with any other page on the internet, Google considers Social Buzz as a ranking signal to list videos as well.
Post your videos on Quora
If your video is a direct answer to a question on Quora, provide a partial answer in text form and then provide a link to your video. This can also help in driving more video views.
These are some of the steps we follow everytime we launch a new video and things have worked for us pretty well so far.