The amount of video watched online every minute is staggering. On Facebook alone, 1.65 billion active users watch about 8 billion videos each day (don’t even look at the numbers for Snapchat). According to the Wall Street Journal, YouTube is on track to surpass TV as the most watched format in the U.S. Meanwhile, Cisco predicts that online video will make up 80% of all online traffic by 2021. With the population watching so much online video, Google and other search engines are quickly emphasizing sites with more video content. If you’re goal is to get your company at the top of the Google search results, you shouldn’t be ignoring video.
It’s not just about creating great content – although that’s 90% of the battle. You’ll also need to optimize your video in each place you post it. SEO for video is a thing, and it really matters. While artificial intelligence is getting better at it, machines still have a hard time understanding that content of a video. Help the machine understand, and you’ll see your video soaring high in search results.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your next video:
Title & Thumbnail – The two things people are going to see before they click on or scroll past your video. The title should be compelling, clear and concise. Think about the keywords you are trying to rank this video for. That 1-3 word phrase should be in your title.
Limit your title to 60 characters to stop it from getting cut off.
The thumbnail is the primary image viewers see when scrolling through a list of search results. Send a signal to the viewer that your video is worth watching. Don’t settle for one of the three frames YouTube offers up for you. Take the time to design a custom thumbnail – Creator Academy reports “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom Thumbnails.”
Use an image that is 1280×1020 and 2MB or smaller for best results.
Let’s keep one thing straight – your audience came here to watch a video, not read a book. Though Google’s official character limit for YouTube descriptions is 1000 characters – only the first few lines will show up below your video. Try keeping it way shorter, closer to 200 characters.
Think about giving your audience follow on information here. Was there a call to action in your video? If so, reiterate it here, better yet include the phone number, email address or URL you are driving people towards (maybe all 3). This is also a good spot for links to your social channels. If your audience liked this video, they might want to see more of your content in the future. Make it easy to find your company across platforms.
This goes along with helping the machine understand your content. A transcript is an easy way to make the audio content of your video indexable. Google publishes their preferred format for transcripts. You can also create Closed Captioned files for your videos – which are basically a transcript with timecodes. Added bonus here, you’re making your video content accessible to the visually impaired.
Liveclicker completed a study where it compared 37 video landing pages before and after adding transcripts. Pages with transcripts earned on average 16% more revenue than they did before transcripts were added.
Don’t Host, Embed
Sure, there are probably a bunch of reasons to self-host your videos. Depending on the size of company you operate and the industry you service, that might be the right option. But for the rest of us, host it on the Tube. YouTube is actually the world’s second largest search engine. So why not put your video where it’ll be found.
YouTube allows you to embed your video within another site, and even counts the views you receive on that site along with the views received on the YouTube platform. Viewers are more likely to click on a video with more views (catch 22?). So why not collect all your views on one platform?
So, you’ve made a video – it’s killer. You’ve spent the time to optimize it properly – meaning people are actually finding and watching it. What’s next?
Video’s not a one-off game. Keep your audience engages and updated with regular (relevant) video content.
Need more video content? One Floor Up can help. Contact us today and find out how easy video marketing can be.