Video SEO Best Practices for YouTube and Website-Based Content

Video is a powerful marketing tool that can make or break your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. After all, 93% of marketers who use video say it is an integral part of their marketing strategy. With so much consensus as to the importance of video-form marketing, why do less than half of what marketers report as a positive ROI from their video marketing expenditures?

A significant mistake we see many companies make is a lack of optimization for their videos. Like optimizing a website or text-based content, you can use video SEO to increase the visibility of your videos and drive traffic to them. Whether you post your videos on YouTube or directly on your website, this blog will teach you about video SEO best practices to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.

YouTube Video Optimization

When you think of SEO, chances are you think of a traditional search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, or Safari. While YouTube may only act as a search engine for video-form content, it is a search engine nonetheless.

Therefore, optimizing your YouTube videos shares a common goal with Google SEO: improving your rankings and generating traffic. Given that YouTube has over two billion users who consume more than one billion hours of content a day, you need all the help you can get if you want people to find you.

When optimizing your YouTube videos, there are four main factors YouTube considers:

  • Video watch time.
  • Channel authority.
  • Video Engagement.
  • Keywords.

The first three factors—video watch time, channel authority, and video engagement—-stem from the same source: quality content. Without quality content, your viewers will not spend their time watching your videos when they have lifetimes of other content available to them.

Likewise, if your content does not provide value to your watchers, your subscriber base will never grow, and you will never build an authoritative channel. Finally, your viewer engagement will hurt, instead of helping you, if your videos are not up to par. Expect more dislikes than likes and negative comments that eat away at your reputation with YouTube.

Creating quality content that adds value to your viewer’s lives is essential in the YouTube video SEO space. However, keyword optimization is just as vital. If you have ever tried to optimize your website or text-based content for better Google SERP (search engine results page) rankings, you are ahead of the game. Because both platforms are search engines at heart, the approach to YouTube video SEO is very similar to text-based SEO.

To start, look for keywords with relatively high volume and low competition. By focusing your videos and optimization efforts around those keywords, you can maximize your chances of ranking highly. If you pursue keywords saturated by channels with millions of subscribers and an established presence, your chances of viewers finding your channel are slim to none.

Once you have a list of keywords that fit your audience, company, and competition level, incorporate them in every part of your videos. Mention your keywords and their variations throughout your video title, description, tags, and thumbnail image. But, only use keywords that have to do with the topic of the respective video. Even if you manage to rank a video unrelated to your keywords, the viewers will catch on and click away.

Bonus: In addition to using keywords in your video description, add CTAs and links to your website. Video descriptions are a great way to make the process simple for viewers to jump from YouTube to your website, to your marketing funnel.

On-Site Video SEO

While many companies have videos embedded in their websites, very few take full advantage of them. With developments in Google’s search engine and third-party video hosting abilities, you can show your videos on Google SERPs before people ever click on your website.

To improve your website rankings and conversions, we recommend using Wistia for this process. Their platform handles the complex web design aspects, such as the JSON-LD encoding, and leaves you with a simple, clean operation. With Wistia, you merely copy and paste the code from their website that embeds your video in your website.Screenshot of Google SERP for searching “Farotech.” Shows different Farotech videos that appear.

With the code running on your website, your desired video will appear on SERPs for people to see.

Implementing Video SEO for Your Business

Video-form content should undoubtedly be part of your marketing campaign. To optimize your YouTube and website videos, we recommend that you:

  • Create quality YouTube videos that add value to the viewer’s lives.
  • Choose keywords that have a balance between traffic and competition.
  • Incorporate those keywords in your video title, description, tags, and thumbnail.
  • Use Wistia to embed your website videos in your search engine results.

If you follow the steps above, you will be well on your way to taking full advantage of your investments in video-form content. But, as always, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goals for yourself. This means having crystal clear data-backed goals to guide your video SEO progress (or else your optimization efforts will likely stall.)

Though this blog is a great place to start, there is plenty more to learn about video SEO to get the most from your marketing campaign. If you want to learn more about the video production and optimization process from a marketing standpoint, check out our in-depth guide here.