• Video SEO

How to Rank Higher with Video

  • Cristian Stanciu
  • 5 min read
How to Rank Higher with Video


Brands work so hard on the script, message, and editing of video content that sometimes they miss out on a crucial element that’s so vital for success – Video SEO.

Video SEO has a more far-reaching impact than you can imagine. Apart from its obvious impact on video ranking, video SEO plays a key role in the popularity of your website among the audience and Google search engine.

So, what can you do to make videos rank in the Google global search? How to use video SEO to boost your website ranking and traffic?

You’ll find answers to these questions in the form of 9 tips to boost Video SEO. Let’s check out the best ideas to optimize your video content.

The Focus Keyword

Whether the aim is to boost the video’s ranking on YouTube or Google the focus keyword plays a key role.

Use keyword tools to arrive at terms that best describe your video content. In addition, the keyword should be fairly popular among your target audience, but with moderate competition.

Furthermore, making the focus keyword part of the title and description would lead to a better ranking on both YouTube and Google.

Marketers can also use the keyword tool to find topics with higher traffic potential.

With the right topic, keyword, script, Premiere Pro templates, video editing tool, and a pinch of creativity, you can climb the steps of ranking in no time.

The Title and Description

The Title and Description of the video (Image source: Unsplash)

As a ranking factor and an element to grab attention, the title of the video content is important. Devote some time creating the title and short description of the video.

As mentioned above, include the focus keyword in the title and description. The title must appeal to the audience as well as the search engine. The video description performs a similar role to the meta description of a blog.

Both give a brief overview of the video. Hence, don’t stuff the description section with keywords. This might prove counterproductive. An effective description can improve the visibility of your video in search results.

The Video Transcript and Closed Captions

Search engine algorithms have become quite sophisticated. But, they are not yet advanced enough to understand video content.

Search engine crawlers still rely on codes and texts to make sense of the video. It would be a lot easier for the audience and the crawlers if you include a transcript and closed captions for your videos.

The benefits of using video transcription are many, particularly when the video is long. Video transcriptions with subheadings help the page visitors to peruse only those sections that interest them instead of watching the whole video.

Closed captions would greatly serve your marketing efforts by bringing in more views, which is an important ranking factor. Closed captions allow the audience to enjoy the video in a public space without using headphones.

Compelling Thumbnail

Compelling Thumbnail (Image source: Unsplash)

Although the audience will read the title first, it’s the thumbnail that first catches the eye. In the split second, after seeing the thumbnail, the users decide whether to watch the video or not. Hence, use a thumbnail image that’s relevant to the video content and compelling to make the users click it.

How do thumbnails improve the SEO of video content? An engaging thumbnail can improve various marketing metrics including click-through-rates, views, shares, etc.

The YouTube platform will generate thumbnails every time you upload videos. That said custom thumbnails have a higher engagement (play) rate. You can use any video frame as a thumbnail or edit a video frame to make the thumbnail more compelling. But, make sure the thumbnails are not misleading.

The Right Video Hosting Platform

Earlier brands had only YouTube to host their videos. The alternative was to upload it to their server and publish it on their website and this can actually increase the costs of the website. This has changed as the options now are aplenty.

Even so, YouTube seems to be the host of choice for people aiming to create brand awareness and establish thought leadership. Other platforms that are gaining popularity among brands and marketers are Vimeo, Wistia, etc.

Hosting videos on non-YouTube platforms has some advantages. Some experts believe the ‘related’ and ‘suggested’ videos option on YouTube could distract the viewers from the brand.

While looking for video hosting services make sure the player loads faster, doesn’t weigh too much and comes with SEO metadata features. The video hosting platform must also provide an embed option for the brand to send the video directly to the user’s inbox using email marketing software.

Use Correct Video Tags and Category

Without proper tagging and categorization, your video could get lost among the billions of videos on YouTube.

Bear in mind, that the users won’t see the tags or categorization. This optimization technique is aimed at the crawlers that try to understand a video and categorize it.

A thorough study of your competitors’ video marketing strategy and how they use ‘tags’ can help you finalize the terms that’ll best describe your videos. At the time of uploading your video, you can select a category for your content. This will help the users find videos under the topic they are most interested in.

Use Only One Video per Page

Although you’re free to use as many videos as you want on a page, Google would give preference to only the first video. Many experts also claim that Google only indexes the first video of a multi-video page.

Suppose, you have multiple explainer videos for a product or service, then it would be a good idea to publish each video on a separate page.

Another reason to use just one video is to monopolize the visitor’s attention. Having just one video on a page will ensure the video content gets maximum attention and has the best chance to rank higher on the search results list.

Optimize the Page that Features the Video

For the video to perform better on the search results list, the rest of the page where the video is published must be equally optimized.

Expect the video to perform poorly if the page uses a different focus keyword. For higher ranking, the text must be relevant to the video and the video must increase the impact of the page. They should mutually benefit each other.

Hundreds of hours of work would have gone into the making of your video. Spend a fraction of that on improving the user experience of the web page that hosts the video.

Perform UX research to positively affect the SEO and delight the visitors. It’s equally important to improve the load speed of the page. Load speed is part of on-page SEO.

Longer load time will result in poor traffic, viewer count, and other negative user behavior which would lead to poor ranking. In addition, reduce the use of too many images to boost page speed.

Avoid Multiple Postings of a Video

Don’t put your YouTube video against the same video posted on Facebook. Hosting the same videos on multiple platforms and pages will divide your view count, click-through, and other marketing benefits.

The prudent strategy is to create unique videos. Whether it is animation, video effects, editing, or video scheduling and posting, you can find a video marketing tool online. Nowadays, brands can come up with unique video content for any topic in no time.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, people prefer videos to text content. Moreover, videos on Google search results will fetch more traffic and a better quality audience that would stay on the page longer.

More visitors, views, and leads are only possible if the video is optimized. Your videos must out-rank their competition and the tips you find here will make that happen. These 9 simple ideas will produce great results. Blend quality content with video SEO and watch the magic happen.

About Author

Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn

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