6 Tips for Boosting Your Online Video Rankings

  • Categories:

    Search, Social Media

  • Date:

    July 14, 2014

6 Tips for Boosting Your Online Video Rankings

Search, Social Media

Online video can be an incredible storytelling and sales tool for brands. Following these six SEO tips can help improve your videos’ ranking on YouTube and in search engine results and social network feeds.

1. Create a marketing plan. Sharing your video strategically, via the right channels, will improve its performance.

  • Share your video through social media, using keywords when posting (more on keywords below). Post on several social media networks; the more opportunities for sharing, the better.
  • Embed your video in a blog post.
  • Share a link to the video in emails, e-newsletters or news releases.
  • Consider a paid search or display campaign to drive traffic to your video.

2. Once you’re ready to share your video, add relevant keywords in key places including title, description, tags, video file name, search-friendly URLs, transcripts and closed captions. Put yourself in your intended viewers’ shoes. Ask yourself, “What words would I use to search for this information?” Use popular keyword tools. Ask friends for input. Be careful about using trade references if you’re targeting a consumer audience. Consumers and laypeople may not use those words in a search for your product, service or content.

  • Titles are the first thing search engines and users will see. Use your keywords as early in the title as possible. Make sure your title stands out in a crowd. Consider adding one of the following keywords or phrases in your title if appropriate: tutorial, review, test, how to, demonstration, video or what is.
  • Your video description should be a minimum of 250 words. Give the search engines as much context as possible, using your keywords at least three times.
  • Include your transcript on the webpage, or load it for YouTube. If you have strong, keyword-rich content, Google will read it – and that will only help your rankings.

3. Include a call-to-action. Ask viewers to rate, like, share, retweet and/or comment on your video. The more engagement you have, the more relevant your content will appear.

4. Monitor your analytics not just for views, but also for video completion rates and inbound links.

  • Video completion rates indicate viewer retention, e.g. how much of your video viewers watched. The longer they watch, the better your rankings should be.
  • Encourage inbound links, another type of content endorsement. If someone has linked to a past video, they may also be interested in linking to this new video. A linking site’s domain authority (I like to refer to it as content authority), particularly if it’s strong, will also improve your content authority and video ranking.

5. If posting to YouTube, customize your video thumbnail. First impressions matter, so take control. Don’t leave it to YouTube to pull its own screenshot from the video.

6. If you are posting to your own website, create a video sitemap. This will make it easier for search engines to find and index your video.

Every minute, 100 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube. According to the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of adults in the U.S. watch videos online. Online content is even more popular among young adults; among 18 to 29-year-olds, nine out of 10 watch online videos. Adopting some of these tips will help your videos leverage a powerful medium and stand out in an increasingly crowded space.

Happy ranking!

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