Your video can be the pick of the litter, the cream of the crop, the bee’s knees, the—you get where we're going here—but not optimizing your video for search is like creating the next Citizen Kane and not airing it in theatres. There will be people who still watch it, but you're missing out on a huge audience.
You’ve created an amazing video or utilized a video agency to craft a video that best represents your brand; however, there’s still one extremely important (arguably the most important) aspect of getting your message across. And that’s, well, getting your message across. Once you’ve made your video, it’s time to make your video discoverable.
According to ReelSEO’s 2013 Q4 Video Marketing Survey & Business Video Trend Report, 93 percent of marketing professionals are implementing video in their strategies, while 82 percent have expressed the positive effect video has had on their organization. To maximize that effect, you need to optimize your video.
A basic Google search will bring up various text-based articles and video content about the subject being searched for, but Google favors video. This means websites and search results with video are automatically ranked higher on Google. In order to ensure your video is found in the right context, the key is to develop a video sitemap.
Search engines are not capable of actually viewing your video content or understanding the voiceover. Consequently, they rely on metadata to acknowledge your video and all of its content to index it accordingly. They do this using the video sitemap. With this data submitted to Google, Bing and other search engines, you’ll increase the likelihood of your content ranking at the top of search results by giving it a form of identity.
Using a site like Wistia can make your sitemap work easy, and it’s well worth the time to understand how to set up the sitemap. (Note: it can take up to a week for Google to review your sitemap entries.)
By submitting sitemaps and hosting your video on different search engines, you significantly increase your chance of ranking higher in search results. Google Webmaster Tools can also help set up your video sitemap to get your video indexed properly on Google. This gives your video more exposure, regardless of which search engine your target audience may be using.
Understanding your target audience is essential when tailoring search results in favor of your video. Before submitting your video sitemaps, you might want to start thinking about the online behaviour of your audience. Getting in the mindset of the people who may be searching for your video’s subject matter can help you determine which keywords or search terms they may be using. The key is to think about the questions these people are asking and the language they’re using.
Competition can be fierce for generic short-tail search terms, which is why you should target long-tail search terms more specific to your video. Doing so will narrow down results and bring more focus to your video.
It’s safe to say search results with video thumbnails are easily more attractive than simple text. Thumbnails in search results get more attention simply because thumbnails (or ‘rich snippets’) let the searcher know the information they’re after can be delivered to them in a more engaging way. Thumbnails also give a face to your search result, and by ensuring that face best represents the content of your video, you increase the chance of gaining higher click through rates for organic searches.
Take the following statistic for example: According to ReelSEO, videos with thumbnail images in universal search results have a 41 percent higher click through rate than their plain text counterparts. By having a thumbnail in search results, your video already has a higher chance of seeing engagement before any text-based results.
A properly executed video, like this explainer video, can simplify your message and engage audiences, increasing your chance of seeing the ROI and having your call to action met head-on. Video is truly a powerful medium when it comes to conveying an important message, but if your video isn’t seen, how much impact does it really have? Consider these different approaches to improving your video’s SEO, and start using your video to its fullest potential!