Businesses are always looking for an edge on their competitors, a way to stand out from the same boring thing that everyone else is doing.

When it comes to content marketing, if you want to engage more users and give your pages a better shot at ranking highly on Google, you should get into video content.

Videos can explain the same concepts that regular written content does, but with the added benefits of visuals, graphics, effects, and, of course, someone talking.

Videos are a great example of the types of multimedia in content marketing that tend to land with users. Many people just prefer to consume content that way instead of reading words on a page.

Here’s the catch, though: like any other SEO content designed to rank, you don’t just shoot to the top of everyone’s SERPs on Google or YouTube because you made a video.

Other businesses make videos, too. If you want to outrank them, you need to practice video SEO.

Let’s learn more about SEO for video, why your videos won’t rank without it, and what you need to do to optimize your video marketing efforts.

The Place of Video SEO Today

Google has been ranking video content more and more on the SERPs over the last few years, and not just because the largest search engine in the world owns the second-largest search engine in the world (YouTube).

We said in our multimedia blog post referenced above that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text-based information. It’s true anecdotally, too. Ask your friends and family if they’d prefer to read for 15 minutes or watch a 15-minute video.

I think the results will be skewed toward videos.

So, with so many people essentially telling the search engines that they really like video content, the search engines are showing video results more often.

Which videos, though? First of all, if you do a lot of searches on Google, you’ll notice that the search engine shows videos for the kinds of searches that would seem to invite video results.

You’ll get more video results for “how to” searches, for example. Even though “how to change a doorknob” can be explained with a blog post, a video allows users to see what’s being done in real time.

people in a studio shooting a video for a brand

Even with that kind of filter, though, there’s always going to be a lineup of business competitors all trying to rank their videos first.

The ones at the top will attract more organic traffic, earn more views and engagement, and have better chances of securing customers’ business.

Including videos alongside written content on your website can also increase that engagement and keep users on your site longer. It’s a great signal for Google that you’re offering something worthwhile.

That’s why video SEO is so important.

Now, what factors matter when it comes to video SEO?

Elements of Video SEO

If you want the videos on your website or YouTube channel to stand the greatest chance of being ranked for organic search, think about these video SEO elements that LSEO can help you to optimize.

1.) Direct Videos Toward the Right Audiences

Before you can use SEO to market your videos effectively online, you’ll need to think about who your audience is.

For instance, if you are making a video on changing a doorknob, you’re probably talking to beginners in home improvement. In that case, your content should use beginner language by explaining all concepts and taking your time.

If you’re making a video on one of the most advanced forms of heart disease for an academic-journal audience, you won’t need to explain any basics. You’ll actually be required to speak to the more advanced ideas around that subject.

The speaking that goes on in your video is going to be crucial, as well. That takes us to the next point.

2.) Create Keyword-Rich Video Transcripts

Before you create your video, you’ll want to complete appropriate keyword research for it just like for any other SEO-based content.

You should then use those keywords in your video, and there’s a reason for that.

youtube symbol on a smartphone

Using keywords in the video will allow you to include those keywords in the transcript that you should include right alongside the video, either in its description or on the content page where the video will live.

Google crawls all that text when it indexes your videos, and keywords help it to understand what your video is about.

The added bonus of including a keyword-rich transcript with your video is that users who need to or prefer to read your content instead can do just that.

3.) Create Engaging Thumbnails

I know I do this, and you probably do, too: when I search videos, I click on one based on the thumbnail I see. That’s because thumbnails are (or should be) strong indicators of what is in that video.

Thumbnails that are engaging, exciting, and relevant to the content are going to get more clicks.

Your thumbnails should include a few essential elements to stand out from all the others:

  • A person (people like seeing people)
  • The title of the video
  • Graphics showing relevance

The right thumbnail will stop people in their tracks on your video as opposed to someone else’s.

If I want to see a video showing me how to install a fence in my yard, I want the thumbnail to show people digging holes, not just a completed fence in the ground.

The digging one gives me an idea of the work involved. The other one just shows me the finished result that I don’t have yet.

You can use YouTube Studio or another tool or app to make awesome video thumbnails.

4.) Write Keyword-Infused Video Titles and Descriptions

Video SEO is a lot like the technical SEO for any other content. Videos need good titles and descriptions if you want Google to pick them up.

If you did keyword research for your video transcript, then those keywords will apply here, too.

For your video titles, choose the keywords with the highest search volume that best match the intent of the searcher.

videos lined up on a tablet

It’s important to be smart with this. You can’t just stuff all these keywords into your video titles and separate them with pipes. It looks spammy and like you’re trying too hard.

Think of a keyword-based title that would be the most useful to your intended audience.

The same goes for descriptions. Use keywords naturally as in any other SEO content. Don’t overdo them. Think of the user, and write a detailed description that will help with understanding the video.

5.) Be Logical About Embedded Videos

You can use all of these video SEO tips whether you’re creating videos on YouTube or any other platform.

When you decide you want to embed videos right on your website’s content pages, though, there are some other best practices to follow.

For instance, did you know that Google usually ranks only one video per website page, and it’s almost always the first one?

So, if you have a resource page on your website, and you include multiple videos on it, Google probably isn’t going to rank that page for any other videos but the first one. Make it count.

This is just a generally good practice to follow: if you want users and search engines to find the videos on your website, embed them at the top of the page, above the fold.

That way, no one has to take extra time to find them again.

man in a suit holding the YouTube logo

Bonus Tip: Advertise Your Videos!

Here’s a little bonus tip on really getting the most out of your videos.

You can do your video SEO completely right and enjoy some killer rankings for a long time. Sooner or later, though, things will change. Search trends will shift, and Google will respond.

Your video rankings could change with those trends.

So, the thing is, you’ll want to give your videos their best shot at reaching your perfect audiences.

SEO will take you a good part of the way. But paid media can take you to new places.

Many of the common advertising platforms will let you pay to promote your content. You can do this with Facebook ads or Instagram ads and even get into retargeting for those users who maybe started your video and then left it.

Let LSEO Help with Your Video SEO Today

The content marketing of 2022 is all about serving up relevant content to the right audiences in the formats that people want to use.

Today, one of the strongest content formats is video. If you’ve been making videos forever with not much effect on your business, LSEO can help. We can revolutionize your video SEO and set you down the path toward higher rankings and faster growth.

Get in touch with us to learn more.