Every marketing team knows that videos are a powerful experiential asset. When users see a video on a site, in a blog, or on social media, they are more likely to stop and pay attention. Videos create a story, a journey, and a visual experience that users enjoy and often sticks in the mind more effectively than a pithy phrase or even a compelling still image. Despite the power of video when you’ve already got a user’s eye, video is also notoriously poor on the single most important aspect of modern marketing: SEO.
Web-crawlers and search engines can’t listen through the audio to know what your video is about or all the cool details you cover in your videos. Search engines can’t help users looking for an awesome animation of an apple on fire of a product demonstration even if that’s exactly what is in your video. But you can make it happen.
That library of videos you’ve been building can actually be SEO assets, but only if you know what to do. Today, we’re here to share this comprehensive guide on ten different ways to use both old and new videos to boost your SEO and help search engines know the real value that your videos have to offer.
1) SEO-Optimize Video Titles and Descriptions
The first thing you should do, even if you skip all the other tips, is to optimize your video titles and descriptions. The text surrounding and accompanying your videos is how search engines can know what’s inside. Make sure to use accurate and powerful keywords to categorize and promote the videos and go into detail in your descriptions. Use the names of the people, mention the topics, and consider framing the action with an outline of subjects discussed or activities displayed.
If you’re showing off products, mention the exact name and model of the product. If you’re hosting an interview, mention the topics covered and how insightful or funny the guests answers are. Think about how you search for videos, and what you wish could be used as search keywords to find video content for inspiration.
When the title and description of your videos are accurate, detailed, and SEO-configured then the viewers who want your videos will be able to find them.
2) Add Helpful Backlinks to Descriptions
You know those YouTube videos with the helpful links to the original publisher, the interview guest’s website, or the Amazon page for the promoted product. Those links are useful! People click them, and, what’s more, they count as backlinks wherever you happen to host and share the video.
Any time there are links that relate to the content, share them! There’s a good chance that curious and engaged viewers will expand the description to find out more and will be happy to see those links available. You win backlink points and site visits and your users get to sate their curiosity and follow up on ideas and products your video brought to light.
3) Create Precise Closed-Caption Files
Your video may not be crawlable by search engines, but the caption file is. Adding a closed-caption file isn’t just friendly for the hearing impaired (and people who can’t watch videos with sound at work/school), it’s also fantastic for your SEO. If you want to make your video spoken content accessible for web-crawling, all you need to do is create a transcript and then accurately apply it second-by-second to the video as it is spoken.
YouTube will do its best to translate the audio from your video into captions, but these can be hilariously (and sometimes embarrassingly) wrong. Thank goodness this generated captioning doesn’t count for SEO with Google!
Be sure to use someone with a sharp ear and your original script in-hand to get best results and Google will reward you by pulling up your video when it’s contents are searched for. The users will reward you, too, when someone who can’t use speakers or headphones gets to enjoy your content without sound.
4) Use Transcripts as Descriptions or New Blog Posts
Those same transcripts you used for the closed caption are also very useful when put into your video description, much like song lyrics posted below a music video. This is more practical for short-script videos where the transcript won’t take up too much space, but your viewers may really appreciate it. Not only can Google crawl the transcript to pull details and keywords from your video content, but your viewers can look up quotes from the moments they enjoyed most.
An alternative to the full-script is using an outlined timeline, listing each topic you cover on a longer video with a timestamp so that your viewers can jump right to the part of the video they want to listen to or show their friends most.
5) Load Onto Platforms Natively
If you want to rank better on each site where you post your videos, host then natively. Facebook prioritizes videos that are hosted on Facebook, for example. While Google prioritizes videos hosted on YouTube or natively on each brand’s own site. YouTube is your best one-stop-shop for video hosting and SEO but, quite frankly, hosting natively on other platforms is often the best bet for ranking on those specific platforms.
6) Properly Archive and Describe on Various Sites
When you load those videos up, take the time and effort to make sure these videos are loaded properly into the platform. Be sure to give your SEO-configured titles and descriptions in the correct text-box sections. If you can add categories, hashtags, or other details specific to the platform, go through these and fill each of them out.
From there, be sure that your videos are archiving properly or, if you’re adding many at once, that you create your video archive in the way that works best for each platform. Every video hosting platform is different and there are unique approaches to making sure each platform can most easily search and promote your videos.
7) Embed Related Videos in Long-Form Blogs
Those videos in your video library aren’t one-trick ponies. One of the best things you can do to reuse helpful and high-content videos is to embed them in long-form blogs. An embedded video can add a richer level of detail and engagement, especially when you are strategic about where they go. For example, you might embed your dishwasher disassembly video into a long-form blog article about getting better performance from your home appliances, or embed your cool animated infographic video into a blog that mentions the subject being explained.
You can also build new blog posts with the transcripts or content of each video, creating a double-whammy for your website visitors who might prefer to read or watch to gain the knowledge they seek.
8) Take Your Best Frames and Quotes as Separate Content
Take a look at your videos frame-by-frame. There are bound to be some gems that can serve as truly amazing promotional images for your brand, products, or for the video series itself. A beautiful candid image of both your hosts laughing or doing something silly could be your ideal next Twitter image. Or a high-detail image of your product in the middle of an awesome use-case can become your best possible still-image demonstration.
Let’s not forget the quotes. Quotes have become incredibly popular as social media images and text content. They can be pithy, to the point, and shared thousands of times if the quote perfectly matches the current hot topics and events going on right now. You can pull funny quotes, poignant quotes, and quotes that perfectly sum up the points of your ad campaign because someone had a great moment on camera. Pair this with your best still-frame of the quoted moment for a one-two social media punch using old video content again and again.
9) Use Library of Videos as Hashtagged Social Media Images
Last but not least, don’t leave out the hashtags. Hashtags and your special keywords are the ideal way to get attention both from Google and your favorite social media platforms. Whenever you share a video or it’s harvested content, be sure to include at least two keywords or hashtags that will make your content extra-findable and compelling for your audience.