It’s known that videos have become a crucial marketing tool across most industries. But if you want your video campaigns to be successful, they have to be seen!
Whatever platform you might be going after with your video marketing strategy, the desire is usually the same. It’s having your target audience engage with your content and for it to grow in popularity. And that’s where good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a game-changer.
In this piece, we’ve listed 7 SEO areas important for you to keep in mind when trying to position your videos online, alongside tips on making the most of them.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Consider Your Platforms Carefully
Nowadays, everyone’s video content is on YouTube. Putting your videos there is often a no-brainer. However, there are other places for you to reach your audience and share your videos effectively.
Think about the people you want to engage with and the platforms they spend most of their time, then go after them. As great as YouTube can be, if you focus exclusively on it, you might miss out on sites like Vimeo, DailyMotion, and other video hosting sites that have their own strengths. Not the least of which is that they are far less competitive!
If you are going after a social media audience on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, know that natively uploaded videos are shown more prominently than shared or embedded videos hosted on outside platforms. Which makes each of those sites a better hosting platform than YouTube under those circumstances.
2 . Make Your Titles Worth Clicking
People search things online by using target keywords. Use those terms in your titles, descriptions, and transcriptions to improve your videos’ searchability.
Craft titles that sow doubt in your viewers and invite them to click to learn more. Use emojis, capital letters, and other visually distinctive characters whenever it makes sense, and remember that a good title should go hand-in-hand with a good thumbnail – that is, the image or frame that’s often displayed alongside your video’s title.
Think of thumbnails as the presentation cards for your videos. A good one often has your potential viewers stop scrolling and paying attention to your titles, giving them the chance to convince the audience to watch. If your thumbnail is not flashy enough, people may pass it. So never forget; titles and thumbnails sell your work.
3. Make You Videos’ Presentation Original
Look up the things your competition is posting. See what keywords, titles, and descriptions they are using, but give yours a twist. For instance, if you look up ‘How to position a video on YouTube’ and all the thumbnails that come up have an orange background, try making yours red to draw more attention to your piece.
Making your content visually distinctive can help you better position your work. When scrolling, people are going to see twenty videos that blend in when talking about titles or descriptions, but one that stands out. And that one should be yours.
Animation can be a great medium to have videos that stand out on a platform. Visually distinctive styles like motion graphics and whiteboard animations are instantly distinctive, and can net you more than a few views if used correctly.
4. Nurture Individual Retention
Make your audience stay as much as possible, but value their time as well. If you make a 20 minutes video explaining how to restore a smartphone, but your competition makes it fifteen minutes shorter, yours is not the one your target audience is going to watch.
Try to create videos that aren’t just interesting but also catchy so that you have individual retention on your side.
What’s that, you ask? It’s your video’s ability to engage your audience and keep them hooked.
Study what your audience likes and what your competitors are being successful with. Incorporate those elements into your video production process, from script inception to final edits.
5. Make Video Playlists
Group your videos up and classify them, so it’s easy for your audience to find them. This will give your content the chance to glue them to your website or channel for longer than they were planning to stay.
If you have ten videos about how to fix or restore a phone, you should create a playlist grouping them all. Place them in a progressive order that makes sense. Name the playlist in a way that makes it easier to find.
You can think of this as a form of content repurposing. When someone finishes watching a video on your playlist, another interesting one will pop up for them to stay entertained. And maybe they’ll end up watching them all.
Create a web page tag under the name ‘Playlists’. Put the thumbnail you like the most as the playlist’s thumbnail. If you have a YouTube channel, create them on your home page and use capital letters on their titles.
6. Joint Retention
Joint retention refers to your video’s ability to engage your audience and make them want to watch more of your videos. Creating a playlist can undoubtedly help in this regard. However, joint retention goes farther than that.
If you are hosting your pieces on an external platform (like YouTube), you can rest easy. They tend to already be optimized to improve joint retention. However, if you are hosting your videos on your website, you can prompt your audience to stay there longer with a sensible and interesting design.
We are not just talking about the content on your video. Consider the page’s font, advertisement locations, and other elements that will be displayed alongside it. It’s about your web page as a whole.
Video players also play a big part in terms of nurturing joint retention when hosting videos on your own site. Some hosting platforms, like Wistia, allow you to customize the viewing environment and playback cues (autoplay, mute play, playlists, etc.). This helps you tailor your audiences’ viewing experience and improve the length of time they spend watching.
7. Test and Iterate
If you take only one piece of advice from this article, let it be this!
Like any other form of optimization, you are not meant to get your video’s SEO perfectly on the first try. In fact, a big part of search engine optimization lies in you being able to test, measure, and adjust your strategy. That is, improving and doubling down on what’s working while discarding tweaks that aren’t having a positive impact on your view counts and content engagement.
Take some time to research your audience and how they interact with your videos. Perform A/B testing and see the style of titling and thumbnailing they tend to favor. Study your video’s analytics to find patterns that can help you improve your content – dropout times are very useful in this regard, that is, figuring out when most of your audience is leaving your videos.
Then try fixes and different approaches until you refine your content and optimization formula into something your audiences can’t resist!
Just like the folks at Google like to remind us, content is king. Meaning that if you aren’t making great video content, no amount of SEO will win the day. However, once you have great videos your audience can attach themselves to, you also have to improve its chances of reaching them!
While not comprehensive, the list of optimization areas we’ve covered today should give you more than a solid starting point to begin improving your video content’s performance and make it easier for you to start enjoying all the powerful benefits the right videos can bring to the table.
So, time to get started! Go over your existing video library (or think up about the next piece you’ll make) and run it by this list. Find tweaks and improvements to make them shine.
We promise you won’t regret the effort!
About the author
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.