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Can You SEO a Video?

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

8 Tips on How to SEO Your Video

Simply adding a video to your web page or blog post can help your site rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). But how can you improve the ranking of your video with search engine optimization (SEO)? Can you even SEO a video?

You probably notice videos popping up on your search page when you’re using Google. How does Google select which videos you’ll want to see, and what determines which ones you actually click on? Well, it's actually less ambiguous than it seems. Google loves rich content, so any webpage that includes text, images and video is going to rank higher on the SERP. Google also owns YouTube, so it’s going to naturally favor that platform when choosing which videos to rank. Read through our top eight tips on how to SEO your video to rank higher on Google.

1. Thumbnail magic

A good thumbnail can work like magic to get someone to click on your video. People are going to notice your thumbnail before they read the title of what your video is about. Does your thumbnail entice someone to want to click on your video? Your video thumbnail should include a clear image of the subject (person or product) and a catchy title, question or tagline in easy-to-read bold font.

2. To-the-point title and description

The title of your video should be catchy and include one key word or phrase. Place additional, less important keywords in the description, but don’t go too heavy here. Keep the description on topic with the video or Google might not rank it as high and can even penalize you for misleading content.

3. Give your file a name

When uploading your video to a website or YouTube, the platform will read the name of the file as alt. text. Instead of naming your video, name it If you can add actual alt. text behind the video on your site, even better! Use a short description of the video with a keyword or phrase. Although marketers love to use alt. text as a SEO marketing tactic, remember that the purpose of it is for accessibility for the blind or hard at seeing, so make sure it actually describes what’s in your video and isn’t just a collection of keywords.

4. Easy-to-read captions

Captions allow viewers to watch your video when they are somewhere they can’t or prefer not to use sound.They also help the video to be more accessible to people with hearing difficulties. Captions have grown to become a norm on almost every video you see online, and can help increase your watch time, click rate, and SERP ranking.

5. Stamp a time on it

Transcribing your video is an excellent idea. You can add the full transcript to your website beneath the video description and Google will pick up the keywords, as you’ll likely mention quite a few as you discuss your main topic. Google also likes rich content, so it’ll pick up the video and long form text on your page as something interesting. It’s also a good practice to place timestamps by each main point discussed within the video description on YouTube. This allows viewers to easily and quickly access the content they want to see. Many viewers appreciate this and will continue to want to watch more of your content knowing they can easily find what they need in your video description.

6. Tag it

Make sure to always tag your video, and tag it correctly! One specific tag is much better than multiple irrelevant tags. This will help Google find your content and allow it to rank your content within those tags. Irrelevant tags can hurt your video’s reach, as Google penalizes you when your content is misleading.

7. Embed for the win

Embedding the video server link can decrease load times on your site and increase site speed. It also can be read by SEO more easily than uploading a video directly from your computer. Every time someone watches the video on your site, your YouTube video gets another view. This can help grow your YouTube, and Google will see it as relevant content, making it more likely you will come up on the SERP. It’s a double-win

8. Don’t forget your website’s SEO

If your video is embedded in a page on your website, getting that page to rank in search engines for relevant keywords will lead to increased views. Although you don’t have to be a tech guru to SEO your video and improve your ranking on the SERP, with over 200 different ranking factors, website SEO can get complex quickly, so consider hiring an SEO consultant to help you create the most effective strategy.

Follow these eight tips and watch your results improve! If you need help creating quality video content that gets you views, likes, subscribers and sales, contact us today. We’d love to talk with you about how we can help grow your business!


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