Video SEO: What You Need to Know to Get Your Videos Rank Better

You’ve spent the time creating video content for your site. You’ve uploaded it, but it’s not bringing the kind of traffic you were expecting. Where did it all go wrong?

The fast answer is that video SEO is different from your standard SEO. Google can read written content, but it can’t yet read images or video. That makes things more difficult as the search engine can’t tell if your video is credible or not.

In this post, we’ll go over how to approach video SEO and get Google to love your videos.

Video SEO: A Definitive Guide To Ranking Videos In 2019

Before I share these tips, it's important to understand about the video SEO.

Video SEO is a way to optimise your videos to rank for a set of keywords in search engines as well as in popular video channels like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo etc.

Having a high-quality video is not enough to determine its success. There are lot more factors of high-ranking video like view time, number of shares, number of rating (good or bad) also contribute in the success of the video.

Now, let's have a look on those video SEO tips, which help you to nailed the search engine rankings.

1. Make Sure That Your Content is High Quality

Start with the aim of providing the top-notch content that is useful to your audience. This won’t help you rank higher immediately, but it will increase the time people spend watching your videos and also improve the chances of them sharing your content.

Here are some ideas to make your videos better:

  • Sound and video quality matter. Think back to the Battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones Season 8. The screen was so dark that you could barely see what was going on. That’s a great example of how not to shoot your videos.
  • Create a script. When you’re creating a blog post, you work in a logical manner. Each section follows on from the last in a logical sequence. Creating a script beforehand allows you to do the same thing with your video.
  • Rehearse. Run through the script out loud a couple of times. If you’re using props in the video, make sure that you practice with those as well. This will help you pick up problems with timing and so on.

2. Shoot Once, Edit Twice

Once you’ve created content, it’s essential to edit it carefully.

Look at the footage and ensure that every bit of it is valuable. It’s better to have a short video with a lot of punch than having a long one that’s boring.

Web users don’t have much patience for having their time wasted. Make sure that you’re not guilty of this.

3. Choose the Correct Video Hosting Platform

Before you shoot a video, ask yourself what your goals are. Do you want more traffic to your site? Are you trying to get new leads? Or are you perhaps just trying to get people thinking?

The answer to those questions will help you choose the right platform to host your videos on.

Video Hosting Platforms

Vimeo and YouTube are good for driving general brand awareness, but you run the risk of your prospect getting side-tracked by the other videos on the site. Wistia is a better option if you want to specifically drive traffic.

It’s also worth considering posting your videos on social media. Facebook or Instagram live videos could be helpful to get attention and get people to seek out your other content.

For SEO purposes, a link from social media is not going to influence your search engine rank. What it will do, however, is to promote your content.

4. Create a Transcript

Video transcripts are especially important if you want to rank well. These give the search engines a way to understand what the video is about. The transcript, in turn, makes it easier for them to index your site. Transcripts also provide content for those who don’t want to watch the video.

Video Transcripts

Keep in mind that the average first-page result in Google has 1,890 words of content.

Your transcript could help you create the longer-form content that ranks well. If you’ve already created a script, then you’re already halfway through there, so it’s not a lot of extra work.

5. Create a Killer Thumbnail Image

Next time you’re at the bookstore, think about what attracts you to one book over another. The chances are that you liked the cover. A thumbnail image performs the same function that a book cover does – it catches the interest.

Choose one of the best scenes in the video and create a thumbnail image from that. Just make sure that it’s relevant to the term you’re trying to rank for. Your audience should have a clear idea of what they’re linking through to.

video thumbnail examples

Image via Social Media Examiner

If you don’t, people might consider your thumbnail a clickbait. That’s going to result in a high bounce rate, and that will get your video into trouble.

6. Work on the Description and Title

Your title and description are even more important here. Along with the thumbnail, it’s these two that viewers are going to see in the search results. Do optimize both to help the video rank better in the right search results. Keep it interesting, but make it relevant to the video itself.


Don’t resort to clickbait titles unless your video specifically deals with that issue. If you do, people are going to be truly annoyed. And if you’ve spent time creating quality content, it’s completely unnecessary as well.

Optimize video title

It’s also better to use a title that tells people exactly what they’re getting. This is not the time to use clever titles that leave people guessing what the video is about. Let’s look at an example.

If you were producing a video about how relevant Shakespeare is today, for example, it might seem clever to use a title like, “To Be or Not to Be, what is the Question?” It’s based on a quote that the bard himself used, so it is relevant.

Unfortunately, though, someone seeing this in the search results might not understand the link. They’re less likely to click through as a result. A better option would be, “To Be or Not to Be – Is Shakespeare Still Relevant in Today’s Society?”


Your description should be around 250 words long. You’ll want to include your chosen keyword and a link to your site. This will help your video rank better overall.

Optimize video description

7. Tips for Embedding Your Video

Search engines typically only index a single video on a page. If you’re going to have a few videos, make sure that the best one is at the top. It can also pay off to stick to just one video per page. That way, you can create the page around the specific video content.

Tips for Embedding Your Video

In the above image, each of three YouTube videos features multiple videos, but Google index only single video per page, it's important to focus on highlighting your best video content.

It’s more work that way, but it can help your page rank faster. Also, be sure that the video content is visible as soon as you open the page. That way, you improve its chances of being seen as important.

You might think that embedding your video across a few different pages is a good idea. It isn’t. All you’re doing is to dilute the views. Search engines won’t be able to see that it’s the same video on both pages. They’ll see it as two competing videos.

8. Promote Your Video

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the movie, Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. In the movie, the theme is “If you build it, they will come.” That worked for Costner’s character, but it’s not a good policy to follow online.

There are millions of websites and videos competing for attention online. Search engines need to establish which videos are the best matches for the keywords entered into a search. They can’t understand the content, so they need to find other ways to evaluate it.

One way to do this is to see how many people watch the video and how long they stay engaged with it. Let’s go back to the Shakespeare video again. What if someone else decided to cover the same topic? How would Google establish which was the better option?

The number of people who watch the video is only part of the equation. You could have thousands of people clicking on a link through to a low-quality video. The number of clicks a video gets is important, but it’s not viewed in isolation.

YouTube views

It’s also important to see how many people watch it from start to finish. This makes sense – if the content is interesting, people will want to watch the whole video. If it’s not, they’re going to click away quickly. If the video is badly filmed, or if the presenter takes too long to get to the point, people are going to lose interest fast.

So getting people to click on the video is only one part of the equation. Getting them to watch the whole thing is the other.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to look at how to best promote your video. Social media is a fast and easy way to do that. Choose a channel that is popular with your target audience.

video ads on facebook

Don’t just stop with social media, though. Guest blogging is another option when it comes to promoting your content. You might also want to consider influencer marketing to get some serious traffic.

Final Notes

By properly optimizing your video, you’re increasing the odds of it ranking well. Now take things a bit further by also promoting your video. Bring in some traffic so that the search engines can see that your video is starting to gain traction.

We hope these video SEO tips will help you to rank your videos higher in search engines. If you have any suggestions or any queries about this guide, let us know in the comment section below.

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