How to Optimize Your Videos for Search Engines

September 12, 2018 Darmini Kara

video illustration

Recently I've had many agents ask how to optimize their videos for Google. It's a valid question. Video and YouTube is one of the fastest growing social platforms out there.

Today, text and pictures don't grab people's attention like they used to. Agents are turning to video to engage customers and keep prospects on their website. 

In this blog, I am going to go over how to optimize a video for the search engines. Let's assume the video will be on YouTube. It is the most popular free platform to upload and distribute videos. And, most importantly, Google owns YouTube.

Remember: No matter what, we have to start with good quality content. It doesn't matter if we optimize the video perfectly. If the video low quality, the viewer will stop watching. So, make sure you have good content, clear sound, bright lighting, and the right length of time.

1. Title and Description

Much like regular search engine optimization, SEO for videos also relies on title and description.

Search engines can't read videos. That's why they depend on the video’s title and description to tell them what the video is about.

Your title should be descriptive, yet succinct. Do a little research to see which keywords would be worth adding. Your description should have more information about the video. Or, links to more resources. You should include a link to your website, and if necessary include your social media links. 

2. Attractive Video Thumbnail

Once you've uploaded your video, YouTube allows you to choose a thumbnail. Don't just go with the default one. Try to choose the best one.

You also have the option to upload a customized thumbnail. All you need to do is verify your account. These eye-catching graphics would help you increase views. If you were to embed your video on your website, users would be more likely to press play. 

3. Transcripts

As I've stated before, Google can't read video, so we need to help it along with a transcript. Depending on the type of video, you may already have a script.

If not, you can find a service like Speechpad that will transcribe a video for you at a reasonable price. You can use the transcript in the video description, or on the webpage where you've embedded the video. The text will include keywords, which is great for attracting the search engines.

4. Call to Action

At the end of your video, and at the end of your description, ask viewers to do something.

You've heard YouTubers say it all the time. Now, you need to do it too: “Like, subscribe, comment, or visit our website.”

Any of the first three actions sends signals to YouTube that your video is relevant and useful. This goes to my earlier point of creating content good enough that viewers would want to engage.

5. Add an End Screen

Adding an end screen allows the viewer to continue the journey they started when they began watching the video.

YouTube allows you to add cards to videos. These are images or links that allow you to interact with the video. The difference is they only display at the end of the video.

This is when you can take the viewer to your website or landing page to track leads. 

I hope these tips have encouraged you to try making more videos. Optimizing them for search engines is not as difficult as it seems. Don't forget to recommend, share, comment below if you liked this article!


About the Author

Darmini Kara

Darmini Kara performs search engine optimization (SEO) tasks for ITC’s customers, including blogging, keyword research, backlink building, social media management, onsite optimization and some online marketing. She has a bachelor’s of arts in arts and technology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Darmini’s specialties include organic and local SEO, Google Analytics and Search Console, website design, and social media.

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