Videos are good for your SEO. But optimizing your videos for SEO is different from optimizing a web page. So how do you optimize a video to maximize the SEO benefits?
A video transcript converts the video into text that bots can easily scrape. The transcript is how you can still rank for keywords that are included in the video. Google can’t read what’s in images or videos without text, so providing transcripts of your video is essential to maximizing the impact your videos can have on your SEO. This is especially true when you have a page or a post where the video is the primary focus.
Thumbnails don’t actually do a lot for your SEO directly. They do, however, have an indirect effect in that they encourage users to click on your videos, which does have an impact on your SEO. The more clicks you get, the higher your page rank. The thumbnail image is the first impression users will have of your video, so make it engaging.
The more text you have with your videos, the better. Google uses text scraped by bots to index and rank pages and content. Captioning your video with a good description that includes your keywords provides even more text for Google to use.
Post on YouTube
Whether you host videos yourself or not, your videos should be uploaded to YouTube. It’s the second-largest search engine and uploading your videos to YouTube will make your video easier for users to find. YouTube is also a major social media platform and will reach your audience as soon as it’s posted.
Plus, videos hosted on YouTube often appear directly in Google searches and rank on their own. While this may sound like it’s taking views away from your web page, a lot of users will seek out videos on YouTube itself without going through Google to reach them. You can still embed your videos on your website and share them on other social media platforms, but having them on YouTube will increase the audience that your content can reach.
Optimizing on YouTube
When you post a video on YouTube, take advantage of all of YouTube’s features to optimize your video for SEO. Make sure the keywords you want to use that are relevant for your video are in the title and in the description. The filename of the video is another opportunity to insert keywords. Don’t forget to use the tags, which will show up as hashtags, so that users can find your video more easily.
In addition, make sure to use the subtitles and closed captioning. This is YouTube’s version of providing a transcript for your video. Google will be able to use the text from the subtitles to rank your video.