Video SEO optimization gives your videos a higher chance of making it to the top of search engine results. Think of factors such as: the right thumbnail, subtitles and complete metadata. Use the following checklist and take the first steps to improve your video SEO.

#1 Choose a gripping thumbnail

Video SEO optimization begins visually: ensure that you have the most appealing video thumbnail possible. Eye-tracking research shows that people focus on images in search results. Especially when the image is attractive. Make sure your thumbnail really pops out and grabs their attention.

A thumbnail summarizes the most important information in one image. Most video content management systems allow you to add a custom thumbnail. This can be either a screenshot directly taken from the video or another image of your choosing.

#2 Place one video per page

Within the video SEO optimization mindset, keep the placement of your video in mind. Just as you would do with written text, focus on one subject per page. This improves the chance of your video making it to the top search results.

Combine text, images and videos that all deal with the same subject. This way, you create a rich page full of relevant information.

#3 Create a video sitemap

Looking at video SEO, it helps to create a sitemap. A sitemap gives an overview of your website, similar to a table of contents. What pages belong to your website and how is your website structured?

A video sitemap works the same way, but focuses specifically on the videos on your website. This sitemap gives an overview of the videos on your website and where they are located. It also contains the metadata with which your videos appear in the search results.

Creating a sitemap is easy whenever you use the Blue Billywig Online Video Platform. All the videos on your website can be added to one ‘cliplist’. The cliplist will then have its own unique ID that you can use for the Google Search Console. After a more technical explanation? Read the blog about creating a video sitemap.

#4 Metadata

A fairly simple part of video SEO optimization is metadata. Give as much textual information as you can, which can be used within the search results.

Literally speaking, metadata is data about data, so in this case data about your videos. Think of information such as a title, synopsis, thumbnail and deeplink. It might seem simple, but it’s important to note that things like this shouldn’t be overlooked.

#5 Choose your keywords carefully

Another important aspect of metadata is tagging your video. Make a list of relevant keywords. It is easier to be found using ‘longtail’ keywords. So make them specific. Tag a video about music with obvious words such as ‘music’, but also think about the specific genre and instruments.

Once your list is complete, add them to AdWords Keyword Planner. Here you can find information about the average monthly searches and the competition. Lacking inspiration? Use Keyword Finder to think of more keywords. This list with keywords is multifunctional for video SEO optimization: use the most relevant ones for your synopsis and title.

#6 Encourage sharing and embedding

To rank videos, Google also takes into account how many times a video has been shared or embedded on another website. Understandably, your video SEO is partly reliant on others. However, you can encourage it, by adding share and embed buttons to your videos.

By ensuring your video is shareable, you will increase the organic value of your video. The more value your video has according to Google, the higher your video will be ranked. 

#7 Add a Call to Action to your video

You can encourage getting your videos out there by adding a Call to Action (CTA). Examples are asking viewers to share it, react to it or link to other pages. This increases the engagement of your video, which is positive for your ranking. Consider where the CTA would fit best and whether it needs repeating.

One or more CTAs can increase viewing time or extend the time on page. The longer people stay on your website, the more value it has for a search engine

#8 Add subtitles

Subtitles have many functionalities. Firstly, it makes your video available in multiple languages. Furthermore, it suits the regulations for websites so the hearing impaired can enjoy your video as well.

It is a bonus that it helps your video SEO. Search engines index videos based on the textual information. Subtitles or transcripts describe what you hear and see in a video word-for-word. This helps index the video from beginning to end.

#9 Analyze and keep the video SEO optimization going

Video SEO optimization remains hard work, even after the video has gone live. There are always ways to improve. How do you know where to start? By looking at the video performance and putting this knowledge to good use.

A great amount of views does not automatically mean a video that performs well. Of course, it is great that your video reaches a big audience, but further analysis can always improve your organic standing. How many times has the video been shared? Who is watching and from where are they watching? Is there a specific moment people lose interest?

Analysis shows the people losing interest and if your video is not doing so well. It can happen to anyone. Use it as a lesson for the next time you produce a video. And hold on to the current one as well. Run through this optimization checklist again and keep going!