The increasing popularity of video content is sending many marketers to join in on the party. After all, we see many shiny new things come into play – remember Vine? And it’s easy to want to jump to the next big thing. The difference is, we have plenty of data to support the fact that video marketing is here to stay.
HubSpot research shows that more than 50% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they know and love, so it’s no surprise marketers are eager to please. Data also shows six out of 10 people would rather watch videos online than television – and mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year.
All that said, optimizing video content for search, much the same way you do for blog posts and other text heavy forms of content, is a big difference in whether your content is seen or not.
Like many other marketers, you’ve decided to embrace video marketing and spend some of your budget on creating video content, but you’re just not seeing the SEO results. You’ve gotten great results with the majority of your blog posts, but just don’t understand why you can’t get the same for your video content.
There are many reasons why your videos may not be getting the search engine attention they deserve, but for the sake of brevity, let’s cover some of the biggest ones.
Lack of an Optimized Transcript
Are you aware of the fact that most videos on Facebook are watched on mute? This alone is a good enough reason to use transcripts.
But, transcripts are more important than that, because even though they help the hard of hearing and let people consume video without bothering the people around them, they also make your videos easier for the search engine bots to crawl. As a result, there’s more content to rank.
When you create your video transcript, your keyword usage may look a little different than you’d see it in a blog post. This is because written verbiage sounds a bit different when it’s spoken rather than read. Take the time to build your transcript around conversational keywords and phrases. You’ll be fine as long as you understand user intent.
In video marketing, you’re generally trying to rank for long-tail keywords. The number of YouTube searches that start with “how to” are growing by 70% year over year.
Lack of a Visually Interesting Thumbnail Image
Looking at the thumbnail image itself, there isn’t much of an importance to it in terms of the SEO value it offers. The title, description, tags, etc. are far more important. But, if you’ve one everything right to make sure your video is ranking, the wrong thumbnail could sabotage your efforts. Why?
The thumbnail is the thing that will give people their first impression of the video. As such, it plays a role in determining whether or not to watch the video.
According to a Backlinko study of more than one million YouTube videos to see what they could learn about video SEO. The main takeaways include:
- Videos with more comments ranked higher
- The number of shares a video had strongly related to page 1 ranking.
- Likes play a major role in how a video ranks
- There is a slight correlation between the channel’s subscriber count and video rankings.
If your thumbnails are turning people off, that’s going to stop them from viewing the content, so you won’t get many comments, shares, likes, or subscribers. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to create a custom image for your video thumbnail, using something like Canva. Research shows videos that have custom, relevant thumbnails get 30% higher play rates than those without.
Videos Don’t Properly Align With Your Web Pages
Let’s turn the focus to your website for a moment. Getting your webpage to rank for video content is a challenge since there are many factors to consider. There are a number of reasons why web pages with video content struggle to rank.
The largest issue comes from the page itself with both blog posts and pages with video. You cannot rely on SEO-friendly video alone to carry the full load of ranking. The page the video lives on must be optimized, too, because if it’s not the search engine bots are likely to crawl the page in the first place, regardless of how awesome the video is. Consider these factors:
- Is the page fast to load?
- Is the page secure?
- Is the page content, other than the video optimized for the keywords?
- Is the video relevant to the rest of the content on the page?
It’s best to place one video per page, because Google typically won’t index the more than one. If there are multiple videos on a page, make sure the one you’re trying to rank for is first.
Using the Same Approach With Video and Blog Posts
If you’re getting a lot of success with your blog posts, it may seem logical to build out your videos in a similar way. Though the message in a blog post and a video can be the same, the delivery is much different.
WIth a blog post, you can provide a ton of context, examples, detailed analysis, and more. With video, that’s not always possible.
YouTube confirmed a while ago that watch times and completion rates play a role in how content is ranked, so if your videos are similar to reading a long blog post, you’re likely to bore your audience and harm your completion rates.
Streamline your main points and get to the key takeaways quickly when you’re creating video. Map out your important parts and spell them out in the video.
Research shows videos between one to two minutes retain about 75% of their viewers, but videos that are in the four to five minute range keep less than 60% of their viewers.
This by no means suggests you should keep all your videos really short. It just means you need to focus on cutting the fat wherever it’s possible.
People’s attention spans aren’t like they used to be, so it’s easier to lose video viewers than you may think. Keep your message clear and to the point.
Ranking your content, especially videos, is important to your overall marketing strategy. The good thing is that the attributes that make your blog content successful transfer to your videos – but the fine points about how to get the job done for the videos are a bit different.
Focusing on these four elements as you create and optimize your video content will get and keep you in the search engine’s good graces.