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Basic Video SEO Techniques

Why Videos Suck at SEO

Currently, videos in general are horrible at SEO. For starters the only things that are searchable are titles, tags and other data that you add to the video. Google does not actually view the video so even if there was an amazing interview, it will basically not exist to Google unless you do something about it. In this article I am going to go over 5 simple video SEO techniques to boost your videos ranks. I will try to keep it as basic as possible and in the following weeks add more and more advanced video SEO (VSEO) techniques.

Create Quality Content

For most people this is a no brainier but it is necessary to explain here. For one, if the end user does not enjoy the content then they will not share, favorite, or show other people the video thus diminishing its overall power. How-to type videos tend to do well in results, but make sure that your videos are on topic as to not confuse your audience.

Basic Video SEO Techniques


The length of your video is important to the end user, if the user gets bored 5 minutes into your video, then they will be less likely to share the video with peers. If it is absolutely necessary, try to break up the videos into sizable chunks and label them accordingly. (Part 1, Part 2…). Most users watch 3 min or less of video. Try to keep your video content to under 5 minutes to keep the attention of the viewer.

Title and Description

Using keyword heavy titles, meta data and tags will give the video more search-ability. This will be one of the first things that the search engine will use to identify your video. What I personally offer my clients is to transcribe the video and use that transcription in two or three places. (I send an audio file to a transcription service and in exchange for a fee will return a transcription to you.) If the video is being hosted on YouTube then you can add that transcription straight into the closed captioning for the video which is completely searchable. Some video hosts do not have this feature so if you are embedding the video on a web page use the transcription somewhere on the page preferably near to the video as a static caption. This will provide the search engines with textual content to allow them to rank and index you.

Where Should I Host My Video?

Currently the best service to upload your video to would be YouTube. Though the answer is not quite that simple. YouTube dominates the universal SERPs at Google. Even over at Bing YouTube has an extremely large market share, though neither at Google or Bing does YouTube have over 84% market share.  Other hosting sites do hold a large market share as well, so currently the general consensus is to host your video at multiple big name hosts.

Rankings within the hosting site DO matter, but does not guarantee you a front page result. Though it can only help you if you are ranked well within the hosting site such as YouTube. Generally speaking, if you rank well on YouTube’s search then you will rank well on a similar Google search.

State Your Intentions

Keywords (as always) play a large part in your ranking. Transactional keywords such as buy, cheap, free, etc. will negatively affect your rank. This marketing strategy may work in the real world but unfortunately it does not work in search results.

Informational keywords are the ones you want to focus on. Comparative phrases, educational phrases and “How-To” type phrases rank exceptionally well when compared with the above.

Next week we will take a look at a slightly more advanced way to optimize your video search results! If you have any questions about the above article on video SEO or want to share your own strategy’s, leave a comment below!

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2 Responses so far.

  1. J says:

    Very useful information.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Excellent web site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your sweat!

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