We SEO Textual Content…Why Not Video?!
 By Thomas Beatty, senior SEO analyst & video optimization specialist, BusinessOnLine

Video optimization is crucial if you want your video to be found by your audience. Similar to how you would Search Engine Optimize (SEO) your website copy to rank highly, you can do the same with videos. What do you SEO with videos? Well, with video optimization you SEO the script. You might be scratching your head now, so let me explain the benefits of video optimization.

The search engines can crawl a lot of content around the video which influences its ranking. In fact, the search bot will determine the video’s quality by the textual content around the video—meaning links, description, tags, title, and script. The script is a transcription of the video that is attached to the timeline. This requires some time to create and embed, but it is well worth the investment.

Getting your video to rank can be an arduous, but necessary task, as YouTube videos are now dominating search behind Google. These days, more and more people are not only watching videos like crazy on YouTube, they are searching them via YouTube, making it a viable platform to invest resources. There are 28,800 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every day, so in order to rank high, there are some tips and tricks to increase your chances.

With so many videos being uploaded to YouTube, the following video optimization guidelines can help increase your chances of getting positive rankings.

First, write a keyword-focused script for your video. That way you can put your video script in the description field and in the video timeline. The synthesis between placing the script in the description and timeline is a new advancement, and has been shown to yield positive search results. This provides the search bot more info to scrape, and will help the bot properly index your video.

For instance, if your video is about “Video Optimization,” the more times that you naturally have “Video Optimization” mentioned in your script, the better chance your video has of being indexed properly, ranked higher, and being found easier. The transcript text follows the video wherever it is embedded, and users can also select chunks of the text and share it when sharing your video, which helps rankings, too.

Secondly, research your audience. Find out their needs and interests, and customize your content accordingly. Also, be mindful of the platform. YouTube is a fast-paced platform and users rapidly cipher through and quickly scan content; this is why SEO and embedding transcripts are so crucial to ranking high. Keep your video short, concise, entertaining, and to the point. If you have a dense or lengthy subject matter, break the video into sections with intros and outros. Keep your video between three and five minutes long for increased user engagement; though some studies and data point to users’ attention spans being close to 60 to 90 seconds with YouTube Insight data supporting user bounce rates as quick as five to 30 seconds. Meaning: You have less than 30 seconds to capture their attention. SEO will get them to your video, and good content can increase the chances of quality engagement.

Also, have a strong call-to-action at the beginning of your video. Communicate your most important point(s) first, in case the user bounces, and does not watch the video in its entirety. Strong calls-to-action in the beginning of the video increase your chances of converting and branding the viewer. This can also increase their likelihood of returning to the content later.

The title of your video should be keyword focused, but keep in mind that there is a 25-character limit, including spaces, so use this real estate wisely. The description should start with a link to your website or wherever you want the user to go for more information, followed by two sentences describing what the video is about, and then the script. Tags are YouTube keywords. Think a bit outside the box when selecting keywords. Also, include a few synonyms that make sense to you and potential users. Put yourself in the users’ position and think about how they would search your content.

Lastly, you want to choose a thumbnail for your video. This video thumbnail needs to entice the user to click on your thumbnail. Select a part of the video that will be valuable and interesting to the user. Because of the rapid scanning behavior of users on platforms such as YouTube, your thumbnail is going to be their first form of engagement after search, so make it count.

I hope you enjoyed my video optimization tips. Happy YouTubing!

---Source: Thomas Beatty is a senior SEO analyst and video optimization specialist at BusinessOnLine, a pioneer in the interactive marketing space with a 14-year track record of successfully leveraging the interconnectedness of the Internet to help companies grow their digital presence. Follow Thomas on Twitter @redmellon70 and LinkedIn, or email him at

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