Having taken the time to design and develop a high-quality promotional video for your website, it’s important that you get a solid return on your investment. In this article, we’ll be giving you detailed tips on optimising videos.
As a starting point, we have written this article on the basis that you’re hosting your video on YouTube and embedding it onto your main website, for this reason, our focus will be on optimising videos for YouTube.
As in all search engine optimisation (SEO), you need to think of the main keyword to be linked to your content, as well as a range of keywords and phrases associated with it, these keywords will be used in optimising your video.
Here’s a brief outline of how Google and Youtube use a combination of different criteria to rank videos. This should help you understand some of the things why we have outlined certain things to optimise your content:
- Number of views
- Length of time on video/bounce rate
- Frequency of video in playlists
- Number of likes or positive comments
- Number of subscribers a channel has
- Number of websites the video is embedded on
So how can we try and improve these rankings?
1. Profile Design and Imagery
Starting with the overall design of your profile is a great way to make sure viewers can find your content easily and start to follow your channel. Just like other social media profiles YouTube allows you to upload a profile picture and cover photo. Make sure your profile imagery is high quality, reflects your brand and content.
If you have a wide range of videos on your profile it might be an idea to split them into different sections, this way viewers can easily find videos on the subject they are looking for.
Tip: You could use your cover photo to explain your channel or an offer you are promoting.
Here you can see how CupcakeGemma has used her cover photo as a title for her channel and her profile picture to reinforce this. The combination, create a personable yet professional image relating to her brand and content. She has also created individual sections to ensure customers can easily find things such as cupcakes or sweet tutorials.
When embedding your video on your website, make sure you use a range of relevant keywords within the rest of the content on your page. It’s a good idea to include your main keyword more often, particularly in titles and as anchor text. Encourage others to use the same keyword as anchor text when sharing or linking to your video.
Choosing the title of your video is very important and should not be an afterthought, you want your title to be concise, descriptive and really stand out. In order to be picked up by Google you should include your keyword in the title of your video, and if possible as close to the beginning as possible. Also, try to keep your title under 66 characters, otherwise Google will truncate it.
Tags are an important factor in optimising video content and in making sure it is found amongst the millions of YouTube videos and channels. Use a range of keywords and phrases, including branded keywords to tag your video. Your keywords and phrases should ideally range between 1 – 3 words, but make sure you avoid including irrelevant tags.
Just like website SEO you should not use spam keywords if someone realises your video is labeled falsely they won’t watch for long and this will have a detrimental impact on your ranking.
Youtube can’t watch your video, it uses the description to determine what the content is so, the description is your opportunity to tell YouTube what the video is about. The description is where you can add the most text, so make it count, fill it with as many long and short-tail keywords as possible!
Tip: A transcript is a great way to include lots of relevant keywords in your description, as well as allowing viewers to easily take quotes or jump to certain sections within the video.
Thumbnails are an important part of your video design and promotion, think of them as your video cover. Often they are the thing that attracts viewers to watch your content, make sure your thumbnail is descriptive, emotive, exciting and engaging. We mentioned in the first point about profile design that you can categorise your videos, consider this when designing your thumbnails so each one flows and compliments the other, rather than look too similar or too different.
Gemma has kept her brand imagery consistent across her channel, utilising thumbnails and using branded imagery across her content.
7. Call to Action!
As with any form of promotional content you should ensure your video includes a call-to-action. You can add these within your description as well as within YouTube annotations. When using Youtube annotations make sure they improve engagement, rather than becoming distracting.
8. Create Playlists
Creating a playlist on your Youtube Channel is so simple, but also incredibly effective at increasing your time-on-page and time-on-site metrics. At the end, each of your video YouTube will automatically play the next one in the playlist. When sharing or embedding your video make sure you share a link to the whole playlist in order to really improve your views.
Gemma has created playlists for a wide range of video topics, for example, seasonal recipes, here you can see how these playlists automatically play one video after the other.
As well as optimising your content it’s important to promote it. Share your video (or playlist) across your social media, tagging people you think may be particularly interested in it or likely to share it. The more people that embed your video on the website the better it will perform, email organisations and publications that might be interested offering them the video to use on their website. You could also add your video to other sharing sites such as Vimeo or Daily Motion.
Avoid being too broad or general when optimising your video, Youtube and Google may penalise you for using misleading titles, tags and descriptions.
Tailor to your topics niche, you know your audience, their problems and what they are searching for, don’t panic and start adding irrelevant or vague keywords in order to get views.
Guest article from Proactive Marketing
– Proactive Marketing is a graphic design and print company based in the UK. They work with franchise groups and multi-site businesses to ensure brand conformity across the whole organisation through their web-to-print system.