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Using Video For SEO: How & Why?

Video is constantly becoming more prevalent in every aspect of the online world, with practically every post we scroll past on social media now consisting of a video, whether its a 30 second TikTok or a longer sob story that ends up holding our attention. Video is only going to become more of a focus for every online marketing strategy and Google recognises this, with search engines displaying more and more video results for a wider range of informational search queries. 

Zidivo are here to share just some of the ways you can optimise your onsite videos to rank in the search results and the benefits of using video for SEO… 

What is video SEO?

Video has been part of Google search for a long time, with the ‘videos’ tab allowing browsers to easily switch between the types of content they want to be displayed. Despite this, the main SERPs is where the majority of search visibility can be gained, with the increasing commonality of video and image packs being featured in the main results for a wider range of terms. People don’t just want to read a response to their search query anymore and Google understands this, which is why they will always display a variety of SERP features depending on the intent behind a keyword. 

To rank in the Google search results and benefit from the hugely increased visibility and brand awareness this can bring, you first need to make sure your videos can be found and indexed by Google’s crawlers. 

How to implement video SEO:

There are several ways to make sure your video content is optimised for SEO purposes.

Find the right video hosting platform 

First, make sure you publish and host your videos on the right platform to suit your needs and goals. For example, if you’re a brand looking to generate the ultimate amount of visibility with your videos, you may be best going for a popular platform like YouTube or Vimeo. For those looking to drive and keep traffic on a certain landing page using video, a more dedicated hosting platform may be better suited to your purpose. Take YouTube, for example, there will be ads involved and once a video has finished playing, it will recommend similar videos as suggestions afterwards which can draw attention away from your brand and even cause your traffic to click elsewhere. 

Zidivo offers a dedicated and tailored hosting solution for brands that want to embed video on specific webpages and landing pages. All our players are white label, so you can brand your videos up completely and ensure there are minimal distractions from your video content at all times. What’s more, you can create your own video playlists rather than having to rely on auto-generated suggestions, so once a user has finished watching your video another relevant video will automatically be played to keep them engaged. 

Use subtitles or closed captions

Once you’re set on where your videos will be hosted, you need to make sure you have subtitles or closed captioning set up. Not only does this make your video content far more accessible and open you up to a wider audience who may be watching without sound, but it means search engine bots can better crawl and index your videos. The more easily your videos can be indexed, the better Google will understand what your video is offering and the far more likely you are to rank in search for a wide range of relevant search queries.

Optimise your titles and descriptions

Similar to when optimising written pieces of content, a key factor in optimising your videos is titles and descriptions. Spend time making sure your video titles and descriptions are accurate and include your target keywords where they fit naturally. SEO is becoming increasingly about offering a quality user experience, so don’t let your titles appear keyword stuffed. Instead, focus on creating titles and descriptions that grab attention and encourage clicks. 

Create a video sitemap

Our next tip to using video for SEO is to create dedicated video sitemaps when embedding videos on your site. These are an essential step to having your videos crawled and indexed effectively, as they tell Google bots important insights into your video content that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to detect, such as the topic, duration, and format. Search engine crawlers cannot crawl visuals, so a sitemap is key to making sure your videos have an opportunity to rank. 

Don’t neglect your thumbnails

Another key aspect is your video thumbnails, which can be make or break for the success of a video. If you want your videos to stand out against the crowd, encourage people to click-through to your site and in turn boost your rankings, you must nail your thumbnails. Think of a thumbnail as a snapshot into what the video will be about - they must be high-quality, professional and eye-catching. 

Embed your videos in the right places

Last but not least, make sure your videos are featured in the right places. Google bots also use the copy surrounding a video to determine its purpose and topic, so if you are embedding videos on pages with no relevancy, your videos are far less likely to rank for the right search terms. Only embed a video on a page where it matches the right search intent, fits with the surrounding copy and adds value to the piece, otherwise it can end up doing more harm than good for your site’s visibility in search. 

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