Over the past few years, video has become extremely relevant as a marketing tool. It’s easy to understand why videos can convey large amounts of information quickly and are much easier to process.

In this blog we share some golden rules you should follow when SEO-optimising your video for your website.

Google’s search engine has also fallen victim to the charm of video marketing: first, we started seeing dedicated video search results, then we saw them being increasingly incorporated into standard SERPs. Today, we now see many video SERPs shown above web pages!

But Google isn’t the only “video search engine” in town, and neither is it the most important. YouTube acts as a search engine itself and there are many similarities in the way these two work. 

Key takeout? Just as you would optimise your written content to get the best chances to rank, you should do the same with your videos. Done well, SEO-optimised videos can boost your rankings, organic traffic and help you to stand out from the competition.

But this may seem easier said than done. Here are some golden rules you should follow when SEO-optimising your video for your website (but keep your eyes peeled for a post on optimising video SEO for YouTube!).

1. Create a specific sitemap for videos

A sitemap is a file that helps search engines index your website’s content, normally in the form of a .xml file.

For videos, it’s a good idea to create a separate sitemap, including the URL of the pages with videos and some meta information about the video (e.g title, description, etc.). 

A great example of a video sitemap can be found on Google’s guidelines.

Once you’ve created your sitemap, you’ll have to submit it to Google via Google’s Search Console.

2. Enter the structured data on the page hosting the video

Structured data is information that’s provided to search engines about the content of that specific web page. This normally comes in the form of a JSON code, which needs to be placed on the page. 

JSON codes help Google to crawl web pages for information. The easier it is for Google to understand your web page, the higher your chances of appearing in rich results such as featured snippets, carousels, and more.

The markup language is defined by the schema protocol a large dictionary containing all the accepted parameters that govern building structured data. However, Google recommends using their parameters. To guarantee the best chance of your videos appearing in search results, check out their guidelines in their Search for Developers reference database.

Thankfully, if you’re not familiar with coding, you can generate your structured data using this free schema markup generator tool.

3. Choose the right thumbnail

 Good thumbnail can make the difference between failure and success, so make sure yours are relevant and entice users to watch the video.

You can watch our HubSpot Question of the Week video series on YouTube here.

4. Search for keywords related to the video content

As with web pages, ad hoc keyword research is also required for video content —- and YouTube’s search suggestions are the best place to start.  This free YouTube keyword research tool can collect hundreds of suggestions for you in seconds.

5. Insert a transcript of the video

Adding a transcript to a video will help in many ways: it creates more opportunities for viewing and makes the video more accessible. For example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing can easily follow without audio, increasing your audience and boosting views. It also gives you a free, extra piece of content that can be indexed and used to generate traffic alongside the video.

6. Put the video as high up your page as you can (and try avoiding multiple videos)

Search engine crawlers sometimes might stop for videos on the web page following the first one they find.

7. Don’t put the same video on multiple pages

Adding the same video to multiple pages creates unnecessary ranking competition between them. Use plenty of calls-to-action (CTAs) and internal links instead to send people to the relevant video page.

As digital marketers, SEO is crucial to our work and every asset we have should be optimised in order to be able to generate organic visits. The rise of video marketing and its increasing importance made it become a crucial part of your SEO strategy and hopefully these tips will help you to get started. 

Got questions on video-based marketing? If you want to learn more on how our team can support you, get in touch with us for a free chat.

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