Best SEO Practices for Your Video Content

Best SEO Practices for Your Video Content - woman working on SEO, from above

Are you looking to ensure that your videos rank as well as possible? These top SEO practices will have you on your way.


#1 Keyword Strategy

When optimizing your video content for search engines, you must remember that search engines aren’t quite capable of “watching” your videos and genuinely understanding what they’re about. That’s why you have to give your video content context; keywords will help you do that.

Optimize your content for keywords that you have (hopefully) identified before production, and make sure they are in the title, tags, description, and any surrounding content that will accompany the video. Don’t stuff your keywords; use them in a natural, human-readable sentence.

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#2 Hosting

It may seem like a good idea, but you don’t want to host your videos directly on your website server. Uploading video content to trusted video channels is the way to go. Their servers and software systems are set up for video and much better for SEO. YouTube is the second most popular search engine out there. Google also owns it …they like when you use YouTube to host your videos. So, host your video on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or LinkedIn and embed the video on your site.

Remember, though, that YouTube and other platforms will ultimately try and bring your viewers to their platform, even when watching something on your website. The controls can also get distracting and clash with the theme of your website.

So, utilize the different options available when embedding a player. YouTube lets you strip away almost all of a player’s functionality and eliminate those suggested videos by clicking a few checkboxes and simply cutting and pasting.

Hosting your videos with a fast, media-optimized video service optimizes your video content.


#3 Sitemaps

If you have looked into an SEO strategy, you probably already know about sitemaps, but do you have a video sitemap setup yet? This a sitemap devoted to your rich content that shows search engines where it’s located. This is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to helping your video content rank.


#4 Meta Tags

The more you can tell a search engine about your rich content, the better. Meta tags will control how your video displays inside of search results. A title, description, and tags are the most common forms of meta tags. Still, Google also supports many more for video content, including a name, description, thumbnail URL, image file, and upload date.


#5 Open Graph Tags

When posting a video on social networks, Open Graph tags (or “OG tags”) are similar to meta tags, and they play an essential role in helping networks understand your video content. They help ensure the correct title, tags, description, image, and video appear when your video gets shared.

Social sharing is prominent in SEO, so you want to ensure these are set up correctly.


#6 Load Speed

Another reason you should take advantage of an off-site, media-optimized dedicated host is that no one wants to sit around waiting for your website to load or for a video to buffer. Uploading directly to your website can quickly slow things down, and even embedding from the wrong service can lead to the same effect.


#7 Captions

Subtitles, or closed captions, play an essential role in making your content accessible to the masses, but they can also improve your SEO. Increasingly, accessibility is becoming a significant factor in search engine rankings. Even for those without accessibility issues, many people watch videos without sound, and captions aid in their understanding of your content.


#8 Pre-Play Image

Have you ever spent time considering which thumbnail was best for your video? You should. The right pre-play poster will positively impact how likely someone is to click on your video and views it. Although this does not directly impact SEO, it will help drive engagement for your videos.


#9 Limit Your Videos

Having more than one video on a single page can negatively impact your SEO efforts for multiple reasons. Number one, it dilutes the page’s focus, leading to a broader (and less effective) keyword strategy. It also makes it harder for you to optimize your video SEO overall and impacts how long your pages take to load.

Ideally, you should devote each page to a specific topic and put only one super-focused video. This way, you can dial in your keyword strategy.


#10 Sharing Made Simple

What if someone wants to share your video after watching it? Ideally, your website’s design will encourage this by making sharing simple. These social signals will help drive further engagement in your videos and tell search engines that people like your content.


#11 Share Online

Online communities are bound to be dedicated to topics similar to your video content. By sharing your video content in these online communities, you can help build your backlink strategy. Having backlinks from relevant and reputable sites linking to your video will help your SEO tremendously. LinkedIn, Facebook, and other online communities are excellent places to start.


#12 Keep Up With The Changes

SEO constantly changes as search engines update their algorithms and determine what people care about. The rules are always in a state of adaption, and you must be ready and willing to adapt to them as they shift over time. Your outbound links should remain valid, and you should also monitor your backlink profiles for issues that may evolve with time.

Spend some time each month reviewing the latest updates to SEO and speculations surrounding it to help keep your website on top.


Are You Interested in Integrating Video Into Your Marketing?

Good news. We have a guide for you. The Video Marketing Strategy Blueprint is a quick, actionable guide to planning a video marketing campaign. Sound like something you’re looking for? Check out the Blueprint today.

Neil K Carroll

Neil K Carroll


I was your average small-town video guy, but when the pandemic hit, everything changed.

I ran a traditional video production agency with exclusively local clientele, a downtown studio, and a busy schedule. My days were long, travel frequent, and life as I knew it revolved around producing video content for my clients.

Then everything changed. Schools and daycares closed, my professional life was disrupted, and I found myself navigating a new path. It was one of uncertainty, with no end in sight and no destination obvious, but it demanded flexibility and resilience.

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