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Ultimate Video Marketing Guide: The Principles of Video SEO (Part 2 of 3)

This post is Part 2 of our 3-part blog series – “The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing.” You can read Part 1 here: “Your Video Distribution Strategy“, and Part 3 here: “Say Hello To Video Analytics

There are two ways to rank high on the search engines.

The long and hard way is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Using this approach, it takes time and continuous effort to help your website rank “naturally” on the first page of Google.

The easy way out, or rather the shortcut, is Paid Ads. Just choose and buy your AdWords, and you can leap to the first page of Google at once for relevant keywords. However, this sort of ranking strategy will last as long as you keep paying (and praying your ads get clicked).

Here’s a screenshot of the Google SERP, page 1.

paid ads vs organic results crackitt

Why SEO is better than paid ads for higher search rankings?  

To put it simply, Paid Ads get ignored!

  1. 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results.

SEO is organic & credible! It’s a long process, but a highly fruitful one.

  1. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
  2. 70% of the links search users click on are organic.

This is why SEO is still alive and kicking!

If you want your website to rank high on the search engine, go the SEO way. It’s a long and hard road but it pays off and builds brand presence and credibility.

Ok, so SEO is good to boost website visibility but…

Why the Need for Video SEO?

At this very minute, over 500 hours of video is getting uploaded to YouTube. That translates roughly to 720,000 hours of video in a single day. Think about the video content that has been and will be uploaded over the course of months and years. Surely, that would be gazillions of video content. And, we are only talking about YouTube. Bring Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, Vine to the scene, and your video will look like a needle in a big, big haystack.

How will your audience ever find it?

This is where Video SEO comes to the rescue.

It’s your ticket to Google’s #1 spotlight.

To boost your video’s visibility, you need to associate your video with relevant, targeted keywords and text that you think your prospects would be using to search for your services on Google or other search engines.

Ergo, Video SEO is about ‘influencing’ the search engine to show your video for a given set of keywords.

Here’s how you do Video SEO.

Video SEO Best Practices: 10 Ways To Boost Your Video’s Search Visibility

When a user stumbles upon a video, there are three things that they check out on average: the “title” of the video, the video preview image (we call it “thumbnail”), and, last but not the least, the video “description”.

So, the first step is to optimise these 3 factors to ensure maximum views.

1. Video Title

The title is the headline of your video. And, as the headline, it should be catchy enough to grab the attention of your target audience. If it doesn’t, you lose a customer. If it does, you get the ROI from your video.  

So write an interesting title that piques the interest of your target audience, and makes them excited to click the play button.

david ogilvy headline quote

Title Guidelines:

  • Include the important keywords at the beginning of the title. It will get you higher ranks. For example, in our video title “Grey Orange – Brand Story of A Robot Manufacturer” the brand name “Grey Orange” is the main keyword, and hence it’s on the beginning.
  • Limit your title to within 70 characters. Any longer, and Google will step in and truncate your title text on search results.
  • The title should be relevant to the video content. You shouldn’t trick people into watching your video with a misleading title. Doing so would result in negative comments and reputation.

2. Video Thumbnail

Studies tell that first impressions are 94% design-related. Ergo, an eye-catching thumbnail image will help your video attract a huge audience.

video seo metadata crackitt

Thumbnail Guidelines:

  • The best practice is to use an interesting image frame from the video itself. However, you do have the option to upload an attractive custom thumbnail image to encourage maximum views.
  • When uploading custom thumbnail, ensure that it’s an accurate representation of the video content. Misleading images will smudge your brand reputation.
  • The image should be of high quality, and it should look good on all screen sizes, mobile, tablets or laptops.


3. Video Description

Description gives important details about the video content to interested users to encourage views. For marketing, description means the chance to associate your video with more keywords and add links to your website or social media networks.

Description Guidelines:

  • What’s so interesting about your video? Or, what’s that most important detail of it? Write that out in a couple of sentences.
  • Add your website link and mention your prominent social media handles to drive traffic.
  • Include keywords in your description field to maximize search ranking but make the description sound natural and engaging, and not jammed with keywords.


4. Video Tags

Tags are actual keywords. For instance, “animated explainer videos” is a keyword that we use to tag many of our videos with.

Tags Guidelines:

  • Use accurate keywords that represent your video content. Start first with the important keywords that sums up the video content, then go on to write keywords that represent the niche of the video (like “healthcare”, “saas” etc.),  and then include the brand-specific keywords.
  • Short or long-tails, you can use both type of keywords to help people find your video.


5. Call-to-action (CTA)

Videos are part of a grand marketing scheme. Businesses contact us to make videos for different objectives. Most want to increase their lead conversion rates or to encourage viewers to purchase the product highlighted in the video.

A call to action therefore is a clear action that you want your viewers to perform after watching that video of yours.

There’s always a ‘call-to-action’ message near the end of the video itself. But to make it easier for the viewers to perform that action, you need to put an additional clickable call-to-action button right next to the video. (The “like”, “share” button in Facebook is an example of CTA buttons, and since they are placed right next to the content, they are so irresistible.)  

CTA Guidelines:

  • The CTA text should be meaningful. It should tell the viewer what will happen when they click that button. For example, if you want viewers to sign up for the free trial after watching the video, then the CTA text should show “Sign Up For Free Trial”. Better yet, you can make the CTA text personal to the user by saying “Start My Free Trial Now”.
  • Make the CTA button big and nice to grab attention of the viewers.
  • To maximize conversion, we recommend you to do A/B test and stick with the CTA text and design that gets the most clicks.
  • If you have uploaded your video to YouTube or other video hosting sites, you may find the option to add an interactive, clickable CTA button on the video screen itself to encourage conversions.



There’s a concept called “herd mentality” (aka mob mentality). It suggests that people are influenced to “adopt certain behaviors, or follow trends, or purchase items” if they see other people doing that same thing.

Comments make use of this herd mentality to fuel engagement. One comment encourages another comment, and it goes on and on. But what does comment mean for your business? Well, you get leads and subscribers. Higher engagement also means higher rankings, brand presence and social proof.

Comment Guidelines:

  • Start the engagement yourself. Get your friends to write constructive comments that encourage response.
  • Reply to the comments promptly. Your commenters would love that. When they get replies, they would be more likely to follow your brand.


7. Transcript of the Video

ted video transcript

Transcript is the audio narration in text format.

Search engines show results by matching the text of the content with the user’s search query.

However, your visual content is a different story. Google can read text but they don’t read the video content or its audio narration (yet). So, by uploading the transcript of the video, you can give more data to the search engines to index and match your video content to your user’s search queries.

Transcript Guidelines:

  • The transcript should match the narration and be accurate to the last word.
  • Another trick of the trade is to add few important lines from the transcript to the description field itself.


8. Video Sitemaps

Video Sitemap is an efficient way to get your video indexed by Google and other search engines. Normally, it will take a whole day for search engines to crawl your freshly uploaded website videos but if you generate and submit a video sitemap to Google, your video will get indexed in minutes. And, there you have, an easy SEO to boost your video’s search visibility.

Sitemap Guideline:

  • You would want to take Google’s words for everything regarding video sitemaps.


9. Social Media Buttons

To encourage shares and likes, you need to add social media buttons next to your video. Viewers, who like your video, will then do the marketing and promotion for you. And, that’s an effective SEO technique to generate engagement and traffic.


10. Link Building & Distribution

More links means more visibility. By distributing your video to different platforms, you will be helping your video to rank higher in the search results. In fact, Marketing Sherpa reports that distribution can lead to a 2,000% increase in blog traffic and a 40% increase in the revenue.

Video Distribution Guidelines:

  • The first place you want to upload your video to would be your website. Because, Google ranks high websites with video content.
  • Don’t forget YouTube. It’s best for search optimisation. You can also add links to divert traffic back to your landing page.
  • The other popular channels to distribute your video are Facebook, Vimeo, Tumblr and guest blogs.

And, that’s how you do Video SEO. But remember that you are not implementing these SEO tricks to get points from the search engine but rather to reach your target audience and sell to them.


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1 Comment on Ultimate Video Marketing Guide: The Principles of Video SEO (Part 2 of 3)

Kristopher said : Guest Report 7 years ago

Awesome post thank you for sharing



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