Optimizing Videos for SEO

By OctaneGo, June 20, 2012 | Tips & Resources

We all know the power of videos, a format that is perfectly suited for potential viral campaigns. But as any digital marketer will tell you, getting true viral reach is notoriously difficult to achieve. This is because creating an amazing video is not enough; you need to make sure it shows up at the right places online and to do that, you need to optimize your videos for SEO.

Here are a few some simple tips to follow if you find yourself facing this particular challenge:

  • File Names: Your video file names should be chosen carefully and should contain relevant keywords. That means if you upload a file called ‘Internet Marketing Secrets.mp4’ to your website or YouTube, it stands a better chance to be identified with the relevant searches than if it were named ‘12042012.mp4’.
  • Relevant (and catchy) Titles: Titles are half the battle in any SEO practice. Choose titles that are immediately relevant, but also have an interesting hook to invite people to watch the video. For instance, ‘Internet Marketing Tips’ is a good title, but even better is ‘Internet Marketing Tips: Special Report 2012’.
  • Tags: Almost all platforms allow you to specify tags, which play a very important role in attracting search engine traffic. Tidy up your video post with fresh, interesting and relevant tags and gain from long-tail keywords.
  • Description: The video description serves two purposes; it is a natural place to include more keyword-rich content and it can be used to build an audience with similar interests. Put in engaging copy and interesting links and you are instantly doubling the value of your post. Also, do note that it’s very important for you to not make the description sound like a desperate pitch for views or alternatively, let it get boring with too much technical detail.
  • Annotations: If you are on YouTube, you can make great use of annotations. You can insert links to related videos or posts (which will be very effective because you can time it accurately) and interesting comments to increase engagement. For instance, in the example above (video for Internet Marketing Tips), you can insert the annotation ‘What are the Top Marketing Tools for 2012? Find out here!’ at the right place and maximize your video’s impact.
  • Enable Sharing: Make sure you provide options to share videos through Google+ (which is becoming important for SEO), Facebook, Twitter and other popular platforms. The more your video gets shared, the more it will be watched, driving traffic back towards your content and links.

These guidelines will work not only for YouTube—the largest online destination for videos—but for other portals (including your own) as well. So go ahead and try these tricks out to get the maximum impact from your video campaigns!

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