How to optimize your video SEO?

October 20, 2015 - 3  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
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Video is one of the most engaging media on the Internet because it brings interactivity and more interest than a classic article. Videos are very highly scannable contents that can offer appealing materials while creating a unique relation with the viewer. When you know that Youtube has become the second search engines after Google, you can imagine the beneficial impact of the video within a digital marketing strategy. But video also offers great opportunities in terms of SEO. But like classic content, video SEO need to be optimized to help you rank better in the SERPs.

Tips to improve your video SEO

Optimizing a video involves some tricks and tactics to implement. First you are going to decide whether you are going to host that video on Youtube or on your own website. In most cases, the best method will be to post that video on Youtube because as we said in introduction, Youtube has a wide audience, it is easy to use and free. Plus, you will still be able to host that video on your website. And finally, Youtube is the best option to rank a video.
Actually, the Youtube ranking system is based on:

  • How often a video has been viewed
  • How long someone views a video
  • How often the video appears in a person’s playlist
  • The number of positive rankings/comments
  • The number of subscribers the creator has
  • How often a video is added to a playlist
  • How often a video was embedded on the web

To fit these criterias, you videos must be qualitatives for both users and Youtube bots and include:


As for traditional SEO, keywords play their role in ranking a video. It helps inform search engines what your video is going to be about and place your video on a specific segment. While looking natural, they should also be included in the title, the description and the tags. As with a classic campaign, you can still use the Keyword Planner to help you determine which keywords you should pick knowing that it is easier to rank well on Youtube. But with some keywords you can even rank well in the Google video results.


Titles are essential to rank your video but also to appeal visitors. That is the first thing people will see so you should take time to write the best one. And moreover, a title helps rank higher as you can include your main keywords. Those keywords should be placed at the beginning of the title to perform better. For instance, if you want to rank for ‘play guitar’, you should write “How to play the guitar in 1 month” rather than “Learn in 1 month to play the guitar”.


The description represents your best opportunity to rank a video. Actually, this is where you are going to describe your video content. Remember that Youtube bots can’t play your video so you have to make your description relevant and descriptive using rich and long-tail keywords and developing your semantic. You can thus include a transcript of your video, which is great for both usability and search engines. It will boost both your video traffic and your rankings.


While usually tags do not have any impacts on rankings except damaging it, in videos they do matters. That’s the best way to categorize your videos and help visitors find your content. Use specific keywords people would type to find this kind of content.

Sitemaps and

Sitemaps help bots to identify a video on your website and to index it. On the other hand, amplifies your SEO. Indeed, these markups allow you to add extra informations for the bots without hurting your sitemaps settings.

Linking, social media and other

As for any other SEO strategy, building links and using social media is a winning strategy. The more viral a video goes, the more backlinks it will received and the more traffic you will gain. Plus, adding annotations, rich snippets or custom thumbnail images will help stand your video out the crowd.

Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
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