Optimising video for search: a commonly-forgotten necessity

Given the sheer amount of money sent in the direction of search engine optimisation agencies – effectively fuelling their rise into some of the fastest-growing companies in the UK – it can often be surprising when organisations forget to  optimise their video content as well as their web presence as a whole.

While our focus here at Stada Media is largely on the quality of video production itself, we’re well aware of the additional factors that help this media perform in Google and beyond. As such, here are our simple (yet extremely impactful) tips for improving the pickup of your expertly-produced videos. All you’ll need is someone good with a keyboard!

Make that title catchy yet accurate

Google, like humans, reads a video’s title to find what it’s about, with a specific focus on the first few words. While it’s real SEO 101, it’s important to front-load a title with the content of the piece instead of something a little less important. For example, “How to Build a Barbecue in Five Easy Steps” will generally perform better than “Five Easy Steps to Follow to Build a Barbecue”, and definitely better than “Bricks, Charcoal and a Steely Determination: How to Make Your Barbecue Woes a Thing of the Past”.

While we’re on the subject, don’t forget your keywords

As with articles, on-page content, blogs and traditional piece of content, your video needs to communicate its purpose with Google and other search engines’ bots. As well as the title, you need to put a lot of stock in optimising the description and tags. Obviously, don’t stuff something well-written with quite obvious phrases; it must read organically and naturally.

One simple test to find out which keywords are best for you is to bring up Google and type in your phrase of choice. If videos as well as links pop up in the first page, you’re onto a winner.

Make your description water-tight

YouTube and its competitors don’t actively watch your video, but it’ll study your description more than anything else. With quite impressive character counts at your disposal on nearly every video-hosting site, you can make the most of both single and long-tail keyword combinations to make your effort as easy to find as possible.

If you look at videos that show lyrics on screen for those who want to learn them (e.g. to stop singing “my baby donkey” to The Beatles’ Ticket to Ride), a lot of creators also post up the lyrics on the description. Many people with a little more time on their hands will also post up transcripts of explanation videos. These naturally lend themselves to the keywords people are looking up, and massively improve their chances of being indexed and brought up in searches.

Don’t forget your tags

A lot of people get a little lazy with tagging, or put it into a genre that’s not as relevant as they believe. Again, with a keyword-driven focus, ensure there are as many relevant tags as possible – but pay special attention to contradictions, as this’ll only serve to confuse search engines, as well as viewers!

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