Recently updated on August 8th, 2022

Want your video content to get found on Google? It starts with creating awesome video content that threads into your existing SEO strategy – then, optimizing it for search engines. Read through this video SEO guide and you’ll be well on your way to landing your 15 minutes of fame… or just getting more people to your website.

What Is Video SEO?

Video SEO is the process of getting more video views and ranking higher in Google searches in order to drive people to your website. Why does it sound so similar to the purpose of all other types of SEO? Because it is.

The objectives are the same: dominate search engine results pages in order to win more traffic, backlinks, and social shares with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness and revenue. However, the process is what makes video SEO stand apart.

  • Step 1: conduct market and keyword research that aligns with your current SEO strategy.
  • Step 2: storyboard, film, and edit your content.
  • Step 3: post your content.
  • Step 4: optimize your content.

It’s already a pretty involved process – and we haven’t even gotten into the nitty gritty. So, let’s dive into how to leverage video SEO so the entire world can find your awesome content!

How to Rank Higher in Google with Video SEO

Videos can appear in Google search results, video search results, Google images and Google Discover! And according to Statista, there are over 204 million video viewers on Google sites in the US alone! Learning how to fully optimize your videos will set you up to get your videos in front of more viewers by winning those coveted page 1 and 2 spots on Google search results.

Video Title

Even if your video does champion the SERPs (search engine results page) and wins top placement… your video title still needs to draw people in. Create a snappy title that includes your keyword, descriptive context, and action phrases or questions. If you’re not sure whether you’ve got a winning title, you can run it through a headline analyzer tool.

Video SEO Title Tips:

  • Keep it short & sweet
  • Frontload your keyword and important phrases
  • Make it relevant & intriguing

To make it a little more interesting, if you decide to cross-post your video to platforms like YouTube or Facebook, there are character limitations. Google also truncates titles and descriptions. That said, try to keep your title under 70 characters.

Video Description

You need to whip up a video description if you decide to cross-post. YouTube has nearly 2 billion users worldwide and is the second-most popular search engine in the world… so it doesn’t hurt to post your video content to YouTube.

That said, you’ll need a winning video description. Frontload your keywords and intriguing tidbits in the description – and remember, you’ve got more wiggle room here. Write at least 200 words and always include links to your website and other pieces of winning content! In doing so, you’ll guide users through the world that you’ve worked so hard to build!

Video Thumbnail

While books get judged by their covers, videos get judged by their thumbnails. Your thumbnail will be one of the first things that catch a viewer’s attention when scrolling through search results. Create a custom thumbnail – or choose an epic moment from your video – that will make people want to know what’s going on!

To be eligible to appear in Google video features, a video must have a valid thumbnail image.

Video SEO Rich Snippets

Video SEO doesn’t just deal with video content once the user lands on your site – it’s also how you catch the user’s eye in SERPs! While it’s your job to hook your audience with keywords and great content, you should also optimize rich snippets to help Google deliver your content at the top of search results pages.

Test your page to see if it supports rich results! If the page does not, you’ll need to crack into the code to figure out what’s causing the error.

Once you confirm that your page is eligible for rich results, you’ll need to add some structured data. Structured data is a format that provides information about a page and helps search crawlers classify the page content with greater detail.

Take a look at this example of a single Video Object tag:

Are you posting videos that aren't showing up in search results? Learn how video SEO works and how to start ranking on Google!

There are additional markup types you can use in conjunction with the basic VideoObject tag that gives even greater context such as:

After you’re done with marking up your videos on-site, you’ll need to submit the updated page to Google Search Console. This shoots an official invitation to Google crawlers to re-index the site with your new, snazzy structured data and video content.

Video Transcript

Do you leave the subtitles on when you watch a movie? If you don’t, you might be missing out! Subtitles help your brain grasp nuances and subtext that you might otherwise miss.

Just like subtitles help us understand at a deeper level, video transcripts help search engine crawlers index our site with better accuracy. Video transcripts provide more data about the context of a video – and if thought out ahead of time, you can plan your script to include keywords woven throughout the video!

User Experience Matters

If you’re spending your time and energy focused on building out incredible video content, but it’s featured on an irrelevant, slow-loading, or just plain ugly landing page… your users won’t stay to watch. They won’t care about the mind-blowing product video you shot. They won’t stay for the hilarious promo content you thought would go viral. If your website has poor UX or loads too slow, your video will flop.

How to Optimize Website Speed

Location, Location, Location

Include your video on a page that has diverse media types. Pages with testimonials, videos, and high-quality content are poised to rank better in SERPs.

That said, don’t overwhelm your user. Include only one video per page. While you may have a large pool of video content you can’t wait to share, most people don’t want to sit on a page and watch video after video. Spread the wealth by weaving videos throughout your pages and blog posts. 


Embed your video content with HTML5 and Javascript or Flash – do not use iframe. Google has a tendency to crawl past iframe structures; so if you want to ensure your videos get indexed, find another way to embed your video.

Video Sitemap

Just like the pages and posts on your website need a sitemap for search engines to crawl, your site should feature a video sitemap. This will help Google find and understand the video content on your site – especially new content!

You can create a separate video sitemap, or embed it within an existing sitemap. Check out the image below to see the XML namespace video tags. These tags help define granular aspects of the video like title, location and duration!

Image of video seo sitemap from Google

Final Thoughts on Video SEO

Even after strategizing, storyboarding, shooting and editing… there’s still a lot of work to be done! But with over 7 billion Google searches made per day, the benefits of landing a top spot will have a massive impact on your traffic. If you’d like help with creating video content or optimizing your on-page video content, we are here to help.

Get Started with Video SEO

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