Video SEO: How To Optimize Video Content For Search Engines

Video SEO: How To Optimize Video Content For Search Engines


Do you feel your online videos don’t get the visibility they deserve? If your answer is yes, then you probably aren’t applying adequate search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to them. 

When you upload videos onto the internet on a social media platform like Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, you are placing them in the public domain.

But how do you get people to see your videos?

Google places the best videos uploaded in a prominent place. You can apply SEO to your videos to get Google to favor them.

But how will you get Google to look at your videos favorably?

Read on to learn about some neat SEO techniques that can get Google’s attention and give your videos the visibility they deserve.

Why Should You Optimize Your Videos?

We already have the short answer to this question, which is to gain more visibility. But what are the specific benefits you can get from optimizing them?

Here are a few pointers that tell you why you should optimize your videos:

Chance To Engage with Your Audience Better

You can establish an emotional connection with your audience. Create videos your viewers relate to and communicate with them through comments and feedback.

Identify User Trends

You can use your videos to generate users and then use analytics to identify trends that help you optimize your content.

Better Exposure to Your Brand

If a photograph speaks a thousand words, a video speaks thousands.

You can educate your audience about your brand and what it stands for in various ways through video format.

Maximize Your Return on Investment (ROI)

Surely, you must be spending some money on your videos. It is a part of your budgeting.

By optimizing your videos, you can justify the expenditure, quantifiable in the form of return on investment (ROI).

Increase Your Leads

Marketing in any form is all about generating leads. Video is the best digital medium for converting viewers into leads. 

How to Optimize Your Videos

So, how are we going to achieve all this? Let’s move on to look at a few SEO tips for videos:

Create Subtitles

A majority of viewers watch videos on mute. A transcript is the best way to communicate all the spoken word of your video in written form.

Also, using text helps Google’s bots to get more information from your videos to help in their ranking.

Add Target Keywords to Your Video Titles

In your videos, wherever you use text, you need to optimize the text, even for your titles. So, name your videos using target keywords, which increases the chances of getting your video discovered. 

Google or your video platform will read the file name and associate it with all the code that goes with it after uploading your video.

Use Other Popular Relevant Keywords

Ensure that your script contains related keywords. When you use these keywords, you not only inform your viewers but also tell YouTube what your video is about. By using common keywords, YouTube associates your video with similar videos.

If you choose your tags wisely, you can increase the reach of your videos. But ensure that your tags are relevant. Google penalizes content creators for using irrelevant tags.

The same goes for video descriptions.

Use Custom Thumbnails

Thumbnails are the screenshots from your video that the viewer sees before viewing the video. YouTube provides a default thumbnail for every video you upload. But these thumbnails mostly prove to be dull and even irrelevant to their content. 

Thumbnails are customizable. Spend some time viewing your video and choosing the most captivating image. You can also use images other than those from your video or even animated graphics.

Most video editing tools offer customizable thumbnails.

Ensure to use the recommended thumbnail size. That way, your thumbnail appears in high quality across various video platforms.

Note that you cannot upload thumbnails unless you get your YouTube account verified.

Cards and End Screens

Cards and end screens are tools YouTube provides for further promoting your content.


The small white button typically on the top right of a YouTube video with an “i” in the middle is called a “card.” If you click on it, you will see information about other videos. It’s an excellent way to get viewers to see your other related videos.

You can also add information about your brand on a card.

The number of cards allowed per video is five. You can add six types:

  • Channel cards
  • Donation cards
  • Fan funding cards
  • Link cards (links to an external site)
  • Poll cards
  • Playlist cards

End Screens

Toward the end of a video, you will also see similar information to what you see on a card. This is also a good way for viewers to view your videos back-to-back or move to some of your other channels if any.

The information provided on end screens is a bit more detailed than in cards.

The procedure for creating end screens is a bit complicated. But Google and YouTube provide detailed instructions on how to go about it. 

Use Good Editing Tools

There are many free online video editing tools that you can use to enhance your videos once created. Some of the best tools offer transitions, special effects, intros, outros, thumbnails, and more. 

You can enhance the appeal of your videos using these tools. But do not overdo it, as it might turn away your viewers.

Optimize Your Video Description

YouTube allows up to 1,000 characters for a video description. But that doesn’t mean you have to cram the space to capacity. Write a brief but informative and relevant description of your video that will capture the attention of your viewers.

Moreover, even if you keep your description concise, after about 100 characters, the text will be cut off, and the viewer needs to click “show more” to read the rest of the content. This means that keeping the essence of your content in the first couple of lines of the video description is the best way to go.

Use Hashtags Conservatively

Hashtags are a great way to increase the reach of your videos. The YouTube user interface has a provision to add relevant hashtags. These hashtags will appear on top of your video title, which makes for easy clicking, just like you can do on Instagram or LinkedIn. 

You can even add your brand or company name preceded by a hashtag.

But don’t overdo it. Blindly adding multiple hashtags may come across as spam. Instead, you could create three or four relevant hashtags that best describe your video.

Pinned Comments

Last but not least, something that might seem a bit irrelevant, but it’s not.

You can post a relevant comment of your own in the comments section and pin it. That way, it will always appear at the top of the list. It serves as a kind of video description, providing you write the comment in a tasteful and informative way.

Such a pinned comment can result in multiple replies and increase viewer engagement, especially if you add a resource.


Most of us tend to think that the work ends with the creation of a video. Wrong! If you want to produce engaging videos with maximum online visibility, you need to add a few embellishments, as we have highlighted here.

By following the tips mentioned here, you can optimize your videos and make them stand out in the crowd, beating your competitors by a wide margin.