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Getting that video to work for you in search

If you’re producing videos for your company, even if they’re only instructional ones for customers, you want them to be found. “Video SEO” really is a thing. Here are half a dozen things to think about when you put a video on YouTube.

1. The title should follow similar rules to titles on web pages – you need to get the keywords in, preferably front-loaded, and make sure it works inside about 60 characters.

2. You can write long descriptions, but only the first three lines will show without the user having to click “Show More”. So although the rest of the description can contain text which may get picked up by Google search, few people will see it.

3. You can put clickthrough links within the video, but the most effective one appears in the description. However, as we’ve shown above, anything not in the first three lines won’t get seen by many people. To see how it should be done, take a look at any music video with millions of views, like this one. Boom – the description which shows is just a call to action and a link.

4. Tags are helpful to enable Google to categorise the video and ensure it appears in searches not necessarily covered by keywords in the title or description. Three or four should be fine though.

5. Make sure your video has a really great ‘thumbnail’ image to make it stand out in listings. Don’t accept the default. Preferably, make up an image with the video’s title overlaid on it.

6. If the video is really important, add subtitles and closed captions. Google can read these. More here.

7. Learn all about End Screens and how to use them. This might require adding a blank or custom 20 seconds on to the end of your video, so it can’t be retrofitted!

8. Link to the video from anywhere you can, including social media, and embed it in your website.