6 Video SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings
Having videos on your website is a proven method for increasing your SEO
If you’re serious about wanting your dealership website to rank well in search engine results, then it’s time to get serious about video marketing. Having videos on your website is a proven method for increasing search rankings, click-through rates (CTRs), conversion rates, and lowering bounce rates in your site’s analytics.
For dealers, the simplest way to start with video marketing is to create an inventory video for every vehicle on your lot. Ideally, these videos will be hosted on a separate platform, and be embedded in your website’s vehicle details pages (VDPs).
Other good “starter” videos include new-model test-drive videos, customer testimonial videos, how-to videos in the service department, and dealership value-proposition videos.
It’s important to realize, however, that merely having these videos on your website won’t boost your search rankings overnight. To get noticed and ranked by the search engines, follow these six tips.
1. Keep titles relevant and short
Think of your video title as a headline. Titles help viewers understand the content, so be sure to pick the right descriptive words and keywords.
Try to keep titles shorter than 70 characters, since titles longer than that will be truncated in search engine results. Never use titles that trick viewers into watching your video.
2. Use metadata for mega rankings
Video titles, descriptions, and tags are important ranking factors. Keyword insertion is very important in all three elements.
Use the description box to include long-tail keyword search terms that you may otherwise not be able to utilize on your website.
3. Add transcriptions for indexing and usability
Another option to include in the video description box—and in the HTML of each page where your videos are hosted—is to include a written transcription of the entire video.
Transcriptions give viewers the option to read the video content if they can’t listen or if they’re pressed for time, while also providing rich keywords for search engines.
4. Add closed captions
Include closed captions in all videos. This feature exposes your content to a larger audience, including hard-of-hearing viewers or those who speak other languages.
Best of all, the closed captions are crawlable by search engines, helping to increase your videos’ rankings.
5. Host videos on a separate platform
If your goal is to rank your website, then videos should be self-hosted, or hosted on a third-party platform in addition to being uploaded to YouTube. If you only upload your videos to YouTube and then embed those videos on your website, your rankings won’t improve much.
This is because the data that’s used to rank your website’s page is instead ranking the individual video on YouTube. More than likely, it will be the YouTube version of your video that is displayed in the search results, not your website’s version.
Self-hosting or hosting videos with a third party that allows your website to take credit for keywords and metadata will allow Google to find and rank your website.
6. Be sure to have a video sitemap
Last, but certainly not least in terms of importance, is to let search engines know that you have videos on your website. This is one of the most overlooked parts of dealerships’ video marketing strategies. Be sure to have your website provider configure and submit a video sitemap for your website.
It’s no secret that search engines—and car shoppers—love videos. To leverage this powerful medium, start with vehicle inventory videos and follow these six video SEO tips to significantly boost your dealership’s website rankings.
Tim James is COO of Flick Fusion, and a dynamic sales and marketing strategist with more than 20 years of success in driving revenue growth for auto dealers. He is one of the auto industry’s leading authorities on the use of video marketing strategies throughout the entire online merchandising and sales process.