Four Steps to Optimizing Videos for Search

The first step to a successful video marketing campaign is to make your videos for consumers…not Google. Google (and the other search engines) create algorithms to place the results users want to see at the top of the search page and they’ve gotten pretty good at it. So, the best way to make sure that consumers want to see your video is to make it with them in mind first and then think about the search engines.

Once you’ve made your video, however, you still need to make sure it is properly set up for the search engines to understand, because unlike written content that the search bots can read directly, you need to tell Google what’s in your video.

Use Meta-Tags & Keywords

As the search algorithms become better at understanding natural written language and begin to penalize keyword stuffing in website content, adding keywords and meta-tags to written language has become less important. With video on the other hand, Google can’t directly view your video, so keywords and tags are important to making sure you video appears in the right searches.

Keywords should be relevant to the video, but you still need to research to find the terms users are searching for. Google has a page to help you get started: Look for words that rank highly on both Google and YouTube.

Optimize Your Title

The first, and often the only thing users will see in the search results is your video’s title. So, your title should be informative, include your keywords if possible, and be less than 60 characters. The order of the words in your title can also affect your SEO. If the subject of your video is “how to check your oil” a good title would be “Check Your Oil in Three Steps” instead of “Three Steps to Check Your Oil.” Always place the keywords in the beginning if you can; don’t force it, however, titles need to sound natural.

Write a Detailed Description

As I mentioned above, Google can’t view your videos, it depends on your title, tags, and description to figure out what your video is about. Unlike the title and tags, the description has plenty of space to detail what your video contains, emphasize keywords, and make use of long-tail keywords. If you have a transcript of your video, include it here. Transcripts are not only relevant, but if you’ve made your video correctly, they will be full of relevant keywords and natural language.

Create a Sitemap

YouTube allows you to embed videos on your website. And whenever possible, you want users to see your videos on your website instead of YouTube, so they stay on your site and hopefully turn into a lead. In order for the Google bots to find your videos on your site, however, you need to create a video sitemap. To create a video site map, click here.

Video marketing is an effective way to promote your dealership and create connections with customers, but remember there are 60 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, so if you want your videos to be found, you need to make sure they’re properly optimized.

AJ LeBlanc is the managing partner of and Email for more information.

AJ LeBlanc


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