While implementing video on your site for SEO is relatively straightforward, there are some common issues you’ll want to avoid. From technical problems, to common sense copy changes, these tips will help you improve your video SEO.
1. Skipping the Technical Side of SEO
Video sitemaps, metadata, and structured data are essential for search engines to locate and index your video content correctly. Video is a unique content type that search engines can’t scan and read like text, or increasingly, images.
If you don’t take the time to update your page with the right metadata or create a video sitemap, you risk missing out on many of the video SEO benefits we’ve laid out in this article.
2. Multiple Videos Per Page
You might be thinking, “Well, if one video is great for SEO, why not add more?”
More video does not necessarily equal more organic traffic to your page. In fact, if you have lots of videos on the page, it can have the opposite effect.
Search engines will usually only highlight the first video on your page in search results. Therefore, adding more videos to the page will not help your website stand out to people conducting searches online.
Also, if you have multiple videos, you risk slowing down your page. To be clear, you would have to have dozens of videos for this to be a significant page load speed factor, but it is something to keep in mind nonetheless.
If you’re looking to add that much video content, the focus of the page comes into question. Are you really just addressing one topic? The site visitor experience will suffer if your page is sprawling and disorganized, and you’ll see your bounce rate go up.
You are likely better off creating dedicated pages for each topic than trying to cram it all into one massive page. That way, each video can be indexed correctly against the most relevant search terms.
3. Adding Low-Quality Video
While adding video is almost always a plus for SEO, that won’t hold true if you don’t invest in your video content. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune on every video. It’s very possible to make a compelling video without a large budget.
What it really means is taking the time to think through your message and goals for the video. Who is the intended audience? What do you want them to walk away with?
Ensuring your answers to those questions are crystal clear will help you produce quality, engaging how-to content for viewers.
Of course, production value does count. For tips on improving your videos, check out our How To Video series.
4. Skimping on Surrounding Text
While it’d be nice to be able to just share a video on your blog with little to no text, and still rank for search terms, that’s pretty unlikely. The surrounding content is very important to your overall SEO profile.
Your page should be descriptive and include relevant content that helps visitors understand the topic you’re addressing. Especially for how-to videos, visitors should be able to follow all the steps in the video without actually watching it.
Why? There are several reasons. Everyone has different learning styles. Some people may not want to watch any videos at all, and prefer to read instructions instead. By including written content as well as a video, you’re helping to ensure that everyone visiting your page will find it useful, not just those who choose to watch a video. This is key for earning shares and backlinks to your page.
In addition, you’re likely to improve your keyword density for related search terms when you add written content. That way, search engines will know your page is a thorough resource focused on a particular topic. In turn, that will increase your chances of ranking highly for your targeted keywords.
5. Only Optimizing for Search Engines
At the end of the day, real human beings are the ones who will judge your content and deem it useful or forgettable, not Google. If you only optimize against search engine requirements for your page, you’re unlikely to wind up with an enjoyable user experience.
It’s true that SEO has become more human-centric in recent years. For example, the changes to standards for mobile, page load speeds, and pop-ups are all reflect and encourage a better user experience online. However, there is still a difference between what matters to people, and what matters to algorithms.
Knowing your audience, and creating great content for them, is key to video marketing. The SEO should follow.
6. Creating Overly Similar Content
Maybe you really like a particular subject, a lot. That doesn’t mean you should flood the airwaves of the Internet with video after video on the same topic.
If it were up to Google, each page of your website would have one clear purpose, and be distinct from all your other pages. You should approach your video content in a similar manner.
Each video you create for SEO purposes should be focused narrowly on answering a specific question. It should address a particular need of your audience.
If your content overlaps significantly, you run the risk of competing against yourself for backlinks and shares. Those remain important ranking factors for search results.
7. Assuming Video SEO is “One and Done”
For video SEO to be effective, the simple truth is that you can’t just create one video, put it on your homepage, and call it a day. It’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll move the needle in terms of organic traffic with just a single video.
When done correctly, video SEO increases your visibility for targeted search terms. So, why stop at just one or two keywords? By implementing video more broadly into your marketing content, you’ll build significantly more organic traffic over time.
8. Only Sharing on YouTube
YouTube definitely has a role to play in video marketing. As a social network, it’s ideal for reaching a really large audience, whether through paid video ads or viral moments.
However, when it comes to video SEO, YouTube can actually steal your thunder. While it’s free to use, YouTube makes you pay by branding the player, and actively driving traffic back to YouTube by showing ads or related videos before, during, or after your video plays. After putting lots of effort into optimizing your page for SEO, it’s a big mistake to use a player that is purposely designed to drive traffic off your site.
9. Not Actively Promoting Your Content
The beauty of organic traffic is that once you’ve earned it, it will continue to build over time at no extra cost out of pocket. However, the key takeaway here is that you do need to earn it.
Outreach is an essential part of search marketing. By engaging with other experts, thought leaders, and renowned resources online, you can build not just backlinks, but your network of expertise.
When done correctly, you’ll have more places to turn when you need a quote for an article, or help replacing a broken link.
10. Ignoring Images
Your video is unlikely to be the only media on the page. The header image, your video’s poster frame, and any other images that help break up the content and enhance the user’s experience shouldn’t be overlooked.
While it’s important to include images for the reasons above, adjusting your alt text is highly recommended as well. Alt text, or alternative text, is an attribute applied within the <img> HTML code and is used to describe the contents of the image. When done correctly, this improves the chances of your images appearing in search results, which ultimately improves the page’s SEO ranking.
SEO can be the gift that keeps on giving when all the proper steps are taken. If you have any additional tips and tricks on maximizing the effects of video SEO, let us know in the comments below.