The Bullet Point Guide To Video SEO

December 3, 2018 , 5 minutes
bullet point guide to video seo
Check out our bullet point guide to video SEO.


  • Video can be an extremely powerful form of content and make a significant contribution to your overall SEO strategy
  • Define your goals – what do you want to get out of video? eg conversions, traffic, links etc
  • Main goals for SEO are to build links/social shares, and increase conversions

Getting Backlinks

  • To get links your video has to offer something to the viewer eg make them laugh, educate them, amaze them, shock them, or annoy them etc
  • Make sure you generate a strong enough emotional reaction that they’ll want to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button or by writing a post about it on their blog/website (e.g. Dollar Shave Club)
  • Pair videos with a PR/outreach strategy… you need to get influential sites to comment or share it

How to Increase Conversions

  • Embed videos on landing pages
  • Videos increase time on pages (which is good for rankings)
  • Product/app videos give people more confidence to purchase
  • Add rich snippets for videos ( so they stand out in search (eg Yoast plugin for WordPress)


  • Self-hosting videos can be great for video SEO but it does have a downside in that it’s more difficult to get exposure
  • It’s a lot harder to rank a self-hosted video than a YouTube video
  • We still recommend hosting on YouTube so we can build your company brand

Keyword Research & Ranking

  • Most YouTube views come from suggested videos, most people only get 15-20% on views from organic (google and youtube) search, so keyword research is different to on page research
  • Use YouTube suggest for keyword research – searches are different than on Google. Go to Youtube and start searching for topics… you’ll see the suggestions
  • Tag your videos appropriately
  • Use YouTube analytics to see what you rank for – add tags for related words and add the term to the video description (eg use bullet points explaining what the video covers)

Create Great Videos

  • The single most important thing for video SEO is the quality of the content
  • YouTube looks at session time, total watch time, audience retention and CTRs when evaluating how good a video is
  • Create longer videos to increase total watch time (on average people watch 40% of a video)
  • Maximise audience retention by focusing on the first 15 seconds of a video… YouTube even mentions this. The first 15 seconds is when most people drop off.
  • Use ‘interrupt’ patterns to ‘reset’ viewers’ attention (1-2 per video) so they stick around
  • Session watch time is the most important YouTube metric – they reward videos that keep people on YouTube.
  • Increase session watch time by creating playlists, including links to other videos at the end of each video (eg use YouTube’s end screen or annotations)
  • Increase user engagement (this is the number of likes, comments, shares etc that a video receives) by asking people to comment on something specific (people love to give opinions but don’t like to think), adding a subscribe CTA at the end of videos, and make sure you always reply to comments

 Video SEO

  • You need to optimise your video content around keywords
  • Include your keyword in your video title
  • Video title should also maximise CTR
  • Write a 200+ word description of your videos – longer descriptions help Google and Youtube understand the content and target audience
  • Tags are less important now than they used to be but are still helpful – aim for 5+ Tags
  • Say your target keyword in your video 1-2 times – YouTube analyses the content (but isn’t perfect yet)
  • Upload a transcript of the video to Youtube
  • CTR is an important metric for ranking – use your target keyword in your video but the rest of the title should be based on getting people to click and stick around (remember retention is also important)
  • Use eye-catching thumbnails – make a custom thumbnail that stands out
  • Use an attention-grabbing description – the first 125 characters should encourage people to click

Build Channel Authority

  • Brand your page and make sure it stands out from the crowd
  • Add a slogan/phrase the encapsulates what your target market is talking about
  • Be consist in the content you publish and ensure it supports your slogan
  • Include an overview in your about page that explains what the channel is about, who it is for, and include your target slogan/phrase
  • Add playlists to your channel
  • Build your number of subscribers (potentially use a service like for a kickstart)
  • Ask people to subscribe at the end of every video
  • Link to your YouTube channel from your website

How to Rank Videos In Google

  • Build videos targeting keywords that already have video results (it is more difficult to rank for words that don’t already have video results… go figure)
  • Put the video at the top of your page
  • Publish a transcript of the video at the bottom of the page
  • Use Video Schema (mentioned above)

Video Promotion

  • Mention new videos in your emails
  • Share new videos on all your social channels
  • Embed videos in blog posts (embeds are a youtube ranking signal)
  • Promote other videos at the end of each video
  • Set a featured video on Youtube
  • Share your videos on sites like Quora and other forums (include text too)

[UPDATE] Take a look at our sister company Paper Planes Productions if you are interested in video production.