Getting views on your latest video is as easy as uploading it to YouTube, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy, especially in an uber saturated digital environment. Just like any digital content, videos need to be marketed too. By optimizing your video for search, you can achieve the views you deserve. Here’s how:
When search engine bots crawl web content, they’re looking for any indication of what the content includes. This way, they can serve the best results to users. Obviously, videos are a bit harder to parse than a standard webpage. Help out the crawlers with a meta title and meta description that explains what your video is all about. On YouTube and Facebook, you should be sure to add a detailed, keyword-rich description and available tags to help people find your content.
Add a Transcript and Captions
Common on podcast sites, a transcript contains a text explanation of your video’s content. By including one on your video’s page, you not only make your site more accessible to users with sight disabilities, but you also give search engines yet more information about your content. Pairing a transcript with a video ensures full flexibility for users and better SEO.
By the same token, ensure that you have thorough and accurate captions on your videos. Many of your audience are on their phones, hearing-disabled, or both, so if your video needs them to have their sound on to be understood, you’re cutting off potential views. YouTube auto-generated captions, but they can be quite off-the-mark, so be sure you edit them for legibility.
Use a Custom Thumbnail
YouTube and Facebook will happily choose a thumbnail (aka a cover image) for your video to show people in search results. Somehow, they always seem to choose the most boring or awkward frame from your video. Creating your own thumbnail is a great way to entice new viewers, and you can also add your logo and other branding to it.
Watch Your Length and Intro
The optimal length of a video varies by platform: people are more likely to watch a 5-minute video on YouTube than they are on your website. Your goal for each channel is to get people to watch the video all the way through. Evaluate your audience’s behavior on each platform. YouTube users are often seeking information and will find your video in search results, so your video’s intro should confirm that your video will answer their questions. By contrast, Facebook users are often scrolling through videos recommended to them, seeking to be entertained. Your video should instantly catch their attention and be short and engaging enough that they won’t click away to watch something else.
Get Your Video Seen
Getting more views for your video requires optimizing it for its platform and purpose. You also must provide guidance for search engine crawlers and social network algorithms whenever possible. By preparing your video for both bots and human users, you can improve your chances of showing up in search results — and being watched fully once someone clicks on the results.
Ready to get started on your video project? We’d love to help. Schedule a conversation to get started!