Free video optimisation checklist

9 ways you can help your audience find your video

Video has never been more popular.

Loved by consumers and marketers alike, it’s hands-down the most engaging way to connect with your target audience.

But video won’t do diddly squat for you if your audience never sees it.

You have to help your audience find your video

Your video is the destination.

Point the way to your video with a video optimisation strategy to help your ideal customers find you.

9 tips to shine a light on your video

1. Successful videos are optimised for search engines

It’s not enough to upload a high-quality video onto your website.

Popular videos are also promoted by their content creators.

For more video views, start with choosing and using the right keywords.

What search queries would your video’s target audience type into the Google search bar?

Use these keyword search terms in the title, description and metatags for your video.

I’ll show you how below.

Target keywords in these locations will help your video rank higher in search results and get more views.

Here’s some detail on how you do this – this example uses a main keyword I often use: ‘recruitment video.’

Add the main keyword to the video file name & title

Before you upload your video, re-name the file name to include your keyword phrase.

Place dashes between each word like this: recruitment-video-hastings-deering

Once you upload [most likely to YouTube or Vimeo] add your title.

Your keyword phrase should be as close to the start of the title as possible while still making sense.

Keep your title under 70 characters. Google cuts off characters longer than this in search results

Add your keyword to the description box

Adding keywords to the description is one of video’s most underused SEO tactics.

It helps search engines better understand the topic of the video, so it comes up in search results for that keyword.

You’d ideally add the main keyword in the first or second line of text in the description box.

By adding a keyword to your video description, you’re increasing the odds that people will find your video when searching online. 

Add the main keyword to tags

Screenshot showing where to add a tag to a YouTube video

Your target keywords added to tags add another layer to rank your video.

In this Hubspot blog post, you can follow the step-by-step process on how to add to YouTube videos.

2. Create attention-grabbing thumbnails

Attention grabbing thumbnail of blue coastal waters with title: Fish traps of Moreton Bay

Your thumbnail image indicates what your viewer can expect from your video.

It should show what the video is about at a glance.

If your video thumbnail includes your keyword, that’s a keyword bonus to lift you higher in Google search results.

So be a bit fussy here.

If you upload your video to YouTube, you only get a few screenshots to choose from – instead, select a screenshot from the original video before you upload it.

Save your thumbnail with the keyword or keyword phrase in the file name. 

This is another signpost for Google.

Thumbnail impressions count towards YouTube’s algorithm, so don’t skimp on quality.

If you think the thumbnail screenshot could do with more oomph or needs the addition of your keyword, take your screenshot into a program like Canva to pretty it up or add the keyword within a title.

3. Videos are more searchable with closed captions

Captions enhance your video’s accessibility to a larger audience.

With increased views, your return on investment is higher.

If your keyword or keyword phrase is in the video narration, closed captions will give you another keyword boost.

Google’s algorithms take closed captions into account when ranking videos

Yet another way to increase organic traffic.

If you use a video creation tool that allows you to add closed captions, turn on this feature.

In this Techsmith post, they take you through the why and how.

If you are working with a video production company – ta da, like us – they can do this for you. 

4. A video transcript gives Google more clues

Adding the video’s transcript will improve its discoverability.

And bring more traffic to your website.

  • Add the transcript to the video’s description
  • Embed it in the website copy below your video
  • Create a blog post that includes the transcript

There are many ways to create a transcript from your video – this can be done for you if you’re using a video production company or you can do it yourself by uploading to a site like rev.com.  Easy peasy.

Transcripts are important SEO real estate for video content, and you can also significantly improve your click-through rate by adding clickable links to the transcript document.

5. Create a blog post to support your video production

The more types of content you can create around your video, the better.

A blog post adds another layer of marketing punch to your video project and gives you room to expand the topic of your video.

When creating your blog post, include your relevant keywords and the video’s transcript to lift your overall SEO.

From the blog, link back to your video to help increase its views and engagement.

6. Add a video preview to emails

Gif of a XAT D10T2 dozer pushing dirt: Title: Increased drawbar strength

You can’t currently embed video in emails, but here’s the workaround.

You can create a short sneak peek GIF from your video to drag and drop straight into your email.

A 3 or 4-second GIF from your video in an email, with a link below it that directs back to the full video, will give your email a higher engagement rate and get more eyes on your video.

The GIF also gives you extra precious seconds of reader attention, increasing the odds they’ll click your email link to boost your click-through rate.

I create our GIFs directly from a video uploaded to Vimeo – but we have a paid account.

You can find a list of free gif makers here.

For email, your GIF file size should be no bigger than 500KB, and keep the number of frames to around 15 frames, as this will help optimise the file size.

7. Add a link to your video in your email signature

A link back to your video on every email you send?

Sounds like a great idea to me.

This is valuable real estate we should all make more use of.

Your video just needs to be hosted online so you can copy the URL.

Paste the URL as a hyperlink within your email signature.

You could add the hyperlink to text – or add to a signature image (easy to create in Canva.)

8. Share your video to social channels

A row of pinballs on a blue background, each with a different social media platform logo

Increase the discoverability of your video by sharing it on social networks.

But there’s a great divide between the video you want and need for your website or YouTube Channel and the video content best suited to social media platforms.

So even though you may have started with a longer video, it’s best to use short edits pulled from the longer video for cross-posting to social platforms – to match the short attention span of this scrolling audience demographic!

In our production process, we would create your longer multi-minute corporate video first – then pull out your short social media versions.

And because phone viewing is usually with sound off on social channels, you need captions for these versions.

If you post on social media platforms like Facebook and Linkedin, you can also add clickable links back to your main video or the matching blog.

9. Link to your video wherever possible

There are three link types:

  1. An internal link is any page within your site to another page within your site.
  2. An external link is a link from one of your pages to somebody else’s page.
  3. A backlink is when somebody links to your page from their own page.

You can learn more about backlinks here – but the first place to get more video views is with internal links.

  1. If you’ve created a blog post on a different page, link it to your video
  2. You could add a link to your video from your About page
  3. You could add a link from your Contact Us page

And don’t forget to link to your video from your social media posts and email signature.

Have questions? Want to chat?

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