Video SEO

Video SEO is nowadays most commonly used synonymously with YouTube SEO. In general, video SEO can therefore include different aspects of video optimization. In terms of YouTube SEO, the optimization of videos relates to achieving better rankings within the YouTube platform. Video SEO generally includes all the measures and techniques for improving video content on websites.


Videos have a distinct advantage over text. They are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. For this reason, videos are much easier to consume than text. Needless to say, videos are one of the most popular types of media on the web. According to surveys, users in the US are watching more than 200 videos a month on the Internet. More than 64 percent of marketing companies therefore tend to include videos in their strategies.

For webmasters, these numbers would indicate that they should enrich their own webpages with video content in order to make the pages more attractive and easier to consume. At the same time, YouTube offers the opportunity to create more reach for your website. Thus, video SEO serves two purposes, to increase the attractiveness and reach of the website.

Forms of video SEO[edit]

Video SEO usually includes actions which are intended to optimize YouTube clips and achieve better rankings within the YouTube search as well as in the Google video search. It also concerns how videos get integrated on your website.

YouTube SEO[edit]

The most common form of video SEO takes into account the optimization of video content for the YouTube platform. It is considered the second largest search engine in the world next to Google. YouTube videos are also displayed in the Google SERPs when the search query is relevant. A typical example is the display of music videos from YouTube when a user searches for a music track.

Ranking factors for YouTube SEO[edit]

The ranking factors on the YouTube platform are different to the general Google search. The rankings on YouTube are based on four different factors, trust of the channel, relevance of the video, interaction with the user, and social sharing.

  • Channel trust: This includes the frequency of video downloads for the channel, number of subscribers, total clicks, and the age of the channel. Thus, a channel has a higher trust when it generates many subscribers and many clicks.
  • Relevance: Similar to the organic search, the relevance of the video to the search query plays a high role. In contrast to websites which keywords are assigned is very important for YouTube videos. The same applies to the title of the video. Since the algorithm is not yet able to read moving pictures, additional elements such as a possible video transcript, thumbnails or information on the length and age of the video are important in determining the relevance to the search query.
  • User interaction: The more the users interact with the video, the better. These include likes, dislikes, and comments. As with websites, the bounce rate is a factor for the ranking of videos on YouTube.
  • Social sharing: How often the video was shared on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook is important. Similar to websites, backlinks can also be included in the ranking. Google’s inclusion in playlists on YouTube is also taken into account for listing in the video search.

Video SEO on your website[edit]

Moving images have the disadvantage that they cannot be read by search engines like text. For this reason, metadata play an important role with regard to video SEO for your website. Search engines can use this data to determine the content of the videos. Usually, videos are linked to web pages in the form of iframes.

Meta data and optimization for videos[edit]

  • Video title: The title can be used to draw conclusions about the content of the video.
  • Video description: The description can make the content more precise.
  • Markups: Using markups, additional HTML elements can be marked for search engines.
  • Embedding: In order for a search engine to “read” videos on a website, the content in which the video is embedded is of importance. Thus, videos should not be integrated just by themselves, but text elements should always accompany the embedded video as well.

Technical requirements[edit]

  • Mobile optimization: Since mobile Internet usage is increasing, webmasters should refrain from using techniques such as Flash to present videos. Flash is supported by only a few mobile devices.
  • Video formats: In order to make the user experience as good as possible, video formats should be used, which can be displayed by all current browsers.
  • Video size: It is recommended to use conventional HD resolution for web videos in order not to overload the bandwidth of the Internet connection.
  • Video sitemap: If videos are hosted on your own server, the video URLs should be submitted to Google or Bing in a separate sitemap. At Google, the Sitemap is recorded in the Google Search Console and at Bing in the Webmaster Tools.

Benefits for SEO in general[edit]

Generally, video SEO can have positive effects on search engine optimization in two ways. On the one hand, SEOs can provide traffic to the website with well-listed and frequently-clicked YouTube clips and traffic links. On the other hand, these videos can increase visibility in the SERPs.

If videos are included on a website, the length of stay can be increased. At the same time, the relevance of the content is generally increased since Google and other search engines generally rate video material on websites positively. In the course of a holistic search engine optimization, video SEO should be integrated into the package of actions to be taken. Such videos could be product videos, tutorials, or image videos which increase the added value of the website for users. The added value also increases the chance that the website will be voluntarily linked or shared, which in turn has positive effects on the entire search engine optimization.