What is Video SEO? by Angela Moore of @SixDegreesDM

by Angela Moore | Featured Contributor 

If you’ve been marketing online for any period of time, you’ve likely heard the phrase Search Engine Optimization, also referred to as SEO. Let’s go over a quick run through of what SEO is and then see explain the similarities and differences with video SEO.

Basically SEO is what you do when you want to rank something, typically your website. But actually any domain or url can be ranked in the search engine. It can be any page of a website, a whitepaper with a pdf url, social media pages or posts, video, and more. Just remember, anything with a url can be ranked.

When it comes to SEO, this actually consists of two different segments. I know, if it wasn’t confusing enough already right? There is onsite SEO and offsite SEO (also known as on-page and off-page SEO).

Now as you might have guessed, onsite SEO is anything you do directly on your site. I won’t cover all the technical stuff here but basically it has to do with the coding and content of your website.

So, that means offsite SEO is anything you do to help rankings that is not on your website. This generally consists of backlinks. The simplest explanation of backlinks is when another website has your url on their website. Thus creating a “backlink” to your site (or whatever that url happens to be such as what I referred to above).

Let’s go over how SEO work with video. If you think of your video as the url you want to rank (think of substituting the video in place of your website),then anything you do to your actual video is kind of the equivalent of onsite SEO. Only your video doesn’t have a bunch of coding right? Well not quite. You see your video lives on a hosting site, in this case we’re going to use YouTube for our example.

YouTube is still a site on the Internet with lots and lots of pages. Each of these unique pages has video. Ok stay with me here. So you “optimize” your YouTube page (this includes your channel page as well as each individual video) for the search engines.

You do this by using titles, descriptions, and tags with the keyword that you want to rank for. Now in addition to that, your video itself needs to have the keywords. This includes the spoken words in your video. Although Google and YouTube are getting better about knowing what the video is about even with text onscreen in your video.

It’s also beneficial to have the keyword in the video file name. So before you upload your video, change the name of the video to match the title you are going to use in YouTube. Or at least include the keyword you want to rank for.

Ok so that’s the jist of what you do to the actual video itself and what you do inside YouTube.

For the equivalent of offsite, this is a little trickier. It’s great to get backlinks to your video as well but there are a lot of other things that YouTube and Google take into consideration when ranking a video.

What is Video SEO?

These include the following:

  • Number of views, likes and comments- this shows YouTube your video is popular.
  • Total watch time (if someone only watches a few seconds and hits the back button it may count for a “view” but it doesn’t really help you since the viewer didn’t watch at least 75% of your video)
  • Shares – this shows your video is popular as well and you can be seen in a lot of places shares
  • Embeds – this is where someone takes your embed code and puts that video on their website. You do have to have the option to allow that in your settings.

Here’s the thing. You really don’t have too much control over your engagement. But what you can do is foster relationships. You can build up your connections in YouTube and engage with other channels and ask them to subscribe to your channel as well. When they do, they can get notified when you post a new video. You can send the like to your video to your email list and ask for comments, likes, and shares.

To recap, video SEO is when you want to try and rank a video in the search engine results or in YouTube. And sometimes it’s easier to get a video ranked in Google before a website. It really depends on the competition and if Google likes to rank video for that subject matter.

It all starts with using keywords in your video and in your YouTube info settings for the video. Once you have that all optimized, then you’ll want to try to foster engagement around your video. And finally, you can also build backlinks to your video as well.


Angela MooreAh the Bio section. Let’s change this up and start with a quote. “Don’t adjust your dreams to accommodate your reality, adjust your reality to accommodate your dreams.” Yep I wrote that. I’m Angela Moore, Founder and President of Six Degrees Digital Media. We launched the company in May of 2010 and have the good fortune to still be helping others. We love creating awesome video over at Six Degrees as well as e-Courses and websites. If you need help telling your story, we’re here for you.

Also, I’m a mom of two awesome kids, which I believe is my real legacy. And if you’re still reading this, I’ll throw in that I’m a huge fan of Disney (movies and the park), as well as superheroes. I’d love to save the world but right now I’ll settle for saving the Internet one byte at a time.

Connect with me anywhere you like.

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