Video SEO Tools We Can’t Live Without
Updated: February 18, 2020
If your video marketing strategy goal is to make sure your video content gets seen, boosting SEO should be a priority. There are three main aspects that matter most to search engines: user experience (UX), keywords, and metadata. Optimizing all three of these factors can be challenging, but fortunately, there’s an abundance of SEO tools to help you become a video SEO powerhouse.
User experience (UX) is how a person reacts when using a product, service, or system. In other words, if someone conducts a search query and winds up on a video page, are they going to enjoy their experience? If the answer is yes, they may spend more time on that page and watch your video to fruition, both of which are weighed into video SEO. If the answer is no, well, they might just back out and go somewhere else. Let’s discuss how to make sure that doesn’t happen.
SEO Tools for Quality Content
The first, and arguably the most important contributor to positive user experience is quality content. Before you decide on which keywords to use, metadata to enter, and metrics to analyze, you must have a well-thought-out video content strategy. While there are no SEO tools that are going to tell you which video to create and how to produce it, there are several tools that will keep you organized and prepared.
Airtable describes itself as “part spreadsheet, part database,” and was created to help keep you organized. They have a digital video production template that allows you to plan your videos from pre- to post-production. For further success, you can utilize the content marketing management template which allows you to keep your video ideas in one place, track optimal keywords, and review important metrics after publication.
Trello is another great organization tool that helps you focus on creating incredible content. It has fully customizable workflow options, keeps your ideas in one place, and allows you to prioritize the steps needed to make your video content a reality.
Both Airtable templates and Trello boards can be shared with and edited by team members, ensuring that deadlines are met and ideas are made tangible. Great organization and planning is the first step to powerful video content that yields high SEO.
SEO Tools for Visual Elements
Something that may often get overlooked when thinking about SEO are visual elements. Video thumbnails give a viewer the ability to get a visual preview of your video before clicking on it. They also become the image used for rich snippets, a valuable SEO building characteristic that yields a higher click-through rate.
Canva is a freemium design software that allows you to create eye-catching visuals, perfect for spicing up the look of your video thumbnails. Pro tip: make sure your thumbnails are relevant to the video topic and focus keyword, otherwise, it may leave visitors feeling confused. If your video is titled, “Choosing the Perfect Fall Jacket,” don’t choose an image of someone lounging by the pool.
Speaking of images, you can find high quality, royalty-free images that are perfect for displaying the content of your videos to potential visitors.
Though they are nontraditional video SEO tools, each can be used to help draw the attention of people and search engines. It’s time to get creative!
Believe it or not, keyword optimization is just as important for video content as it is for text content. Search engines are fond of keywords, and planning a solid keyword strategy before creating your video is crucial since they will help shape the content of the video and end up in the metadata (more on that soon!) In the end, a well-planned keyword strategy will improve your rankings.
Find the Right Topic
Content ideas, themes, and topics don’t appear out of thin air. In fact, there’s often a great amount of thought put into the mere skeleton of a video. But where do these ideas come from, and how do you know if they will be valuable to people? If you’re creating videos, then hopefully you have some type of overarching theme that your videos follow. There’s a good chance it’s related to your area of expertise or to your company’s service.
To find out which questions related to your theme are being asked, visit AnswerthePublic.com. This nifty site gives you insight into the intentions of search queries, therefore giving you the opportunity to answer them directly.
Hubspot’s Content Strategy Tool helps you discover and own topics by suggesting topics based on relevance, competition, and popularity. Ultimately, this tool makes it easy to improve your influence in search engines.
Keyword Selector Tools
Once you’ve come up with a topic to cover and a question to answer, you should brainstorm a list of potential keywords to include in your video. There’s no need to play the guessing game, though. There are plenty of keyword tools that will help you choose the best keywords.
Moz Keyword Explorer lets you know which keywords people are searching, the ones you’re already ranking for, and how other sites are competing for your target keywords.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool gives you keyword suggestions and estimated search volumes. If you’re curious about the current costs of running campaigns for certain keywords, this is a great tool to use.
If your site and video pages are connected to Google Analytics, you can use their Queries section under “Search Engine Optimization” to uncover your traffic-driving keywords. This tool also displays keyword queries linked to your site and metrics like click-through-rates associated with each query.
UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that ensures you are using the most effective keywords for high rankings.
Avoid Overusing Keywords
After deciding on a focus keyword, it’s important to include it in your video title as well as the contents of your video. Having the perfect balance of keyword mentions is beneficial for SEO, but using it too much can have the opposite effect and may damage your rankings. A good keyword density range to stick to is between 0.5% and 2.5%. Use this keyword density checker to make sure your keyword use is spot-on.
Keyword planning for videos doesn’t feel too different than planning for written content. That’s because, in essence, it serves the same purpose. Use these SEO tools to continuously deliver valuable content that, in time, will rise in the ranks.
Metadata is the information that is available to search engines but that can’t be seen by page visitors. This behind-the-scenes SEO booster plays a big part in your rankings, so it’s important to do it well. There is a specific way that metadata can be structured in order to improve video SEO. Structured data, in an SEO context, “usually refers to implementing some type of markup on a webpage, in order to provide additional detail around the page’s content.” This SEO tool can lead to an abundance of search result enhancements, including rich snippets and knowledge graphs.
There’s a video-specific structured data guide, which helps make Google Search “an entry point for discovering and watching videos.” It includes things like description, thumbnail URL, and duration. Be sure to check your structured data with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool by either copying and pasting the URL or the code snippet.
SEO Embed is an alternative way to get your video recognized by search engines, particularly if you’re hosting your videos on your own web page and not through a third-party hosting platform. It uses linked data to communicate to bots that your web page is hosting a video. It also includes important metadata like the video transcript and title. You can include all the critical information to rank in search engines without disrupting the look and flow of your web pages.
Closed Captions and Transcripts
Adding closed captions and transcripts to your videos is a sure-fire way to improve your search engine rankings because they improve the three key aspects of SEO: keywords, metadata, and UX. Yes, you read that right – all three aspects. Captions and transcripts offer that SEO edge we all want. But why?
Typically, search engines have almost no way of understanding video content and are forced to draw conclusions from the metadata and on-page text alone. Captions and transcripts give search engines the ability to “watch” the contents of videos since they both are attached to the video as a plain text file. What a relief!
For that very reason, captioning and transcription tools can be considered video SEO tools. It’s fairly simple to create transcriptions and captioning on your own, but it can be time consuming. Depending on the amount of video you are creating, it may be best to use a professional transcription and captioning service.
Captioning and Transcription SEO Tools
If you decide not to take the professional transcription and captioning service route, don’t worry. There are many tools that will help you along your DIY adventure.
Trint is an AI powered transcription software designed to take the pain out of manual transcription. Of course you listen to a video file and manually type out each word, but that might take hours. This SEO tool expedites the transcription process, and though it isn’t free it’s fairly inexpensive and there’s the option to pay as you go or subscribe monthly depending on your needs. There are also several free transcription tools like F4, Express Scribe, and Transcriber.
After you’ve transcribed your video content, time synchronization is needed to create closed captions. You can upload the transcript file (.txt) to YouTube, and from there set timings to match the audio to the transcript. If the audio quality of your video is very good, you can skip the transcription process altogether and allow Youtube’s automatic caption tool to do the job. Note: your videos must be hosted on YouTube to utilize this feature.Other free captioning programs include Magpie (Windows and Mac) and Subtitle Workshop (Windows only).
Remember, it’s very important to deliver accurate transcriptions and captions to your viewers, both for accessibility and SEO reasons. Inaccurate captions may even get your video page marked as spam.
Video Platforms That Do It All
If you have a lot on your plate, dedicating the time needed to see a significant boost in your video SEO may be difficult even with all the SEO tools available. Fortunately, there are video softwares that take a 360-degree approach to video management.
Wistia offers video software that acts simultaneously as a video player and video hosting site. As far as video SEO goes, their platform allows you to customize your video thumbnails, add interactive elements to improve UX, and tracks metrics so that you can analyze and improve. Wistia automatically embeds videos using JSON, which means that your video ranks will link back to your site rather than YouTube or Vimeo. They can also inject important metadata like the title and transcript into the web page header, allowing search engines to sift through the information with compromising the flow of your page.
Vidyard is similar to Wistia, in that it offers many of the same services like a video player and hosting. In addition, Vidyard automatically generates a transcript for metadata purposes so that you don’t have to. They combine metadata with XML sitemaps, which indicate to Google that your video page is worth indexing.
To top it all off, 3Play Media integrates directly with both Wistia and Vidyard making it easy to add caption files to your videos. Additionally, your caption files will be included in your SEO tools.
Video SEO is always changing. What is true today may be completely different tomorrow. That’s why having a list of valuable resources to follow can be tremendously useful since they will help keep you up to date on the dynamic world of video marketing.
When it comes to video and YouTube, Tim Schmoyer knows his stuff. He is certified by YouTube in Audience Growth, and his website, VideoCreators.com, discusses topics that will help grow your audience. If you want to leverage YouTube as a video platform and use it to its full potential, this a great resource to follow. Not using YouTube? Following Tim Schmoyer is still a great idea since he understands online video like the back of his hand and you’ll most likely obtain some valuable information.
Tubular Insights, formerly called ReelSEO, defines itself as “video marketing insights.” The robust website covers a slew of topics from video marketing to YouTube to video analytics. New content is posted all the time, so you know that the information is up-to-date. A cool feature of this site is that it offers video trends and news based on your industry, so if you’re a B2B company you can sift through articles that are relevant to you.
Are you still thinking about using a professional captioning and transcription service to help improve your video SEO? 3Play Media offers premium transcription and captioning services with a 99% guaranteed accuracy rate.
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