Customer-led SEO
Visual Content & Accessibility

Using video to rank better in search

Tamara Hellgren
Mar 13, 2023
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Learn how to create the type of videos your audience wants to watch, plus VSEO tips for optimizing existing videos on your website and YouTube channel.

What you need to know about creating & implementing videos for SEO

  • Keep videos as short as possible & minimize the introduction
  • Be deliberate about the type of video you're making & which page you're putting it on
  • End your video with a CTA suitable to the context
  • Provide a good thumbnail image & heading
  • Use an HTML tag to help Google identify the video
  • Use VideoObject structured data on your videos
  • Optimize videos to preserve page speed

Video content is a versatile and effective way of reaching and engaging your audience. Video content can appear in Google Search results, in video search results, in Google Image Search, and Google Discover. You can also post your website video content on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine.

Step 1: Create quality video content 

First, learn how to manage lighting, audio and editing, or hire someone who knows how. This Hubspot guide has some helpful tips for beginners.

Don't waste time

  • Dive right into the main topic. Don’t include a lengthy intro with theme music, title screens, or a verbal lead-in that doesn’t add valuable context.
  • Make the video as short as possible while still providing the necessary information.

Optimize for on-platform search

  • For videos posted on YouTube or Vimeo, optimize the video title and video description as you would for a web page.
  • Section the video into titled segments.
  • Create a good thumbnail image and heading for your video. The heading should summarize the video content. The thumbnail should be attractive and compel users to click play.
  • Make sure to publish the video publicly.

Cater to the user journey

Tailor each video to your audience and to the specific page of your website the video will be on. Different types of website video include:

  • Introductory - suitable for a homepage 
  • Demo - good for product and service pages
  • Promo - for landing pages focused on a specific type of conversion
  • Culture - suitable for an about page, team page, or careers page
  • How-to - best for blog, informational or support pages, sometimes product pages as well
  • Explainer - best for blog or informational pages
  • Case study/Testimonial - best for review pages or testimonial pages

Include a call-to-action

  • End your video with a call to action (CTA). Essentially you are telling the viewer what to do next, which could be watching another video, visiting a product page, downloading an ebook, starting a free trial, booking a consultation, and many other possibilities. Choose a CTA appropriate for the context and funnel stage.
  • Your CTA for a video on YouTube and a video on your website will likely be different.

Step 2: Implement video content on your website

Google provides a wealth of information on video SEO best practices in this documentation page. Here’s a summary of the most important points, plus some extra insights:

  • Make sure your video is accessible to the public, indexable by Google, and easy to spot on the page.
  • Wrap your video in an 'video' or 'iframe' HTML tag such as to help Google identify it. YouTube embeds are totally okay.
  • Use VideoObject Schema.org structured data.
  • Use Clip structured data and SeekToAction structured data to enable Google’s key moments feature (which can provide rich results on the SERP).
  • If you have multiple videos on your website, submit a video sitemap.
  • Use the max-video-preview robots meta tag to specify the maximum length of the video preview (which Google can feature in search results).
  • Don’t automatically play video. 
  • Include captions for the video and a video transcript in the page content. You can hide the bulk of it behind an accordion.
  • Optimize your videos so they don’t hurt your page load speed. 
  • Specify the video file size in the HTML or CSS.