Some Video SEO Basics

Video SEO is when you want your videos to appear on higher ranked pages of video hosting sites like and also on regular search engines like Google or Bing.

SEO matters for every type of content you aim to promote, including videos. Universal search results for a video’s click through rate have yielded a result 41% higher than that for plain text. This gives you a basic idea of the level of leverage video SEO has in the world of search engines. Google SERPs displays video results in – two pack, three pack and four pack formations.

Let’s take an example of the search for the words tennis techniques…

In the image below you can see a three pack video result displayed on the universal search.

Video SEO can be performed with ease if a few guidelines are followed

  • Video platform

The platform used to host your videos matters to a great extent in certain search engines. In the case of Google’s universal SERPs, it is that dominates with 84% allocation, Google video, metacafe, and dailymotion take 1%, 2%, and 3% respectfully. The other 10% is given to various other sites.




  • Ranking on platform site

The ranking of your video on the site on which it has been hosted is very crucial. If your video is hosted on YouTube and is not ranked high on the YouTube search, in such a case your video will most likely not show up in the universal search of any search engine.

Keyword usage

  • Transitional keywords

Transitional words (buy, free, cheap, sale, etc) display poor performance in click rate. Such words may or may not attract users on normal text searches but have proven to lower page rank of a video as well as its appearance in the universal SERPs.

  • Informational keywords

Informational keywords are those which are most sought after by the search engines and they make up majority of the clicks for videos on universal SERPs. They are words and phrases like – how to, what is, history of, something versus something, etc

  • Navigational keywords

Phrases which include the names of brands and their descriptions, URLs etc are examples or Navigational keywords and phrases. The popularity of the keyword will depend on the popularity of the brand or URL being considered.



  • Remember to place your video on a prominent platform, preferably YouTube. It is also wise to spread out to other video directories in order to maximize your SEO.
  • If truly informative and sought after, make your video in two parts. Place one on a directory like YouTube along with a link in it for the second part which will be on your website.
  • Focus on the title, captions and tags and avoid transitional phrases
  • Always remember that in the end, the failure or success of your video is primarily based on its appeal to the targeted audience.



3 Comments Added

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  1. Dean September 7, 2011 | reply
    Great article. It is interesting that a video’s click through rate have yielded a result 41% higher than that for plain text. Is video marketing the way forward then? What do you think Amy? I notice a lot of people are going for youtube video reviews rather than text as it is so visual.
  2. kit September 12, 2011 | reply
    In the area of informational keywords, I've had success with using "educational" keywords in the video description for ranking higher in both YouTube search results and Google universal SERPs. Both engines seem to like words such as learn, discover, teach, train, etc. I'm attributing this to the fact that YT and Google feel that education is the highest purpose of the Web.
  3. Caleb October 4, 2011 | reply
    Another thing that you should focus on is the number of back-links it has and the number of embeds on other sites. The thing many people don't know with tagging with YouTube is you can use quotation marks to get your multiple keyword as one keyword instead of separate words.

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