Video SEO: The Complete Guide For 2021

This is the complete guide to Video SEO this year.

In the expert-written guide, you will learn

  • What is video seo
  • How to do keyword research for Video 
  • How to optimize your video’s SEO
  • How to rank YouTube videos in the Google
  • Much more

So, If you want millions of viewers and subscribers on your video and channel, this guide will grow your subscribers count daily .

Let’s get started.

Video SEO
Video SEO Guide

Video SEO: The Complete Guide

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In short, optimizing your content for SEO means that Google (or other search engines) will rank your site higher in the SERP (search engine result page). This increases your chances of gaining a higher flow of traffic, i.e., the number of visitors that land on your site.

With Google processing approximately 63,000 search queries every single second, it’s obvious why brands want to use this to their advantage. When all’s said and done: what’s the point in having a fantastic website for your brand if no one finds it?

Practicing good SEO correlates to more eyeballs on your site and your content. However, it’s not easy to rank number one in the SERP. 

To do so, you need to abide by Google’s (or any other search engine, however, Google is the most used, followed by Bing and Yahoo) algorithm and the factors that search engines consider when ranking sites. 

Is investing your time, effort, and money into SEO worth it? Absolutely. If your SEO strategy works, you’ll attract the right people with the right content. Combine this with a functioning sales strategy, and you’ll see a dramatic increase in revenue. 

It takes time, of course. Nothing worth having comes easy (or immediately). But mastering the art of SEO is completely worth it.

What Is Video Marketing?

The definition of video marketing is quite simple. Videos are created by brands to promote, raise awareness, or create engagement for said brand. 

While the definition of video marketing may be a relatively simple concept, implementing it into your strategy in practice can become a little more complex. 

As with any form of content, it’s not enough to simply publish your videos. You must understand your audience first, publish the content they need, and monitor the data.

This is where many brands that are just starting miss opportunities for growth. They’ll put it down to “video marketing just doesn’t resonate with my audience.” The truth is, the vast majority of internet users watch videos online. 

85% of Internet users in the US alone watch video content on any device regularly. So, if you’re using online marketing (which you should be) to grow your brand, video isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must.

What Is Video SEO?

When placing these terms together, you arrive at video SEO. Again, the definition is straightforward: 

Video SEO is when you optimize your video to appear on the search engine results page, preferably near the top. 

With content everywhere you look, attention from the right people is becoming increasingly challenging to capture in our digital world. It’s no wonder. We binge on content every day. 

With 4.66 billion active Internet users, you’d think it’d be easy to have a few eyeballs glued to your content. 

However, the truth is that as demand for content increases, the amount that is published increases, too. 

Meaning you have a great deal of competition, and winning engagement doesn’t come from luck anymore. Instead, you must use strategy. 

A critical component of your marketing strategy should be video. Why? Because people watch an average of 16 hours of video online every week. It’s arguably the most popular format of content. 

We could put this down to exciting visuals, the ability to develop trust, or ease of processing information—the truth is, it’s a mixture of the three, amongst other factors. 

Video needs to play a prominent role in your content strategy. And as with all content, it needs to be optimized for SEO for success. 

If you’re no stranger to SEO, you’re aware that keyword research is at the heart of a solidly optimized piece of content. But, how are you meant to optimize videos without keywords? 

We’ve got the answers.  

How to do Video Keyword Research? 

Conventional SEO strategy tends to revolve around articles and blogs, making keyword research a broader concept. With videos, though, you only have limited space for keywords. That means every word you write counts more than ever. 

So, how do you do keyword research for a video? 

The first step is to determine your content pillars. This is the starting point of any content marketing strategy, but it will help inform your keywords at the next stage. 

A content pillar—also known as a content bucket—is a main theme. For example, if you were a copywriter, a content pillar could be website copywriting tips or SEO optimization. 

Once you’ve decided on three to four content pillars, you’ll now need to branch out using long-tail keywords to inform your video content. For example, say you were promoting a new bookkeeping software for small businesses. 

Your content pillars could be taxes and saving money, expenses, and saving money. Then, you’ll research each content pillar and determine the long-tail keywords associated with it. 

For example, using AnswerThePublic, I’ve found that ‘small business bookkeeping app’ is one of the leading long-tail keywords. You can now use this to inform your video topic, creating a video about “Top 5 Bookkeeping Apps for Small Businesses.” This can then be implemented into your video’s title or heading.

You can also use keyword tools for video marketing. While Google Trends is incredibly useful for written content and traditional SEO (i.e., blogs and articles), video marketing keywords differ. 

The topics we search for on YouTube are not identical to the queries we search on Google. 

Consider using Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, where you can filter the search engine with YouTube. Or, use YouTube’s auto-suggest feature. This will help you gather keywords that are actively being searched for.

Ensure you match the searcher’s intent. 

Look for other examples relating to the keywords, and check the comment section to ensure viewers are satisfied with their results. If they’re not, use this. Their loss is your gain, after all. 

Use these keywords to optimize your heading and video description. 

How To Optimize Your Videos For SEO

1. Plan Out Your Goals First, And Use Them To Decide On Your Distribution Channels 

There are many places you can publish your video content. This is a glorious opportunity for your brand.

You have the wonders of social media platforms: YouTube is the obvious choice as its platform is exclusive to video

Also, consider TikTok, Instagram, Linked In, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. These social media channels are used in different ways, so your goals need to align with these usage methods. 

There’s also the option of publishing your video content to your own website, which is a tool you should make use of. 

The goals will feed beautifully into your distribution channels quite naturally. For example, if you are posting concise videos to generate ‘hype’ – especially if you’re aiming at a slightly younger demographic – TikTok would be a great asset to your video marketing strategy.

However, if you’re creating longer, educational videos, perhaps using Facebook or LinkedIn (depending on your audience) would be more helpful. 

If you’re focused on brand awareness and want your video watched by more people, with traffic to your website being a secondary aim, YouTube is an excellent way to go. 

2. Always Use A Video Transcript 

Remember before when you were questioning how on earth you’d be able to optimize your video without any written words? Well, that’s not strictly true.

Remember the last time you were mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, and you came across a video? You probably saw text that aligned with what the person was saying in the video.

That’s what we call a video transcript. And these are helpful when optimizing your video for SEO.

So keyword research still plays a role. These keywords should be incorporated into your video transcript.

Plus, it creates a better user experience, as you’re catering for those who are hard of hearing and those who just prefer to watch videos on mute. 

3. Pay Attention To The Visuals (Specifically The Thumbnail) 

When someone searches for something within a search engine, if their query is met with a video, the first thing the user will see is the thumbnail. 

Therefore, the thumbnail is the deciding factor at the beginning as to whether or not the video will be opened. It’s the equivalent of a subject line and snippet in email marketing. If it’s not appealing, your video won’t get watched. 

Think about your thumbnail image as the front cover of your novel—the video equivalent of your website’s homepage. It needs to be compelling, relatable, and clickable. 

4. Optimize The Title And Description For SEO

This plays into your keyword research once again. You haven’t got reels of written content to play with, so you need to make sure your video’s title and description are well-optimized. You can’t leave this to chance because it won’t work. 

That said, keyword stuffing is an outdated SEO practice that not only won’t work, but it’ll actually go against you. Search engines will punish you for trying to beat the system, placing you low in the SERPs (if at all). 

Don’t stuff your keywords into your title and description like a Thanksgiving turkey. It needs to sound natural, clickable, and engaging. 

5. Don’t Publish Your Video In Multiple Places

Don’t groan. It’s easier to publish the same video to many different channels, but easier comes at a price. 

By embedding and publishing the exact same video across multiple channels, you’re setting yourself up as your own competitor. 

Go back to point number 1. Your video distribution platforms need to align with your goals. If you’re hoping for true omnipresence (publishing content across all different platforms), you need to make sure you’re publishing other videos rather than the same one. 

Yes, it’s time-consuming. But it does pay off.

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with selecting one or two distribution channels to really make your mark and become a thought leader. In fact, that’s arguably the most effective method. 

How To Increase Channel Authority With Video Marketing

Channel authority is being an authoritative figure within your industry through your video marketing channel. To succeed at video marketing long-term with an organic strategy, building channel authority should be one of your main aims. 

This is because, without channel authority, your videos are unlikely to land, meaning it’ll be unlikely to capture leads. So, how can you increase channel authority with your video marketing? 

1. Know Your Viewers

As with any form of content, it relies on the knowledge you have of your target audience. You must be able to identify their pain points and provide solutions for them through your videos. 

Remember that the most effective form of content is value-based content. This is impossible to create unless you know your viewers. 

2. Write A Script, Don’t Improvise 

With written blog content, the writing process takes serious time, effort, and strategy. 

Video marketing is no different. And while there is  very limited written content visible to your viewers, it’s crucial to write a script rather than improvising. Improvising will result in filler words, and a whole lot of “umm’s.”. 

Keep your script focused on your message, avoiding tangents. 

3. Keep Up Your Brand Voice 

There’s also the option of publishing your video content to your own website, which is a tool you should make use of. 

You should look at your brand as a person, with a clearly defined personality. That personality is reflected in the messaging and voice you use when sharing content and articulating anything with your audience. 

It’s best to have a clear brand voice document so you can refer to it when creating scripts for your video content. 

4. Repurpose Your Content

Many social media platforms are leaning toward favoring video. Make sure you promote your video content on your various channels, using the keywords necessary to optimize for SEO, too.

Further, consider running a vlog on your website.

How To Rank YouTube Videos In Google

Google, as with social media platforms, is starting to favor video results over written content. So, to rank YouTube videos on Google, you’ll need to:

  1. Create videos that surround topics that have been searched for (long-tail keywords)
  2. Optimize your video for SEO
  3. Ensure closed captions are accurate and turned on
  4. Upload an engaging thumbnail with a high performing title 
  5. Implement time stamps

Video SEO: Is It Worth It? 

It’s important to know that the road to solid video SEO comes with data analysis, strong keyword and market research, and a lot of effort. It’s time-consuming and can be frustrating at times.

So, is it worth it? Yes. 100%. 

Creating regular videos caters to the rapidly moving direction of marketing, and optimizing them for search engines grants you more eyeballs on your content.

Combine these with your sales strategy, and you’ll see an incline in your revenue, a widely recognized brand, and far more opportunity for growth. 


I hope you have got a knowledge about Video SEO and started optimizing the videos as per the guide.

Now, I want to hear from you

What is your favorite Video SEO Strategy?

Is it a video transcript or repurpose content?

Please, let me know in the comment.

Torrey Tayenaka

Torrey Tayenaka

Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes.

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