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Getting your videos to rank in Google

Getting your videos to rank in Google

February 9, 2024

We can’t promise a page one ranking, but we can say that if you do what Google is suggesting, then your videos will stand a much better chance of being indexed and ranked (and found by your audience).

Basically, tag your videos properly with schema so that the Googlebot and other spiders can read and understand what your video is about. Why? Because they can’t watch your video. Google’s AI isn’t that clever (yet).

Schema isn’t keyword stuffing by the way, it’s structured data, which, in Google’s words is, “…a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content.”

You don’t have to be a coder, you can just pass this link to your developer and ask them to make sure your videos are coded properly on your site:

Other things that will help your video rank better and attract more attention:

Publish it on YouTube and create a video sitemap

“YouTube is the second largest search engine in the UK.” And the video sitemap is in addition to your standard html sitemap, and it’s incredibly useful. Don’t take our word for it. Have a look at Candour’s list of unsolicited SEO tips – it’s a goldmine.

Tip #60 says:

“Want a better chance that your videos will appear in search results? Then create video sitemaps! Video sitemaps give additional information to search engines about videos hosted on your pages and help them rank.”

Google’s video sitemap page has more detail about what they are and how to create them, share that with your developer too!

Come up with a juicy headline and subtitle

Imagine it’s a newspaper article – what would catch someone’s eye and attract them to watch it? Just don’t give away all the secrets in the headline and be wary of using puns. As clever as they might be, they can put people off who don’t get them or can’t discern what your article is about just by reading the headline (as they’re skimming through posts social media for instance). That said, if you know for sure your audience would get the pun, no problem.

Explanatory copy will also help Google understand what your video is about and what it relates to i.e. give it context. And if it has context, it can be classified and indexed in the relevant place, instead of left floating about aimlessly in the ether.

Share it and explain why it’s worth watching

What will the viewer gain or experience? Whether it’s a video production or animated explainer, giving people the gist of what they’ll experience, learn or find out is critical. This is compatible with how the brain works: it looks for the gist first, then the detail. In movie terms, explain it like a trailer.

And share it more than once

A lot of people might have missed it the first or second time, just don’t share it every five minutes. Even if the content becomes out of date, you can still share it and point out the part of it that is relevant to an issue right now, even if the rest of it isn’t. If you update the video, that is the perfect time to let everyone know it’s updated and what has changed and why.

Invite feedback – ask people to tell you what they think or feel about it

Don’t just ask them to “comment” – ask them a question to focus their thinking, because it makes it easier for people to form a response. And if they do comment, it’s important to respond to them with more than just a thank you, or that’s good to hear! Because this shows them you are interested in what they have to say, have thought about it, and are grateful for them spending their time engaging with you.

Pay to promote it and ask other websites to publish your video

You might not need hundreds of thousands of pounds to make the impact you’re looking for, the budget you need will depend on what your goal is and how you intend to measure success. The level of engagement in a paid video promotion will also depend on your historic audience engagement, targeting, as much as the exact budget, goal, relevance and topicality of your video’s content.

Approach websites that are relevant to your business or the topic of the video as well. Provide them with the embed code and some supporting copy and images too. That will make it easy for them to publish it. And point out why their audience would find it interesting – do the thinking for them. Approaching these kinds of sites will place your video in context, and that helps add relevance to it.

So, in principle, if a video about pine trees appears on a site about evergreen forests, it will likely be seen as more relevant by Google than if it appeared on a site about motor racing. And relevance is key. Google only shows relevant results.

Publish it on your website

Publish it where it can be found both by accident and by design. Some people might be deliberately searching for it, so make sure it’s in a logical and relevant place, and add links to it from other relevant pages. Also, adding supporting copy to the page it’s published on is critical to help it rank.

That copy shouldn’t be a duplicate of what’s in the video either, because that’s wasting people’s time (unless it’s a transcript for people who can’t watch it) – give them something extra, something they couldn’t get from the video (and vice versa).

Good luck!

P.S. Let us know if you have any other tips too.