How to Optimize Video for Search Engines


If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to expand your website visibility by optimizing video for YouTube and other video platforms. Not only will your products, or website, have the ability to be found in YouTube (one of the top search engines), but the videos, if optimized properly, have the ability to stand out in organic search results, increase brand awareness and enhance conversion rates.

You don’t need to be a Hollywood producer to achieve great results. There are inexpensive cameras that produce high or HD quality video that are perfect for uploading to video platforms.

If you’re an e-Tailer, here are a few ideas for types of videos to create:

  1. Product Videos
  2. Instructional Videos
  3. Interviews with an expert or consumer

Getting Started:

  1. Keep the video short to keep the attention of the viewer. Short video will also minimize your production time and upload time. Depending on the situation, a product video could be 30 seconds to 1 minute, where instructional videos may be lengthier at 2-3 minutes.
  2. Watermark your video
  3. Brand with your logo on the video
  4. If you don’t already have target keywords to optimize your video, research and gather a handful of terms to use in your description, title and tags. I’ve found that long-tail terms work great for optimizing video and achieving 1st page results in Google in a short amount of time.
  5. Sign up for a video submission platform like or to manage your videos and save time. You’ll be able to keep track of analytics and after the first time, you’ll be able to upload your video once and the video submission platform will take care of the rest!

Besides creating, researching and optimizing the videos, the most time consuming portion of video syndication is creating sign-in credentials for all of the video platforms that TubeMogul or your favorite submission site will be syndicating to.

I have the camera and I’m ready to start filming. Now what?

  1. Idea for product videos: Slide shows of photos of different angles of the product (you could set the photos to music if it enhances the user experience)
  2. Idea for product videos: A “what’s in the box” video (click here for a great example)
  3. Idea for instructional videos: How to put together the product (if it requires assembly)
  4. Idea for instructional videos: Showcase ease-of-use
  5. Idea for instructional videos: Highlight benefits of the product
  6. Idea for Interviews with an expert or consumer: Utilize video testimonials
  7. Idea for Interviews with an expert or consumer: Conduct interview style video with a known figure in the industry

Optimizing videos and gaining more traffic:

  1. Name your files with keyword rich phrases
  2. Use keyword rich titles, descriptions and tags – use transcripts and a unique synopsis of the video
  3. Use a video site map (click here for an example and how to submit the site map) with under 1000 links
  4. Piggy back on popular content: I found this tip that I thought was a great idea – Find a “Hot” video that is complimentary to yours. (I.E., use keywords that you would type in to find your video and find popular videos for your product or niche) Set your video as a video response to popular videos. If the YouTube user does not accept your video as a response, move down the list until someone does.
  5. Submit videos to RSS feeds.
  6. Embed your videos on your product pages for more views and better conversions – if you want to get tricky, you can program the video to play upon page entrance. Especially on popular product pages, this tactic will help rack up the video views.
  7. Comments and ratings help with ranking the videos, so share with friends!
  8. End the video with a call to action: visit the website, email to a friend, etc.
  9. Test! What content is working well and why? Replicate these techniques.

Bottom Line:

Just like SEO, video optimization will take time. Video marketing will give your store a competitive edge in your space. Not only will you be investing your time in expanding search engine visibility and branding by optimizing videos, but you’ll be enhancing conversion rates by including helpful videos on the product pages and beyond.