November 28, 2023

SEO Video Marketing: 12 Tips for Optimizing Your Content

Leveraging video content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more important than ever.

Thanks to Google’s fluctuating algorithm and the mass adoption of generative AI tools, video is becoming an integral aspect of SEO’s future.

But, Why?

Well, because consumer preferences are changing.

The demand for video content is only becoming more prevalent, especially for businesses. According to Wyzowl, 91% of consumers want to see more online video content from brands in general. So, if you’re not investing in video content, you’re simply not giving consumers what they want.

If you are making video content for your audience, great job! You’re now a part of the 86% of marketers who utilize video marketing.

You heard that right. 86%. With so many marketers jumping on the video marketing bandwagon, it’s becoming more difficult to stand out. 

This means that it’s not enough just to make video content. Now, you have to optimize your videos for search engines. If not, you’ll be leaving a considerable amount of organic traffic off the table.

Luckily, we’ve got the strategies you need to start optimizing your SEO video marketing strategy. From keyword research to tracking results, keep reading to get our 12 video marketing SEO tips.

Table of Contents

The Growing Importance of SEO Video Marketing

12 Video Marketing SEO Tips

1. Prioritize Keyword Research

2. Set Goals

3. Optimize Your Video Title and Description

4. Add Tags to Your Videos

5. Categorize Your Videos

6. Upload a Custom Thumbnail

7. Transcribe Your Videos

8. Embed Videos on Your Website

9. Post Consistently

10. Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

11. Track Results

12. Leverage the Help of SEO Experts

SEO Video Marketing FAQs

SEO Video Marketing Takeaways

The Growing Importance of SEO Video Marketing

As we said before, consumer preferences are changing. They want to consume content in different ways than before, from podcasts and infographics to social media and of course video.

Because of that, Google has been doing a lot of work with its algorithm to ensure that video content stands out. According to Zight:

  • Video content can increase organic traffic by 157%
  • Video accounts for 82.5% of all website traffic
  • Video marketing improves brand recall by 95%

Due to the change in algorithms and consumer preferences, video content has become essential for any holistic marketing strategy. However, to maximize results from video content, you have to optimize your SEO video marketing strategy. Here’s what Marketwake SEO Analyst Josh Cummings had to say.

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. We think of it as just a content hub, but people are searching on it too. Because people are treating it like a search engine, as marketers, we have to also.

Josh Cummings

Marketwake SEO Analyst

To start utilizing YouTube like a search engine, you must use the same SEO optimization techniques that help you rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The following are our 12 most important SEO video marketing techniques for getting your video to that cherished number-one spot.

12 Video Marketing SEO Tips

1. Prioritize Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation for any good SEO strategy, and it’s no different for video.

To optimize your SEO video marketing tactics, you need to treat your video content like a traditional pillar strategy. Before you even begin recording, you must find:

  • The topic of your video 
  • The keyword that best fits that topic 
  • The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you can answer in the video 
  • The snippets you can take from the longer video to hit your secondary keywords
  • The other videos you want to link out to in your video

On top of that, mapping out your plan of attack is super important. Based on the keyword you want to hit for your pillar video, what are the topics and keywords of the supporting videos in your pillar strategy? What are the frequently asked questions of that topic? What have you seen from the paid side that can inform your SEO strategy? How can you make your content authentic and unique to separate yourself from the pack?

Once you have all of this information, you can begin recording your videos and posting them. But as you post, there are additional steps in the SEO video marketing optimization process you should take.

For more keyword research tips, check out some of these strategies to get your keyword research off the ground and running.

2. Set Goals

No marketing strategy is truly complete until you lock down the goals you want to achieve. For SEO video optimization, the main goals you want to be looking at are building links, generating social shares, and increasing website traffic.

Backlinks are links on websites other than your own that go back to your website. The amount of backlinks you have helps to increase domain authority, which can push you higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Setting backlinks, social shares, and traffic goals can help you track the impact of your SEO video marketing strategy. Plus, it will help you understand how you can adjust the keywords you are targeting and the strategies you are using to make your tactics more effective.

3. Optimize Your Video Title and Description

The title and description of your videos are the most important elements for SEO video marketing. Here’s how you can optimize them.


Titles are the first thing that a potential viewer sees when looking for a video. Making a title that describes your content and captivates the reader to watch the video is crucial.

Here are some title tips from Search Engine Journal:

  • Titles should be captivating, but should also include the keyword you researched
  • Titles should be succinct (less than 60 characters) and the most important information should be at the front
  • Save any branding or channel information until the end, i.e. episode numbers, channel name, etc.
  • Make sure that your video’s title doesn’t get cut off in the suggested videos section, search results, and mobile

Additionally, you should make sure that your title compliments your thumbnail.  The intriguing visual you choose to use should have some literal or figurative relation to the video title.


Descriptions help your videos show up in search and stand out from competing channels talking about the same topic.

For descriptions, the process of optimizing for video is similar. Include your keyword, describe what your video is about, and make it intriguing.

However, that is not all that you can include. The description is also your chance to promote your channel with any links that go to other videos or important resources.

You can also give time stamps so viewers can easily find the content they want. These timestamps also create chapters in the video so viewers can jump directly to the part that answers their search query.

4. Add Hashtags and Tags to Your Videos


Hashtags are another great way to help people find your videos. In your hashtags, you should use a mixture of short and long-tail keywords to improve SEO video optimization.

Here are some things to keep in mind when adding hashtags to your videos:

  • Make them relevant to your video
  • Don’t oversaturate with hashtags. You should use no more than 15 
  • If it’s relevant, use hashtags that are associated with trending content (current events, people, etc.)


Another thing you can do is add tags to your videos. Although they are not as relevant as they once were, they can help your content be found easier on YouTube. Also, in the event of misspellings of your channel name, they can help users get to your channel faster.

Additionally, you should change the file name of your video when you upload it. Make sure it’s the same as the keyword you are targeting so YouTube knows what the topic is. This will help it appear in more search queries related to your topic.

5. Categorize Your Videos

Categorizing your videos is one of the more simple SEO video marketing strategies you can implement. 

When you categorize one of your videos, it groups it in with similar content on YouTube. This can add it to specific playlists and help it achieve more reach than it standing alone.

Categorizing your videos is also another indicator for YouTube of what your content is about. Again, your categories should be relevant to your content and your audience. You should look at competing channels in the category to see if your video content fits alongside theirs. If not, it may belong to a different category.

6. Upload a Custom Thumbnail Image

Along with your title, the thumbnail is the first thing people see when they are searching for a video. Thus, good thumbnails should be prioritized in your SEO video marketing strategy.

To be eligible for Google video features, the Google Search Center’s recommended best practices for thumbnails are:

  • BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, or SVG file format
  • Minimum 60x30 pixels, but a larger size is preferred
  • The thumbnail file must be accessible by Googlebot. Don't block the file with robots.txt or a login requirement. Make sure that the file is available at a stable URL
  • At least 80% of the thumbnail's pixels must have an alpha (transparency) value greater than 250

To be safe, you can also include the keyword you are targeting in the file name of the thumbnail you upload.

Again, as we talked about in our Title section, the thumbnail should relate to your title in some way.  For example, if we made a video about our blog The Ultimate SEO-Pedia, my thumbnail could include an intriguing image of an encyclopedia with the thumbnail copy being “Everything You Need to Know About SEO”.

Blending your imagery with your title to make it pop is essential for SEO video marketing. Be creative. Use your thumbnails wisely.

7. Transcribe Your Videos

Google is still not at the point where it can listen to your videos and understand the content without context. That’s why transcriptions are so helpful.

Adding a transcription to your video is beneficial in two ways. One, it gives search engines the ability to crawl and index your video content outside of titles, descriptions, timestamps, etc. so it can understand the keyword you are targeting better.

Two, it is an important factor in accessibility for your videos. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may not be able to listen to what your video is about. But, with a transcript and closed captioning, they most certainly can read and follow along.

8. Embed Your Videos on Your Website

While embedding videos on your website can be a great way to make your site user-friendly, it also helps in your SEO video marketing strategy.

Here’s how we know: Google values time spent on a page. And, 37% of videos keep viewers all the way until the very end.

Because video is an effective way of keeping users on a page for longer, it means it will also help increase the page authority on the webpage where the video lives. More page authority means more ways to know how your pages are performing and how you can improve to rank against your competitors.

9. Post Consistently

Posting your content consistently is another important aspect of SEO video marketing. In fact, not posting consistently enough is number one on our top five SEO mistakes.

Both Google and YouTube reward users for posting consistently, especially if it is on the same day week over week. If they notice you’re posting at the same time, you have a better chance of ranking or being suggested on that day.

That’s why it’s so important to plan out your content. You can create a backlog of highly optimized videos that make posting easy and ranking even easier.

10. Optimize Your Videos for Mobile

Mobile is the main form of consumption for video online. Along with being the number one device for watching YouTube, it also takes up more than half of all video consumption on the internet. So, if you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re not helping your SEO video marketing strategy.

Optimizing for mobile means making your video content accessible for both vertical (TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts) and horizontal video platforms (YouTube).  This also means breaking out your longer video content into short, digestible snippets. 

Why is this important? Because short-form video is by far the most popular type of video content online. Short-form video content:

From the level of success that short-form video has had, we can interpret that people enjoy content that is short and to the point. Continue to produce long-form content that fits with your SEO video strategy, but part of that strategy should include short-form video that supplements your other content. They can be used to answer FAQs, hit on secondary keywords, and promote your brand alongside your informational content.

11. Track Results

Once you’ve completed posting the content for your pillar video strategy, it’s time to look back and judge your performance.

Based on the benchmarks you set, what did you achieve? How many backlinks did you get? How much traffic did you reach? Did you get the level of shares you wanted from posting your short-form video content?

If you didn’t, this is your chance to further adjust your SEO video marketing strategy. Find out what worked and what didn’t. Whether it was the actual content or the way you optimized, there is always something to change for improvement in the future.

12. Leverage the Help of SEO Experts

If you’re not sure where to start with your SEO video strategy, a digital marketing agency like Marketwake can be your best resource.

Our video marketing experts can help you optimize your videos for SEO and come up with a pillar strategy that sets you up for search engine success.

From on-page SEO to content strategy and technical SEO, we help your brand break through the crowded search engines to increase visibility and awareness.

And yes, we’ve got the receipts. We helped this lease accounting software increase keyword growth by 425% with a strong SEO and content strategy. We also helped this athlete endorsement platform increase organic traffic by over 865% with a brand-new website that combined a targeted content strategy, on-page SEO, and technical SEO improvements. 

Ready to start developing your SEO video marketing strategy? Contact us! We’ll make SEO video optimization a top priority for your business so you can reach your goals and maximize your traffic.

SEO Video Marketing FAQs

What Is SEO Video Marketing?

SEO video marketing is the process of producing videos that are not only authentic and unique but are optimized for search engines. The ultimate goal of SEO video marketing is to create videos that rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for more website traffic. SEO video marketing requires high-quality video content that targets specific keywords and is relevant to the creator’s target audience.

Can SEO Be Done for Video?

Yes, SEO can be done for video. By combining strategies you would typically find in a traditional written and blog content strategy, you can create an SEO video marketing strategy that targets specific keywords and ranks on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Why Is SEO Important in Video Marketing?

SEO is important in video marketing because it helps you reach a wider audience and appear in search queries. This can not only help with brand awareness, but can also help increase website traffic, click-through rates, and conversions.

How Do You Add SEO to YouTube Videos?

There are a couple of ways to optimize your YouTube videos for search engines. This includes:

1. Prioritizing keyword research

2. Setting goals

3. Optimizing your video title and description with keywords

4. Adding tags and hashtags to your videos

5. Matching your videos with a relevant category

6. Uploading a custom thumbnail that is intriguing and relates to the video title

7. Transcribe your videos

8. Embed your videos on your website

9. Posting consistently

10. Optimize videos for mobile

11. Evaluating results

12. Leverage the help of SEO experts

How Should You Title Videos With SEO in Mind?

For SEO, you should title your videos in a way that is intriguing, targeted, and succinct. The title should make the audience want to click while using the keyword you are targeting naturally. The title should also be less than 60 characters long. It should also not be clickbaity, mislead the audience, or be unnatural due to keyword stuffing.

SEO Video Marketing Takeaways

Video content is the future. Currently, it is the best way to connect audiences while driving more traffic and awareness to your brand. By following these SEO video tips, your business will be set up for success on any of the SERPs. If you choose to forget anything from this blog, here are the things to remember:

  1. Do your research. Without keyword research to know what your audience is looking for, you have no chance of answering the questions they have.

  1. Post consistently and transcribe your videos. This goes back to just giving Google what they are looking for. They want to see consistent posting week over week and they need a way to index your content. Give them what they want!

  1. Optimize your videos for mobile. More and more people are watching videos on their mobile devices, so make sure you have short-form video that supplements your longer form to increase reach and engagement.

Make sure your videos are high-quality and engaging. People are more likely to watch and share videos that are well-made and interesting. Here’s what Marketwake’s VP of Marketing Bin Cochran had to say:

At the end of the day, the most important thing is whether the content is good. You can do everything for SEO, but if no one wants to watch your content, it won’t be watched. Quality of content always wins. SEO is just icing on the cake.

Bin Cochran

VP of Marketing at Marketwake

If you’re ready to start making content that wins, reach out to Marketwake. Our SEO video marketing strategies and digital marketing experts are ready to help you turn viewers into champions of your brand.

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