7 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search Engines

Videos have emerged as the most versatile medium for engaging people. Its popularity can be understood from the fact that YouTube, which was launched in 2005, is today at number two position just behind Facebook with more than 1.5 billion monthly users. Today, nearly 720,000 hours of videos get uploaded every day on YouTube alone. YouTube SEO is important to get your video noticed by people in such a crowded space.

Here are a few ways to optimize your video search to get noticed.

When it comes to videos, the search algorithm follows a two-fold approach as the search engine wants to come up with relevant results that maximize viewer engagement and satisfaction. To satisfy these two requirements, the algorithms take into account ‘relevance’ and ‘watch time’. Thus, you need to satisfy both these requirements of video SEO.  Relevance can be taken care of by optimizing the Metadata and for increasing the watch time you need to take the following steps.

Choose an Apt Title

Title plays an important role in getting your video noticed. It should be chosen in such a way that the content present in the video becomes clear in the title itself.  You should include the ideal keywords in the first half of the title and your branding should be done in the latter half. If you want to upload a series, then include the episode number at the end of the title.

Choose and Appropriate Hosting Platform

The hosting platform you choose to upload your video depends on the goal you want to achieve from it. Ascertain whether your goal is to gain new leads, increase traffic or generate brand awareness. The hosting platforms differ with the goal. For instance, for generating brand awareness, YouTube and Vimeo are the best platforms. If your motive is to increase traffic, then these platforms are not ideal because once the video gets indexed, the traffic will be diverted to these platforms rather than your website. Thus, choose an appropriate hosting platform based on your goal.

Optimize Video Description

Video SEO requires you to optimize your video’s description. It’s important to describe it in the most appealing manner by inserting some of the primary keywords in it.

Insert a Transcript

It’s better to include video transcripts rather than basic transcripts to make your video more scrapable by search bots. 

Make Thumbnail Images Engaging

Thumbnail images can be displayed in different formats and sizes. As these images are displayed across the platform as well as outside, it is important to use high-resolution, compelling, strong, relevant and vibrant images. High resolution will ensure that images will appear crisp and clear to viewers irrespective of the size of the thumbnail. It is found that videos with custom human thumbnails have a 30% higher play rate than those without. So, make them count by uploading

engaging images. While shooting a video, you should, in fact, remember to take shots that can be turned into great customized thumbnails.


Another important thing to optimize is tags. The descriptive keywords that help the people find your videos are called tags. If you are uploading your video on YouTube, then the YouTube search algorithm indexes tags up to 270 characters. You should make the most of this 270-character limit count. You should make use of this word limit to describe your video beautifully. It is also recommended to use the keywords used in the title of the video here too.

Have Compelling Video Openings

If the viewer abandons the video after watching it for a few seconds, it goes against you because watch time is an important criterion that search algorithms look for. To compel the users to watch the entire video, you have to keep few things in mind. Firstly, the opening of the video should be strong and engaging. Secondly, the length of the video should be ideal. A study suggests that 7-16 minutes long videos engross a majority of viewers. Other than these two, the video quality should be good and the story you tell through it should be gripping to maintain the interest right till the end.

These are some of the ways to optimize your video search. Most of the points discussed here are aimed at addressing two keys requirements of search algorithms, which are ‘relevance’ and ‘watch time’.

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