Videos are becoming major marketing assets. They can get your products noticed by a wider audience, build your brand awareness and bring in sales. This is why understanding video SEO is so helpful to modern marketers.

Youtube is one of the largest marketing channels out there with two thirds of shoppers using it to find and evaluate things to buy.

Additionally, video carousels are an important part of organic search results giving publishers additional opportunities to quickly bring their products in front of their target customers.

Video Carousel

Product videos are also a powerful way to boost your conversions by demonstrating your products in action.

So how to optimize your video content to turn it into an effective marketing medium? Here are all the steps.

Step 1: Research Your SEO Opportunities

Which videos to create? There are multiple ways to brainstorm video content for your brand but if you are coming from an SEO standpoint, keyword research is your first step here.

Run your target keywords in tools like SE Ranking and go through those keywords to identify those that may benefit from a video explanation.

SE Ranking will alert you of keyword difficulty (i.e. how hard it is going to be to rank your content on the first page) and generate the SERP snapshot showing some recent movements:


Keyword clustering is a solid technique that will help you identify topics behind those keywords and optimize your future video for a group of search queries rather than an individual keyword string.

Step 2: Create Your Video

This step used to be much more difficult and almost overwhelming. In fact, many brands and small businesses never got down to creating video content because they were sure it was too expensive and difficult.

Well, my advice is: Just do it. Start small and simple and enhance your tactics going forward:

  • Create explainer videos using tools like Zoom
  • Create video animations using tools like Animatron
  • Put together video slideshows using tools like PlayPlay

In fact, there are lots of tools that can make it easy for anyone to create useful and professional videos. These include iMovie, VideoLeap, etc. None of those tools requires any serious training or money investments.

The most challenging part is creating your first video. After that you will get braver.

Step 3: Upload Your Video to Youtube

Yes, there are other platforms, beyond Youtube, to which you will be able to branch out to with time. Yet, Youtube is where video marketing should start (and in many niches, end).

  • Youtube is a discovery platform of its own. If you do your job right (more on this below), Youtube will start suggesting your videos to people who want similar content or like similar topics. This way, your products have a chance to be discovered by someone who never knew they needed you. This is powerful because Youtube is an insanely popular platform.
  • Youtube ranks well! I don’t have any official stats to support this but from my own observations, 90% of videos in those video carousels come from Youtube.

Having a presence on Youtube means more marketing opportunities. Plus, the platform provides free video hosting, so you don’t have to upload them to WordPress which is not a very good idea.

Step 4: Create Text Content Around It

Google has got much better at indexing video content and understanding what the video is about.

Yet, textual context still matters for organic rankings, as even Googlers admit that text content is still important for the algorithm to rank pages:

Textual Content

With that in mind, Youtube gives you quite a few opportunities to provide textual content around your video:

Video Details

Here are a few ideas:

  • Focus your video title around your keyword you identified in the very first step of this article
  • Don’t forget to add your URL on top of your description to make it visible before the click
  • Add hashtags to the video description to help Youtube categorize your video
  • Create a clickable table of contents using Youtube timestamps. Google often uses these timestamps to generate so-called “key moments” that allow users to go to a particular section inside a video. These are great for so-called “deep views” which provide powerful Youtube ranking signals:

YouTube Video

If you need help creating highly relevant textual context for your video, try running Text Optimizer which will help you craft whole sentences based on the semantic relevance to your keyword:

Text Optimizer

Step 5: Link to Your Video Page and Share Around

While text is important, backlinks are still key to ranking anything in organic search. While those backlinks will hardly help a video rank inside Youtube platform, they are crucial to get your video ranked inside organic search carousels, and those views will help it do better inside Youtube as well.

If you are losing the point, let me make it simple for you:

  • You need backlinks to rank your videos in Google’s search
  • Google will send views to your video
  • Those highly-targeted views will help your video gain more visibility in Youtube as well.

So how to build links to your videos? It’s not something people would often link to.

Well, the easiest step is to link from your own site. You can publish regular updates listing your newer videos, or use one of the plugins to create a beautiful video gallery.

Another idea is to check backlinks of other videos in your target carousel.

Video URLs

WebCEO’s competitor’s backlink spy is a cool feature that will save you a ton of time by letting you check the context of those links and alerting you of new links.

Backlink Spy

This kind of research and monitoring will also help you to better understand your niche video landscape and come up with more great ideas.

Sharing your videos on social media may also bring in more views and even some backlinks. SharpSpring’s social media management platform can help you schedule your video content to go out on your major social media channels:

SharpSpring Media Management

Step 6: Come back Often to Reply to Comments

Engagement is crucial for Youtube visibility as the platform wants to surface content that provokes discussions and shares. So what you really need for your video success is engagement in the form of likes and comments. But the next step is engaging back. You need to be regularly there to reply to comments and share your videos again.

Youtube analytics gives away pretty solid data allowing you to identify traffic and engagement driving channels and even see keywords your fans use to find you on Youtube:

YouTube Analytics

Youtube will also send you alerts of new comments which you can reply to. These notifications will work until one or more of your videos really take off and you will have dozens of new comments (and notifications) daily.

At this point I add that video to my visual tracker called Visualping which will monitor the video page and alert me on new comments and engagement growth based on my own schedule:


The tool also offers a handy Chrome extension that makes it easier to add pages to your monitoring dashboard.


Video optimization is an important part of any SEO strategy, and it is also one of the most doable ones. You don’t need huge budgets to launch a video strategy for your brand, and with the smart SEO-focused approach it will yield solid results within a couple of months. Good luck!

Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas and the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, and TwChat. Her content marketing ideas have been featured in The New York Times, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more.