Element 26: What is Video SEO and Why is it Important?

Crew preparing to shoot a film and photo session
Last edited 21 March, 2024
4 min read.

Video SEO is changing the way businesses use video online to increase both the visibility and the value of their brand. In this exclusive guest blog, our partner Element 26 explains the importance of video SEO.


As we covered in our blog ‘online video is no longer nice to have’, with video becoming increasingly important to the way businesses communicate online, the question of how to optimise your video content is no longer something that can be easily ignored.

Search engine optimisation is the process of making the content on your website more discoverable and the goal is usually to improve both the quantity and the quality of inbound traffic.

Effective video SEO will utilise the data contained within your videos to provide search engines with dense clusters of information about your content.

Why is this important? Because the internet has become profoundly visual and users are watching more video content than ever before. Also, because video is considered harder to produce than most other pieces of content, Google gives preferential treatment to those sites which contain video over those containing less rich data.

According to Animoto, 4 times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

Effective SEO should always prioritise the human experience. Google knows this as evidenced in all the recent algorithmic updates, which to date have all been about supporting users with more relevant search results (SERPs).

There are two components to effective video SEO. First of all, your content needs to be marked up properly to let search engines know what the content is about. Frankly, without this optimisation, search engines are blind to what your video content contains.

Then your videos need to be made relevant to your customer’s needs. This means there should be a strategic rationale behind why you’re making each video so that it can address any particular pain points your prospects might be experiencing.

Often referred to as metadata (the data about data), this additional information will not only help search engines get a read on what your videos are about, but it will also do the same thing for users.

Some quick wins for improving your video SEO include:

  1. Giving your video files a descriptive name (eg _companyname_videosubject_date_)
  2. Adding a description to your videos complete with relevant keywords
  3. Uploading a separate thumbnail with a descriptive title
  4. Providing a subtitle file to support your uploaded videos.

The subtitle file is sadly often overlooked when it really shouldn’t be. Referred to as a SubRip Subtitle file (or an SRT for short). The subtitle track is incredibly powerful as it is literally a written transcript of what is said within the video.

Power Tip: when going on camera, get your keywords loaded into the dialogue as this will impact the effectiveness of your videos once it is transcribed into a subtitle file.

Whilst you can rely on free or low-cost services such as YouTube or Vimeo to host your videos, these aren’t always the best place for business videos.

YouTube for example has an ad monetisation strategy at its core. This means that it has a vested interest in keeping users on YouTube for as long as possible so it can serve them with more ads.

In our experience, when our clients have opted to host their video content on YouTube, whilst it does indeed rank highly in search, the user is then directed towards YouTube itself rather than to our client’s website.

Clearly this isn’t the preferred outcome because once your prospect is on YouTube, they’re likely to be served other videos from your competitors.

Imagine this scenario: you run an emerging clothing brand based in Solihull making sports clothing for cyclists (very specific I know). You make a video and host it on YouTube. You then embed this video on your website using the YouTube embed code.

A prospect in Maypole decides she wants a new pair of cycling shorts and visits Google to perform a search. As Google is very smart and knows where the prospect is located, your video appears towards the top of the search results, directly below all the paid advertising. Happy days… or so it would seem.

The prospect then clicks the link and travels to YouTube to watch your video. She likes the video and watches it all the way to the end. So far so good, except for the fact YouTube has autoplay on by default and no sooner has the video finished, then another video begins to play. This is not such good news because the next video is from another sports clothing manufacturer based in Coventry.

Whilst on the flip side, your business is at least in this prospect’s consideration set, a preferable journey would look more like this:

The prospect searches for her cycling shorts. Your website ranks highly because the video on the site has significantly influenced the on-page value of the site. The prospect then clicks through to your website where you have optimised the user experience around the video content.

The prospect becomes a customer by making the purchase directly on your site without ever having had any dealings with the competitor brand at all.

A day or so later, the customer receives an email from your business containing a video thanking them for doing business with you. Perhaps the email also contains a discount code on her next purchase.

In order to utilise video in this way and to capitalise on all the benefits of video SEO, it is usually a good idea to use an online video platform such as Wistia or TwentyThree.

Online video platforms like these allow you to incorporate video into your site so you can leverage things like the description and the subtitle track.

EDGE Creative

At EDGE Creative, we have over 14 years’ worth of experience in delivering excellent search engine optimised campaigns to a variety of clients across a broad spectrum of industries. With our solid and established SEO team, we have been able to develop and refine all the finer details in our process. In order to find out more about how EDGE Creative and our partner Element 26 can help you revolutionise your marketing, get in touch by calling 0121 355 8092.

This blog is a guest blog supplied by Nathan Haines of Element 26.


Lydia Campbell

Digital Media Strategist

Lydia is involved in managing and monitoring clients’ SEO and advertising efforts, squeezing every last bit of success out of each campaign. Lydia takes no prisoners when it comes to PPC. After joining the team as a digital marketing apprentice, Lydia developed a keen eye for analytics and a passion for achieving results. Lydia’s loves watching projects grow from start to finish, and seeing tangible results from the campaigns she watches over so diligently.