A Guide to Online Video SEO Part 1: Quality and Content

Apr 7, 2015 | Media Production

This guide will help you optimize your online videos for search engines. In part 1 we discuss the importance of your video quality and supporting content.

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Did you know there are different actions you can take to improve the search engine ranking of your online videos? This guide will help you optimize your online videos for search engines, improving your web presence over time. In part 1 of this guide we will be discussing the importance of your video quality and supporting content.


The overall quality of your online video is very important to how it performs in search engines. A high quality video means more views and more views mean higher search engine rankings.

High Definition

It should be no surprise that HD videos perform better than standard definition videos considering the quality is substantially better. It is recommended that you “upload 1080P videos whenever possible” (Daily Blog Tips). Both viewers and search engines will appreciate the quality.

Production Quality

Speaking of production quality, a video shot by a professional either on-site or in studio is bound to outperform a video shot in poor lighting with a camera phone. Unless your content is absolutely amazing, people will tend to prefer the video with high production quality. Additionally, Allen Gottfried, manager of Internet and Online Strategies at New Jersey’s St. Peter’s Healthcare System, says that “those standards should also apply to your thumbnails” (Search Engine Watch).


The length of your video is very important and correlates closely to your content quality. The better the content, the longer people will be willing to watch. However, people are generally looking for short 1-3 minute videos that can get the point across quickly and efficiently.


As mentioned above, the content of your video is very important. Videos with better content can get away with being longer or less professional looking. But if you are able to produce a high-quality, short video with outstanding content, you’ve completed the hat-trick of online video.

Closed Captioning

YouTube offers closed captioning for your online videos so that they may be consumed by a wider audience. Plus, YouTube crawls the content in the captions looking for keywords pertaining to your video. Just be sure to double-check your closed captioning for accuracy!


Annotations allow you to embed links into your videos that link back to your homepage or contact form. According to MarketingExperiments, after adding annotations in their YouTube videos in 2013, their channel saw a spike of about 76% gain in the number of views and subscriptions (SocialMediaToday).



While the content within your video plays a major role in SEO, so does the content outside of the video. After all, search engine bots cannot watch videos, but they can read the supporting content.

Title and Description

The title and description of your video are two of its most important features. These are key pieces of information that YouTube and Google look at when indexing your video. Make sure that your title is catchy and keyword-rich and that your description is detailed, keyword-rich and relevant to your video content.


YouTube also takes into account the tags that you assign your video when indexing it. Always specify tags when uploading new videos and make sure that they are relevant to your content.


When posting a video to somewhere other than your website, include a link back to your homepage. This will help drive traffic and enhance your website’s SEO.


Identify your targeted keywords before creating your video. Then be sure to incorporate these keywords in the video itself (for closed captioning), in the title and description, and in content on your website.


Calls to Action

Your video should always have a call to action both within the video itself, and in the description. Whether you are looking for subscribers, phone calls, or comments, just make sure you let your audience know.

As you can see, video quality and content are two major players in online video SEO. Read part 2 of this blog where we discuss the role of reach and analytics in video SEO. And contact Informatics if you have questions about online video, search engine optimization, or would like a quote for an upcoming project.

Read Part 2 of A Guide to Online Video SEO: Reach and Analytics

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