There are a lot of videos online, I mean a lot. The two words I hear out of clients that always make me cringe are "viral video." I want you to take a couple of seconds and expunge those words from your vocabulary... great! As many of you know SEO is the driving factor for long form content (such as this article.) Believe it or not, most of the principles that apply here are almost identical for video SEO.
Just like an article, you want the title of your video to stand out. Not only do you want people to be able to find your work organically, but you want them to be able to find it again by giving your video a title that is unique and conveys the overall idea of your video. If you want, you could also include your "keyword" in the title of the video.
This is where you can jump into the meat and potatoes of what your video is about. However, if you are hosting on a site such a YouTube or Vimeo, you may want to give a summary description of the video first. This way people can know exactly what they are going to view without going into too much detail. After that you can feel free to add almost anything that you want to the description that talks about the creative process, links, gear, crew, or so on. I've found some videos I've worked on, that I had no idea were live or online, simply by Googling my name.
Choose the Right Thumbnail
Nothing will push people away from your video faster than a bad thumbnail. That's just the sad reality of it. So, choose something that says a lot about the video. For example if you just made a travel video of Vietnam, choose something that really defines your experience there. The other option is to make custom video thumbnails for your video. Most hosts will allow you to do this. This way you can put your branding in there along with the image of your choosing. It's also a good way to build consistent imagery across your video thumbnails, similar to some of the Instagram strategies we've talked about in the past.
Tag Your Video
If the site you are hosting your videos through allows you to tag them, you should. Don't go overboard on the tagging though. Make sure it's all relevant to the video, and not to mention do your research on how often each tag is searched. You don't want to find yourself in a position where you tagged your video with one thing and it's actually underperforming in terms of search results.
In the same vein, if you can join groups on social websites such as Vimeo or YouTube and post the video there, do it. It will get it in front of a lot more people than you'd expect.
Granted most of these tips are for people who are hosting their videos through another service (YouTube and Vimeo). In another upcoming article I'll take an even deeper dive into video SEO when you are hosting it on your own website.