Guide to SEO for Video Content

Katie Mckelvie

October 19, 2022

While Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is always associated with optimising web pages for Google, YouTube is simply another type of search engine. We can take the principles of SEO we use for web pages and apply that to video content to help video content rank. At Pattern, we have found that investing in video content is something retailers might have dabbled in a few years ago, but for whatever reason, it lost its momentum over time. For example; there’s a brand YouTube channel but the last time video content was posted was months or even years ago.

However, that’s changing.

More and more brands understand that to build your authority, expertise and trustworthiness in your niche, there is a need to create more than just written content. As it’s becoming more accessible for brands to regularly publish video content, Pattern is here to guide you on how to get the best return when investing in video content.

Before we get into “how” you can optimise your video content, let's get into the “why”.

Why Should You Optimise Your Video Content for Search Engines?

Guide to SEO for Video Content 1

Video content, despite getting cheaper to produce, is still a time and resource-intensive task that is difficult to connect to hard metrics like revenue. It should be treated like any other tactic to raise awareness and thought leadership, with views, engagement and watch time as appropriate metrics. With any resource-intensive tactic, you should be trying to maximise its potential visibility, so all that effort isn’t wasted.

YouTube is often regarded as a younger Google. It relies more heavily on the information you provide with each video, such as the description, the transcript and the title to give it context on what the video is about. By optimising your video content you will help it reach higher levels of engagement and visibility helping your content become more effective.

The number of businesses using video content as part of their marketing strategy has also steadily grown over the last 5 years with approximately 86% of marketers now incorporating video in their plans. This is reflected in search results with Google providing video results in 62% of searches, with most of those being YouTube results.

As businesses try to prove their expertise online to help bring stronger awareness and traffic to their sites, Google has released insights that 40% of shoppers have bought from brands they have discovered on YouTube.

Ultimately, not optimising your video content is leaving your content half-baked, as well as potentially leaving you behind your competition and missing out on new users.

When Should you Optimise Video Content?

Guide to SEO for Video Content 2

Organic video optimisation is best suited for video content that is not an advert. Video content for social channels tends to be bitesize 10-30 seconds that may not have any spoken elements. In contrast, organic optimisation will provide the most value if you are producing content that is informative, entertaining or educational. This video length tends to err on the 3 minutes and over at a minimum. Long-form content is more likely to be the type of content users search for, and Pattern can help your brand appear for targeted keywords for this long-form type of content. Long-form can be tricky for brands used to short and snappy videos or only delving into video through influencers. Long-form can encompass; product deep dives comparing when certain products are better suited for certain tasks, styling advice, how-to content showing each step of a project, commentary from industry events and much more depending on your niche.

As watch time is one of the most important elements of a video’s ranking, by making a video longer you will naturally accrue a higher watch time as a result.

By splitting video production into two distinct phases of pre and post-production there is a variety of opportunities to create video content that will perform the best. Video optimisation should start before any filming has actually taken place.

How to Optimise Your Video Content Pre-Production?

Guide to SEO for Video Content 3

1. Conduct Keyword Research

When a brand starts to explore video content, keyword research should be undertaken to understand what the most popular questions and related phrases are that you should incorporate throughout a video. Reviewing your current article content for what are the most popular themes would be a good place to start.

2. Optimise Your Script

Incorporating your target phrases and their close variations is going to have one of the biggest impacts on your video's ability to rank. Where possible, you should plan the script of the video to include those phrases.

Planning when you are going to mention related videos and products will also enable you to take advantage of the various features on platforms like YouTube such as cards.

Cards highlight other videos/products throughout a video. They should be used in conjunction with a spoken Call To Action. They can also be used to point users to new versions of video content.

Guide to SEO for Video Content - 4

The teaser text for the card can be customised slightly but there is a significantly short amount of text allowed.

YouTube recommends that you include cards in the last 20% of your video. In other words, you don’t want Cards to distract from your message. Instead, use Cards towards the end of your video, where people are more likely to drop off.

While you are planning your content you should ensure you keep 5-20 seconds of space at the end of your video so you can include an endscreen – these help suggest to users to watch related videos, subscribe to the channel and link to your site.

3. Plan Your Thumbnails

If you are a brand with plans to create a series of content, making sure you plan what the thumbnails will be is essential. Thumbnails are one of the most decisive factors in generating higher click-throughs from users. Treating the thumbnail as a billboard, you want to accurately convey the context of the video without it being misleading. While YouTube creators can lean into exaggerated facial expressions most brands will want to put forward an expert lens.

In Australia, one of the most popular brands, Bunnings, has an extensive selection of videos with thumbnail styles that differ depending on the type of content being covered in the video.

Guide to SEO for Video Content - 5

How to Optimise Your Youtube Video Content Post-Production?

At Pattern, we have our proprietary scorecard that analyses a brand's YouTube setup that takes into consideration their account settings and branding.

Below is a sample result from a video audit:

Guide to SEO for Video Content 6

Our audits take into account many factors relating to good SEO for video and below we’ve listed a few to help get your post-production optimisation started.

1. Video Meta Data

Similar to optimising a web page, incorporating the target keywords in the right place can help a particular video appear for those targeted searches. Pattern can provide optimised meta data for:

  • Video titles

  • Video descriptions

  • Video keyword tags

Best Practice Video Titles Should Be:

  • Informative

  • Incorporate target keywords

  • Include a brand slug

  • Indicate if they are part of a series

Best Practice Video Descriptions Should Be:

  • On brand

  • Descriptive video content

  • Include calls to action to visit the website, subscribe to the channel and link to products if relevant.

  • Contain timestamps

  • Link to social media channels

2. Upload Transcripts

While YouTube continues to become more sophisticated in its analysis of spoken content in videos it often makes mistakes. This means YouTube is not gaining a full understanding of the video and this can be detrimental to the video’s visibility as spelling mistakes can alter its interpretation of the content.

Once a video has been produced a transcript should be gathered and uploaded to YouTube. The transcript should ideally have timing information included so subtitles will be displayed at the correct time. The preferred file format is SRT. Videos can be professionally transcribed with a cost typically depending on the length of the video.

3. Optimise your File Name

In a similar way to optimising an alt tag on an image, you should make sure that when you upload a video file to YouTube that the actual file name is descriptive of its content. YouTube has confirmed it takes into account these signals and you must do this before you upload, as you will not be able to redo this step after you have published.

4. Encourage engagement

YouTube is in a unique position to be a search engine and a social channel. While many brands haven’t used the community tab to its fullest capability people can like and comment on content, and those elements are confirmed ranking factors. Pattern would recommend encouraging users to comment on videos but keep your filters on so anything appropriate is kept for review.

If however your content is targeting children there are some fairly strict processes where comments will not be allowed as part of YouTube’s safety controls.

Onsite Video Recommendations

Guide to SEO for Video Content 7

1. Create a Video Sitemap

A video sitemap is an XML sitemap that Google uses to find videos on your site and can also provide information about a video to Google. A video sitemap entry can describe a video the same way as a VideoObject structured data element. The advantage of using a video sitemap is that it also helps Google find new or updated videos and that it can describe many videos in one file rather than requiring Google to crawl each page and discover changes individually. Check Google’s recommendations here on what to include in a video sitemap.

2. Add Video Schema

Add structured data describing your video on the hosting page. Structured data is information that you provide according to a well-defined format using either tags or JSON. When Google crawls the page, it can read and understand that format to extract information about your video. As YouTube looks for as many signals as possible to gather context it’s good practice to upload video content that has a descriptive filename as well.

3. Have Detailed Video Content Pages

In addition to having a great video, brands should consider the design of the HTML pages around the content. For example, the following would be best practice:

  • Create a standalone landing page for each video, where you can gather all its related information. If you do this, be sure to provide unique information—such as descriptive written content.

  • Utilise the transcript by adding it as part of the content on the page. This is a quick win to quickly add relevant written content and provides additional keyword signals to search engines and can help the page rank in search results.

  • Make it as easy as possible for users to find and play the videos on each landing page. The presence of a prominent, embedded video player using widely supported video formats can make your videos more attractive to users and easier for Google to index. Pattern would recommend using YouTube for embedded video as views from an embedded file still contribute to the overall views and engagement of a video, helping it rank.

4. Amplify your video content

Once everything has been uploaded and optimised make sure you amplify this content across a range of different channels like Social, EDMs and Paid Search. Youtube takes into account external views from the platform so if you have embedded YouTube every watch and interaction gained from these channels will help improve the visibility of the video on YouTube.

5. Monitor and See What Videos Work Best

YouTube is pretty upfront that they will promote and give better rankings to content that keeps users on their platform. YouTube analytics will showcase how long you keep people engaged, what parts they are skipping, rewinding and what keeps them coming back for more.

SEO Video Optimisation Best Practice from Start to Finish

  1. Plan to create videos on popular topics/questions based on keyword research.

  2. Incorporate those keywords into your script.

  3. Create long-form content – 3 minutes and longer.

  4. Plan your thumbnail image.

  5. Incorporate calls to action throughout the video and ensure you have 5-20 seconds at the end of your video to add in endscreens.

  6. Upload your content to YouTube with a descriptive file name.

  7. Optimise your video meta data.

  8. Upload a transcript.

  9. Enable comments on your video and pose a question first!

  10. Organise content into playlists ..then optimise those playlists.

  11. Amplify video content through your social channels.

  12. Embed it on your site with an accompanying article.

  13. Add video structured data onto your site.

  14. Review your content to see what is performing the best and make more of it.

Understanding SEO for video content is not as straightforward as written SEO content, however, with the tips above, you’ll be able to structure and plan your next video content for SEO best practice easily. To get the full benefit of our SEO expertise, contact our team at Pattern to discover how to accelerate your video SEO!

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Important Holidays to Prepare for on Marketplaces in China
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Important Holidays to Prepare for on Marketplaces in China

Brands selling their product throughout the Asia-Pacific region may wonder how to keep up with the fast market and make plans for next year. The good news is that in China, and the surrounding areas, there are many ecommerce holidays year-round for brands to prepare for and increase their sales. As brands plan for 2023, here are some important holidays brands should prepare for in China:

Q1 (January-March)

  1. Chinese New Year: (usually late Jan.–mid-Feb.) Spring Festival—also known as Chinese New Year—is a week-long holiday that is quickly becoming an incredible growing opportunity for brands.

  2. Valentine’s Day: (Feb. 14) Despite being an inherently Western holiday, Valentine’s Day on 14th February is another major event that has been wholeheartedly adopted in China, especially among younger demographics. 

  3. International Women’s Day: (Mar. 8) The global holiday, which is celebrated annually, is not only focused on women in particular, but in China also the sale of items related to the needs of women. 

Q2 (April-June)

  1. 520 Festival: (May 20) The Chinese pronunciation for the numbers “5-2-0” sounds similar to “I love you”, hence “520 Festival”. May 20th gives Chinese lovers another chance to showcase their affection to one another through gift giving–China’s version of Valentine’s Day.

  2. 6/18 - founding anniversary of JD.com: (Jun. 18) This is the founding anniversary of JD.com, one of the most prominent ecommerce companies in China. The event,  colloquially known as 618, is celebrated annually for 18 days leading up to June 18th. 

Q3 (July-September)

  1. Qixi Festival: (7th day of 7th month of Chinese Lunar Calendar, Aug. 22 in 2023) Qixi Festival signals the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology, creating China’s Valentine’s Day and a huge retail event.

  2. Mid-autumn festival: (Sept. 29) Also known as the Moon or Mooncake Festival, this traditional festival is celebrated in many Asian countries. The mid-autumn festival is a very popular time to give gifts to friends and relatives. 

Q4 (October-December)

  1. Golden Week: (1st week in Oct.) This week-long public holiday in China is not necessarily an ecommerce holiday, but everyone takes work off for the week and it could have a direct impact on your ecommerce business. Being aware of public closures in the Asia-Pacific regions will help you plan ahead in inventory levels and necessary communication.

  2. Singles’ Day: (Nov. 11) Singles’ Day, or Double 11 festival, is the biggest 24-hour online shopping festival in the world and originated in China. Singles’ Day is a type of “anti-Valentine’s day”, originally created for those with a single relationship status, due to the symbolism of the number 1 (11/11). The shopping event has broken sales figure records each year since its birth and is often likened to Black Friday in the US.

  3. Double 12: (Dec. 12) Double 12, or Couples’ Day, is another massively popular shopping event in China that was originally established for smaller businesses that might have missed out on the benefits of Singles Day. 

How to Prepare For These Ecommerce Holidays in 2023

Now that you’re aware of the ecommerce holidays in 2023 that could benefit your brand, it’s important you prepare well and can use them to your brand’s best advantage. Here are four things to keep in mind when preparing:

1. Make sure you have a good trade partner. 

All brands expanding to or selling in China on any marketplace need a trade partner they can trust. A good trade partner should have experience, transparency, a data-driven mindset, brand obsession, and the right tools and resources to help you succeed.  

2. Stay ahead of the logistics. 

A good trade partner will help your brand understand various regional consumer demands and give you marketplace-specific logistics to help you to stay in stock. Every marketplace demands various amounts of stock, mostly depending on the consumer demand in that region, but also the upcoming holidays celebrated in those regions.

3. Prepare your customer-service teams for the holidays.

If you are planning to participate and sell your products during the holidays mentioned above, it’s important your customer-service teams are aware and know how to handle the influx of consumers during those times. 

 4. Be aware of local and regional holidays that may affect your business.

Knowing which holidays can directly affect and improve your business is key to selling across marketplaces in the Asia-Pacific region. Although not all holidays may be obviously relevant to your brand, it’s worth looking into and elevating an opportunity for increased sales.

Accelerate on Chinese Marketplaces with Pattern

The opportunity for your brand to increase traffic and conversion during holidays in China is exponential.  As the world’s foremost ecommerce accelerator, Pattern can handle your end-to-end strategy to grow your brand both domestically and internationally. 

Pattern is an option to be your brand's trading partner since we know local languages, customs, and cultural nuances to clearly communicate your brand as we plan, strategize, and execute your products’ success in China. We make your success our business, dedicating expert teams, years of experience, and proprietary technology to find the best ways to take your products to consumers throughout the world.

Discover how you can grow your brand internationally. Contact us

One Amazon Live Event Wins Owlet the Best Seller Rank in Two Categories
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One Amazon Live Event Wins Owlet the Best Seller Rank in Two Categories

Owlet is dedicated to providing innovative baby monitor products that can track a baby's vital signs, giving parents peace of mind. With such a compelling product solution, Owlet wanted to raise brand and product awareness.  

Working with Pattern as its 3P partner on Amazon, Pattern decided to host an Amazon Live event to feature Owlet products in use. That way, Owlet could demonstrate the efficacy of their baby monitoring products dispelling any consumer doubt, skepticism, and addressing all questions.

Download the one-page case study here.

Amazon Live Kicks Off Owlet Sale Event

Pattern produced and executed an Amazon Live to kick off a sale with Owlet. Pattern’s creative team set up a studio at our global headquarters complete with a baby crib, Owlet products, and two charismatic hosts who acted as brand advocates. After the event, Pattern's digital marketing experts measured the impact to overall sales.

Read more about Owlet's Amazon Live event.

During and After Amazon Live, Owlet Sales Spike

During the event, Owlet traffic, defined by Amazon page views and sessions, spiked. The event’s attention to product detail, compelling video, and host engagement improved conversions too. Owlet's sales increased by over 10% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale. 

But the success didn’t stop there–the event improved Owlet's Best Seller Ranking as well.  Their sock monitor went up ~70% and their camera by ~69% during that week. 

Owlet Traffic, Conversion, and Rank Skyrocket 

  • Owlet sales, page views, and sessions all spiked during the Amazon Live event.

  • Owlet increased sales by approximately 9-16% throughout the whole week of the Live event and sale.

  • Owlet’s Best Seller Ranking Jumped:

    • Sock monitor improved by 70% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale.

    • Camera improved by 69% during the week of their Amazon Live event and sale.

Pattern’s Amazon Expertise 

As the world’s top ecommerce accelerator and Amazon 3P partner, Pattern knows how to take advantage of the various advertising channels on Amazon and other marketplaces to build your brand.  Pattern’s strategy is grounded in data-driven trends and consumer shopper behavior on Amazon, which is applied to our ecommerce equation.

How can we increase traffic and conversion to your brand? Contact us today.

“Partnering with Pattern has expanded our ability to capitalize on sales-driving opportunities that we wouldn't be able to tackle on our own. ”

– Jared Anderson, Owlet VP of Sales


Catch a behind the scenes moment from the Amazon Live Event:

5 Crucial Considerations When Building Your Global Marketplace Strategy
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5 Crucial Considerations When Building Your Global Marketplace Strategy

As a brand creates revenue and gains momentum on domestic marketplaces, executives may start to wonder if they should grow their brand internationally. Expanding to international marketplaces is complicated, can be overwhelming, but building a solid strategy before expanding internationally will streamline the process. 

At Pattern, we’ve helped countless brands build their international strategy with our proprietary data, global marketplace experience, and local expertise in established and emerging regions. 

Building an international strategy must be calculated and methodical, and here are five considerations at the core of going global: 

1. Distribution by Country/Region

First, it should be no surprise that the methods and strategies companies use to transport products from the distribution centers to customers can vary by country or region. Handling order fulfillments may look different from shipping and packaging options, to delivery and transportation. Although the basic steps of global distribution may remain the same, the nuances of regional distribution may vary. 

If your brand already has a high-level distribution strategy in place in the areas you are currently selling, then it’s possible to modify and use it to go global.  

2. Consumer Demand

Before expanding to a specific country, marketplace, or entire region (across multiple marketplaces), it’s important you thoroughly research and understand the consumer demand for your product. Do you have data to show that your expansion market(s) has a need for your product? 

Beyond product-market fit, additional parts of consumer demand analysis include: consumer behavior, awareness of differences in cultural norms, and the beliefs and values of international buyers. Having access to data-driven insights and analysis on traffic and conversion, like Pattern’s reporting, is key to understand consumer demand in certain regions. 

3. Product Registration and Regulatory

Countries around the world set up regulations and processes to protect their consumers from any hazardous imports. Because of that, it only makes sense that these countries may have different product registration requirements and standards. Before expanding to new regions, a brand should make sure their products are registered with the appropriate government institutions and follow all production best practices to prevent any roadblocks.

At Pattern, our regional experts have the resources to manage marketplace setup and understand administrative requirements necessary to help scale global growth for your brand. 

4. Localized Pricing

When it comes to localized pricing, international ecommerce retailers should keep in mind two things–currency conversion and customer perception of price. As brands look to expand internationally, thorough research should be done to understand the currency conversions at each stage of the product life cycle in order to figure out the optimal localized pricing, while still retaining a net profit.

Remember, because of cultural differences, final pricing may be perceived differently by customers on international marketplaces. For example, in the western countries, it’s common for prices to end in a 9, but in other countries, it may be best to use a round number instead. High market saturation of certain products may also affect consumers’ perception of pricing, making them more likely to pay a higher price for the product than in a low-saturation market. 

5. Localized Labeling

Different countries and regions may have unique requirements for product labeling. Awareness and understanding of these requirements is key to a successful international strategy. For example, labeling may need to be in a certain language, and some countries may require brands to include certain product information. 

Your domestic team may not be equipped to handle all translations and regulatory conversations, so having the resources in place before attempting to expand globally will help prepare you for expansion. As a global ecommerce partner, Pattern has a team of regional experts and end-to-end resources to ease the pain of complying with local product labeling requirements.   

Build a Successful International Marketplace Strategy With Pattern

Moving into global markets requires a significant amount of research and planning–that usually starts with these 5 considerations. Having a solid strategy in place before your brand starts expanding to international marketplaces will make the overall process much smoother, easier to manage, and with a higher likelihood for success.. 

Going global can be intimidating, costly, and overwhelming to grow revenue, but with Pattern as your 3P trade partner, you’ll have the experience, resources, and data to successfully expand your business internationally. Our global expertise and footprint makes international growth on marketplaces frictionless and profitable. 

Is your brand considering global marketplaces? Contact us


Want to learn more about how Pattern helps brands go global? Watch this message from our co-founder and CEO, Dave Wright.