Guest post by Brian Dean. Brian runs Backlinko, an SEO training and link building website for search engine marketing professionals.
So you’ve just put the finishing touches on your latest Camtasia screencast video. It’s polished, edited, and ready for the world to see.
Before you hit the “publish” button, make sure that your video is optimized for search engines. It takes a bit more effort, but a well-optimized video will bring in significantly more traffic over time than a video that’s simply recorded and uploaded.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be an SEO guru to squeeze more search engine traffic from your screencast videos. Here’s a step-by-step blueprint for screencast video SEO.
Step #1: Find Your Target Keywords
Your first (and most important) step is to find keywords that your target audience uses to search for your video’s topic. You can easily find these keywords using Google’s Keyword Tool.
1. First, head over to the tool and enter a few keywords that describes what your video is all about.
Pro tip: Consider using “how to” keywords for screencast videos. These are search terms that people tend to use when looking for tutorials.
2. Next, set the “Match Type” setting to “Exact”:
3. Finally, identify keywords that have a significant search volume and fit well with the topic of your video:
Pro tip: If you plan on uploading your videos to YouTube, check out the YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool. This tool will show you the search volume for searches within YouTube.
Step #2: Create an SEO-Friendly Title
It’s important to note that search engines can’t see, hear, or understand the content of your video. Although YouTube can now “understand” some audio elements of audio, search engines still rely on text to figure out a video’s topic.
In general, the title tag is the most important on-page SEO element. This rule applies to video as much, if not more, than text-based content. Because there’s less content for them to read, they tend to put more weight on the title tag.
You can easily optimize your title tag for search by including your keyword somewhere in the beginning. An industry study by Moz.com found that pages with their keyword in the beginning of their title tag tended to rank better than those that included their keyword towards the end:
If you were uploading your video as a WordPress post you’d simply add your keyword to the post title (“video SEO” in this example):
Pro tip: While you should always include your target keyword in your title tag, it’s not absolutely necessary to put it at the beginning. It definitely helps. But if it doesn’t make sense for users, feel free to place your keyword in the middle or at the end.
Step #3: Describe Your Video With Text
A video and a title tag simply isn’t enough content for Google to use to determine the page’s topic.
It’s important to add text to the page that you host your video on.
Here are a few easy ways to make that happen:
- Add a lengthy description or overview of what the video discusses.
- Transcribe the video and include the transcription of the audio on the page.
- Give a screenshot and text-based lesson to accompany the video (this also makes the page more user friendly: people that can’t or don’t want to watch the videos can still absorb the information.)
If you’re uploading to YouTube, make sure to fill in the “Description” area with keyword-rich, descriptive content.
Step #4: Get the Word Out
Make no mistake: on-page optimization is crucial. But the most important ranking signals that Google uses are off-page signals, namely backlinks, social shares, and user-interaction signals.
You usually don’t need to go crazy trying to optimize each of these. As long as you produce a quality screencast video, these signals will develop naturally over time.
However, unless you already have a massive following clambering for every screencast video that you publish, you’ll need to do some promotion.
Here are some simple (yet effective) ways to get people to view and share your video:
- Share your video on social media sites, like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
- Upload your video to popular video sharing sites, like Vimeo and Daily Motion.
- Include a link to your video in your email newsletter or autoresponder sequence.
- Look for sites that have published text or screenshot tutorials on the same subject. Send them your videos’ embed code, which will add depth to their tutorial (and they’ll typically link back to your site when they’ve uploaded it.)
SEO results take time. But if you produce something special and do the legwork of promoting it, you’ll eventually find your video ranked for your target keywords.
Additional Resources About Video SEO:
I hope this tutorial helps you get more eyeballs on your Camtasia screencast videos. It’s certainly more work than uploading to YouTube or WordPress, but the extra SEO effort is an investment in your videos’ success.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I’ll get right to it!