10 most effective ways to make SEO Optimization of your animated video
10 most effective ways to make SEO Optimization of your animated video
SEO for a video: Why do creators fail their videos?
Search Engine Optimization for a YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook video starts at the very beginning of a video creation process. It starts with choosing a topic, style, and format. It continues through all creative processes and publishing. And SEO for video has no end. Video Search Engine Optimization is not just about a title and description it includes everything:
- Engaging video.
- Type of content.
- Connections with other videos.
From platform to platform some rules are different but the general idea is the same.
Understanding the goal
The goal of a video can be different. An explainer video has to make viewers clear about its subject, videos for marketing purposes have to grow sales, comedy videos have to make you smile. This is very good if a creator understands the goal of any of his videos. Or is he?
Sales, laugh, understanding, help – are false goals. These goals have nothing to do with reality. The only goal of every single video ever created in the world is Watch Time. An animation or live video has to keep the viewer watching from the very beginning to the very end. Not only is this the main goal for you but a platform as well. More Watch Time – more midroll ads and banners – more profitable the video is. That’s why every creator has to use Watch Time mindset to optimize his creation.
Engaging videos are rewarded on every platform. Better ranking in a search list, better chances to be on trending, better chances to be recommended by a platform to other people. Better monetization as well.
At the same time, non-engaging ones are stuck at the bottom forever with no chance to be seen.
What does it take to make an engaging video?
A lot. For example to create an engaging animated video you have to be good at writing scripts, drawing, character design, character animation, and editing. And don’t forget about voice-over-video. Skillful voice actors are required. The same principle works for live videos as well.
What to avoid in videos?
Boredom is not the only thing to avoid. YouTube algorithm and content filters on every other platform want to see family-friendly content with no: discrimination, controversial materials, erotic, violence, bad language, hate speech, aggressive marketing, etc. Edgy content is not something you want your ads to be seen with. It is really easy to be demonetized on a platform and if the video makes no money on ads a platform has no point in promoting it.
Content for kids is another important issue. Especially for animated videos as algorithms can consider them as “for kids”. If a flag “can be interesting for kids” appears on your video – be sure to remove it because this flag is a death sentence for your content. Besides, there are almost no midrolls and banners targeted on kids. No point for YouTube or any other platform of promoting content for kids.
SEO & Clickbait
Let’s imagine that an engaging video is ready to publish and now we have to do all the boring stuff.
Now, there is one crucial principle – SEO & Clickbait. This principle is crucial because SEO does not work without a Clickbait and a Clickbait does not work without SEO. To be clear let’s go through all parts.
Thumbnail or first frame is the picture you see on a video screen before a video starts. This image has more with clickbait than with video SEO optimization. But do not forget about the YouTube algorithm. It looks through everything. Make a thumbnail 100% related to the video.
Also, this image has to make a potential viewer click on it. So there is no point of:
- Putting there nothing but your logo.
- Adding the same text as your title has.
- Putting a random frame from the video.
For better understanding what makes a good thumbnail look at the trending on YouTube. All those images are made to make you wonder what is happening in a video. What did they do? How did they achieve that goal? How does it work?
For Facebook and Instagram, thumbnails are not as important as for YouTube or Vimeo because a video starts automatically without clicking on it.
There is no tool like google AdWords for YouTube, Facebook or any other video platform. And it appears hard to find what keywords are good for ranking. But there is no need to research through the search line. There are tools like VidIQ. This is a simple to use free Chrome Extension which helps a lot in looking for keywords. In the sidebar, it shows all the stats you need about a keyword you enter and this extension also provides you with tags and keyword recommendations for the video you upload.
VidIQ has its unique way of scoring system. So, this tool ranks each keyword to give you an idea which one is better and more relevant. It also shows related queries and tags. And this tool helps to optimize channels as well. VidIQ shows tags of a channel alongside tags for a video.
The title of a video has to be more on the clickbait side. It has to be interesting and it has to make people click on it. At the same time, a title has to include at least one keyword. For example “2d animated video” for a tutorial on animation.
Titling a video like “How to make a 2d animated video?” is not a good idea. This title is not interesting at all. On the trending page we can see titles like “top 10 tools…”, “three hacks…”, “one simple trick…”, etc.
If we make a title like “One trick professionals use to make a 2D animated video look great.” or “What makes 2D animated videos look professional?”. These titles give to a potential viewer an idea of a profit from the video.
There is a big difference between wasting time on an “unclear animation skill” and “one skill which makes your animation look professional”. Besides, the title has to fit in 60 symbols. This way it won’t be cropped.
YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook have crucial differences in description positioning. To see a description for a YouTube or Vimeo video you have to open it and scroll down. Besides, YouTube hides the text leaving only a few lines and a “show more” button. On the other hand, Facebook shows a description before the video, except a reposted video where the text of a person who reposted it appears in the first place.
That’s why YouTube and Vimeo descriptions are most likely to be ignored. Creators use descriptions on these platforms for mentioning music, animation authors, operators, and other channels. It would be great to add some explanatory text about the video but not a direct retelling of everything that is happening on the screen. Add behind the scenes details, for example.
Don’t fill a description with a lot of keywords and tags. The algorithm will consider it as spam. Also, the size of a description is not crucial. Two or three paragraphs is ok. In addition, YouTube descriptions are good for adding timecodes and links to other websites.
Facebook description is completely different. Consider it as a text of a regular post with a regular image. And it has to be treated as a regular post text.
Closed captions have to be in your to-do list. If you have a voice-over video a viewer has to hear it. But there can be situations when he just cannot use headphones or speakers. For example in public places, transport, library, etc. If there are no closed captions a person without the ability to hear a video would just click away ruining your watch time stats.
Besides, closed captions help a YouTube algorithm to understand what is happening on the screen and closed captions are essential for foreign viewers. Don’t leave them. But don’t fill CC with a lot of keywords instead of an actual speaker’s phrases. Don’t give a viewer a reason to click away.
Connections with other videos
The best thing a viewer can do after watching a video is watching another one. That’s why YouTube created playlists, end screens, and cards. How does it work?
If you put two videos in a playlist and a viewer starts watching the first one, the second one would appear in the right top corner. The second one would also be started by autoplay. Playlists are crucial because a video platform appreciates a good series. This means better ranking.
Cards are important. Use them to redirect people to another video. For example, you have an explainer video for an animation tool and while you are talking about a plug-in for this tool it would be great to add a link to a video explainer about this plug-in. Cards give you an option to add those pop-up links in the top right corner.
End screen. This is very important to have a proper end screen instead of just the end of a video. YouTube gives an opportunity to add subscribe buttons, links to other videos and even other websites on an end screen. With it, you can promote your other videos and the whole channel. Also, a good end screen shows to a viewer that you put a lot of effort into videos.
Video Marketing and Video SEO Summary
Remember that video SEO optimization starts from the very beginning and your goal is Watch Time. Make your video as interesting as possible and fight for every second of Watch Time. More time a viewer watches your video – the better ranking you have. Longer – better but only if you can make a long and interesting video.
Family-friendly videos are appreciated. Avoid edgy content. Controversial videos can be banned or have worse ranking as friendly ones. But don’t forget about checking the policies of platforms.
Use clickbait thumbnails and titles. It has to make a potential viewer click on it. Make him wonder what is happening in a video or make him know what specific knowledge he would get.
Always make close captions for video with voice over. They are essential for viewers who cannot use speakers or headphones. Don’t lose these views and Watch Time.
A description is your main keyword field. With such tools as VidIQ, you can add the most relevant keywords to your description of a YouTube video. But do not make it a spam SEO text. It has to be interesting as well. Description of a Facebook video you can treat just like a text for a regular post.
Don’t forget about connections with other videos. Always make cards to relatable videos, fill the end screen and make a series of videos. All these little details can improve your ranking.