A Guide to Optimizing Your Marketing Videos for Ranking Success

In the world of online marketing, ranking high on search engine results is enough to catapult your business out of the shadows and at the forefront of competitors in your industry. Think of it as a give-and-take strategy: give your website the right marketing tools (i.e target keywords, quality linking, and SEO strategies) and Google will take these efforts and use them to increase your online authority.

The same concept applies to video marketing — whether it’s a straightforward, whiteboard style production or an animation that paints a picture for your audience, optimization is the key to exposure.

Let’s face it, Google has the power to do anything nowadays, but they’ve yet to find a way to read the contents of a video. For this reason, it’s crucial to optimize said videos to get them ranking. You could create a visually appealing, informative company video, but your efforts will be useless if your target audience doesn’t know they exist.  By paying special attention to backend video optimization, Google and YouTube can crawl this information and give your video the attention it deserves to help drive your business forward. 

Tip: Before even uploading your video to YouTube make sure to save the video file with your targeted keyword included in the file name. Example: link-building-strategies-2015.mp4


  1. Info & Settings
    • Basic Info
      • Title
      • Description
      • Tags and Keywords
      • Customized Thumbnail
    • Advanced Settings
  2. End Screens
  3. Subtitles and CC
  4. Add to Playlist
  5. Make Video Work For You

1. Info and Settings

A. Basic Info

It’s important to include basic information pertaining to the video and your business before your viewer even hits “play” — this is what they will reference if they are interested in your services.

Video Title
Every video should have an optimized title that is relevant to the video and targeted keyword. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Your video should be formatted in the following way:

  • Include main keyword in beginning and you can add your brand name after (if space allows or if appropriate to include). Always create a title that reinforces the thumbnail used to promote the video. While YouTube allows up to 100 characters in the title, we recommend keeping it under 60 if possible so it won’t cut off.
    • Example: 5 Marketing Mistakes Dentists Make | Clicc Media Inc
    • Tip: Get a call tracking number for your YouTube videos – this way you can see if your video marketing efforts are really paying off. If they are and are providing more leads than your other channels you can then direct more money into this budget.

Include a detailed description (at least 300 words in length) which clearly outlines what the video is about, how your business can help solve the problem at hand, and where to reach you for assistance. This description is the bread-and-butter of your video marketing efforts in regards to search rankings, so structure it wisely.

  • Accurately describe your video. We usually like to provide at least two detailed paragraphs worth of information in our video descriptions.
    • If the video is explaining a service, break your description down into two paragraphs — the first describing what the video is about, and the second paragraph introducing your company and how you can assist your viewer.
  • Be sure to include your targeted keyword and variations of it within the description. This is what’s going to help get your video noticed and ranking in search engines.
  • Include a link to your website besides the description for easy access.
    • For service-related industries, link to either the service page or blog post on your website related to the video topic or
    • For product-related industries, include a link to the product and direct them to the purchase page
  • Add your social media follow linkgs
  • Add another small section with links to your other YouTube videos you would like them to watch

Tags and Keywords
Keyword tags are another important (I repeat, IMPORTANT) element to getting your video ranked. Your keywords should always:

  • Be relevant to the video (the same goes for variations of the target keyword)
  • Include your local city within the keyword phrase (if it’s a local service)
  • Include your business name

Customized Thumbnail
YouTube will automatically select 3 still frames from your video to use as the video thumbnail. These stills are usually chosen at random and usually do not reflect the true meaning of the video. The good news is that you can choose to ignore these images and upload your own. Make sure the image is at least 640px by 360px, and under a 2MB size.

More importantly, make sure the image you choose reflects your video accurately. If you’re at a loss for what to use, you can never go wrong with your company logo and title of the video. Ideally, you can utilize a captivating image still from the video itself or one of the main people who’s speaking in the video, along with a title that tells a cohesive story.

Tip: Visit Canva to help simplify your video thumbnail design. This is a free online platform that already sets the dimensions for you. You can use any of these free images and backgrounds, or upload your own to use.

B. Advanced Settings

Fill out as much information as possible in this tab – especially video language, category, and location. The more information you include, the better.

2. End Screens

End screens are a useful tool to guide your viewers to watch another one of your videos. End screens usually show up at the very end of your video but you can actually position them at any point in your video. For example, in the middle of your video you are describing another topic or issue that you have addressed in another video, you can create pop for it to show then.

Our suggestion is to use Canva once more and create an “End Screen Template” so you can look a bit more official, you will add this screen to your official video file before publishing it and extend it to show for at least 10 seconds. Then once you upload your video to YouTube, add up to 3 elements: your subscribe button and two videos.

Take ours for example. We used our brand colors, simple text, and a couple of arrows to direct eyes to where we want them.

end screens example

3. Subtitles and Closed Captioning (CC)

ALWAYS add a transcript to your video and select a default language to categorize the video. The transcript is what Google and YouTube will use to index and crawl the video, and this is what will get people watching.

After your script is written out, save it as a .txt file. The name of the file should match the name of your video — both containing your target keyword and brand at the end of the name.

  • Example: Effective-link-building-strategies-2018-cliccmediainc.txt

4. Add to Playlist

If you haven’t done so already, create some playlists for your channel. Group your video topics into different categories and choose that as the name of your playlist. These lists help tell your viewers what your channel is about at first glance, help increase visibility in search result pages, help increase views, and can help boost your watch time which is a big one if you want your video to have long term success.

youtube playlists example

5. Make Video Work For You

Once you’ve followed these steps, Google and YouTube are now able to crawl the contents of your video and rank it accordingly. Video marketing is a huge platform for businesses to engage their audience in a creative way. By combining visuals with good old fashioned content, you’ve got a strong equation for high search ranking success.

At Clicc Media Inc, we value video marketing as a powerful tool to help bring our clients the business they need to rise above their competition. For this reason, we’ve made it a standard feature in our marketing packages — a feature that other companies usually offer as an add-on. To learn more about our video marketing strategies, and contact us to get started.

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