Video SEO is a thoroughly-explored field by now, having hit the big-time back in 2014. Almost any SEO guy can tell you the basics: keywords go into the title and description box, tags are important, and of course the entire transcription/closed-captioning thing is a HUGE keyword/LSI opportunity but only if you type it in yourself.
What most people don’t think about is that, just like any other website, Google (now that they own YouTube as well as our souls) pays close attention to how people interact with videos. They might not have a lot of access to data from some sites (and thank goodness!), but if they can, they’ll take a look at statistics that include:
- How many people click on a video,
- How many people click on a subscribe button if placed inside the video itself, and
- How far into the video people, on average, watch before they click away.
That last stat, however, is far and away the most important. Look at it this way: if you click onto a video, realize it’s not what you want, and click away, what does that tell Google? It tells them that the thumbnail and/or title might be intriguing, but there’s a mismatch between what was promised and what was delivered.
What happens if someone clicks a Subscribe button at the beginning of a video, but clicks away a minute into a 45-minute video? It means they might like the channel, or think they’ll like the channel, but they’re not ready to stick it out. (On the other side, if someone completes the entire 45-minute video and doesn’t click Subscribe, they were clearly still interested enough to watch the whole video, which means the video itself is good, even if the channel isn’t motivating enough to capture the Subscribe.)
What does this mean in terms of maximizing your video SEO? Simple — it means you make your video promise something, and then you make your video keep promising, and then finally at the end you deliver hugely on that promise. If you can get them hooked, sustain interest, and then satisfy them such that they hang out until near the end, you just won a huge victory over other, less-interesting videos, even if the other videos have more tags filled in and a better transcription.