On May 6, Facebook announced in a press release that they’d be changing the way their algorithm ranks videos. The change strengthens the influence of three factors—video and viewing duration, originality, and loyalty and intent, which is strongly tied to search.
According to Facebook, they’ll be adding “more weight in ranking to videos that people seek out and return to week after week.” Of course, search is a big part of how effectively people are able to “seek out” your videos.
That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to help you optimize your Facebook videos for search. We’ll dive into tips for ensuring it’s as easy as possible for customers and fans to seek out your video content on Facebook.
Optimizing video content for Facebook search
If you’ve got a Facebook Page, then there’s a whole lot of extra context you can add when you upload your video. This includes titles, descriptions, tags, and more. And Facebook says, adding this information “can help more people see your content, both via Search results and also via the recommended videos that we show to people in News Feed and in Facebook Watch.”
Head over to your Page, click the Photo/Video button to create a new post, and upload your video file. The next screen you see will look something like this:
This is the magic screen where you’ll input all the information to help people find your videos through search. We’ll dive into how to optimize each section below.
The title of your video is an opportunity to quickly and succinctly explain what your video is about. It won’t actually appear in the feed. Just the description will show there, as you can see from the screenshot below.
However, the title will show up if someone visits your video link directly. And, most importantly, the title will show up in the Facebook search results. It’s one of the first things people will see as they skim through to decide which video to watch.
- Be clear. Make it obvious what your video is about so that people understand what they’re getting into.
- Keep it short. In the main search results the title is clipped after about 30 characters so put the most relevant information up front.
- Include major keywords people may search for that would be interested in your video.
Your video description shows up as the description on your post, as well as the description in the Facebook search results. Facebook comments, “Describe what makes your video stand out so people can find it.”
You can add up to 8 tags to each of your videos. The tags are the keywords that help you when people search for topics related to your video. Facebook advises, “Use tags that consider all the different words people might use to search for a video like yours.”
Consider your video thumbnail carefully. Similar to your title, it should accurately portray what your video is about. But also, try to choose a visually-appealing frame from your video that will catch people’s eye as they look through Facebook search results.
While it’s not clear if playlists contribute to discoverability on Facebook, they are a nice way to organize your videos into groups by topic or series. And playlists can also impact viewing duration—another one of the factors that Facebook is looking at when ranking videos. Playlists give viewers an easy way to binge watch your Facebook videos and will keep them around longer.
When you create a playlist, you’ll also add a title, a short description, and a cover image.