In a similar vein to Image SEO you should configure your videos with good titles and descriptions.
There are actually some differences between self hosted videos and YouTube videos but the fundamentals are the same.
For instance the amount of views a YouTube video has will affect it’s ranking both in YouTube and in the SERP results. Remember that YouTube searches are huge.
The NY Times quotes ConScore:
“In the United States, 75 million people a day watch online video and stream 40 billion videos a month, and viewing is driven by YouTube.”
I’ll use You Tube as an example here to cover how to SEO a video.
With YouTube these sections are made available for you when you upload the video. Simply add Title, Keep it short descriptive but think of it more of a headline title as people will see this in the results and you want to encourage them to click on it. Don’t forget to include your target keyword though.
If you try a YouTube search you will see what the results look like. The description is capped to around 100 words so you want to ensure that you “hook” the viewer inside those 100 words. You need to get them to click on your video or getting it into the search results will have been wasted.
However do use a longer description that may encourage your viewers to click through to your website or perform any other task you may wish as a result of watching the video. LSI keywords and normal keyword research applies to YouTube description too.
You can add Tags. These are keywords that Google (yes Google own YouTube) will use to help decide what the video is all about and match those keywords to ones searchers type in.
Note that you cannot use long tail keywords, or rather YouTube will see them as separate keyword. So if you add “blue Cadillac” that will be seen as two keywords.
Self Hosted Videos
Self hosted videos are a subject for another day but in short you need to give each video a separate web page and optimize that web page for the video (Title, description etc.).
Remember Google can’t see or hears videos any more than they see images. So create descriptive file names and even add a transcript of the audio to the page.
There are also specific video site maps that you can create and upload to Google webmaster tools. If you are using WordPress a plugin will do this for you.
You can also use rich snippets which is a special HTML code that will describe your video to Google.