Video SEO – YouTube
Search Engine Optimization for YouTube
Here are some tips and insights on optimizing videos for maximum YouTube visibility, strong brand reinforcement, viewer engagement, and sharing.
There are several steps you must first address before YouTube optimization.
Remember that to gain any traction your content has to be high quality and please your target audience (some may say delight your target audience). Your video content is no exception. Your video content must be a likable asset that your audience will want to reference because it is valuable, comment on and share.
Linking is important to rank well in YouTube. This should come as no surprise as linking is of very high importance to Google and Google owns YouTube. This is where the sharing comes into play. You want people to share your video content.
Also, if you create a YouTube channel (and this is recommended to promote your brand) then you need to populate your channel with multiple high-quality videos. A one-off video in a branded channel is not going to cut it. By continuously adding good content you’ll gain new and more subscribers who will follow your brand, and comment and engage with your content on YouTube, which can help build brand loyalty.
Also, once you have set up multiple videos on your YouTube channel you will be able to see which videos are the most popular by using your video analytics. This will help you to further refine and improve your YouTube marketing.
Pay attention to keyword research so that your YouTube videos are optimized for accurate traffic generating keywords. It is a shame when a video is high-quality and set within a nicely branded channel but then optimized for keywords that no one uses to search for your product or service.
How to Optimize a YouTube Video.
Start With Well-Conceived Meta Data
From a search perspective, the meta data – video title, video description, and video tags – are the foundational elements of optimized, organic YouTube search.
Video Title (up to 120 characters)
- Create short, compelling and attention-grabbing subject lines.
- Make the title consistent with the video content, relatable to your target viewers and relevant to your brand.
- Be descriptive enough to convey the story but short enough to show correctly on smaller screens.
- Use elements of the content you believe will be searched for the most.
- Use exact matches to search terms to yield the best search results for you.
Video Description (up to 1,000 characters)
Describe the video with a short story that is consistent with the video content and your brand. Use keywords and keyword phrases. You may even describe your brand’s YouTube channel, or cross-link to your other brand social media pages. However, be careful about how you do this:
- Avoid keyword stuffing and irrelevant information; this practice won’t fool Google and can ruin your YouTube search results.
- Choose your words carefully; be targeted and succinct. About 22 words are visible in the description box (before “See more”), so try to place your keyword phrases at the beginning and describe as much of the video as you can in that space.
- If you include a link in the description, use http:// before the URL.
YouTube Tags (500-character limit for entire tag area)
Use important search terms that relate to your brand and that are relevant to the video. All your video content can be tagged with thematic tags for a series of videos and you can have specific tags that relate well to specific videos.
- Consider including tags for brand, geographic information (if applicable), broad topic, video category, narrow topic, dates, presenters, or even people presented in the video.
- Use the YouTube keyword search suggestion tool to discover popular searches and the types of results displayed. Analyze how your competitors have set up their tags for similar video content.
- Think about your target viewers – use tags you anticipate they would use. Make is easy for them.
- Be careful to never keyword or keyword phrase stuff.
Whatever you enter as the title, description, and tags will be translated by YouTube into HTML elements of the video view page and cached by Google; therefore, it is imperative to properly tag your company’s videos for the chosen target key phrases in order to rank in YouTube’s search results.
Next Steps to YouTube Optimization
Once you lay your meta data foundation, maximize your video SEO by:
- Uploading a complete video transcript if you have a narration track for your video. This file is searchable content that helps with indexing, allows deaf viewers to read through videos, and provides language support if your audience may not use your language as its primary language. For a business with an International audience this can be important.
- Creating a custom high-quality thumbnail for each video.
- Exporting your video with the frame size 1920×1080 pixels. Google prefers high-definition.
- Including at least one call-to-action if appropriate (and it is often a good more to do this) which could be a link to something in your “center of content” (your website or your blog.
- Making the video public so it is searchable.
- Choosing the right category for your video.
- Creating a playlist – this joins the videos together thematically, by topic, etc.
- Consider embedding the YouTube version on your website and/or blog.
- Including annotations – these are pop-up hyperlinks made with text to give your videos extra interactivity by driving viewers to your website or channel. The engagement encouraged by these annotations is reflected in YouTube Analytics.
SEO Factors for High YouTube Ranking
To achieve strong YouTube ranking it is imperative to remember that the video’s popularity, through a number of avenues, creates perceived authority and relevance to the search engine.
Therefore, the following factors must converge to rank high in YouTube’s search results pages:
- Views, frequency – promote your video across channels (social networks, your website, email, blog) to boost video and channel viewership and popularity.
- Time Watched is a new ranking factor in the YouTube algorithm’s most recent update. Engaging videos that keep viewers watching are rewarded with higher positions within YouTube’s search results. This clearly makes senses as it is an indicator of quality.
- Ratings – each category on YouTube has a popular list by day, week, month, and all time. Make sure yours is at the top by posting quality, shareable content.
- Shares, likes – formulate a social media strategy you can control to boost engagement, social sharing, and increase inbound links quickly.
- Comments – interacting with the video boosts its audience relevance.
- Number of subscribers.
- Being added to Favorites.
- Added to playlists.
- Embeds – a video’s source code that is pasted into an external web page.
- Embedding the YouTube version of the video on your website is, from an SEO perspective, similar to votes.
- This raises number of views, and therefore, improves its overall ranking on YouTube.com.
- Flagging (in this case, no flagging is desired).
- Inbound links – just as with its parent, Google, strong inbound links remain one of YouTube’s most important indicators of importance and relevance. YouTube.com will return a video as a universal search result if it is highly relevant to the entered key phrase; therefore, it’s vital to obtain strong anchor text links from relevant, reputable sources.
Video SEO continues to evolve along with YouTube’s and Google’s search algorithms. Executing these SEO practices, in tandem with an overall search engine marketing strategy will help your videos and your center of content (your website and blog) achieve powerful search results.
Here is another informative post on Video SEO that you may be interested in – enjoy!