Google is king…obviously. But do you know who’s #2 in the search engines? It’s not Bing, Yahoo or even Alta Vista (just kidding). It’s Google’s video offspring, YouTube.
It doesn’t matter the size or type of business you have, you can take advantage of this fact by following our simple steps to improve your YouTube exposure via SEO.
First, let’s review a few facts about video online:
- Embedded video in emails can lead to as much as a 200-300% increase in CTR.
- 73% of B2B companies that use video marketing see a significant improvement in ROI.
- Video is going to account for upwards of 80% of internet traffic in the near future (Facebook is predicting that your timeline in the future will simply be a scrolling video reel).
The genre or content of the video can have a profound impact on ranking in searches. Before you even type in a single keyword, you can be optimizing SEO based on how you format your video.
So, what do you need to do to get your video found on YouTube?
Prepare and Research
Google has been known to prefer videos that are:
- How-To themed
- Reviews of products or services
- Fitness or sports related keywords
- Funny videos
Decide what type of content you want to create. Consider possible titles and keywords. Research titles in Google, using the autofill feature is a great way to nail down a concise and descriptive title. Brainstorm a list of keywords and run those keywords through keyword tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner (or these alternatives) to come up with a keyword list.
Writing a Title
The best strategy when writing a title is to consider what you would Google when trying to find your video or similar content. Try to weave in as many synonyms as possible, but keep it sounding natural. This will make sure your video is found no matter what wording is typed into the search bar.
Writing a Description
Write in-depth descriptions. As of right now, Google and YouTube do not have the ability to have their “bots” watch your video, analyze it and rank it based on video content. That is why you MUST write a solid description that summarizes the content and intent of the video.
The first 3 sentences will appear above the fold and let’s face it, that’s all most people will read. It’s very important to start with your main keyword, then include your call to action (phone number or website). After that, aim to have 600-1000 words of unique content just like you would on a blog post.
Strive to be relevant! The more natural synonyms and related keywords you can cover, the better. A few other tips:
- Do not stuff a list of keywords in your description, that will likely only work against you. What you can do is add 3-5 keywords as a hashtag in the description.
- Use variations of the keywords you want to rank for as video tags. Use 5-10 solid, relevant keywords.
- Make sure to use competitor’s channels as a tag. This trick will cause your video to you show up more often in the “related videos” sidebar when people watch videos from that channel and that means more views for you.
Think About The Aesthetics
A video is more likely to be played if the thumbnail image is interesting and relevant. That is why it is important to set an eye-catching custom video thumbnail. An attention grabbing thumbnail can be the key to getting plays and increasing your CTR.
Caption your video, but be sure to not put it in a random place. The last ten seconds is usually a safe spot.
Obviously, posting the video is only half the battle. You’ve got to promote your video so that people actually see all of the hard work you’ve put in.
Social media is a great place to start. Be sure to post it up on all available social media platforms. Edit a version of the video for each, for example, you could edit down a short clip that is Instagram-friendly.
About a month after your video is posted, embed your video wherever you can. The more higher quality embeds you have, the higher you will rank. Take every chance you have to embed your videos. On your blog, guest posts, or even doing something like answering questions on Quora and embedding the video in your answer.
And finally, track your progress. Use analytics to check and see what works….and what doesn’t. Monitor the public’s reactions on social media, and in the comments section of the video.