Video is cool, video is hot, and video is great for your marketing! Of course, the No. 1 video site is YouTube (owned by Google). If you know the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you’ll quickly see that many of the same dynamics are at work for the SEO optimization of a YouTube basic.
Here are some quick tips and ideas –
- YouTube SEO works if, and only if, the person is actually going to search YouTube or Google. So you can SEO optimize a video on “how to tie a tie” (because folks search for that on YouTube), but you can’t really use SEO on a YouTube video on something like “Strange Ways Cats Interact with Birds” because people do not search for that. So, first identify a keyword phrase that people will actually search for on YouTube.
- Next, once you have identified a keyword phrase as the target –
- Title your video with the keyword, and start with the keyword on the left.
- Write a keyword-heavy description of your video, and include an http:// link EARLY in the description to your website (more information), as this will be clickable.
- “Tag” the video in YouTube with just a few keyword-relevant tags.
- Remember that YouTube / Google “listens” in to the video transcript, so try to get your keywords in the actual content of the video. Say the TITLE in your intro to the video, for example. This becomes the “hidden” transcript.
At that point, you’re done with the “on page” elements of YouTube optimization. Now, it’s on to the “off page” elements, which are –
- External links / embeds. Embed your video on your own website (and, if possible, the websites of others). There is some evidence that external links TO your video help it rise to the top of YouTube.
- Social Media –
- The “more” views the video has, the “more” YouTube rewards it with a better position in search results and as a “related” video. So, increase the views. How? Post it to your own blog, website, social media outlets, etc. Consider advertising the video – especially on YouTube but also on other sites, especially at first. By “priming” the pump, you can increase the video count and start a virtuous circle – it has a lot of views, shows up on top, gets more views, and shows up on top.
- Get thumbs up / thumbs down.
- Ask your audience for “shares” and to post “comments.” Google / YouTube rewards videos that have high interactivity, including the more people watch the video till the end (which favors shorter videos).
At that point, you’ve done both the “on page” and “off page” elements of YouTube SEO for videos. Just remember that it works if, and only if, it’s a searched term on YouTube.