You may not know but YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet and if your business is not present you are potentially missing out on some valuable traffic and search engine visibility. Contrary to popular belief YouTube does not exist solely for viewing funny videos of cats looking cute or playing the piano, optimising your videos for YouTube and Universal Search should be an important part of your online marketing strategy. Video is going to be a big part of your marketing mix over the next few years; therefore you should take the time to make sure that all the videos that you upload are optimised correctly.
With that in mind I have put together a quick checklist of exactly what you need to be doing on YouTube in order to get the best results from your videos:
- Title Tags – just like in normal SEO the title of the video is incredibly important; make sure it is keyword rich and relevant. YouTube has its own Keyword Tool, so make sure you use it as people searching on YouTube may use different language and terminology. Here’s an example of the Title of one of our videos about optimizing videos for search:
- Description – You are limited to 1000 characters; make sure you use plenty of it! Get keyword rich content in there. You can get a link in the description, it won’t help you rankings as it is nofollowed but people can go straight to your site if they want to learn more. Make sure you get your URL at the start of the description because not everyone will expand the information section. You will only get a live link if you use the http:// prefix. Know your target audience and use their language.
- Tags – I’m not going to pretend that your tags will improve your rankings for the video (either on YouTube or in Google) but what it will do is help the video be found by a wider audience.
- Inbound links – try and get some inbound links to your video if possible. This is often overlooked and can help improve the video rank in Universal Search.
- Interact with the community – don’t let your video be a ‘Billy no mates’, if someone comments then you should respond. Community interaction could be big in the coming years so stay ahead of the pack. So what makes a video successful? If we look at the top result in YouTube for ‘video seo’ we can see what is happening:
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is a starter for 10 when it comes to optimising your videos for YouTube and Universal Search.