I’ve been trying to create more videos lately for a few different reasons. Firstly because everyone loves watching video. I think if you took a poll if people would rather watch an interesting video or read an interesting article most would choose the video (as long as it is of good quality). And also because the search engines seem to love video, and they are showing up in the result pages more and more.
I’m no Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert for videos, but I do know the basic YouTube SEO tips and I will share what I know. I’ve got a few videos online with hundreds of views, and even made some money off a few of my videos. I haven’t hit it big with a video that has gotten thousands of views or anything, but I also haven’t tried targeting any big keywords and I only have a handful of YouTube videos uploaded right now.
There are really two main reasons you will want to optimize your videos. For the search engines (Google, Bing, etc) and for the actual YouTube search bar.
Alright let’s get right into the SEO tips for creating and uploading a video to YouTube…
Include Keywords in Video Dialogue
The first thing I recommend doing is making sure that while you create your video you include your main keywords within the video dialogue. YouTube is smart enough to provide their own transcripts now. And although the transcripts don’t do the best job, they do pick out a good % of the words you say. Repeating your keywords within your video is most likely a ranking factor for YouTube and the search engines. I would suggest getting your keywords in right away. So for example lets pretend you are trying to rank for “Amazon Review”. You may want to start off by saying something like “Welcome to my review of Amazon” as an introduction.
Make YouTube Title Start With Keywords
This is the same as if you were trying to get a website page to rank well. You want to name your YouTube video using your main keywords first. For example if you wanted to rank for “Press Release SEO Tips” you would name your YouTube video exactly that, and then you have the option of adding on something to make the video sound more interesting — Press Release SEO Tips that will make you rich. It isn’t necessary to have your target phrase right at the start of your YouTube video title. You may want your video to sound more catchy and name is something like “2 Best Press Release SEO Tips for Dominating Google”. I guess as long as you have your main keywords in the title that is the important part. It will be up to you whether you want to go for a better sounding title that may get more click throughs, or a title that focuses more on strict SEO rules.
Tagging Your Video
When you are uploading a video YouTube will give you the option to add tags to your video, similar to what you can do with WordPress. Make sure you include first your full target phrase, and then variations of your keywords. I don’t go overboard with tags and usually have about 7-10 tags per video.
Relevant and Info Packed YouTube Description
You will want to take advantage of the space that YouTube has given us to create a description for our video. In this space you will want to inform the visitor what exactly your video is about. Feel free to give a very in-depth overview of your video, and even expand on the topic. SEO is all about user experience so don’t keyword stuff your YouTube description. You do want to include your keywords within your description, and sometimes multiple times though. As long as it helps the user experience I would say go ahead and write as much relevant content as you can fit in here.
Get “Likes” or “Thumbs Ups” from Visitors
Similar to Facebook, YouTube gives their users the option to like or dislike a video. This is almost certainly something that they look at for their ranking factors. If your video is getting a high percentage of thumbs down it probably isn’t quality content that YouTube wants to have ranking in their search results, and same goes with Google. There are two ways you can help yourself out here. The first is to make sure you have quality, useful and interesting videos. I highly recommend shooting only in HD now a days and make sure you have quality lighting and good sound quality. Some people dislike videos just because they can’t stand the poor quality. If you produce a good quality video and it is either helpful, interesting, funny, etc, you should have no problems getting more thumbs ups than downs. Another way you can ensure you are getting the likes is by actually asking visitors to click the “Like” button within an annotation.
Embed and Link to your YouTube Video
My last SEO tip for YouTube is to get your video out there. The more times your video is embedded on other websites or link to from blogs, new sources, press releases, social media accounts, etc, the more authority it will get. This is a pretty basic SEO tip for website, but people don’t think about it as much for videos. The more people linking to the content the more likely it is to be quality, helpful, and informative. I shouldn’t even have to mention it, but don’t go over board with this and don’t try “gaming” the system. Build only natural links and embeds to your videos.
Go ahead and create a few videos and see if these SEO tips were enough to help you rank in the search results. I hope you found this article helpful, and if you did I would appreciate a Tweet, Facebook share, or +1 on Google (I have a bar along the left that allows you to easily share this article).
I’ve made a YouTube SEO tips video that I’ve posted above as well. It goes over what we covered in this article.