YouTube is big, really big. There are over 48 HOURS of video uploaded every MINUTE and it’s the 2nd most used search engine in the world right behind Google.
Traditionally, YouTube has been thought of a place for funny viral videos, music, and clips of people recording themselves, but now with YouTube’s growth, it has also become a video library of information. Let’s face it, pretty much any subject you can think of will be represented on YouTube. This allows for a great opportunity in marketing. YouTube gives us an interactive way to engage people and drive them to our websites. Below I’ve provided a basic guide to SEO/SEM practices you can try with your videos.
Step 1. Keyword Research
Similar to any search campaign, you first need to know what people are actually searching for. Luckily there are free tools to help you do keyword research for YouTube videos. There are two tools listed below, Keyword Tool at YouTube and the Suggest Tool.
The Keyword tool can be found here: https://ads.youtube.com/keyword_tool. It’s similar to searching for keywords in Google.
Suggest Tool is pretty cool because the auto suggest feature uses data based off recent and commonly known keywords that are being typed in to the search. Some may be a quick trend and have little value, but others might provide strategic insight into the best keywords and phrases for the word(s) you’re looking to optimize.
Auto Suggest Tool
Next Step: Prepare Your Video Uploads
The main components in optimizing for YouTube are On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO and Social/Human Interaction.
On Page SEO: On Page SEO is what we can do to our actual videos and the pages they are on for better optimization. The following is a good list to follow.
1. Title of Video
The title of the video will have major “weight value” in On Page SEO. Target your videos to list by using the keywords based off your original research.
The description box allows you to include some information about the video. Depending on your strategy, you can do several things here. If the goal is to get traffic to your website, then I would include my link immediately followed by a description, allowing interested viewers to click on your URL without having to click “show more”. If my goal is just all SEO/SEM, then I just may include a word for word transcript of what the video is saying. This lets the search engines pick up potential keywords and adds them to the ranking algorithm thereby improving your video SEO effort.
I suggest you put in 5-10 tags for your video. By adding tags you are letting the search function create networks to your video. When people start searching and choose your video, the search engine, builds ranking factors in it’s math to improve your overall ranking for the video itself.
4. Closed Caption
Closed captions are another way for the hearing impaired to view the text version of what the audio is saying in the video. This text can be created by you. All you have to do is use YouTube’s formatting requirements, and upload the text file. From there, YouTube will match the text to audio playing. Remember this is text, so in the optimization process, your keyword within the text (closed caption file) will be another ranking factor that can help improve video SEO.
5. Your YouTube Channel Authority
This will take some time, but plays a major part in video SEO. It does not mean that your websites will not list from the above. YouTube rewards channel/video distributors who are constantly uploading videos and command an audience. The bigger the audience, the bigger the SEO “juice” you will have on a per video basis. If Youtube sees many people checking out your videos, then you will be considered a quality content provide and be rewarded.
Off Page SEO: What happens outside of YouTube to better enhance SEO.
This area is still new to me and I’m currently conducting specific research to understand it more by identifing patters and algorithmic advantages (if any) on a case by case basis. It takes time to build statistical data, measure results and reproduce them, but for now you should test things such as:
-Do PR backlinks to my videos help video SEO?
-Does embedding my video or multiple embedding help ranking?
-Does social media embedding improve my ranking?
Social Interaction SEO: how human interaction is used to enhance SEO
As the title says, it’s really about how humans interact with your video. Does it help? And if so? By how much? Some of the main SEO factors for social/human interaction are:
Views: Views are absolutely used in SEO ranking. The more people viewing the video, the more it will rank for i’ts keywords.
Not surprisingly, YouTube uses inbound links to rank videos, the same way Google uses linkbacks to rank websites. You can help your cause by creating links to your YouTube Channel which will boost your channel ranking authority and help all your videos increase.
Inbound links to the actual video. By doing this you are directly injecting added value factors in the overall ranking of your video. Doing all this will also help affect your Google video SERP rankings as well in a positive way.
How do you build inbound links to your channel or video?
You can’t beat quality….create videos that make people share, use and recommend. Let them post it all over the internet world for you! Viral videos are a great example, but maybe a How To that is related to your business would be helpful to you. My suggestion is always think “value” when creating videos. Ask yourself would you find the information useful, helpful and/or exclusive?
YouTube tracks the world and checks to see if they share your video. Social shares will help improve ranking overtime. Post these videos all over social media websites, and work on seeing if they get shared by others.
You may have read on internet SEO forums, blogs, articles etc. that comments help improve video SEO. I don’t just accept what others say as truth, so I’m working on research right now to show that this is NOT a major rank factor.
My early tests already show that I can rank videos and have comments disabled. My videos are appearing in the first page of results with NO comments.
Comments might have a bit of rank factor, but there are other much more beneficial ways to improve your video SEO that would prove a better use of time. Besides that, there’s no guaranteed way you can get people to comment on videos, they need to do it for themselves. I’d go with proven methods that I can control first.
Likes/Dislikes (Thumbs Up…or Down)
YouTube uses Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down and similar to Facebook likes, t hey are a social/human interaction indicators. If your videos are good (or bad) people like to let you know instantly, and those clicks will as a like or dislike. YouTube registers this as human/social interaction and it will help improve your video SEO.
Will “thumbs down” hurt my SEO? No way! YouTube just registers the human interaction so it doesn’t matter if they love it or hate it, so either way, it’ll help.
The Power of Video:
As you try these steps, or others during your SEO work, I suggest you document every little change addition or edit to help you see how much each actually helps in the ranking process. It is the best thing you can do.
Video is huge, so there’s no denying it will help you in your marketing quest. To give you an idea check out these incredible facts on YouTube, and watch the movie “The Power of Video” below.
· YouTube is the world’s 3rd biggest site.
· YouTube is the World’s Largest Video Sharing Platform.
· It is 13 times bigger than the 2nd video sharing website. Where should the majority of
your video marketing efforts be?
· YouTube Gets over 3 Billion Views Every Single Day. A 50% increase from 2010.
· YouTube Mobile Gets Over 100 Million Views Per Day.
· YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month.
· Estimated 92 billion page views each month.
· 48 Hours of video Footage is uploaded to YouTube Each & Every MINUTE!
· 70% of YouTube Traffic Comes from Outside the U.S.
· YouTube is in 26 Different Countries across 43 Languages.
· In 2009, YouTube surpassed the viewership of ABC, CBS, NBC, & Fox combined!
· More video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 Days than the 3 Major US T.V. Networks
have produced in 60 years!
· YouTube says that on average there are more than 400 tweets per MINUTE
containing a YouTube link.
· It accounts for 28% of the search traffic on Google’s network.
The Power of Video – Video Statistics (Awesome!)