With over a billion users, YouTube has enormous potential to generate traffic and leads for your business. Uploading videos is dynamic way to engage with clients, share content, and promote your brand. As the second largest search engine behind Google, ranking well in YouTube is a key part of social media strategy.
Learning how to optimise your YouTube videos is crucial if you want your content to stand out from the crowd. And what a huge crowd it is – it’s estimated that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Take some time to optimise your videos and you’ll be rewarded with an increase in traffic. Do it well and your videos can even end up ranking in Google searches.
YouTube ranks videos using a number of factors including metadata information (that’s your videos description, title, tags and captions), how many people watch your video to the end, the number of people that subscribe after watching, as well as your comments and likes. Optimise your YouTube video’s metadata at the start and more people are likely to see your video, giving you more chance to gain subscribers, comment and likes – which in turn boosts your rankings even higher.
Whether you already have a YouTube channel but you’re not getting the number of views you would like or you’re new to YouTube and want to learn how to harness its power to increase your client base, follow these four easy steps to YouTube SEO and make sure your videos don’t get lost amongst the noise.
- Descriptive video titles
Your video title should be around 50 characters long and include your brand’s name and at least one keyword that is relevant to the content of your video. This makes your video easy for your potential audience to find. Keywords can be very simple. For example take a look at wine sales brand Travelling Vineyard and you’ll see they include their brand name and wine-related keywords from ‘wine’ to ‘pinot noir’ in their YouTube video titles
Make sure you give your video file the same name as your title before you upload it, with each word separated with a hyphen. If you have the technical know-how, it’s good to also upload files with subtitles and closed captions with your videos to broaden their global appeal – a translated description if you’re focussing on reaching an audience who speaks a certain language is also a good idea.
- Optimised video tags
YouTube has a search engine facility where viewers can search for videos using keywords. Finding the right keywords for your video and placing them into the tag section of your metadata is another great way to make your video easier to find.
Choose 3-5 keyword tags, one of which should be your main keyword that you have already used in your title, and write each one in quotation marks. To decide on your other keywords, Google each potentially relevant keyword you think of and check if there are any YouTube videos on the first page of the search results. Google only tends to rank videos with certain types of keywords. These ‘video keywords’ are your best choice of keyword, as they give your video the chance to be ranked and found in both YouTube and Google. And that means way more traffic for your brand.
- Keyword-rich video descriptions
Describing your video in the right way is so important. It’s the only way that search engines can gain an accurate idea of the content of your video. It’s not like they can watch it! Go long with your descriptions (at least 250 words) as the more information you can give, the more likely you are to ranked for your keywords.
Make sure your key business information, such as your brand’s name and web URL, are featured at the start of your description, as viewers are unlikely to read the entire description when they can simply hit ‘play’. You can also link to your brand’s other social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Your keyword you decided on for your title should be included within the first 25 words of your description and then repeated a further 2-3 times in the rest of your description.
- The right channel and profile settings
This might sound obvious, but there are some easy ways to check that your channel is as visible and searchable as possible:
- Make sure you have selected the settings to make your channel ‘visible’ to the public
- Always make your video’s privacy setting ‘public’.
- Use your company’s name as your YouTube channel and profile name.
- In your profile and channel descriptions, use relevant keywords that people may use when searching for your business – as well as links to your website and social media.
- Promote your channel! Link to videos through your other social media platforms, embed your videos in your website, and post your video in forums where it may be genuinely useful. And don’t be afraid to outright ask your audience to like and share your videos or subscribe to your channel. The more people engage with your videos, the better they will rank – it’s the opposite of a vicious cycle!
Follow these easy steps and you’ll give your videos the best chance of attracting viewers. Whether they gain that elusive ‘viral’ status or not, the more people that see your videos, the more customers and clients your brand will attract – and that can only be a good thing.