How To Optimize YouTube Videos For SEO

youtube logo pencil sketchInbound marketing is all about reaching a well-defined audience or prospects with relevant content to establish a relationship with them, improve brand awareness and build trust. Content can include blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, podcasts, videos, etc. Creating awesome content is the foundation of inbound marketing. However, for your content to be useful to your audience, it must get found by search engines.

Drive Engagement with Videos

Videos drive engagement on a website and are an important part of content marketing. You can use videos to diversify your content mix, drive traffic to your website and improve user experience. If you are publishing videos on YouTube and other video sites, make sure you optimize them to be found by search engines. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google Search and thus you should be uploading all of your videos to YouTube.

Optimizing YouTube videos to rank well on search engines is all about on-page and off-page SEO. Let’s look at how you should optimize videos on YouTube.

On-Page SEO for YouTube Videos

1) Title and Description

Your video title and description should be optimized to rank for the keywords that you are targeting. The video’s title should be catchy (for better click-through rates) and have your target keyword (for better ranking on search engines). Google truncates titles with more than 66 characters in its search. Therefore, be sure to target keywords within the first 66 characters of the title.

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The description should also be relevant to the video and optimized for the keyword you are targeting. Do not stuff the description with keywords for ranking purposes. Use the keywords naturally and let them provide value to the description.

You can have a longer description and thus use multiple target keywords. You can also include a link to your website in the description to drive traffic. By default, only a few lines of the description are visible when a video is shown. You therefore want to include your link at the beginning of the description to improve click through rates. Also, have your call-to-actions in the description to increase leads.

2) Tags

For better SEO, include at least 5-7 relevant keywords as tags for your video. When users search for videos on YouTube, related videos are on the side of the main video. These “related” videos are shown based on the relevance of their tags to the tags used for the video being watched. Using tags can generate additional video views and improve traffic to your website.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is all about link building.

3) Inbound Links

Like is the case with website SEO, inbound links are an important aspect when it comes to YouTube video rankings. The easiest way to get an inbound link to your video is to embed it on a website outside YouTube, perhaps on your blog.

You can also share the video on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and bookmarking websites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon. These Web 2.0 sites have huge numbers of users and can drive significant traffic to your video.

Using YouTube Analytics, you can see how many links and embeds your video has accumulated.

4) Views/Popularity

If your video is popular, it will be ranked higher on YouTube. You should therefore upload a quality video and share the link with your email list, in your social media networks, and other places. Videos are ranked on YouTube based on the number of views they have received in the past 24-48 hours. Moreover, having more views can earn your video honorary placement in the “most viewed videos” category.

5) Ratings and Comments

Creating high quality, interesting and educative videos will generate many “likes” and comments. This will help your videos in overall search engine rankings and can lead to many views and links being created to the video. The secret to getting high ratings and comments is to create awesome content that is related to your market. The video can be educative or funny and should be of high quality.

Share the video in your networks and list of subscribers, and encourage them to share it too on social media sites.

Optimizing YouTube videos for SEO is important and can drive immense traffic to your website as well as generate new leads. The above on-page and off-page tips will help your video to be ranked high for the search terms that you are targeting.

Image Credit: msandy

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