Choosing the right keywords for your video SEO efforts is an essential component of a successful video campaign.

Effective, relevant keywords that tap into people’s search habits can drive large numbers of responsive viewers to your video.

But, how do you choose the best keywords? And what should you do with them?

We will assume that you are using Youtube to host your videos for this post; it is a wise place to host your videos for SEO success.

There are two free handy tools you can use to help you:

1. The Google Keyword Tool

2. The YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool

As you’d expect the Google tool generates keyword data for Google searches and the YouTube one is specific to YouTube video searches.

Let’s imagine in you run an online store for fans of custom cars. This is a small niche and you’d think it would be easy to target people who are interested in this specific area. You’ll probably decide that your best keyword phrase is ‘custom cars’. But it’s worth checking.

Type your search term into the Google Keyword Tool. You’ll discover the number of people globally who search using that term each month, and you can also see how many are searching in your specific country.

Additionally always make sure that you select “Exact” in the left hand column of the keyword tool so that you get the real search volumes of each keyword. The Adwords keyword tool is set by default to broad match. Here is the difference:

1. Search term [custom cars] – exact match. The keyword tool will give you the exact number of monthly searches on that keyword in the location that you select.
2. Search term Custom Cars – broad match. The keyword tool will give you the number of searches occurring in the location that you select for all terms or just one of the terms you enter.
Therefore on broad match you could pick up searches for “custom bikes” or “second hand cars” or “toy cars”

There is also a phrase match which gives you results for any searches that contain your exact phrase e.g. “Buy custom cars” “model custom cars” or “custom car magazines”

So, you have been warned; exact match!

Additionally, it is worth paying attention to the competition column as this will give you an idea of how competitive that term is, so if it has “high” competition and is a high volume search term then you are not going to just rank for it through simple keyword optimisation; it will take link building and social media efforts too.

However, if the competition level is “low” then there is a good chance that you could rank through simply optimising your video’s title and description.

If you download the report then you will be able to see the competition information detailed as a percentage value rather than just high, medium or low so very handy for planning target keywords.

But don’t just assume that using those same keywords will deliver results in YouTube too. People search in different ways depending on whether they are using Google or YouTube.

For example the number of people searching for ‘custom cars’ in YouTube is much lower. So ask the Tool to deliver you some alternatives. And think about making the keywords more specific. Is this video specifically about alloy wheels? Or do you want to appeal to people building a kit car? Take each suggested keyword or phrase and repeat the process to drill down into the data.

When doing your research, as well as being able to select the match type e.g. broad, phrase or exact, you can also choose the language and the country. Additionally, you can also specify how the tools generate new keyword ideas.

Don’t be put off if the numbers are small – effective keywords are about driving quality viewers to your video, not just large numbers of uninterested punters.

Once you have chosen your keywords be sure to include them close to the beginning of your video title, description and tags. Aim to write a description that is 100 or more words long as this will help you to gain visibility in searches as Google and Youtube will better understand the nature of your video. Do not keyword stuff, just explain your video accurately ensuring that your target keywords are used.

Also, it will not help your ranking but… link to your most relevant page on your website in the first paragraph of the video’s description. This will increase the click through rate form the video to your website; if it is in the first paragraph then it will be visible to viewers without them needing to expand the description (most people do not).

Choosing the right keywords is both a bit of an art and a bit of science – so take your time to get it right.

And be sure to use both tools, not just one, if you really want to get the best results.

Your video SEO optimisation should work in parallel to your overall SEO strategy; ensure that you are optimising your web pages for your target keywords too and then add to this with optimised video content.

If you’d like to know more about using video to build your business and drive customers to you please give us a call at anytime.