It goes without saying that YouTube is the shiz. You know it, I know it, it’s a pretty big deal. Not only is it great for completely wasting your time with random videos of animals living the thug life (I have no idea how people come up with this stuff, but I’m SO GLAD they did), but it is also an extremely useful marketing tool for business, especially when it comes to ranking in Google.
As we mentioned in last week’s Micro Content Video blog post, videos are a hot trend in 2015 and pack some serious power. They go beyond simple text to engage and connect with your audience, and bonus, in videos you are able to communicate a lot more content in a shorter amount of time than text.
So why use YouTube?
Since Google owns YouTube, their videos have an edge when it comes to ranking in the search engine, but ONLY if they are SEO optimised (don’t fret, we will be getting to that in a tick!).
AND…. YouTube is also the second largest search engine on the web, after Google of course. Need we say more?
So here are 5 tips to optimise your YouTube videos and help you rank in Google
1. Make videos worth watching
Don’t just make a video for the sake of making a video. Let’s be honest, no one is really going to care all that much about that new product of yours even if it is probably freaking awesome and super relevant to your audience.
Think about it… Why do most people use YouTube? Because they after content that helps them to solve a problem, learn something new or be entertained.
So do your research. Google Keyword Planner is your friend, find out what people are searching for and what words they are using to do so. Even do a search in YouTube and Google and see what ranks and what words are being used.
From our own research the most common keywords featured in videos shown in a Google search are:
- Funny videos
So always start by thinking about your audience… what questions do they ask you, what kind of stuff do they find interesting, what is helpful for them to know… and get recording!
NOTE: Length of your videos
While there is no official guide by YouTube on the length of your videos, it is recommended that videos are AT LEAST 1-2 minutes in length.
How YouTube considers the rank-worthy status of your video is now largely dependent on engagement metrics. While aggregate views are still relevant, the following also have an impact:
- Total number of seconds viewed (Tip: The more time you can keep your viewer on your video, the higher it will rank. So by having longer videos you will add more seconds to your count)
- Number of comments
- Number of likes
- Number of social shares or times your video has been embedded into a website
2. Video Name, Description and Look
SEO optimisation should start BEFORE your video is even on YouTube. By now you should have done some keyword research and have an idea of the words you should use.
First, begin by optimising your video file before you upload it. Follow this process:
- Right click on the completed video file on your computer and select ‘Get Info’
- In the ‘Add Tags’ section add relevant keywords (e.g. How to make a website using WordPress, WordPress websites, Making a WordPress website, Installing WordPress etc.)
- Under ‘Name & Extension’ name your file based on your main keywords and secondary keywords (e.g. How to make a WordPress Website – Installing WordPress)
- Make sure ‘Hide Extension’ is not marked
- Under ‘Comments’ add a brief description about what your video is about
Once you have finished this and uploaded your video, YouTube will pull through the raw video file name. Keep it because that is the title you want for your video.
Video Description (in YouTube)
The first thing you should add to your description is a link to your website. Remember, YouTube is only a means of driving people to your business.
Next, optimise that sucker by doing the following:
- Write a unique and lengthy description, roughly about 180-300 words
- DON’T USE DUPLICATE CONTENT – each video should have a different description
- Use relevant keywords and synonym keywords, but don’t overdo it and use the same keywords twice (YouTube doesn’t like that!). Try and be as natural as possible.
- Add the video transcript – not completely necessary but definitely useful, it can be a bit of a pain in the butt though!
When you upload a video to YouTube it gives you 3 screenshots to choose as your video thumbnail image.
You want your video to have a good first impression and appeal to your audience. A great way to do this is to add your own custom thumbnail that tells the viewer exactly what your video is about.
Check out this guide to creating a custom thumbnail.
Utilize playlists as it provides another layer telling YouTube what your video is about.
Create a playlist each time you upload a video, or to group a set of videos that fall under the same topic.
In your YouTube account, go to Playlists and select ‘New Playlist’. Add a meaningful Playlist Title that incorporates synonym keywords of your keywords in your video name and description. Add a description that incorporates keywords and synonym keywords.
4. Make your YouTube page visually irresistible
Pimp out your page by doing the following:
- Add a profile picture and background picture
- Add links to your social media pages and website
- Add a kick-ass description telling your audience on what your channel is about
- Subscribe to similar channels (doing this sends sneaky signals of association to YouTube of the kind of content you are all about)
5. Leverage social media
Google largely does its business based on the user’s perspective, meaning that relevance, and therefore ranking, is determined through social signals.
So go forth and share your content on your business social media profiles, in social media groups and on your personal profiles.
The more followers are clicking on your YouTube links in social media, the better chance of some Google Search Engine lovin.