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Video Optimization 101

Jennifer Wong February 13, 2013 Category Display Advertising

video-optimization-seoVideo content is no different than written content , in that there are certain SEO guidelines that should be implemented when posting it on the web.There are several reasons why you have video content or want to create video content. First off, it improves your chances of earning high-ranking video spots within Google. Also, it reaches out to the busy customers who prefer content in video format rather than text. Lastly, it is a good way to showcase a product or service features that cannot be easily shown through text or image content. Whatever your basis is for a solid video promotion campaign, you want to get your rank on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

SEOing for Video Content

Before we go into detail about optimizing your videos, let’s ask ourselves this, “Who is my target audience and what are they interested in watching?” Discovering your target audience will be important when trying to come up with a title, key phrases, and tags for your video. You want you video to be exposed to the right audience! “Content is King”: creating valuable and unique content for your videos is a key starting point.

Youtube’s Video Ranking Algorithm

There are many factors YouTube takes into consideration when ranking a video. It is based on the number of views, video title, video description and video rating. Here is brief overview of what you’ll need to optimize after uploading your video.

  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags
  • Transcription
  • Channel Authority
  • Call to Action
  • Relevancy

7-Steps to Optimizing your Youtube Video

Make sure you conduct your keyword research first. YouTube has its own keyword tool: https://ads.youtube.com/keyword_tool and it’s a useful tool to keep in mind when conducting keyword research for video content. As a general rule, keep in mind the relevancy of these keywords in regards to your video content.

1. Optimizing the Title and File Name

The title plays a huge role in the visibility of your videos. You want to create a title that not only includes relevant keywords linking to your content, but is also descriptive enough so it can be easily searched for. In addition, add your relevant keywords into the file name of the video that you are uploading onto the video site. An example of a fully optimized file name for a video about how to bake a chicken would be: baking-chicken.

2. Optimizing Video Description

Next comes your video description. Some say it should not exceed 160 characters, but I say write something truly unique that describes your video content, with your key phrases in mind. If it is longer than 160 characters, don’t sweat it, add a compelling short text at the beginning.

3. Using Relevent Tags

The third factor is tags. You would want at least 10 tags that are keywords, relevant to your video. One differentiation between YouTube and Google is even if you have a video about one specific topic, as long as you do not use the right keywords, sometimes YouTube will not rank it. Therefore, make sure you input tags that are both plural and singular and understand what people are looking for when they watch your video.

4. Transcribing your Video

Transcription is yet another factor that helps rank your videos. YouTube has a feature that allows you to transcribe your video and they use those transcriptions to index and rank your video by keywords. This is becoming increasingly important because YouTube will index your keywords in your transcriptions that were never mentioned in your description. Transcribe your videos word for word and upload the text file. This will make your video closed captioned which increases your click through rate and will help your video rank better.

5. YouTube Channel Authority

Google looks for channels that have authority, using it as a basis for ranking. If you have engaging content on your other videos, create a channel so it helps that flow over to your current video and get it ranked. Thus, when adding videos, you also want to look at all of your videos and your channel as a whole, rather than just that single video. Other things to keep in mind are the channel elements. It is your public face on YouTube – customize your channel as much as possible (ideally to match the theme of your website).  Also, give users a chance to follow you through other medium, by adding a link to your other social profiles on your about section.

6. Call to Action

Make sure you have a strong call to action in your video, and your video description. Add a link to other relevant pages like your website (most important). You can also take the extra step of embedding your video on your website, blog, other video sharing sites (Vimeo, Daily Motion), Facebook, Twitter, etc., have your viewers interact with your videos by liking, social sharing or replying to them via comments or video replies. Keep the conversation going!

7. Final Notes

So you came here to learn how you can achieve visibility for your video on YouTube. But don’t forget about your end users. All of these extra features  have been implemented by YouTube to make it’s platform more user-friendly. Don’t try and “trick” the system with trending, yet irrelevant key phrases. When optimizing, keep your end users in mind.

Looking to implement a Search Engine Marketing Strategy for your company’s website? Set up an appointment with one of our Search Engine Marketing Professionals today!

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