Billions of people watch videos on YouTube everyday. This makes the platform the second largest search engine after Google. Videos have risen as an important part of online marketing. While many companies have come to realize the power behind videos, they don’t necessarily know how to optimize their YouTube practices or content. How can you make sure that you and your brand capture this traffic? Taking just a few extra steps to optimize your videos will give you an online advantage, making your content easier to find and to share.
1. Name Your Video with a Target Keyword
The title of your YouTube video is important as it serves as a meta tag, which tells the search engines what the web page and your video is about. Just as it is important to optimize your written content for your website, it is important to identify keywords that help to identify your video. For this reason, it is important to use keywords in your video title. When people browse or search videos on YouTube, one of the first things that they notice is the video title. The title is what determines whether or not the viewer will actually click to watch your video. As long as your keyword fits naturally in your video title, it will serve you well to optimize your title.
2. Write Your Description with SEO in Mind
The description boxes on YouTube videos can also be helpful for search engines and viewers. Description boxes can be up to 1,000 characters, however, many viewers do not read past what YouTube automatically displays for description boxes, which would be only the first two or three lines of text. Despite this, it is still beneficial to optimize your description box with keywords and phrases. An optimized description allows your video to show up in the suggested videos sidebar on the website, which helps to expose your video to more users.
3. Tag Your Video with Related Keywords
Using tags on your video allows both YouTube and your viewers to know what the content and context of your video is. By using relevant tags, YouTube can place your video in the suggested videos sidebar as a similar video, in turn, broadening the reach of your video. Tags should be a mix of the most important keywords and more general keywords. However, it is important to avoid using irrelevant tags as Google may penalize users who do.
4. Track the Right Metrics
YouTube Analytics allows you to see your greatest areas of success as well as areas that need improvement. The three main reports that YouTube provides are Revenue Reports, Watch Time Reports, and Interaction Reports. Other important analytics to keep track of include audience retention, demographics, playback locations, traffic sources and devices. These analytics will
allow you to see everything from what location and devices people are watching your videos from, to how people discover your videos and when they stop watching them.
5. Encourage Embedding
If someone embeds your video on their site, it allows your video’s rating to be boosted in search engine results. If you embed your video on your own website, you also give your site the opportunity for increased traffic by giving search engines added content to rank. Embedding your videos on a website acts like a back link, enabling your videos to be placed in search engine results, resulting in more views. It also helps you reach a wider, more diverse audience apart from just your usual YouTube audience.
6. Encourage Your Viewers to Like and Share Your Videos
The most important interaction metrics that YouTube shows you on your interaction reports include Subscriber numbers, Likes and Dislikes, Comments and Sharing. These metrics show you how viewers feel about your videos and give you the opportunity to interact and form relationships with your subscribers. It is beneficial to promote your videos on your other social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, if you have any. It is also important to encourage your viewers to comment, share and leave a Like on your video. Similar to Views, the more Likes that you have on your video, the better your YouTube SEO ranking will be.
Having a strong YouTube presence can have a huge impact on your brand reach by giving you the opportunity to engage with the billions of users on the platform. Once people watch your video, you have the chance to expand your communication with them by encouraging them to go to your company website, ultimately leading to conversions. By optimizing your YouTube practices, you can take full advantage of the branding power that the platform provides.