4 Ways to Maximize the SEO of Your YouTube Videos

by CJ Bruce on September 19, 2012
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Now that you’ve invested in making a video, how will you get potential customers to watch it? One inexpensive way to draw attention is to make sure that it ranks high in the search results of Google and YouTube, the second largest online search engine, by optimizing your content.

Here are four ways to maximize the SEO of your videos — and put yourself ahead of the competition in search results.

1. Research

All effective SEO starts with market research, and YouTube is no different. If you are already working on SEO to drive traffic to your company website, then you probably have a list of target keywords. Include these in your video strategy, too.

To find additional keywords, use YouTube’s suggested search tool. Simply visit YouTube and begin typing in words or phrases that relate to your video and see what suggestions come up. If they make sense for your business, then these would be helpful terms to incorporate into your video optimization efforts.

2. Title

The title is effectively the headline ad copy for your video. When crafting a title, pay special attention to the words you use and the order in which they appear. This is the most heavily weighted aspect of the text attached to your YouTube content. Start with the keyword phrase that you aim to rank high for — and end with your brand or company name. For example, your title could be “How To Plant Summer Vegetables – Greg’s Garden Store.”

Note that, in general, people who search directly for your company will already be able to find you. So the strategy here is to capture new viewers/potential customers who seek broader information about a product or service.

3. Description

The description is the second most weighted aspect in search results and, unlike the title of your video, you have a lot more room to play with here. Make sure that the first line of your description uses the same keyword phrase that you used in your title and features a call to action. This text will appear on your video page for users to read without having to expand the description and, if you include a full link (such as http://www.yourwebsite.com), it will become a hyperlink that viewers can click on.

The rest of the description should offer at least one paragraph that describes your product or service in detail, using keywords related to the video. Add more links that the user can click on for more information, such as product pages, your social media sites, and other related videos.

4. Tags

Tags are like keywords related to your content. Always start with the same phrase that was at the beginning of your title and description, so that it’s repeated throughout the video page. You also may include keyword phrases directly related to the video, as well as some broader ones.

Another tip for tags is to always include your company and product names. If your company or products are generic, then think of a term unique to you and use it in all of your videos. Among other things, YouTube looks to these tags when pulling related content, so if all your videos share a common unique tag, it increases the chances that your content will show up ahead of a competitor’s.

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