StayOnSearch

Are You Optimizing Your YouTube Videos Properly?

Mark Thompson August 11, 2010

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, so why not leverage that.  As you probably know, video is becoming such a large part in every marketers strategy.  It is a great way to convey a marketing message and to tell a story, where plain text lacks.  However to maximize exposure on YouTube you need to remember a number of easy but crucial guidelines before submitting your videos.

Use Compelling Titles

Just like anything related to optimization, you need to have great titles.  This is your chance to capture the readers attention to get them to click on your video to want to view it.  Just like in organic SEO, where you want to entice the searcher to click on your link in the results, video optimization for YouTube is no different.  You want to be the video result that stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Add the Full URL to Your Descriptions

One of the biggest opportunities you have to drive visitors back to your site or blog is to insert your URL in the video description.  By doing this the user now has an easy way to access to your site from your YouTube channel.  It is important to add the “http://” or else the URL will not link.  You should also insert the URL as the top of the description, to make sure that the user can see it.  Try add something like “For more tips on Video Optimization, check out my blog at http://www.stayonsearch.com”.  Since this is your best time to keep the reader engaged, by adding the call to action and URL, you have a better chance of keeping the visitors engaged in YOUR content.

One more idea that you can try in your description area, is to provide a video transcript that people can read if they choose to.  Since everybody consumes information a little bit differently, it is always help to have your content in as many formats as possible.  Once you have the video transcribed you can also use that on your site or blog as well.

Use the YouTube Keyword Research Tool

No different that doing keyword research to optimize a website for organic search, you want to do keyword research for your YouTube videos.  There is a Keyword Tool for YouTube, that Google has created that provides you keyword data specific to people searching only YouTube.

Remove “Show Related Videos”

So Google has an option when you are uploading a new video to show other related videos from YouTube after the person is done watching your video.  If you allow YouTube to do this option, you are giving the viewer a reason to leave your channel, so it is important to uncheck that box when you are going through the upload process.

Keep Your Videos Short and Targeted

With video, you can easily lose your readers attention, so keep your videos short in length and focused to one specific topic.  If you have multiple items you want to cover on a certain topic, you may want to break it out into multiple videos and create a series on that topic.  Try to keep your videos under 5 minutes and get into your content right away.  A little tip to keep viewers watching your video until the end, it to tell them in the very beginning that you have a special offer or tip that you are going to tell them at the end.  This will make them want to watch all the way through so they can see what it is you are giving away.

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12 comments
Clara - E Zigarette
Clara - E Zigarette

I think youtube links has enough value to google, did not know that Youtube has a keyword tool for users.

cazare mamaia
cazare mamaia

i didn't know that Youtube has a keyword tool for users. I think that Google made some important changes on Youtube since they took over it.

Adam Bean
Adam Bean

Hey Mark I had no idea you could do this... "If you allow YouTube to do this option, you are giving the viewer a reason to leave your channel, so it is important to uncheck that box when you are going through the upload process." Are you able to change this setting after upload?? I am guessing no. Cheers Beanie

David
David

Very basic post but how many people are missing the basics! I work for a company that is paying thousands of dollars to a company to "optimize" their youtube videos and the company isn't putting the full url in the links. Also, thanks for the info on the keyword tool. I didn't know that it existed.

Cade
Cade

Great article, Mark, I never new Youtube had its own keyword tool, I'll definitely check it out. I agree, having a catchy Title that including your Keywords, and maybe even semantic keywords in you description is also great idea. Descriptions are under-rated in my opinion, I always read the description in SERP before clicking through. It is best used as an expansion on the title and a teaser, in my book.

Wynne
Wynne

Interesting - this is the first I've ever heard of the youtube keyword tool. Hey Mark one thing that I don't see often talked about, but I do myself is to use double quotes around keyword tags and separate tags with spaces (and not commas). i.e. "spanish lesson" language "mambo dancing style" - This only applies to Youtube and one other video site that slips my mind at the moment.

Scott
Scott

Great post Mark, On the related videos point: I usually recommend to use one or 2 unique tags on all of your videos. That way the related videos that show up are likely to be your other ones and may encourage people to continue watching.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Yeah, its amazing how companies can put down tons of money for a company to like you said..."optimize" their videos. Unfortunately the agency probably didn't explain how easy it is to do that. Yep, the keyword tool is great. I diamond in the rough. Mark

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Thanks for the comment Cade. Its amazing how many people don't know about the YouTube keyword tool. For some reason it has flown under the radar. It does provide some useful data, specific to your videos which is great. I do agree that for organic search, descriptions are under-rated from a readers perspective. From a search engine standpoint it seems that the tag is becoming less relevant...same with H tags.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Yeah, the YouTube keyword tool has flown under the radar for some reason. Those are some really good tips, I'll have to try using quotes to help refine my searches. Thanks for the comment. Mark

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

That's a good point that just slipped my mind. I agree that having tags will help find other relevant videos that you have on your channel.

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