How to Optimize YouTube Videos to Rank Well

 In Digital Marketing, Social Media

YouTube is an incredible platform that allows business owners to host and get their rich, video content seen by a huge audience. Not all videos are created equal, however, and it is important that your videos are optimized for the best possible ranking to be achieved for your keyword or phrase.

Lets go over a few ways to optimize your YouTube Videos so they can reach the maximum number of views from your target market. The whole point of optimizing a video is the help the search engine and the searcher quickly understand what your video content is about, before it is watched.

Keyword Research

Every great piece of content starts with great keyword research. Knowing there is a need for the content that you are creating and being sure that many people would find it valuable is only good when said content gets found. Thus, doing the proper keyword research prior to creating the content is the best place to start.

Proper Video Title & Tagging

How often in the course of running or managing your business can you directly interact with your target market on a massive scale? Not often, right? Online review websites allow you to respond to reviews that are left on your company’s profile. Because online review websites are becoming more stringent on forcing reviewers to log in to a profile in order to leave a review, most businesses know exactly who left the review and, upon reading through the profile, will know the demographics of that person.

If knowing your target market was not a good enough enough reason for reputation management, online review websites allow you to wrangle new customers from your target market to visit your business. Once a review is left by a customer, your business will have the opportunity to respond to that review. Responding to the review, good or bad, gives you a platform to promote your business, show that you are willing to rectify mistakes or complaints, or just to show people that you are a business owner that cares what customers think. Regardless, online review websites give a business owner direct insight and line to customers.

Well Written Description

The video description is incredibly important for a variety of reasons. First, it helps a search engine (which, today, cannot truly understand what a video is about from the actual video itself) understand what the content of the video relates to. Be sure to use your keyword or phrase once or twice.

Additionally, after you post a few videos and they start getting views (and after YouTube verifies that your content is good and you are not a scammer) you will be able to embed links into the description of your video. These links can drive traffic and provide a back-link to your website.

Closed Captioning

This is one of the most missed optimization pieces when putting a video on YouTube. The majority of people hear “closed captioning provided by…” all the time on TV shows but never know what it means or why it matters. Closed Captioning is the transcribed version of a commercial, show, or video that allows the hearing impaired to read the spoken words.

However, inserting closed captioning into your videos actually does more for your video’s ranking in SEO terms than just aiding the hearing impaired. As I said previously, search engines do not yet possess the ability to watch and understand what a video is about; the closed captioning is another area (in addition to the description) that a search engine CAN read and understand. More than likely your video script (no there is no script, the content at least) mentions your keyword or phrase. By inserting a closed captioning script, your video has a much better chance to rank.

Outro / Calls to Action

At the end of any content (and sometimes in the middle) it is imperative that you guide your target audience into doing something. For businesses this is often “buy now” or “get a free consultation,” or “learn more.” These calls-to-action are vital to getting conversions from your content. People are inherently lazy and, therefor, need prompting if you want to convert them.

Outro’s are similar to intros, only they offer a variety of calls to action for a user to do after they have watched your video. If your video captivates someone enough for them to watch the whole thing (which is rare, especially in today’s low-attention-span society), you have a very good prospect in front of you, GET THEM TO DO SOMETHING. There are a bunch of ways to suggest conversions in an Outro:

  • Subscribe to the Channel
  • View the Website
  • Visit / Like Social Media Pages
  • Free Consultation
  • View Other Videos / View Channel Page

Playlist & Playlist URLs

Another crucial piece of optimization that often gets overlooked is grouping videos into playlists. By grouping your YouTube videos into playlists, you are telling the search engines and YouTube that these videos are similar, in one way or another. The added benefits of grouping videos into playlists is two-fold:

  1. The Ranking of one video can help the ranking of your other videos. If one of your videos goes “viral” and you have a ton of similar videos grouped into a playlist with that video, the chances of those videos benefiting from the success of your one video is good.
  2. YouTube automatically pulls in a new video after one video has completed playing. If you group your videos into a playlist, one of the playlist videos will more than likely be the video that auto-plays after, increasing the number of views your videos get will increase their SEO rankings.

Using the Video on the Web

Yes, you video is now optimized and uploaded on YouTube! No, you are not finished. You just spent so much time and effort in creating, optimizing, and publishing your video, you need to take a deep breath and follow through with the smaller details (that most of your competitors won’t) that will help your video gain in ranking even more!

  1. Create a blog post or new page on your website and embed the video into it. If you click to the video page on YouTube and there are instructions on how to embed the video. You have to do more than just embed the video however; Google and other search engines cannot understand video still, remember? Make sure to add 450-600 words on the page describing the video (using your keywords of course), why you created it, and why it is important. Make sure you include buttons by the video for easy sharing on social media for viewers.
  2. Share on Social Media Pages! be proactive with getting some initial traffic and views on your video by sharing all over social media.
  3. Send Out in an Email Campaign. Hey, if your video is that good, everyone should know it! Send out to your email list with a link to the video. By crafting a great email, you can get a ton of traffic to your YouTube video, thus increasing its SEO value.

No, its not easy, but that is why it is important

If you have read this far you are most likely much less excited about optimizing your YouTube videos than you were to begin with. However, that is exactly why it is so important to do it.

Creating videos is tough and most small to medium sized businesses are so “done” with the process that after the video is up on YouTube, they are ready to move on. This gives those who truly take the time to optimize their videos correctly a distinct advantage.

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