Video SEO 101: Optimising Video Content for YouTube Search
June 24, 2016
There is no denying that 2016 has been the year of online video. As YouTube becomes the #2 website in the world (finally surpassing social media giant Facebook) and with figures suggesting that by 2019 over 80% of all internet traffic will be video, it’s becoming ever more crucial that businesses take advantage of the extraordinary marketing opportunities available. However, creating the video content is just half the battle; getting your videos onto the screens of audiences is a different matter entirely.
So how do you ensure your videos can be found on YouTube? Much like with Google, implementing SEO and gaining an understanding of YouTube’s algorithm is essential. Here we look at 6 simple but effective ways to create an optimised YouTube channel that will increase engagement in your video strategy.
1. Title it right
There are many rewards to be reaped when it comes to getting the name of a video right. When naming a video, it should be labelled with audiences in mind, meaning you should incorporate popular search terms into titles. For example, many YouTube users will search ‘How To…’ or for ‘tips’ when looking for advice or instructions, so including these in titles will bode very well in search. Similarly, the visual layout of a video’s title can maximise clicks and subsequent views, as a neat and clear video title looks much more professional and appealing to users compared to a title slapdash in its titular formatting. I would suggest using the vertical bar symbol to create clearly labelled content while also mentioning the name of the business or channel.
2. Describe in the description box
Don’t worry that adding a big body of text to the description box will be overkill. Because Google can’t physically watch a video to understand what it’s about, it’s crucial you take full advantage of the description box and use it to let YouTube know just what is happening on screen. Use this unlimited space to add a description of the video, as well as additional information about the business/channel, including links to all websites and social media pages and contact information. The more information the better, so don’t feel the need to condense!
3. Feature keywords in the filename
This is a little known but very effective trick in video SEO. Google doesn’t just read video titles and descriptions, but goes as far as the filename of the video itself. Therefore, labeling the raw file clearly and using keywords prior to uploading will help YouTube’s algorithm decipher and understand its contents. So steer clear of messy and unclear filenames like VIDEO0012 and instead opt for relevant names featuring keywords, like How_To_Pitch_A_Business for example. This will act as an additional tagging system within the algorithm.
4. Turn on the ‘Suggested Videos’ feature
There’s a great feature buried deep within the YouTube account settings that encourages viewers to watch a different video once a video has finished playing. To enable this feature go to the YouTube dashboard, click on channel settings and select ‘In-Video Programming’. Choose a video, the start-time and press update. This will increase the chances of those already watching one of your videos to click on another and continue the session.
5. Add appropriate tags
Tags help when users search for certain key phrases and keywords, and also help YouTube understand more about the video itself. You should use keyword research and even look at the tags used by popular videos and channels in order to increase organic rankings. Additionally, it can be beneficial to even use the names of popular and relevant channels, brands and YouTubers as tags for your video.
6. It pays to get paid
Once engagement is up it’s likely that YouTube will offer you the opportunity to monetise content and attach ads to the videos i.e. become what’s called a ‘YouTube Partner’. Depending on the size of your channel, it’s unlikely you will be making any notable income from monetising your channel, however this isn’t the primary reason behind allowing this decision. YouTube prioritises monetised channels and videos in search (funny, that) so by allowing ads to play before videos, your uploads will automatically get a higher ranking.
As with traditional SEO, these tips may not see instant results but will create the basis for a great, optimised YouTube channel. If you would like to learn more about how we can help with your video SEO or video marketing strategy get in touch today.