YouTube, without further introduction to it, is the 3rd most visited site on internet. It is just right behind Google and Facebook. Can you imagine the huge pool of traffic on YouTube? If you haven’t tap into the YouTube to snap a piece of the cake, I strongly encourage you to read my previous post on Increase Traffic Via Video Marketing and get started right away.
In this post, I will be focus on YouTube SEO or in other words to make the YouTube video become search engine friendly and to appear on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Why YouTube SEO? Not MetaCafe SEO
As I mentioned, YouTube is the 3rd highest traffic site among all the sites on internet and it is the largest video community site. YouTube has a Page Rank of 9 and it is owned by Google! In terms of traffic and authority nature, it is wiser to tap on YouTube instead of other video portals.
The reality is –> it is a lot easier to rank a video on Google than a website or other article directories.
I guess you have seen videos rank on the first page of Google when you search something on Google. I can assure you that the SEO efforts that have been done to those videos that ranked on Google are a lot less than the websites on the front page! Let’s delve into the detail of YouTube SEO below!
YouTube SEO – On Video SEO
When we start a SEO campaign for a site, we should always start from on page SEO, i.e. to have H1, H2, H3 tag, keyword density, title, meta description, etc…Similarly, we will do the on video SEO, which is to tweak the critical parameters that Google look at to rank your video.
1. Video Title
The video title is the most important factor you need to focus on. Remember to put in keyword you are trying to rank in the title. If possible, put it at the beginning of the title. Also, try putting in other LSI keyword (i.e. related keywords) in the title so that you can get rank for different keywords for the same video.
For example, if you want to rank for a product name – Fat Loss 4 Idiot (a popular weight loss Clickbank Product), your video title should contain “Fat Loss 4 Idiot”. Also, you need to think about what other keywords people are searching for this product. An easy way to do this will be to use Google Keyword Tools to check the keywords, as shown in the illustration below.
Apart from the main keyword “fat loss 4 idiots”, there are other keywords such as “review”, “reviews”, “diet”, etc…that you can target. So, instead of just use “fat loss 4 idiots” as your video title, you can try something like “fat loss 4 idiots – Comprehensive fat loss 4 idiots review” or “fat loss 4 idiots – A Diet Guide You Must Know“, etc…The objectives are to have keywords you would like to rank on Google within the video title and also to make the video title interesting enough to attract people click.
Remember, ultimately we want human to click and watch the video!
2. Video Description
Put the URL you would like the viewers to visit at the beginning. This is for the people to click your link and visit the site you are promoting / directing. Subsequently, draft up 2 -3 sentences containing the keywords you would like to rank for. Do not stuff keyword purposely within the description. The purpose is to provide viewers some more information and to include a few keywords you are trying to rank.
Put your keywords and other related search terms that people are searching as tag. You can put in “Your long tail keywords” (including the quotient) in the tag and put in “space” for another keywords.
4. Video Thumbnail
Video thumbnail is one of the most important factor to attract clicks to your video. A highly attractive thumbnail related to awkward, crazy, sexy, etc…will attract a lot of views. If your video is about weight loss, by having a pretty woman with nice body shape as a thumbnail will guaranteed you to attract views!
How do you do that? There is no magic formula for this. By default, YouTube only render 3 thumbnail and you can only choose from there. However, based on my experience and testing, somewhere in the middle of your video (i.e. around 2 minutes if you have a 4 minutes video), you can insert a picture you would like to display as thumbnail, make the picture to last for a few seconds so that YouTube can pick it up and render as a thumbnail. You will need video editing software such as Camtasia Studio to do this. Else you can try Windows Movie Maker to insert the image.
Update: Use customized thumbnail image
You can now upload your own thumbnail image to each of your video as long as you completed the setup of the associated website annotation in YouTube. The intent to create the associated website annotation is to unlock more advanced features in YouTube such as to upload your customized thumbnail image.
Of course, it is a good idea to have a clickable annotation on your video linked to your own website because this will increase the click through rate of the video.
5. Views and Rating for Video
The more views and ratings your videos have, the higher the videos ranking on Google and YouTube search results.You can share your video on Facebook, Twitter, your blogs and other forums that are related to your niche. This will help to bump up the number of views / rating of your videos.
If you would like faster results, there are plenty of Fiverr Gigs that can help you to increase the views and rating for your videos. Just spend $5 and you can get thousands of views within 1 or 2 weeks. This is a great help for the videos to gain initial momentum and attract more views from the targeted viewers. Remember, people tend to watch the videos with more view and good rating!
6. Backlinks to Video
If you follow Steps 1-5 above, and still yet see your video rank on first page of Google and YouTube, you will need to build some backlinks to the video. I like to grab the RSS backlinks of the video and submit to the RSS aggregators.
Your YouTube RSS URL is http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/YourUserName/uploads. Just change “YourUserName” to your YouTube username.
On top of the RSS submission, make sure you social bookmark your video to a few social bookmarking directories such as Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious, etc…
These are the 6 techniques of YouTube SEO that will help your videos to rank well on both Google and YouTube.
If you would like to learn more about the advanced techniques on YouTube SEO and video creation, check out YouTube Hack by Ryan Deiss.
Do you do YouTube SEO? If so, feel free to share your techniques by leaving me a comment below.