YouTube behaves like any other search engine, which means if you want your videos to be found, you have to employ some SEO strategies. To give your videos the best chance of ranking highly, use these four SEO tips
1. Select Keywords Carefully
Similar to your website, how you select the keywords for your videos has a huge impact on how well they rank in YouTube search results. Thus, make sure and choose these words wisely.
Consider what words people might use when searching for your videos, and once you get a good list, take some time to research each word or phrase. Pay attention to which terms produce the highest volume of videos. If you find your original terms have too much competition, try narrowing down your subject into a specific niche within your industry. For example, if you’re posting a video relating to web design, try adding your location into the keyword combination. You’ll have a much easier time ranking for something like “St. Louis Web Design” than merely “Web Design.”
Also, by narrowing down your niche, you are more likely to reach consumers who are truly interested in your specific product or service. Ultimately, the most effective keywords are those that are highly relevant, yet in a less competitive environment.
2. Placement of Keywords in Title, Descriptions, and Tags
After you’ve chosen on your keywords, you should next decide how to properly situate them within your title and descriptions. Here are some suggestions:
Title – Without question, you should include the keywords in the title, but for best results, try including the terms at the beginning and near end of the phrase. For example, “St. Louis Web Design: Why You Should Choose Our Company for Your St. Louis Web Design.”
Description – When writing your description, use the same SEO practices utilized in your regular copywriting. Include your keywords near the beginning, end, and sprinkled throughout the body; just be careful of keyword stuffing (you don’t want to appear spammy). Remember, the description is meant to explain your video to the user, so make it compelling enough to entice people to watch and possibly follow a link to your site.
Tags – Use the video tags in the same way as you would on your blog. Choose anywhere from five to ten words that offer insight into your video. If you find you can easily add more than ten tags, then you may want to think about breaking your video down into several, more focused videos. It’s always better to have multiple, shorter videos with a clear theme than one long unspecific video.
3. Link build
Just like quality inbound links help boost a website’s rankings, YouTube videos also benefit from link juice. For the most part, you can use the same link building strategies you use for your websites and blogs, but here are a few specific ideas:
Blog – If you have a successful blog or know someone who will allow you to do a guest post, you can write an article relating to your industry and provide a link to your video. Most site owners will be glad to have free, quality content or an interesting video to include on their blog.
Check Out the Competition – If you notice one of your competitor’s videos is getting a lot of hits, pay attention to where their links are originating, and see if you can target some similar channels (blogs, social media, industry websites, etc). Once you have a good idea where the most worthwhile links are coming from, you can direct your energy on targeting those areas.
4. Be Relevant
Finally, you want to ensure your videos are relevant and applicable to other things happening on the web. Having interesting video content and linking with other worthwhile sites will go a long way towards making your videos relatable, but you can also improve on this by making comments on other pertinent YouTube videos. Again, you don’t want to look like a spammer, so use discretion and only reply to a few carefully selected videos.