Score Big on Your YouTube Video with Video SEO Optimization Tips

Is your small business creating videos that are getting tons of views? Are they ranking among the top results for your target keyword? Do you know what a target keyword is?

If you answered no to any of those questions, you are on the right page.

As a Portland SEO Company, these are question we ask ourselves for every new campaign we engage in… even campaigns for our own website.

optimizing your youtube video tipsIn fact, for the past couple months, I have been immersed in creating, uploading, and optimizing our own site’s videos.

And I have to tell you…I’ve had a great ride! But it takes more than just creating and uploading a video to getting it ranked and its link juice pouring into your website.

This post about some excellent video SEO tips that cut your learning curve and give you the best steps you need to implement for each video in order to get the power of video to shower your website with Google’s love. Every one of our videos has had these systems applied, and we get great results!

Now, all of these are geared with a YouTube channel in mind. While they do apply to other video networks, such as Vimeo, we highly suggest that you get a YouTube Channel, a Google property, set up!

Video SEO Best Practices

1. Have a Channel

This is where you host your company/organization and will be the umbrella for all your future videos and playlists. The description should contain good keywords and lots of them. For us, a Portland SEO Expert, this is the first and most crucial step. Be sure to get an effective vanity URL for your YouTube channel, which will be tied to an associated Google + page! Ideally, you’ll have your city name and short keyword or niche in your vanity URL.

Then, add a long channel description. Incorporate all your keywords and areas around your city, in order to get your channel known for both the niche phrases and all the surrounding cities. The description should be long, but don’t keyword stuff. Actually write quality content! Make sure the channel art is uploaded (and geotagged!).

2. Playlists

Now that you have a Channel, are you using playlists in your channel? You’d better be! Playlists are embeddable and can be a powerful tool for highlighting certain services or aspects of your business. You should already know how powerful it is for your SEO to have a YouTube video embedded on your web page….with a playlist, you’re essentially embedding SEVERAL videos on that one page, multiplying the link juice flowing from YouTube to your site!

The playlist name should a MAJOR keyword that you are trying to rank for (if you don’t know about keywords, check out our blog post on Keyword Research and Long Tail/LSIs). Make sure the description for the playlist is long and has all your keywords and tags!

3. Live Stream

There are multiple methods of uploading videos to YouTube. First, you can do the plain old file upload. However, the best way is to Live Stream your video! It creates a live event and can be broadcast, meaning you can create an event at a particular time, and spread the word for your video so people can check it out when the live activity starts.

In addition to helping build relations with customers, these videos are given extra special ranking juice! Live streamed videos are well known to receive higher rankings than videos that are normally uploaded.

4. Custom Thumbnails

Click-through rate is crucial! Once the video is on YouTube, you can edit or alter the thumbnail that is shown on the results page. You want something that is attractive, is compelling enough to create a click, and will carry some kind of theme throughout your Channel and the video itself.

5. Title

Again if you don’t know about target keywords or LSIs, you’re missing out! The title should be very straight forward and contain your main keyword in addition to your secondary or LSI keyword. Backlinko recently had a great article on video SEO tips that also went a little deeper into keyword usage.

6. Description

The longer the description, the better. A description helps your conversion rate because prospects can spend more time on the page and learn about you. ALWAYS have a link back to your website within the first few lines of a description as well. Hashtags are good to use in a description, as are putting in links to your other social profiles, websites, or anywhere you want to direct traffic.

7. Annotations

These are the links that show up overlaid on the videos themselves and prompt the viewer to click to go to another site. Those sites can be other videos, your website, or to the playlist. These are great because they show YouTube what your video is about, while getting good links and passing power around domains!

8. Tags

These are always available at the end of the description. These help the search engines and YouTube theme your video and put it in relevant searches! You can have many tags and these are some examples:

  • City/State
  • Zip codes (powerful for local)
  • Phone number (great call to action!)
  • Playlist Title
  • Channel Title
  • Main keywords
  • LSI keywords
  • Company Name
  • Industry

9. Fill in all fields

When filling in your channel settings, playlist settings, and video settings, it’s important not to leave anything blank. This means always fill in the language, what kind of caption certification the video has, video location (geotag!), and anything else.

If the video has a script, go ahead and paste in into the closed captioning tab in the editor. Make sure there is audio, if not, you can use some audio from the Audio editor.

10. Take the plunge!

Videos don’t have to be phenomenal to get views, rankings, and to drive business to your site, door, or phone. Video optimization best practices can be just as powerful as the video itself.

YouTube video SEO takes a little time to implement, but the value is enormous! Video content is being consumed around the country by all demographics! It’s on desktop, on mobile, everywhere! Get those systems up and running! If you don’t want to create your own videos, ask the youth around you for their input. Younger generations are very apt to video production and editing. If you thought this was helpful, visit the last post in the Portland SEO series.

Be sure to get your website analysis to know where you are currently standing against your competitors! The audit provides valuable insight into the inner workings of your site.