YouTube Search Engine Optimisation

 In video seo

YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, which just so happens to own YouTube. This means you want these search engines to be able to find your videos. Be sure to do these 6 things with every video on your YouTube channel to get your videos found.

1. Have a clear title that uses your keywords

You don’t want to use a title that is vague and hard to understand. You want your title to reflect the kind of things that users will be typing into Google or YouTube to search for the content you cover. So, use a title that includes keywords and that a viewer can connect with immediately. We cover how to identify keywords in more detail in our FREE Video Search Optimization guide.  

Download the FREE Video Search Optimisation Guide to learn more.

But there’s no point finding out the keywords and phrases that people are searching for if you’re not going to use them in the title. So if you look at the title for the video with this post you’ll see the title is made up of three parts.

  • €œHow to optimise your YouTube videos for Search Engines” is a clear title using a “how to” phrase as well as “optimise”, “YouTube” and “Search Engines”. There should be no ambiguity as to what this video is about.  
  • “YouTube SEO” captures another shorthand keyword phrase where SEO is the abbreviation of “search engine optimisation”
  • “Vlog Pod” provides us with a unique identifier, by using our business name. This increases the likelihood of video results being returned when someone searches for our business.

All of this together helps us to get found. A clear title cannot be underestimated. Use both individual keywords, and longer phrases (or longtail keywords). By including your business name in your titles, or your name if you’re an individual, you’ll start to rank on YouTube and Google as people search for you or your business. 

2. Create a link to your website & have a clear description

Youtube provides a generous amount of space when it comes to the description area for your video. Be sure to fill out a description for every clip you upload. Make sure you have at the top a clickable link to your webpage. This means you need to include the  http:// part prior to your website. But by having this, if someone likes your content, they can easily get from it to your website, where they will be able to learn more and be driven closer to the point of sale. It’s good practice to follow the website link with a tagline that you use in every description that makes it clear what your business offers. The reason you want these at the top of the description box and not at the bottom is that when people land on the page to watch your clip the whole description is not displayed. Instead YouTube provides a “SHOW MORE” button to expand the whole description. If you have your weblink at the bottom, then unless someone clicks the “SHOW MORE” button, they’re not going to find how to easily get to your website.

Then it’s all about making the most of the space that YouTube provides to complete a description. Be sure to fill it with a well written description that again hits on your primary and secondary keywords. To make the most of that space you’re going to want to write a few good paragraphs, not just one sentence. But all the time making sure they’re well written and useful to a viewer.

3. Use the TAGS section

Be sure to tag your video with relevant tags in the “tags” section. Again, use keywords and phrases separated by a comma. And think about what unique tags could be valuable. Things like your location, a specific product name or  tag the person presenting. And use your business name again. Don’t use tags that are irrelevant to your content or business. You don’t want searchers to find your videos and then not watch them because the videos don’t relate to what they are searching for.

4. Custom Video Thumbnails are a must

If you want to increase the chances of your video being played then you just have to upload a custom thumbnail. A custom thumbnail helps your video stand out from the other options provided and increase the likelihood of attracting a viewer. An easy way to do this is to screenshot a frame from the video and add some text to it. Canva is a great tool for putting the text on if you’re not familiar with image editing software. There’s also some tips over at The Social Media Examiner on putting together a good thumbnail that is worth checking out.

5. Upload your video script.

This is possibly one of the most overlooked ways to increase the search optimisation of your videos. YouTube enables you to upload a transcription, so make the most of the script you’ve written by uploading it. Uploading a transcription means there’s more text for search engines to crawl over. But it also gives people the option to watch your video with captions. A handy addition for when they’re watching something at work and can’t have the sound cranking for instance.

6. Use YouTube Annotations and Cards

Finally, make use of YouTube’s annotation and cards features. This gives you the ability to create dynamic links between videos and other content and places across the interwebs. Truly the future at our fingertips. Check out YouTube’s own video tutorials here: Cards and Annotations

There’s a fair bit to remember, but we’ve included all the details and a great checklist to help you through it in the free Video Search Optimisation guide. Be sure to download it today.

Download the FREE Video Search Optimisation Guide to learn more.

Ben Amos
Ben is Creative Director of Innovate Media, Founder of Vlog Pod® and lead video strategist for Engage Video Marketing. He has a passion for online video marketing, telling great stories, spending time with his family and learning new things.
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