Part 2: Optimizing YouTube Videos
Yesterday we posted Part 1 of this guide, which discussed:
Today we cover Part 2of the 5-Step Guide For Creating & Optimizing Video Content that Ranks on Google, in which we continue with:
While Part One of the guide deals primarily with video content creation ideas and recording your video content, Part Two covers how to upload and optimize your videos on YouTube so that they rank as high as possible on search engines.
Google normally "scans" the text of a page to figure out what a piece of content is about. But Googlebots can’t actually watch videos to determine their subject matter, so VSEO relies heavily on what Google can recognize: your video titles and descriptions.
Your VSEO work starts after you upload your video. Search-optimize your YouTube videos through the:
Title - Conduct some keyword research and find the keywords you want to associate with your video, using your top keywords in the title.
Continuing with the winter scarves example, I might have a title along the lines of “How to Wear a Winter Scarf: 4 Stylish Scarf Tying Techniques,” which has two long-tail keywords: “how to wear a winter scarf” and “scarf tying techniques,” which I got when I popped “winter scarf” into my keyword discovery tool. Remember, long-tail is just as valuable for VSEO as regular SEO.
Description - For the description, it’s smart to include a link at the beginning and end of your description, giving viewers multiple chances to get to your site. Create a paragraph description with your top SEO keyword discreetly imbedded. Throw a call to action in there as well.
Tags – In the tags section, put in your keywords and variants. To tag phrases with more than one word, enclose the keywords in quotes, such as: scarf, scarves, “winter scarf,” “cozy winter scarves”
Location Tagging – Once your video is uploaded, tag your business’s location. This allows your video to be uploaded to Google Maps and Google Places, letting you be included in those search results as well.
Captions and Subtitles – Uploading closed captions and subtitles is another handy way to add crawlable SEO text to your videos.
Thumbnail – Make sure the thumbnail you choose for your video is interesting and stands out.
YouTube Profile – Don’t forget to focus some of your SEO energy towards your YouTube profile. Include your URL in the profile as well as “follow” links for your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. in the “About Me” section.
Once you have your video up on YouTube, you’ll probably want to have it embedded on different pages of your website too.
Don’t forget to submit a sitemap. Submitting a video sitemap is another important way of letting Google know about your video content and getting it indexed correctly. Build a sitemap for each video and submit it to Google; it boosts your ranking and tells search engines the content of the video, where the video is on your site, and its original spot on YouTube.
You can easily submit a video sitemap through Google Webmaster Tools.
Also make sure to have a robots.txt file that includes your XML and video sitemaps. The robots.txt file tells search engines what to index and verifies to Google that the locations you’ve submitted do in fact exist.
- Sharing and Liking: Start off by promoting your video the way you would any other web content—share your video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
- Video Reply: Try submitting your video as a “video reply” to other related videos, which brings traffic and further establishes to YouTube the subject of your video.
- Link to Your Video: Your site will have your video embedded or will be linking to it on YouTube, but you’ll need outside links to your video as well. Use the link building techniques you’d use with regular web content. One technique is to see who is linking to the top videos in your category and then reach out to those sites asking if they’d be interested in linking to your video.
- Blog About Your Video: One easy way to get a link to your newly established YouTube video is to write a blog post centered around the topic of your video, and then link to your video in the post. Also consider writing something you could submit as a guest post—as long as you are writing some quality content, there are plenty of venues that would welcome a post with a video.
- Advertise Your Video: If your video is compelling, spend some money on YouTube video advertising to drive even more visitors to your video.
Looking to learn more about SEO? Get back to the basics with our Google SEO Guide Book.