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How We Topped YouTube Search Results

2014-04-September-Cat-Balloon-Guess-What-Happens-Next.jpgYouTube processes more than 4 billion searches a month, making it the second largest search engine of today. While you might think of YouTube as a platform for entertaining cat videos, the fact that YouTube videos often make it into Google's natural search results pages makes them an increasingly important part of your marketing strategy. If your videos aim to educate your market about new services or features and provide guidance about how to use them, this channel becomes essential.

The eight YouTube SEO tips that follow brought my company's videos to the top search position at YouTube for keywords such as “marketing automation,” “lead scoring” and “personalization.”

1. Metadata

  • Name of the file — While filling in metadata after you upload a video would be an obvious SEO task to do, it’s also important to name the file that is being uploaded using the appropriate keywords.
  • Title — Include your keywords in the title and write it in a way that people would search to find your video. Although there is a 100-character limit, keep most titles below 70 characters (including spaces) as search engines truncate anything after that limit.
  • Description — Another crucial area which tells the search engine the topic of the video. The overall limit of description is 5,000 characters, but no more than the first 157 characters will appear as a snippet in search. Don’t forget to include a URL to your website at the beginning of the description.
  • Tags — Add 10 to 20 tags to your video, including keywords from title and description but also those that couldn’t fit in those spaces but are still related to your video.

2. Subtitles

Although subtitles provide more accurate information for indexing and ranking to search engines and YouTube, marketers often fail to add them. We have successfully used DivXLand Media Subtitler freeware for easy creation and editing of subtitle files.

3. Social Activity

Social activity has a huge impact on video rankings: these include number of views, likes, favorites, comments as well as number of video responses. Try to use the full power of your social networks and emailing capabilities to promote your videos. Responding to comments on your videos as quickly as possible helps build ranking, too.

4. Playlist

Group your videos of similar topics to playlists, because:

  • Playlists and their metadata help to further define the topic and the content of the video for better search engine ranking.
  • Having videos in playlists increase the chance that additional videos from the same playlist will be suggested to a viewer in the related videos sidebar.
  • Playlists automatically play all videos in the list until the viewer stops the feed, increasing chances that more of your content will be viewed.

5. Link to Other YouTube Assets

The YouTube search algorithm favors videos that link to other videos in the annotations. Additionally, by adding these links, you drive traffic and increase views to the rest of your videos. We provide links to another three videos at the conclusion of each of our videos, making the entire playlist an interconnected network.

6. Embed Videos on Pages with Related Content

While embedding videos on your website will bring you more views, adding relevant copy to that page actually helps search engines to better understand its content. You can use content similar to what you used for the YouTube description or you might re-use a large portion of the transcript.

7. Channel Management

Similar to the playlist — all the metadata of your channel will help search engines recognize your video content and its categorization. Furthermore your video rankings are influenced by:

  • Number of viewers who subscribe to your channel
  • How regularly you add new videos to your channel
  • How many videos you upload to your channel

8. Get Backlinks

As much as you do link building for SEO of your website, you also need it for your videos. More backlinks to your videos and your channel translate to more views, thus better video rankings.

What's your experience with YouTube SEO? Tell us in comments below!

Title image by Finn Frode (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

About the Author

Petr Passinger is the senior business analyst for Kentico. He is responsible for the mapping and optimization of the sales funnel and revenue cycle, leveraging the Kentico Customer Experience Management solution for Lead Generation & Online Marketing activities. Petr initially joined Kentico as a support engineer and then moved to PR and Marketing.

 
 
 
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