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problogger.net http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/06/23/seo-your-youtube-videos-in-10-steps/SEO Your YouTube Videos in 10 StepsThis guest post is by Deepak of VideoMarketing.net.In this article we are going to have a look at the various strategies and tactics that will help yourank your YouTube videos inside the YouTube video search engine.YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, according to Alexa.com. A lot of peopleare looking for information online in the form of videos and they will come to YouTube directly tosearch for “infomovies.”Just like infographics, infomovies are articles in the form of a video. An infomovie can be definedas the audio visual representation of information (while an infographic is a visual representation ofinformation). Infomovies usually include slides accompanied by text and images, and a voiceovertoo.Right now there is not as much competition for video rankings in YouTube as there is for articlerankings in Google’s index, but as more and more people convert their articles to infomovies, it willbecome harder to rank your videos in the first page of YouTube search results.And that brings us to the purpose of this article: the process for optimizing your YouTube videosfor search.1. Use a suitable video filenameThe name of your video file should reflect the topic of the video itself.So, if you’re uploading an infomovie about dog training, your video’s file name should besomething like “dog-training.avi.”This sounds obvious, but many people upload video files with names such as “untitled.mov” or“MOV123.MP4.” Although this file name is not visible to the YouTube user, YouTube will givesearch preference to video files whose names include topic keywords.2. Put your keywords firstPut your main keyword first in the video’s title, description, and tags. Your brand name or website’sname can be included at the end of the title, but put your topic keywords up front.The title should, of course, be compelling and entice users to click on it. The rules of copywritingwhich you apply to blog titles and sales pages also apply to YouTube video titles. If you have an
effective title, you will have a better clickthrough rate, and the YouTube search algorithm will takethat into account in ranking your video.Some videos that you upload will not get a lot of viewers in the beginning, but will gain traction andtraffic in the long term—so there are long-tail possibilities with YouTube search!3. Include keywords in your video voiceoverWhen you’re creating an infomovie, you’ll likely include a script from which the video’s voiceoverwas made.This script is nothing but an article with small modifications to make is suitable as a voiceover for avideo. And, just like a search-optmized text article, your video script should include the mainkeywords for your topic.Here’s an example of a video with a voiceover.Google has developed speech-to-text conversion technology which will try to convert yourinfomovie’s voiceover into captions—you can see the captioning in the video above by clicking the“CC” button at the video’s bottom-right corner.
“CC” Stands for closed captions. Although YouTube cannot always transcribe your voiceoveraccurately, the technology is good enough to get an idea of the keywords you’ve used in thevoiceover. And Google is improving it every day.
This technology was originally developed for the free-411 service—a technology whereby userscan call 800-GOOG-411 to get free, automated directory assistance. But Google has furtherdeveloped this system to understand what videos mean and to improve video search technology,as Google’s Marissa Mayer explained back in 2007: Whether or not free-411 is a profitable business unto itself is yet to be seen. The reason we really did it is because we need to build a great speech-to-text model that we can use for all kinds of different things, including video search.Google—through YouTube, which it owns—is constantly trying to deliver the most relevant resultsfor customers and users. This is particularly useful for those of us who create infomovies packedwith content.If we include keywords in our voiceover scripts, Google’s voice-to-tect technology will pick them upand use them, along with the other factors mentioned here, to rank your video in the youTubesearch results.4. Upload a transcript file for video captioningYouTube also gives us the option to upload transcript files for our videos. It has been confirmedthrough experiments that YouTube indexes the captions file of a YouTube video, and uses this
information to help determine the video’s keyword relevancy.In the experiment, a unique text string was included in the captions file. After a day a search forthat string in Google returned that video. It couldn’t have been possible unless Google indexed thetext in the captions file that was uploaded.Uploading your own caption transcript is a better option than letting YouTube transcribe the audioitself, as you get total control over what appears in your video captions.The original caption uploading feature required us to include the timing for each sentence or line inthe video. This was a tedious process. It would take hours to create a captions or subtitle file ifyou included the start and stop timing for every single line.But recently YouTube has refined its speech-to-text technology so that if you simply upload thetranscript file without timings, it will automatically set the timings. This feature is still in beta testing,but I have never seen it make a mistake.Google describes the difference between captions and transcripts like this: A caption file contains both the text and information about when each line of text should be displayed. A transcript file, on the other hand, just contains the text of what was said in the video. If the video’s in English, YouTube can use speech processing algorithms to determine when the words in a transcript should be displayed.To upload a transcript file, click on Edit for the video in your YouTube video manager. Click on theCaptions tab. Under the Add New Captions or Transcript header, select Transcript File as theType, and upload your script file—the article from which we created the audio file for theinfomovie.Within a minute, YouTube will do its magic. You can see it work by watching your video. Click theCC button on the video and YouTube will display the words in exact sync with the audio. And yourkeyword-rich transcript file will be used by the YouTube search engine to rank your videoappropriately in user searches for those terms.5. Build an authoritative YouTube channelIf you are uploading your video to a brand new channel, your videos may not have a good rankingto start with. However if you have an established channel with lots of videos and subscribers, yourvideos will rank more highly in the search results as competition grows.
So try to create a channel for each niche you’re serving through YouTube.6. Upload videos regularlyIf you upload a bunch of videos to a channel and never touch it for years, then those videos maynot have as much SEO power as the videos in the channel which are updated regularly.This is just like blogging—if a blog is not updated for a long time then it will lose its rankings inGoogle. Freshness is seen to indicate relevance, at least to some degree. So keep your channelfresh with recently uploaded videos.7. Respond to comments on your videosYouTube tells us to “Respond to comments in the first few hours after you publish a video. Thesefirst viewers are your core audience and building comments early helps increase the video’s rankingin search.”8. Create and use playlistsYouTube has a feature called Playlists that allows users to group videos spread across YouTubeinto a single list or collection. If your video is added to a Playlist, it can increase the SEO power ofyour video. We can see Playlists as social signals about videos that are popular or valuable toYouTube users, and well all know that Google’s working hard to integrate social signals into itssearch algorithms.
9. Encourage other social signalsIn a similar vein, your video’s search rank will benefit the more comments, favorites, likes, and videoresponses it receives. To attract these social signals, you’ll need to create a high-quality video andask people to take those actions on it.However, be careful not to incentivize users to like or comment on your video. For example, if youoffer to give away a random prize for the commenters on your video, your channel may beterminated. YouTube does not like playing games with their algorithm and this kind of activity isagainst their terms and conditions.10. Encourage off-site backlinks to your videosJust like any web page, backlinks from other sites will help your videos to rank better in YouTubesearch.Submit your video URL to social bookmarking sites, blog about it, and share it on your Twitter andFacebook profiles. The more backlinks you can get for your videos, the better.Are you optimizing your videos for search?
With these ten tips, you’ll be on your way to much better YouTube search rankings for yourvideos. Have you created an infomovie yet? And are you using any of these techniques on yourvideos? Let us know how your videos are ranking in the comments.Deepak blogs about video marketing for bloggers at VideoMarketing.net. He has 5 years ofexperience in using web videos to drive traffic. You can grab his 14 day free video training programon video marketing from this page.