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YouTube SEO Guidelines


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YouTube SEO best practices and guidelines.

YouTube SEO best practices and guidelines.

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  • 1. SEO Best Practices & TipsMarch 2013
  • 2. IndexI. OverviewII. Broadcast Yourself1. OptimizeA. YouTube VideosA.1. TitleA.2. DescriptionA.3. TagsB. YouTube Channel2. Socialize3. Analyze
  • 3. I. OverviewYouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.People jump onto this media giant day after day to search forany sort of things. In fact, over 800 million unique users visitYouTube each month; over 4 billion hours of video arewatched each month on YouTube; 72 hours of video areuploaded to YouTube every minute.The potential for visibility in the world of YouTube videos isincredibly vast. When done correctly, a well optimized videocan reach a significant audience, increase your organic searchresults and drive more traffic to your site.With the growing popularity and authority that YouTube hasshown within the world of social marketing, it can be avaluable addition to any organization’s online strategy.However, as with anything else in business, if you are goingto take the time to do it, make sure you do it right.
  • 4. II. Broadcast YourselfBeing the second-largest search engine in the world afterGoogle, it really makes a lot of sense to understand SEO forYouTube Videos.In this guide you will learn how to optimize your videos sothat you get more exposure in YouTube searches as well asorganic rankings from your YouTube videos.There are three main pillars in putting your YouTubeChannel together:1. Optimizing2. Socializing3. AnalyzingTaking the time to optimize both your videos and yourchannel can help to increase your visibility.Likewise, socializing that video content can have asignificant impact on the reach you have with your message.Continually analyzing your results to understand what isworking and where opportunities are will pay off in theorganic search engine results over the long term.
  • 5. 1. OptimizeWhen optimizing your YouTube presence, you need toconsider both the videos and the channel itself. Know andunderstand your organization’s keywords and keep them inmind when entering in all your data.In YouTube videos, keywords are important because: YouTube’s two main features for sending your videosfree traffic (their search engine and their “related andrecommended videos” feature) are heavily dependent onkeywords. Their algorithm actually works better when you use moreunique keywords in your Title, Description and Tags.A great starting point is using YouTube Keywords Tool.
  • 6. A. YouTube VIDEOSThe success and effectiveness of any online content isdependent on quality. YouTube will rank a video higher if it isfrequently watched from start to finish. Keep your videosshort with quality, relevant content that people are morelikely to watch past the first click. This will help increase thechances of your video being displayed in the recommendedvideos section on the right hand side and immediatelyfollowing other YouTube videos.
  • 7. For videos, optimize the Title, Description and Tags.
  • 8. A.1. TitleIt all starts with a great keyword-rich Title. Try usingunbranded keywords rather than branded. The viewer will beable to identify your brand by your username, which appearsnext to the video in the search results. The title cannot be anylonger than 100 characters and should be plain, direct anddescriptive, versus clever.Some tips:• Title is the most important aspect of your YouTubevideos SEO as this is the primary aspect taken intoconsideration for searches and is the first feature noticedby users. It is best to include the company name in thetitle along with the main keyword phrase determinedfrom your keyword research.• You should choose the rest of the words in the titlebased around the rest of your keyword research. Limityourself to 66 characters or less to allow the title toappear in full in Google searches.
  • 9. Add subtitlesDoing so adds captions for the hundreds of millions ofhearing impaired folk across the world, ensuring your contentis accessible to anyone who’d like to watch it. It’s an easyenough process that uses voice recognition, the results ofwhich can be (and frankly need to be) edited for accuracy.
  • 10. A.2. DescriptionYour Description is where you can be more creative.Although not everyone reads the full description, it is heavilyused for search ranking. This is where you can be witty andclever, while keeping your keywords in mind. Hook peoplewith a great first line and encourage them to click the ‘moreinfo’ button, which extends the collapsed view so that the fulldescription is visible. It is also good practice to include yourwebsite URL at the beginning of the description. This willensure that it is seen even in the collapsed view and willcreate a quality backlink to your website. You can also includeother URLs within the description, which reference pages onyour website that are relevant to the video. Include the fullURL (including http://) to ensure that YouTube converts themto live links when the description is published.Some tips:• The description should be just an explanation of whathappens in the video. Around two to three sentencesmore than the title is optimal. Remember that only thefirst 25 to 30 characters are visible in YouTube searchresults, so include your keywords and the most
  • 11. interesting information right at the start. Try to create anattention grabbing sentence to start the description.• YouTube videos are ideal for gaining more web traffic soit is a good idea to include a link to your website. Thisshould be placed early on in the description as only thefirst couple lines of text are visible in default. In order toread the rest of the description, viewers must click on"Show more." Make sure that you include all of yourkeywords and their variations. Use your primary keyword phrases near the verybeginning of your description.o It helps increase your CTR and may increase yourrankings.o Put your website links or your branding later in yourdescription, don’t waste your first sentence byputting them in there unless they offer a reward orbenefit to the searcher. Use strong calls to action in your descriptions near thebottom.o Suscribe to your channelo Watch your playlistso Leave commentso Share your videoo Give your video a thumbs upo Join your mailing list!
  • 12. A.3. TagsThe Tags section of your video upload can be up to 120characters long and should be as detailed as possible. You caninclude tags such as your brand, topic, descriptors (funny,helpful, etc.) and most importantly, one or two of your mainkeywords.Some tips:• When tagging your YouTube video, think of unique tagsthat include your keyword phrases; these are keyfor creating videos. Turn all the information from the titleinto tags as well as short, descriptive phrases about thevideo. Avoid making single word tags as these are lessuseful for gaining a high search engine ranking. There isno limit to how many tags you are allowed to add, soinclude as many as you wish. You should have atminimum between five and seven.• Tags are not only used by search engines to position youin organic searches, they are also used by YouTube toassociate your videos with others containing similarcontent. Your videos will appear under "Related Content"providing you with another way to reach viewers withoutthem needing to actively search for you.
  • 13. B. YOUTUBE CHANNELFirst things first, customizing your channel is well worththe time it will take to set it up. A channel setup offersYouTube users the option to subscribe to your content via theclick of one button and the option to search just youruploaded content. The channel structure also allows you tohighlight just uploads, playlists, favorites or all.For the channel, optimize your profile, customize your designand engage in the community.In your YouTube profile, optimize the title anddescription, as well as assign tags to the channel.
  • 14. 1. Ensure that the title is descriptive, using either yourbrand or key product for people to identify you.2. In the description, highlight who you are and whatproducts or services you offer. This is one of the places whereyou have a chance to sell yourself and convince people toclick through to your website.3. Complete your channel profile by selecting a good rangeof keywords that are specific to your business.YouTube gives you a good level of control over the lookand feel of your YouTube channel. Use this feature tohighlight your branding: select a profile picture, backgrounddesign and colour theme that will be recognizable as part ofyour organization. Within your channel profile you can alsoinclude links to your website, Facebook page, Twitter profileand any other relevant links. This is a great way to optimizeyour web presence by connecting all accounts whereverpossible. On a related note, and to Google’s credit, they alsooffer this functionality on Google+ Company Pages.To adjust the basic settings of your channel you need toclick the “Channel Settings” button on the top left of thehomepage.On the “Appearance” tab you can upload an avatar andyou can select a background image and a colour.
  • 15. Secondly there is the info and settings tab (shownbelow). Here you can edit the title of your channel as well asthe main description; this is the same one that you can editon the homepage in the top right. You can also insert anumber of tags that summarise your channel.Focus on the keywords that relate to you and that alsohave some search volume. Here you can select which of thethree views that we discussed above. Again we opted for thefeatured tab. You can also select or deselect to havesubscribed users go straight to your feed. This will be down toyour user experience on the various tabs and what works bestfor you; give all options a try and see how the engagementvaries (use the analytics tab for an understanding of userengagement).
  • 16. Finally under the Featured Tab you can adjust thepresentation of your homepage; obviously very important ifyou have set this to be your main landing page.There are four options:1. Creator – You have one featured video at the top andthen the page shows your featured playlists below. Thisis great for most individuals and business channels as itgives a broad view of your content, especially if youfeature your content under a range of topics.
  • 17. 2. Blogger – described by YouTube as “A reversechronological vlogroll of a featured playlist or your recentactivity”.3. Network – this would be great if you are aggregatingcontent on your channel or if you have a number ofchannels that you want to promote but probably not thebest option for most businesses wishing to showcasetheir own videos.4. Everything – pretty much what it says on the tin; youhave a featured video, then featured playlists followedby some featured channels.
  • 18. Channel AuthorityThe quality of the content, creating engagement(comments, views, like) are the factors that combine tocreate the authority of the channel, which helps to positionthe video as high as possible. Another important factor is the“inbound links” so motivated your customers to share morelinks directed to your video, you will gain more authority.
  • 19. 2. SocializePromote your YouTube videos elsewhereDon’t assume viewers will come to you, or automaticallythink to look you up on YouTube. Every time you post a videothat’s relevant for general sharing, blog about it, tweet it oradd it to your Facebook Page. The last two actions are easythrough YouTube’s account settings that automaticallypublishes news of a new video if you’ve linked up the socialservices. While YouTube is due to retire its “Link to Blog”option from the account settings soon, it’s easy enough toembed the relevant video in a blog post using HTML and willhelp push users towards your video content.Engage with the YouTube CommunityDon’t be a YouTube island. After all, it’s a socialplatform, so be sure to check out other content on the site,
  • 20. favorite appropriate videos and make suitable YouTube“friends”. If you really can’t, or don’t want to associate yourcompany with other companies or individuals, then thinkwider. Why not look at content or channels that cover yourlocal area, or that are for a good cause that you/yourcompany supports. As well as engaging with other users, besure to keep up to date with YouTube’s own news.Drive traffic to your websiteHaving a YouTube channel can greatly increase thetraffic to you website. By improving your SEO on Youtube,more people will find your videos and will view your profilepage. On your profile page is where you should add links toyour website and to other social media sites you may havesuch as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. By adding links tothese pages, you can take full advantage of your YouTubevideos SEO.It’s recommended as well giving a call to action at theend of the video for liking your video and/or subscribing toyour channel.Sharing
  • 21. The popularity of your video plays a key role in its searchranking on YouTube. It is especially beneficial to the rankingto receive a large number of views between the first 24 and48 hours after it is uploaded to the site. Similarly, videosmarked as "Liked" receive preferred placement. You shouldbegin sharing your video as soon as possible on your socialmedia accounts, embed the video in your blog and promote itthrough any other channels that you utilize.The second step to video success is to ensure that it iswidely distributed.
  • 22. Use the embed code provided with the video to place iton your website and/or within a blog post. This will create avaluable way for other visitors to see the content, and canalso increase your organic page results for those sites insearch engines.Sharing video content across your networks is how socialsignals are created. Both Google and Bing now factor yourorganization’s social signals into their algorithms. This meansthat every like, share, and retweet your content receives canprovide you with added authority in the major search engines.One aspect of YouTube that some organizations overlookis that it is a social community within itself, and a very largeone at that. Instead of just using the site to host your videos,make sure that you take a few moments each week to engagewithin the community. Rate and comment on other users’videos. This will also create a hyperlink from your userthumbnail and user name back to your channel.Also, the more you engage around you, the more likelypeople are to rate and comment on your videos, which areboth factors that impact your rankings within YouTube.Ratings, comments and likes within the site all count towardsyour total social signals.To build social signals, you should include a like or sharecall to action within your video, as an annotation added to thevideo in YouTube, or in the video description.
  • 23. 3. AnalyzeYouTube’s Free Analytics ToolEach channel allows you to view statistics about viewsand engagement, and see if it is possible to optimize itappears because of most interest to the ‘user. For example, ifthe views collapsing at a given time, it could mean that thatpoint has something they do not like, or bored.
  • 24. The final step is to analyze the results of your efforts.You will want to see how much of that traffic became fullconversions or take participation on the funnel.Take a deeper dive and look into the keywords that areimportant to your business. What kind of traffic are youreceiving on your YouTube channel based on each specifickeyword?You can also see things such as: Geography Demographics Traffic sources Devices Subscribers Likes/Dislikes SharesThis can help to clarify who your audience actually is andhow engaged they are with your videos.