Most folks do well with normal search engine optimisation. However, getting your videos to rank well on YouTube is an entirely different thing. With over 200,000 videos uploaded to YouTube daily and more than a hundred million videos watched every day, your video may just appear like a drop of water in the ocean.
Yet you want it to appear on Google’s first page. That is the aim of every content developer on the internet. The last thing you want is to overlook the value of videos to you marketing efforts. Should you be tempted to consider YouTube a less effective channel of distribution to reach prospective customers then you need to rethink.
Compared to Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook; YouTube can be a little more difficult with regard to generating social engagement. But considering the appeal that videos have on audiences, YouTube marketing is well worth your efforts. The site is ranked third most popular in the world. It is also second only to Google as a search engine. This should give you all the reason to optimise your content for YouTube search results.
Why Video Content is Great for SEO
Video is great because it helps create more engagement and draws more interest to your website than traditional web content. It is easier for audiences to understand video, being more appealing to watch. Videos allow you more opportunity to get unique and creative with your selected material.
Perhaps you have experienced some difficulty trying to get your business to the first page of Google’s SERPs. This happens to many SEO experts across the globe. It is easy to understand why. Millions of content and thousands of webmasters try to do the same thing every hour. Each one seeks to get their content to show up on that same Google’s first page. The consequence? Stiff competition. You may, however, be surprised to learn just how much help you could reap from a YouTube video.
Leveraging Blended Search
One of Google’s methods of giving searchers the best possible set of results is through blended search results. This approach enhances ordinary web content with videos and images helping to improve a page’s appeal and search ranking.
This blended method may frustrate those who are used to seeing their businesses on top of the list but have now been pushed off. Google tends to favour sites and pages that are rich in visual media. The approach can work in your favour if you make good use of it.
Small businesses, in particular, have a great advantage under the blended search results. If they create some SEO-friendly videos for YouTube, they stand a good chance of hitting Google’s top results.
This changes the rules of the game. By leveraging blended search, it’s now possible for a small business to compete with well-established market players.
The competition involving videos is rather low. This is good news for small businesses, as it gives them great opportunities for ranking high in the SERPs.
How do you Create an SEO-Friendly YouTube Video?
There are steps you can take to come up with YouTube videos that rank favourably on search engine result pages. How well you rank is partly determined by the quality and popularity of your YouTube video.
Follow these steps to create an SEO friendly YouTube video.
1. Have a solid idea or concept
Creating the perfect video involves using a strong idea or concept that appeals to your target audience.
Certain businesses create videos that successfully go viral on the Web. These are rich sources of ideas on style. The same may not fully apply to your choice of content since content validity will change from time to time.
Here is the secret. A pure commercial will be regarded as just a lure. But if you come up with something that provides valuable information to your audience, chances are they will like the video. Your first aim should be winning people over. Sales are bound to follow. Win them first.
2. Demonstrate your products
Create a video that demonstrates how to use your products. This strategy will make your prospects want to try your products or services. Show them how they can choose from a range of your products to suit their varying needs.
Such videos may appear ad oriented, but they will have a positive overall impact, simply because they offer some value to the consumer.
3. Show your expertise
Educational videos are another approach you can take with videos. Consider how-to pieces or sessions, tutorials and learning videos that demonstrate your business knowledge. These kind of videos tend to help showcase your expertise and present you in a good light. Your viewers look to you as an instructor and in the end you are likely to close a sale.
This approach is highly likely to work in your favour since people are increasingly becoming reliant on help and advice searched on the internet. Someone will most likely use a keyword such as ‘How to boot a PC in safe mode’. When selecting the title for your video, ensure your Meta description brings out the content most clearly and matches the way people search for it.
People who get help from your videos will be grateful to you and want to make your site their favourite resource when needing help. As they keep returning to your site, your ranking in effect will go up. In other words, demonstrating your industry knowledge successfully works in your favour.
Bonus. Just like in other content SEO, keep your keywords in mind when creating your YouTube video. Carry out a keen keyword search to land on a few good ones. The easiest way to judge your competition for given keywords is by searching them on YouTube to see how many results return.
4. Review your content
With your content decided, the next step involves creating the video. Review your content before proceeding. Look through the main points you intend to talk about and practice them several times. This will effectively prepare you for flawless video recording. With no flaw, your professionalism will be unquestionable. You can always end your video with a quick call to action that highlights your business. Including a link to your site is also a good practice.
5. Use good quality recording equipment
Here your choice of the recording device will make a difference. You don’t want your audience to be deterred by poor graphic or voice quality. Remember your marketing success depends on these simple elements.
You can use consumer video recording devices, or even your computer’s webcam. It gives your video that sort of home-made quality that in effect assures your viewers that this is not merely another commercial video.
Just like in any other edited piece, your final recording will need to be kept rather short. Viewers don’t have a whole day to view your video. Two to three minutes is a good length.
Your video must be edited for good quality. You can choose from a wide variety of free video editing software.
6. Create a catchy Meta title and Meta description
Search engines cannot crawl video content. So, Google will rely on text content in order to learn what your video is about.
Video search engine optimisation, therefore, greatly depends on the elements that Google can recognise, such as text content. These include your video’s Meta title and Meta description.
Meta Title – your title acts as the initial point of contact with content searchers and the search engine. Carry out some keyword research and determine the right keywords for your video. The top keywords for your video should appear in the title.
Perhaps the video is about the different forms of exercises that one can perform to remain healthy during the holiday season. In that case, a tittle such as “How to remain healthy during the holidays – six simple exercises” will be great.
That is because the title contains two long tail keywords.
- How to remain healthy during the holidays; and
- Six simple exercises
Tip. Long tail keywords are as valuable for Video SEO as for regular SEO.
Meta Description – you best serve your video when you provide a link both at the beginning and the end of the video description. The aim is to provide your viewers with multiple chances to get to your website. Your Meta description should be a paragraph with your top VSEO keyword embedded discreetly. A description with a discreet call to action works effectively.
Tags – lace your tags with keywords and their variants.
Location Tagging – tag the location of your business once your video has been uploaded. This way your video will be uploaded to Google places and Google Maps and you will be included in those search results too.
Subtitles, Captions – Uploading subtitles and closed captions is a useful way of adding more SEO text that can be crawled. Other essential features include thumbnails and a YouTube Profile. Your profile should provide appealing information about you and how your audience can get in touch with you.
7. Use a sitemap
You may need to have your video embedded on separate pages of your website as well once it has been uploaded on YouTube. While doing any of these, submit a sitemap. The sitemap is another smart way of telling Google about the content of your video to have it correctly indexed.
8. Leverage social media
This process is achieved through simple SEO activities. You can share your video over social media and other websites. Begin just by following the same approach you would normally use with any other type of web content. Share it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
9. Blog about your video
Blogging about Your Video will also help it get noticed by your audience. You could share it on emails sent out to prospective clients. Your blog will effectively promote the video if it is focused on the same niche as the video.
If followed, these steps will get your video to the top of search results. Regardless of the size of your business, your video stands a chance of ranking top on YouTube as well as Google.