I’ve mentioned this before in previous articles, but it bears repeating. YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. The social video sharing site is only outranked by its owner Google. The site streams over 1.2 billion videos per day, and users upload something like 24 hours worth of video every minute. To say the least, YouTube is a powerful community and if you’re not taking advantage of what the site has to offer then you are missing out on a potent marketing opportunity.
It’s easy to look at all of the content being uploaded to YouTube and think the site is oversaturated. The reality is much of content being posted on YouTube is poor quality (i.e. crap). On top of that, most people don’t take the time to properly optimize their video submissions. With just a few tweaks, your content can easily float to the top of the pond where eager viewers are just waiting to consume it.
Create Great Content
Before you even start thinking about how to get your videos to rank well on YouTube and drive traffic to your business, it is critical that you produce videos worth watching. You can optimize your videos and YouTube account all you want, but you aren’t going to win anyone over if the videos are low quality, highly commercialized, or otherwise unappealing. Take time to create content that people want to consume. It should be useful, entertaining, or both.
Some examples of content that does well on YouTube include entertaining videos that make people laugh, webinars about hot topics in an industry, educational videos that teach people a skill such as how to set up a WordPress blog, and videos that touch on current events in a fun way. Take an afternoon to brainstorm the type of content that your viewers would enjoy.
Tips for Optimizing Your Videos
YouTube’s search engine operates the same way as other search engines. The primary driver of the search results is keywords. When a user enters one or more keywords into the search bar, the site pulls up results that best match the entry. To make sure your profile and videos come up in the search results, it is important to add appropriate keywords.
Add the keywords in the title and description of the video. YouTube generates meta tags using these items. Not only does this information show up in the site’s search results, but Google and other search engines use that information when listing the videos in their own search result pages. This can help increase the reach of your video, especially if a lot of people like it and link to it. Also, use keywords in the video’s tags.
In addition to writing a keyword-rich description, be certain to include links. Try to place the links at the beginning of the description so they don’t get lost underneath the “more info” portion of the video information section. The links should be relevant to the video and encourage users to take action on what they just watched. You can also use the annotation feature to link to other videos on your account.
Search engines have no way of knowing what is on the video. It would be very helpful to include a transcript of the video, not only for search engines but for people that may want to quote passages from it. Since the video information section may be too small, it’s probably best to place this transcript on your website and link to it from the video’s description box.
Taking time to optimize your YouTube videos will give you an advantage over your competition. You’ll be rewarded with more views and great prospects.