Publishing a lot of content and optimizing that content so it gets found in search engines is an important part of inbound marketing. And when we say "content," we don't just mean the written word. Videos are an important part of content, and given that YouTube is by far the most popular video website, you should be publishing videos there -- even if you are a B2B company. Before we dive into the 5 key elements of YouTube search engine optimization, watch our video below about how to upload video content to YouTube.
Title & Description
Just like on-page SEO for web pages, you need to optimize the basic text information describing your videos: the titles and descriptions. As we mentioned in our video above, these can be edited when you upload your video. Your video's title should contain a keyword phrase for which your business wants to get found (you have done some keyword research, right?). Just keep in mind that your video title should be fewer than 66 characters, since titles longer than that will be truncated in Google search.
The description can be longer (2-3 sentences or more is fine), and it should also contain keywords and variations of keywords. Including a link early on in the description is a good idea, since only the first few lines of the description is visible by default (without clicking 'show more'). To include a link in the description, just add a full URL (including http://) in your description. Use this to drive traffic back to your website, and be sure to include calls-to-action on the pages you're driving traffic to maximize lead generation from YouTube. For example, on YouTube, the video included at the top of this post includes a URL pointing back to this post on our blog, on which we've included calls-to-action for conversion.
For SEO, you should include at least 5-7 relevant keywords as tags for your video. Using tags will associate your video with other similarly tagged videos, which will allow your video to be shown as a "related video." This will help you generate additional views from people who were originally watching other videos.
The popularity of your video (the total number of views and the number of views in the past 24-48 hours) is an important factor in how well your video will rank in search results. YouTube prefers to show visitors popular videos because they are almost always better quality videos, especially considering the fact that, according to YouTube, roughly 60 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, meaning many of the videos on YouTube are poor quality. Finally, videos that generate a big spike in views in recent days will get preferred placement and "honors," which adds your video to lists like "most viewed today," which in turn attract more views.
This is why it's so important for you to get as many eyes on your video as possible in a short period of time. To do so, share links to your newly published YouTube video in social media, embed the video on your blog, and promote it in other channels like email to generate views in boost your video's popularity.
Inbound links (links from other websites to your website or video) are important in traditional SEO. They are also important in YouTube SEO, considering that an embedded video (when a YouTube video's code is added to a website, displaying the video outside of YouTube) functions like an inbound link. You can see how many links and embeds a video has accumulated using YouTube Analytics, YouTube's internal analytics tool for account administrators. To access your channel's YouTube Analytics, log into your account, click on your username tab in the top right corner, click 'Video manager,' and then select 'Analytics.' Then take a look at the video's 'Playback Locations.'
Getting more websites to link to and embed your video will help it rank better in search results, so, as we mentioned before, promote your video to people who might embed it or link to it. Another tip is to find other similar videos and click the 'Show Video Statistics' icon below the video (next to its views count), which will show you 'Significant Discovery Events,' which will list whether the video has been embedded or linked to by other sites. If a blog liked another similar video, they might also like yours. You can then contact this website/blog to let them know about your video, increasing the likelihood that might also embed or link to your video.
Ratings & Comments
Higher ratings and more comments are also indications of higher quality and more interesting videos, so it's helpful to generate as many 'thumbs up' ratings and comments as you can for SEO purposes. The best way to do this is to create awesome content, but if you've already created your video, encourage your fans to check out your video via your blog and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn.
Are your videos optimized for search? If you're not sure, it may be time for a video SEO audit!