While it’s SEO rules and guidelines are slightly different than Google, YouTube is still the second busiest search engine on the planet, and thus provides opportunity for online marketing and content promotion, almost regardless of your niche or industry.
Particularly, if you’re in an industry that lends itself well to video content, like music lessons or do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, videos can be an incredibly beneficial tool for promoting your product and company.
In terms of SEO, video-based content behaves a little differently than text-based content, and can actually be more difficult to market; though YouTube does give us some fairly simple ways to add text descriptions and keywords to our videos in order to make them easier to find via search engine query.
Let’s take a look at how to best use those text descriptions and keywords, as well as some other strategies for optimizing your YouTube videos:
1. Descriptions — Whenever you upload a YouTube video, you’ll have an opportunity to add a text description for that video. It’s a pretty straightforward idea, but here’s what to keep in mind if you’re thinking about promotional tactics:
- Its “OK” to say a lot — Having a lengthy description is a good thing in YouTube. Since the text is going to matter in terms of people being able to search for and find your video, the more thorough and accurate your description, the easier it will be for people to find.
Keep it organized — Format your description like a blog post, with the critical information first, and lots of bullet points and short paragraphs if possible.
Keywords — Try your best to use keywords in your description. Think about how people would typically search for a video with your content, then try and use those words to describe it. You’ll have another section designated for keywords, but it doesn’t hurt to use them here as well.
2. Keywords — The keywords section is exactly what it sounds like; a box where you put in keywords that will help your video show up in search results. Some people use a lot of keywords, and that doesn’t necessarily hurt you, but a better practice is to just use the simpler keywords and save the long tail ones for the description.
3. Content Considerations — Just as when you’re dealing with text-based content, the quality and attractiveness of what you’re marketing is going to matter a lot. Videos don’t have to be lengthy to be good, but they do have to offer something of quality and value, especially if they’re primarily being used as promotional tools. If they don’t offer anything beyond a product or an ad, they won’t help your business.
Here are few things to consider in terms of video content:
Entertain, Inform, or Problem Solve — Any video you produce should be able to effectively do one of these three things before it acts as a promotion for your business or product.
Draw the viewer in — Your video should be engaging enough to draw somebody in and make them want to watch it.
Shareable in its own right — The best marketing is the kind that has nothing to do with you, where people who have seen your material ship it off to their friends and other members of the online community on their own, simply because they like it. When you create a promotional video, or a YouTube video of any kind, the content should be good enough to be shareable on its own merits.
4. Outside of YouTube — Optimizing your videos outside of YouTube is a bit limited, but there are a few things you can do to help your search engine standings:
Embed — The hope is that the video will be appealing enough that people will want to do this on their own, but you can embed a video in your own blog or website, and depending on your page rank, this can really help that video’s standings in a regular YouTube search.
Social Media Shares — Share videos at optimal times of the day. Typically, late afternoon or early evenings are the better times to promote a video through Facebook or Twitter, and its fine to share it more than once, especially if you’ve left enough time between both shares. The amount of response and subsequent shares that it gets will determine some of the benefit, but anything that increases visibility will help.
Links — While this isn’t a particularly complex strategy, a plain text link from another website or forum can help your video’s SEO. Again, it’s far better if it’s other people who are doing this, so use your YouTube analytics page to figure out if you’re getting these kinds of links.
Videos can give you a completely different component of online marketing and visibility. They can also act as a separate lane into your blog or website. People are discovered on YouTube. They also gain popularity via their videos alone, so it’s not out of the ordinary to see a robust YouTube channel bring in a significant amount of traffic.