Today’s webmasters are swamped with recommendations, arguing about the relative merits of participating in social media, versus advertising with PPC placements, versus pursuing high rankings in the natural SERPs. So with all these competing priorities, why worry about promoting your business on Youtube when you’ve got so many other demands on your time?
Well, for one thing, according to the official numbers on Youtube, roughly 60 hours of video content are uploaded every minute (representing an unbelievable one hour of video per second!), leading to a whopping four billion Youtube videos views single day.
Overall, Youtube is the undisputable “go to” site for videos, thanks to the almost 800 million unique visitors it receives each month.
Interestingly, though, only 30% of total Youtube traffic originates within the U.S, while the remaining 70% comes in from all over the world. Because of this international appeal, Youtube has been localized to a total of 54 languages, spread out across 39 countries – giving your video content tremendous potential exposure.
Youtube is also a social media favorite. More than 500 Twitter tweets containing Youtube video links are created every minute, while more than 100 million internet users take some sort of social action recurring each week on Youtube videos, including submitting likes, comments, Twitter shares and more.
With these statistics in mind, it’s obvious that virtually no other medium will give your business the potential reach that Youtube can offer. And as if Youtube alone wasn’t enough to crash your website’s bandwidth, the video giant’s tight integrations with popular social media sites stretch the potential to infinity!
Unfortunately, just as a web page must be optimized for the natural SERPs, your Youtube video pages must be optimized for maximum impact as well. Be it searches originating from within Youtube or from Google, you have a vested interest in helping users find your videos easily. But for that, you’ve got some work to do…
Are your videos optimized for the world’s second largest, visual search engine?
Just as there’s immense potential in optimizing your website for leading search engines such as Google and Bing, you’ll want to optimize your videos on Youtube as well, since this popular content site is also the world’s second-largest search engine. Not only that – Google owns Youtube, which means that its video content is sometimes served up as a part of its universal search.
In general, there are three Youtube SEO anchors you’ll want to be aware of – page architecture, content, and linking rank.
Of course, there are some limitations. Youtube decides on and controls its own page architecture, and since it’s chosen to display videos in Flash, Google can encounter difficulties detecting and analyzing video content on its own. Given what you then have left to optimize, consider the following tips on how to best optimize your videos for search:
1 – Optimize Your Title, Copy Description and Meta Information
For starters, include your main target keyword at the front end and the tail end of your video title. Following that, start the copy of your video description with a link to your website. Doing so will ensure that your video is indexed within Youtube for the proper keywords and that your URL displays as clickable on your video listing page.
Here’s a hypothetical example… If you’re making a video on woodworking tips for beginners (and assuming that’s the keyword you want to rank for), you’d want to structure your title like this:
“Woodworking Tips For Beginners: A Simple Documentary on Woodworking Tips for Beginners”
Alternatively, if you had safety clothing business for firemen in Florida, you could make a video tutorial on how to use your products, structuring the title like this:
“Safety Clothing Basics: Fight Fire for a Living in Florida? Stay Safe by Paying Attention to Safety Clothing Basics ”
In addition to optimizing your title in this way, start your description with a link, as in the following example:
“http://www.yourwoodworkingwebsiteforbeginnerslink.com — A brief, well-written description about your video. See if you can include your target keyword here, but don’t stuff it in. “
While it’s not 100% clear right now if the meta information you can include with your videos is of any relevance to Google’s search criteria, it’s still worth spending a few minutes on these fields.
2 – Tag Your Efforts with Youtube “Tags”
The specific tags you include with your videos will help users find videos based on the subject they’re looking for, as many users click directly on the tag listings found within Youtube. For this reason, it’s a good idea to pick 7-10 of the most relevant tags to your video for inclusion on your video listing page. Beyond user engagement, tags are also used to power “related video” searches – and you definitely don’t want to miss out on this additional set of visitors!
3 – Make Your Videos Shareable on Social Media
For an added video SEO boost, link your video to your established profiles on leading social media sites. Facebook and Twitter users are pretty generous when it comes to clicking on Youtube links and then watching videos, making this a great way to grow viral interest in your content. In addition, sharing your videos on social media sites also adds to the “signals” Google pays attention when determining which videos to include in its universal results, which has the potential to send spikes of traffic your way.
To increase this potential even further, you can also request that social media users embed your videos on their sites. This also gives you precious inbound links to your video page, which will ultimately increase your page’s authority and lead to higher rankings.
4 – Leverage Captions and Annotations
In addition to specific pieces of meta data, you can also add captions, annotations, subtitles and many other types of effects to your Youtube videos. For example, you can use video captions to place links directly over your videos for your viewers to see. These links can point to your home page, your Facebook Fan page or even directly to your email subscription form. Just remember that links you include in captions and annotations may not be clickable, so be sure they’re easy enough for your visitors to remember and enter into their browsers later.
5 – Drive External Traffic to Videos
Great, well-crafted video content should automatically garner some popularity on its own. However, you can take action to make your videos stand out even more – which is a good idea, as the more popular a video is, the better the odds that Youtube will send your video right to the top of relevant internal search results pages.
So how do you ensure that your video becomes popular? If you aren’t lucky enough to generate a naturally viral video, you can always drive traffic to it externally. To do this, place links to your videos on all of your social media profiles, on your blog and even within the free reports that you give away to your subscribers. In addition, encourage your visitors to rate, comment or “like” the videos, which can cause them to become even more popular.
No matter how you look at it, Youtube can be a potential goldmine for your business, given the tremendous popularity the site has experienced over the past few years. Get started by publishing your first video and optimizing it according to the instructions above – then sit back and wait for the traffic to start rolling in.