Many people are surprised to learn that YouTube is the second-largest search engine. It’s bigger than Yahoo and bigger than Bing, according to comScore. Therefore it is a shock to many search marketing professionals that clients, including large brands, neglect to formulate or act on strategies for YouTube optimisation.
Of course, YouTube isn’t a perfect fit for every company, but anybody who does business online should consider taking advantage of the huge opportunities for brand impressions available on YouTube. Even if the product or service you sell might be considered dry or boring, think about creating a series of funny or interesting videos that relates indirectly to your core business.
Embedding video within a web strategy is a great way of bringing information to your audience, and with the increase in performance of Broadband lines it is now accessible to the vast majority of users.
North London Building firm ASP Builders use YouTube as an effective way to provide general information to their audience.
Remember, a well optimised video and company YouTube channel will benefit the core website search engine optimisation strategy. Also, we do not have to create traditional TV commercials to get people talking about our brand.
Optimising YouTube pages requires us to follow the same rules as any other search engine optimisation (SEO) project, and all SEO can be broken down into three disciplines: content, linking, and architecture. Since YouTube is going to dictate how the page is built architecturally, that leaves us with opportunities to improve the on-page content that boosts the link popularity of the page.
There are primarily two places we can rank well for our target keywords. The first place is on YouTube itself. The other place our videos can rank well is on the search engines themselves. Remember that every video on YouTube has its own page, called a view page, that can be optimized the same as any other page on the web.
The videos themselves are invisible to search engines. YouTube converts the video files you upload into Flash, and search engines have a difficult time understanding what’s inside a Flash file, especially a video.
YouTube automatically generates meta tags for every view page. The name of the video becomes the title tag, the description (found in the “more info” section) becomes the meta description tag, and the YouTube tags become the content of the page’s meta keywords tag.
Quick tips for optimization:
* Include links in profile pages wherever possible. First decide where you want to drive the traffic from your channel/profile page, and then include links to those pages as much as possible. Ideally, you will be linking to other social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter in order to extend the social media experience, but you also might want to drive clicks to a customized landing page. There are many more opportunities to place clickable links than there appear to be at first glance.
* Include appropriate keywords in the name of the video, and use the word “video” when appropriate. The title is the most important piece of information that the search engines have about your video, and considering that most searchers include the word “video” when searching for a video, this inclusion boosts the relevance of your page as a search result.
* For each video, write a unique, keyword-rich description that includes a URL. Put the URL at the beginning. This way, even when the “more info” option is collapsed, the user will still see the link. Also, a video’s description is the next-best indicator to search engines of the video’s content, right behind the title. Use this space to place relevant keywords when appropriate.
* Provide video transcripts if possible. Until the technology improves, YouTube and other online videos are practically invisible to most search engines. Therefore, the search engines are only guessing about the content of your video based on the information they parse from the title, description, and tags. But if you have a full transcript of your video placed in the description, the search engines will fully understand the video.
* Take advantage of YouTube’s captions and annotation features. You can add notes, subtitles, descriptions, and links directly over the top of the video. Currently only links to other YouTube pages are clickable, but try this: You remembered to add a link at the top of your description, right? Place a call to action over the video that says, “Click here to become a fan of our Facebook page.”
* Tag your videos with keywords. Along with the title and the description, tags help the search engines identify the video’s content. If you have relevant keywords, place them here.
* Encourage participation. For each video, there are options for “Broadcasting and Sharing.” It’s best to open commenting and embedding as much as possible, but remember that you will need to monitor your videos for spam and naughty comments. Also consider posting your videos as responses to other popular videos. This is a good way to piggyback on the success of someone else’s video and divert some of those eyes to your own content.
* YouTube pulls thumbnails from the one quarter, half, and three quarters marks of every video. You can then choose which thumbnail is displayed. If it’s not disruptive to do so, try to manipulate your video so that a compelling image appears at one of these points. Thumbnails have a large impact in a video’s click-through.
* Take advantage of YouTube Insights. This analytics feature of YouTube is robust compared to other video sites and can provide information such as demographics and when people abandoned viewing specific videos. This data can help you improve future submissions.
Who did it great:
Today Translations is a Translation Services agency in London.
MintTwist provide Web Design and Web Marketing services.
Credau is an eco clothing brand for high fashion menswear. Credau sell into high fashion outlets in London and Paris and are seeking retail outlets to carry their lines into the USA.
Mistakes to avoid:
Most YouTube videos and channels are not properly optimized, even by big brands. Therefore, there is still tremendous opportunity to rank well on search results pages for many competitive keywords. Perhaps the biggest potential mistake is to close your videos off to sharing. It is vital to let users interact and embed your videos.
Also, resign yourself to the fact that no matter how good your videos are, people are going to say nasty things. As long as comments aren’t profane, negative feedback is good. A mix of negative and positive comments makes the user experience more authentic.