Many website owners believe that simply filming a video clip and posting it to YouTube constitutes good video marketing. Unfortunately, they are missing out on major opportunities to increase the number of views their videos receive and the website traffic they generate through implementing a few simple search engine optimization strategies.
Their loss can be your gain, so consider the following actions to ensure that your videos are properly optimized for the major search engines:
1. Create engaging content.
The best thing you can do to optimize search engine results is to produce video content that is informative, helpful and engaging. When you release videos that help people solve problems or entertain them, you increase the likelihood that viewers will want to share your videos with others.
As your videos are shared more, not only will your rankings within the search engine results increase, including both the traditional Google, Bing and Yahoo and YouTube's internal search results, increase, but you'll also earn more backlinks pointing at your video content and your website.
2. Incorporate relevant keywords into your videos.
Because search engines often display video clips along with text pages, your videos will show up in the results more often if you incorporate target keywords into your videos.
Consider incorporating target keywords in as many of the following locations on the video upload page as make sense for your particular video clip:
- Title tag
- Video description
- Category listing
- Keyword tags
- Subtitles or captions
To increase the likelihood that viewers will click through from your video to your site, consider listing your full URL as the first line of your video description. This will ensure that it's both clickable and is displayed above the "show more" tag, which cuts off most of your description on the video clip viewing page.
3. Share your clips on many video sites.
Sure, your videos can pick up plenty of views when optimized correctly for YouTube. But YouTube isn't the only game in town.
To increase the total number of video backlinks pointing to your site and improve overall exposure for your video content, consider submitting to any of the following video directories as well:
• Yahoo! Video
• Google Video
Submitting your video clips to these sites will require a little extra effort to create accounts and set up your videos for each one. But because the sites each have a substantial number of users, your efforts will ideally be rewarded with more traffic.
4. Take advantage of YouTube's analytics tools.
YouTube offers rich analytics tools that allow you to determine how well your current videos are performing and uncover potential opportunities to create appealing new videos. Remember: The more people who watch and engage with your videos, the more likely they are to be featured in the YouTube search results pages and to be shared as a "recommended result" when other videos are displayed.
Specifically, a few of the things you'll want to pay attention to include:
- YouTube Analytics, where you'll find data on your current video performance. To help you plan future videos, you can see which of your video topics have drawn the most viewers.
- Annotations, which are bubbles of text overlaid on your video and displayed while it plays. When used sparingly, annotations can provide a better interactive experience for your viewers.
- Channel display, where you'll have the opportunity to customize your unique channel page and make your brand more memorable for viewers.
5. Make a call-to-action in your videos.
When creating video content to share on YouTube and other video directories, be sure to optimize your clips with a call-to-action. Because YouTube seems to reward channels that have more subscribers, for example, you could incorporate the message, "Subscribe now for more great content!" into your videos.
Implementing any or all of these strategies can help videos perform better in searches and, ideally, expand your business's audience.
AJ Kumar is co-founder of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco. Single Grain specializes in helping startups and larger companies with search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media and various other marketing strategies.