I am sure that you must have watched or uploaded videos on YouTube sometime or the other. If not, mark my words – YouTube is an incredibly useful and the world’s largest video sharing network getting over 800 million unique visits every month. If you have not tried it yet, you better do it now!
In this article, let us get familiar with the use of YouTube in business, how to rank YouTube videos and YouTube optimization.
What is YouTube?
YouTube is a video-sharing platform, where you can upload videos, watch videos uploaded by others, like, comment and share the videos as well as subscribe to YouTube channels of your niche and liking.
YouTube, owned by the web giant Google, is the second largest search engine as per Alexa rankings, and hence, it is one of the best places to advertise your business, share your knowledge, get entertained, and well, get noticed.
Can YouTube be used for businesses?
Yes, definitely. YouTube provides a humongous user base to promote your knowledge and business. Like many other huge social networking sites, YouTube is a very crowded place.
Business promotion is possible on YouTube but there are few YouTube SEO tricks and tactics you will need to use to rank YouTube videos.
A recent and very popular case of music promotion through YouTube, many of you might have heard of, is PSY’s Gangnam style.
This music video, makers of which had definitely thought of YouTube SEO and YouTube optimization for business, is the first to hit one billion views on YouTube and also one of the best-selling of all time.
YouTube Optimization for dummies
Uploading videos on YouTube is very easy, but unless you perform YouTube SEO, your video will not rank in the Google/YouTube search leading to less traffic and negligible response to your work.
Therefore, it is very important to know how to rank YouTube videos, how the YouTube algorithm works and how we can use YouTube SEO for YouTube optimization.
Like for everywhere, here also, I highly recommend a systematic approach towards ranking YouTube videos. Let’s have a look at how a great video in YouTube performs. The below image by webris illustrates the life-cycle of a video on YouTube.
This may look simple, but the amount of searching, tagging, filtering, and calculations YouTube algorithm does is a very complicated business. Here you should understand that there are numerous important things that decide the life of a video.
How to rank YouTube videos in four simple YouTube SEO tips
YouTube SEO Tip #01. Remember garbage in, garbage out
The soul of YouTube is a video. If your video is of low quality in terms of content and technical aspects, it will get rejected by users outright!
On the other hand, videos with better scripting and quality are more likely to attract users. This is a fundamental thing in YouTube optimization.
Remember, YouTube judges the video/content quality based on the users’ feedback. There are numerous metrics it uses for ranking YouTube videos such as audience retention and interactions (like/dislike, comments, share, and a subscription to your channel).
If you do quality work, it will surely get noticed. The viewership of your video is the first determining factor of how easy or difficult YouTube optimization may turn out.
I highly recommend businesses, spending some money and time in making good quality videos of their products so as to ease the promotion. If you do so, ranking YouTube videos is a much easier business.
Another very important aspect is video duration. As a rule of thumb, short videos (less than 5 minutes) are less likely to appear in search as compared to longer videos.
I personally think that there is no upper limit on the video duration, but for longer videos, you may need to consider content length, budget, and video size.
YouTube SEO Tip #02. The right video keywords for YouTube optimization
Video keywords are nothing but, words or phrases that appear in a video title or represent a subject, niche, or product you are looking for. Essentially these are the most important words in your search.
If you use video keywords in the title and description of your YouTube video, your video is more likely to appear in search. Choosing the right keywords is all that you need to do for YouTube optimization.
The very first thing in YouTube SEO you need to do is find out which are the YouTube video keywords related to your subject that frequently appear in Google search. Generally, there are following categories in which others upload –
- Methodology or How-to Keywords (e.g. how to write a blog)
- Opinions, reviews, and critics (e.g. technological review of Samsung Note 7)
- Tutorial and information (e.g. C language)
- Others that includes entertainment (e.g. adorable puppies)
It is better to generalize keywords to fall in above categories so that YouTube optimization becomes easy.
Another trick is to look for the number of searches your target keyword gets using the Google Keyword Planner. As a rule of thumb, keywords with a minimum of 300 Google searches per month are better as they may have a considerable number as well in the YouTube search.
YouTube SEO Tip #03. YouTube Optimization just before uploading your video
The core of YouTube SEO is how you use it in your video description and metadata. There are four very important things to look for while ranking YouTube videos.
Video title: Your video should have your target keyword. It is better if your video title is at least 5-words long. It is even better to have the target keywords at the beginning of the video title.
For example, instead of “How to rank YouTube videos”, you may use “YouTube Optimization for ranking videos” to make the title more informative.
Video filename: I recommend optimizing video filename which is just like image metadata optimization. Essentially, your video filename should contain video title, helping YouTube SEO.
Video description: I find that the video description plays an important role in YouTube SEO. This is mainly because the description is content that the search engines could easily read, just like any other text.
It is very important you spend some time on writing quality and SEO friendly content for your video. How to do this? Explained here is few simple steps –
- Write up to 300 words long SEO friendly description
- Incorporate target keywords in the first 25-30 words (10% – 15% of total words)
- Maintain a keyword density of 1% – 2%
- To increase your click-through rate (CTR), mention your business website/blog link at the top of the description
Video tags: Tags are relatively less important for ranking YouTube videos, but they help attract users from a specific niche.
Tags, like the title and description, again are in text format, meaning easy for Google/YouTube to learn about what you are posting.
It is better to have a mix of the broad topic as well as specific tags. You have to carefully choose the tags and add as many relevant tags as you could to aid ranking YouTube videos.
Tags are dual purpose because they not only help in YouTube optimization but also help you getting listed in the related videos section.
YouTube SEO Tip #04. Leverage your video through Social Network
You might be wondering that the first three steps are a lot of work, but you have to do more in order to rank YouTube videos.
Just have a look at the following illustration by Tag SEO which summarizes how YouTube optimization works.
The simple math on which YouTube SEO or any other video SEO, for that matter, works is based on views, audience retention, and audience interactions.
To even simplify this, views and YouTube rankings are positively correlated up to a certain limit. It is like –
Number of views* = YouTube video ranking
(*audience retention matters a lot, though)
This simply means that you need to promote your videos using all the means possible for better YouTube SEO. Now, here is a disclaimer – never ever use fake ids to promote your video and YouTube optimization. YouTube is smart enough to detect such ids. If you use fake ids, YouTube optimization may terribly fail.
This leaves you with only one option i.e. genuinely promoting your video and YouTube SEO through the virtual social network and other media. There are various ways to do this, mainly following –
Q & A platforms: You will always find people asking questions on topics in which you specialize. This is the right opportunity to direct interested people to your videos.
However, don’t be hasty in posting your video link. Try to provide relevant answers to the questions and provide your video link for a detailed answer or as a reference.
Social Network: Social network has tremendous power in trending posts, making your video go viral, and help in ranking YouTube videos, only if you use it sensibly.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are some of the websites where you should seriously think of advertising your video either through paid campaigns or simply by posting it on your Facebook/Google+ wall, your business Facebook page, or creating Tweeter Storm or Twitter Moment.
Just posting is not enough; you have to follow it up. Trust me it helps in YouTube optimization!
Your blogs and websites: Embed your video in your blog posts and on your business website to attract more eyes.
As you promote your video, hand-in-hand, also promote your blog posts containing your video.
As an end result of these YouTube SEO tips, slowly and steadily you will find that a systematic approach towards YouTube optimization results in a high ranking of YouTube videos.
YouTube offers a huge user base for business promotion and knowledge sharing. You have to simply upload your video and make sure that it gets noticed by users. With few tricks and tactics of YouTube SEO, explained in this article, you can easily rank YouTube video in Google as well as YouTube search.
Let me know your experience with YouTube optimization. I am eagerly waiting to hear your YouTube SEO success stories!