YouTube Optimization = Quality + SEO + Community
If you’re looking for advice on how to best optimize your video on YouTube, one thing to keep top of mind is that it is NOT about metadata and text alone. It is no longer enough to rely on titles, descriptions, and tags for getting videos ranked. This may still work for very long-tail keyword queries, but there are now many different YouTube ranking factors, both on-page and off-site.
YouTube optimization, especially for competitive keyword phrases – it is about a combination of: 1) creating quality, compelling video content 2) publishing using SEO best practices, and 3) engaging with the community, both within as well as outside of YouTube.
As Google has updated their algorithms for YouTube, there are now many areas that you want to consider when you upload your videos that we will go through below:
Title, Description, Keywords, Links, & Tags
Your web video production must be highly optimized for it to rank well in YouTube. This ultimately means having your keywords in the right places (title, description, tags) and building links back to your video. These can be text based, anchor text links, or simply embeds.
View Counts / Frequency
The number of views your video has received shows that people are interested in what you have to share (if not manipulated). This helps build your authority and trust in the YouTube community. This also explains why YouTube viral videos seem to always come up first in the rankings. Also, YouTube looks at how often your video is viewed to make sure that your video content isn’t stale and outdated.
Comments & Thumbs Up and Down
YouTube shows favoritism to videos that create interaction among its members. When your video has lots of comments and lots of thumbs-ups, this shows that your video is interesting, provides value, and isn’t outdated or stale. On the other hand, when you have a lot of thumbs down from viewers, this can negatively pressure your rankings in YouTube.
Just like search engines love websites that have some age behind them, YouTube loves aged videos, as long as the video content isn’t outdated and stale. If you have a good video that is still relevant, and has been around for a long time, this will help you rank better in YouTube.
Video responses are above and beyond the normal responses that you might get on your video. Many times, comments on your videos are just spam. Just a few seconds of typing and you can pump out comments that have no real value behind them. Video responses are a bit different. Taking some time to shoot a video and responding to another video, shows that you have something real to share. Because of this, the video responses help rank your site better in YouTube.
Optimizing Keywords & Tags
Before you even think about uploading a video to YouTube and turning it loose, you need to do some research to understand what people are searching for in YouTube.
First, you should research your competition thoroughly. Take a look at the videos that rank well for your desired keywords. See how they craft their titles, descriptions, and how they set-up their tags. You will want to follow closely, but not copy.
Second, you will want to use YouTube’s very own keyword suggestions tool. I’ll bet many of you didn’t know that YouTube had a suggestion tool. If you start typing slowly in the search box, you will see a populated drop down list of variations of other searches that are popular in YouTube. That is a good list to consider when trying to pick your keywords.
As with any SEO campaign, picking the right keywords from the very beginning and optimizing well for those keywords are key to your success.
One very important factor to ranking well and having success in YouTube is factors. I will list the most important community factors below.
Make Great & Unique Videos
Today, anyone can create a video and post it on YouTube. However, not many can actually produce videos that are unique and full of great content. These are the videos that have staying power and can truly help people with what they are searching for.
Include Call To Actions Early In The Video
As with any piece of promotional material, you want a clear call-to-action to guide your viewers to what you really want them to do. Include your call to action early in your video for maximum effectiveness.
Post Video Responses To The Most Popular & Relevant Video At YouTube That Day
Posting video responses to the most popular video in your industry will not only help you gain trust and authority in the eyes of the community, but it will help your videos get more views.
Use Some, But Not All The Same Keywords As Your Competition In Your Titles
Using some of the same keywords in your titles that your competition uses will help land your video in the “related videos” area of your competitors. This will help you get more views and build your authority.
Post Your Videos On Thursdays or Fridays
Believe it or not, most of the video views that YouTube receives are on the weekends. Uploading your videos on Thursdays or Fridays will help your video get additional views and help boost your video to the top of the YouTube search results.
Article by Joe Forte, co-owner and producer at D-Mak Productions based in Phoenix Arizona. D-Mak Productions specializes in providing professional viral video production services to a wide range of industries and professions.