SEO for YouTube Videos

April 28th, 2010 by Patrick Hare

SEO principles also work for things that aren’t on your website. Whether you’re doing branding, reputation management, or advertising, it pays to make your content spiderable. This is especially true for YouTube videos, which can get presented to searchers who are looking for more information on many different products and services.

Optimizing a YouTube Video is very similar to optimizing a webpage. A well crafted title makes a big difference in getting search engine results, and some savvy YouTube optimizers will make sure to do keyword research to go after the most popular terms. You want to make sure your title has your keyword, brand, and (if possible) a catchy phrase that encourages people to click. From a reputation management perspective, you may want to put the brand (or proper name) first if the aim is to occupy top search engine spots for specific name searches.

YouTube Videos also have information similar to metatags, such as a “description” which should explain the video, and “tags” which relate the video to certain categories. When in doubt, do a search on YouTube for videos about a relevant topic, or videos made by competitors, and see what tags they’re using.

Another set of factors that go into YouTube popularity involve the popularity of the video, its age, how many times it is shared, commented on, flagged, or added to playlists. When you optimize a YouTube video, you want to get results on internal YouTube searches as well as external search engine. Older videos with more views and comments tend to move up on the YouTube search results, so if you want to do some “optimizing” of your own you should encourage people to comment on the video. If you know people with active YouTube accounts, you can ask them to add the video to the playlist, but if your video has a broad appeal among a specific group of people, you could seek out similar videos on YouTube and contact the producer asking for an opinion or review. It also helps if you are an active account user who provides reviews on other videos.

There are even off-site factors that can contribute to a video’s success. Embedding, links and references to videos on other sites will make a big contribution to the video’s success. YouTube also pays attention to the number of times a video is viewed, so if you have something worth sharing, you should tell everyone in your network of friends. For instance, if you email a newsletter out to employees, customers, or prospects, put the video link in the email. Since YouTube videos reside on their own permanent pages, links to these videos have an effect in the SEO world.

Finally, YouTube optimization implies that you are allowing your videos to be shared and embedded on other sites. On occasion, people who create YouTube videos become concerned when the videos are embedded at various locations around the internet. However, this kind of re-publishing is not harmful to you and can get the ball rolling on a “viral” campaign. If you have made sure to put your website/company information into the video itself, you can leverage these channels to generate more traffic to your own site. No matter how you choose to optimize YouTube videos for your business goals, YouTube definitely represents an opportunity for building a online presence outside your own website.

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