YouTube is the most popular video sharing site on the web and the second largest search engine after Google. Yes, it’s bigger than Yahoo and Bing search. Everyday, millions of people search for relevant videos on YouTube and Google. And there lies an big opportunity. As most of the people upload videos without taking account any factors for video SEO, you can rank higher in search results by using following well proved techniques.
1) YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool:
The first and foremost rule for successful YouTube SEO is the keyword research. YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool will suggest you keywords to choose for your videos along with the information on monthly searches on those keywords in a given location or through out the world. You should also use Google Keyword Suggestion Tool along with YouTube tool to decide more relevant keywords for your videos.
2) Include Keywords in Video filename:
The next thing you should do is to include topic keywords in the video file name that you upload. The name of the video file should match the keywords you’re targeting. For example, if your video is about Non veg cooking – then your video file name should be something like “Non-Veg-cooking.mpeg”. Do not upload videos with name such as “Mov123.mpeg”.
3) Include keywords in the Title:
Just like On-Page SEO techniques for any webpage, include your keyword in the title and try to put it at the start and end of the headline for better SEO results. But remember, title should be enticing enough to increase your CTR(Click Through Rate). YouTube algorithm also takes into account CTR of videos to rank them in search results. Don’t just include keywords for the sake of it. Your title/headline is the first impression of your videos.
4) Include keywords in the descriptions and Tags:
Description- Description gives search engines more information about your videos. For better keywords relevancy, always include keywords and variation of keywords in the description. You can do so by explaining more about your videos or you can also add the complete script of your video in the description for Google and YouTube to index it. It is recommended that you should also put a URL back to your website.
If you are putting a URL link in the description, use http:// before the URL or else it will not work!
YouTube only allows approx. 22 words for the description before the (see below) button. Try to put URL and your keywords early in the first 22 words.
Tags- I would recommend to use 6-10 appropriate tags for each video and do include keywords in the tags also.
5) Improve SEO with Closed Captions
At the bottom right corner of videos, you can notice a “CC” button which stands for Closed Captions. You can see the captions of any video by clicking on “CC” button. Google is using a speech-to-text conversion technology which will convert your video voice over into captions. But the results won’t be accurate.
So, it is always advisable to upload your own caption transcript file than letting YouTube automatically transcribe the audio itself.
YouTube uses a speech recognition feature that will automatically detect each line of your video and matches it to the transcript file. That means you just have to upload the transcript file and the captions will automatically appear exactly in sync with the video.
Google and YouTube indexes the captions of videos to determine the relevancy of keywords in the video and rank them higher in search results.
6) Authoritative YouTube Channel:
If you’re uploading videos to a new YouTube channel, your videos won’t rank higher in search results as compared to new videos by a authoritative channel in the same niche. This is similar to a new website SEO – fresh content by a new blog Vs fresh content by authoritative website such as mashable.com.
So, build your subscribers and upload lot of relevant videos to improve your YouTube channel SEO. And just like a website, upload videos regularly for better SEO results.
7) Off-Page SEO Techniques:
Just like Off-Page SEO techniques for any webpage, try to get many backlinks for your videos from high PR sites all over the web to rank higher in YouTube and Google search results.
To increase backlinks, share your videos on social networking and social bookmarking sites. Blog about it and ask other bloggers to write about your videos.
8) More Engagement Means Better SEO:
Try to increase engagement on your videos. Get more likes, favorites, & comments, respond to comments and ask readers to subscribe to your channel. YouTube takes all these factors into consideration while ranking videos in search results.
Update: According to a recent announcement, YouTube now will reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching in order to decide the rankings of videos in YouTube search. So, it’s not enough to get someone to click on your videos, you have got to get them to actually watch if you want your work to rank higher in search results. YouTube’s analytic will now include a “time watched” feature.
So what are the techniques you’re adopting to improve the search ranking of your videos? Do share in comments.