Google adores its YouTube acquisition, but that does not mean it will automatically love any video you upload to its video sharing service. In order to improve your video’s performance, you will need to do your part to optimize your YouTube videos when you upload them.
Use Text Options Wisely
You have several different text fields that you can and should fill out when you upload a video to YouTube. Each of these text fields can improve your video SEO.
- Title: YouTube titles can be as long as 99 characters, so choose wisely. Create a title that is relevant to your video first, then consider adding target keywords you want to rank for. Any additional characters can be used to include branding or additional keywords.
- Description: Your description is much more forgiving than the title with 5,000 characters available. Use this space to write as much as you can about your video, including calls to action and requests for viewers to rate your video.
- Tags: Use this space to include search terms, branding information, and other short “tags.”
- Closed Captioning: Take some time and close caption your video. This helps viewers to clarify any information they might mishear, and it helps to make sure that Google has access to the full script of your video.
Remember, User Love Equals Google Love
After you’ve done what you can to optimize the text you have, you should focus on encouraging users to view, participate with, and share your video marketing efforts. YouTube’s search results (and thus, Google’s) are skewed towards videos which have the highest ratings and the most significant recent activity. You can encourage users to interact with your video by:
- Remembering to set videos to public! Everyone has made the mistake of keeping a video private, so double check your video’s settings.
- Enabling comments. Users will talk about your video whether you want them to or not. You can take a more active role in the conversation if the comments are on your video instead of on a different forum.
- Encouraging video responses. These videos are automatically linked to your original, and they give your audience a new way to interact with your video and brand.
- Allowing ratings. Turn on the ability for users to rate your video, and encourage your viewers to rate your videos.
- Allowing embedding. Not only does this option give you the option of embedding the video on your site (which is a must), but it also gives your audience the opportunity to share your video across social media and their other websites.