While I have been an avid consumer of YouTube videos for years, I had never posted any videos on YouTube until I started working with clients who did. Needless to say, my ears always perk up when I come across advice for improving one’s YouTube presence.
I recently came across an article on PR Daily from contributing author Richard Jeng that had some interesting tidbits about building your YouTube presence. I’ve summarized them in the list below, but I recommend clicking here to read his more detailed descriptions to learn more.
Keyword, keyword, keyword
Know what people are searching for by using this YouTubeKeyword Research Tool. Your clever and unique title or description may seem great to use, but if viewers aren’t searching for the terms you use within the title, it really isn’t that great after all.
Know your competition
Once you know your optimal keywords, search those to understand how many other results your video is up against. Jeng cites that results totaling 500,000 or less should be comparatively easy to optimize.
Make the file name and thumbnail count
Did you know that search engines can detect keywords even in the name of the video file? Well, now you do. That being said, it’s best to include optimal keywords in your file name instead of just uploading “videofile8467.avi.”
Visuals are powerful when it comes to selecting videos to watch. Even though you can select a frozen frame from the video as your thumbnail, consider uploading a high-resolution photo and including text, if relevant. Don’t be lazy when it comes to this visual. Ask yourself: Would you want to click on your video’s thumbnail if you were seeing it for the first time?
Don’t forget a title, description or meta tag
It may be obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway, use the keyword in the video title. Also, increase your video’s SEO by including the keyword in the video description. Using it multiple times is ideal, but remember that it should make sense to viewers.
Don’t underestimate the power of the “related videos” option. Include keywords in the tags that YouTube allows you to include with your uploads. This can increase the occurrence of your video popping up as a related video for other searches.
Consider closed captions
Adding closed captions is another opportunity for you to increase search engine optimization. Don’t use them randomly, but make a point to use them if they are appropriate for your video.
Use a call to action
Your video can increase in popularity by how much engagement it solicits through comments or the amount of likes it garners. Use the description, annotation or the video itself to elicit this engagement from viewers.
Embedding is your friend
Reach outside of YouTube to get video views by embedding it in a blog, website or on social media pages. Also, make a point to have your friends or colleagues embed it on their pages, as well.
This is the quick version of Jeng’s tips, so I encourage you to read and explore his advice further. On a platform that has more than one billion unique monthly visitors and six billion hours worth of video consumed each month, it’s worth knowing how to stand out from the crowd.