YouTube SEO and How to Optimize your video for Search Engines

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What is YouTube SEO and why do you need it?

YouTube SEO and video marketing have become a dominant marketing strategy for many businesses. Used wisely, your video will become your online sales agent. It’s by far the best way to get attention and engagement on your website. Video websites like YouTube are a great platform to host your video content.

YouTube SEO

These days, your customers would rather learn about your product by watching an animated explainer video than by reading a long text-y “10 steps” web page. They’d rather watch a whiteboard video than follow an elaborate diagram with boxes and arrows.

But if you’re like many business owners, you’re missing the most valuable benefit of video marketing: ranking in the search engines. You could start by finding out how to make a YouTube video for your business.

Videos are where search engines will find you. The Cisco Visual Networking Index estimates that 82% of traffic will come from video in the next 3 years.

Therefore, your videos need to be ready when search engines come crawling. And that means incorporating YouTube SEO into your website.  Here are five ways to make that happen.

1. Place target keywords in your video title

YouTube SEO

Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner to find the right keywords for your YouTube SEO strategy. Your video title should match what the viewer searches when they’re looking at your content.

Google still searches by text, so use keywords in your title, tags and descriptors. Experiment with different keywords; for instance, try using different keywords when you run the same video on multiple platforms.

Add video tags to show YouTube what kind of content you have in the video.

2. Use a Custom Thumbnail instead of a random photo

SEO for YouTube

Search engines will notice your audience size, so use an attention-getting thumbnail to entice visitors to click on the play button.

The most effective thumbnails feature an image of a smiling person against a bright background.  Don’t use a random slide: create your own thumbnail with graphics software or a designer.

3. Add a video transcript

Write A Script

Search engines pay attention to text; they can’t listen to the audio track or watch the action on your videos.

A transcript of your video lets search engines find your videos so they can be ranked.

Use your transcript to engage readers by adding time codes: when they anticipate what’s ahead, they’re less likely to click away.

4. Host your video on YouTube

Host Video on YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (Google is #1), so it’s a very good place to be when your ideal buyers type in their keywords.

YouTube makes it easy to upload your videos and will automatically optimize your video for mobile devices – a non-negotiable among today’s viewers.

5. Embed your YouTube video on your website

Embed Video on Website

Google owns YouTube and will have no problem finding your embedded videos. Additionally, views from your website will increase the count on your YouTube video, which in turn strengthens your YouTube ranking.

You’ll also grab more attention from your visitors, so they’ll spend more time on your website, further enhancing your YouTube SEO success.

A little YouTube SEO goes a long way in video marketing

Don’t be surprised if you see more views and more engagement after just a few tweaks.  At the same time, experience marketers won’t sacrifice their message to YouTube SEO. If your content doesn’t get read or remembered, your traffic numbers won’t make a bit of difference to your bottom line.

Here’s a list of the types of videos that get the most views on YouTube.