Optimizing YouTube Videos
Making YouTube videos is a huge time commitment. So getting them optimized is equally essential if you want your videos to be in the top search results. We have compiled these articles to assist you in your quest for optimization.
As recently as a decade ago, inbound marketing was a brand new idea. Marketers were learning that they couldn’t just publish a high volume of content — it also had to be high-quality and optimized in ways that made it as discoverable as possible through search engines.
That content was once primarily limited to the written word. Today, that’s no longer the case.
Today, a comprehensive content strategy includes written work like blogs and ebooks and media like podcasts, visual assets, and videos.
That last part — video — continues to be on the rise. According to the 2018 State of Inbound report, 45% of marketers are investing more in YouTube over this year — more than any other marketing channel available to them.
And with the rise of other content formats comes the need to optimize them for search. One increasingly important place to do that is on YouTube, a video distribution website used by the masses — HubSpot included.
Just like you would when optimizing the written content, you’ll use an SEO tool first to identify keywords you’d like your video to focus on (you can browse popular YouTube SEO tools below these tips or click that link earlier in this sentence).
With a keyword identified, the first place you should put it is your video file — before you even upload it to YouTube. Why? YouTube can’t actually “watch” your video to see its relevance to your target keyword. As you’ll learn in the tips below, there are only so many places you can safely insert this keyword on your video’s viewing page once it’s published. But, YouTube can read your video’s file name and all the code that comes with it when it’s uploaded.
With that in mind, replace the “business_ad_003FINAL.mov” file name (don’t be embarrassed … we’ve all been there during post-production) with your desired keyword. If your keyword is “house painting tips,” for example, your video’s file name should be “house-painting-tips” followed by your preferred video file type (MOV, MP4, and WMV are some of the most common that are compatible with YouTube).
When we search for videos, one of the first things our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should be not only compelling but also clear and concise.
Although your keyword plays a big part in your video title, it also helps if it closely matches what the viewer is searching for. Research conducted by Backlinko found that videos with an exact keyword match in the title have only a slight advantage over those that don’t.
So, while “using your target keyword in your title may help you rank for that term,” report author Brian Dean explains, “the relationship between keyword-rich video titles and rankings” isn’t always a strong one. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to optimize your title for this keyword so long as it fits naturally into a header that tells viewers exactly what they’re about to see.
Lastly, make sure to keep your title relatively short — HubSpot campaigns manager Alicia Collins recommends limiting it to 60 characters to help keep it from getting cut off in results pages.
First things first: According to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters. And while it’s okay to use all of that space, remember that your viewer most likely came here to watch a video, not to read an essay.
If you choose to write a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text, which amounts to about 100 characters. After that point, viewers have to click “show more” to see the full description. That’s why we suggest front-loading the description with the essential information, like CTAs or crucial links.
As for optimizing the video itself, it doesn’t hurt to add a video transcript, especially for those who have to watch it without volume.
Do Research on Your Topic
Much like the keyword research you’d do before writing website content. However, you also need to conduct keyword research for YouTube videos. This research will be the basis for your video topic and can ultimately help you determine which keywords and phrases to use in your video title, description, tags, file names, and more.
Quality content is crucial for search engine optimization efforts, and YouTube videos are no exception to this. Shooting video content in 1080p is vital because 68.2% of videos on the first page of YouTube are in HD. Also, videos that are thoughtfully shot, edited, and that tell a good story can help you get more video views, likes, comments, and shares, all of which contribute toward higher ranking in YouTube searches.
The type of content you’re filming will help you determine how long your video should be. Any video you upload should be as informative as possible and keep your audience engaged the entire time. Depending on your topic, this can mean that your ideal YouTube video length could be as short as a few minutes or longer than ten minutes. Regardless, try to avoid filling your video with fluff that isn’t beneficial to viewers. After all, you don’t want viewers clicking away from your video before it’s over, as this could impact your ranking.
If you want your video to be found, do not skip the optimization step. Instead, reach out to hughesagency.ca today if you need assistance.
Article compiled by hughesagency.ca
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