How to Optimize Your Videos with SEO Keywords
As well as optimizing your channel, you can also optimize your videos themselves in a number of ways which will help them to get discovered more easily.
The first thing to do here is just to ensure that your videos are HD and that they have thumbnails. Try to avoid shaky cameras or stolen content. Doing this will ensure your videos are seen as high quality by YouTube and that in turn will mean they get promoted more readily.
At the same time though, you should also think a little about SEO…
An Introduction to YouTube SEO
SEO is ‘Search Engine Optimization’ and essentially it means designing a web content in a way that makes it ‘Google-friendly’ or in this case ‘YouTube friendly’. The main way most people find new content on YouTube is by searching for it and in this sense, YouTube is very similar to Google.
In fact, the search engine is built by Google and is actually the second biggest search tool on the net in terms of the number of queries it receives!
So what can you do as a user to ensure your content is easily discoverable through YouTube? The first thing to do is to try and pick a topic that people are interested in and likely to be searching for.
From there, you should then look up the topic to see what is already present on YouTube and what you’ll be competing with.
The perfect scenario is that you find a subject matter that people are interested in but which hasn’t been properly covered yet on YouTube. If you can find that, then anything you upload will automatically succeed.
More likely, you’ll find you have a few competitors.
In this case, your success will be all about the keywords you choose, which you enter when you upload your video. Here, you want to use related words which will help to tell Google precisely what your video is about.
So if the video is about learning scales on the piano, your keywords might be things like ‘scales, piano, keyboard, electric keyboard, learning, learning music, music theory’.
This way, you’ll reinforce the subject of your video, while at the same time helping potentially creating a connection between your video and other successful ones in your niche to help yourself appear as suggested content.
Taking a look at the keywords and titles used by the top videos on your subject is a good strategy. Note that this also works on Google and a good video can come up in Google rather than a web page as the response to a search sometimes.
Finally, you have one last place where you can encourage Google and YouTube to index your video and that’s your description. This is where you’ll tell people about your video and where you’ll add external links etc.
This is a good place to insert more keywords and generally, you should aim to put lots of content here to create lots of ‘long tail’ keywords (wordy search terms that sound natural). Even if you just write the first part of your script here, the tip is to make sure you indeed write something.
More Optimization Tips
Meanwhile, the number of likes, comments and shares your video gets will also help to increase its visibility, especially at the start of its life. Again then, think value and make sure that you ask people to help out.
Also important is how long people watch your videos for. In other words, if people leave after the first two seconds, then this sends a signal to YouTube that the video probably isn’t very good. Make sure this doesn’t happen by using shorter videos some of the time that will guarantee faster watching.
The Best Ways to Interact With Your Fan Base
Another thing which can help with your optimization and which can really get your video to take off is to generate lively discussion on your videos.
While they can sometimes be annoying then, you really want to encourage comments in your comments section. One way to do this is simply to ensure that your videos ask interesting questions and raise interesting points that will invite discussion.
This may even mean being purposefully controversial!
You can also ask questions at the end of the videos and generally make yourself appear approachable. Similarly, you should set a precedent as someone who will answer questions by making sure to stay active in your own comments section.
Set up your account to e-mail you when you get a new comment and then set out to answer all these at the start of the day. This is also the way you get fans on YouTube and a few fans can be immensely valuable to any campaign.
And don’t forget – YouTube and Google+ are now linked!
This means that if you spend some time building your Google+ circles, they will all be shown your new videos when you upload them. A great way to do this is to be active in discussions in communities, to take part in hangouts and to plus one other people (you normally get a reciprocal +1).
Have a G+ button on your website if you have one too and this will help you to gain more people in your circles.
What this also means, is that if you share your YouTube video to a Google+ community and it gets commented on, that comment will show up on your YouTube video on YouTube as well.
This is a great way to get some initial momentum on your video, so try to find communities to join in your niche and then make videos you think they will enjoy to share there. Just don’t post to often or you’ll likely be banned.