When it comes to video SEO you have two different audiences: the humans and the search engine robots. It’s important to cater for both groups. Aiming just at robots means that even if you appear on a search query, people won’t click on you, or if they do, you may give them a bad or confusing impression and actually do damage with your efforts. Ultimately it’s the human you need to get responding to you. However to aim at a human and ignore the robot makes it a lot harder to even get in front of the human in the first place. Most human use search engines (robots) to seek out the material they are after and it’s vital to appear toward the top of the searches they perform. Below are the ways to use YouTube to optimize your video for both humans and robots!
The YouTube video title is vital. It should be something that makes people want to click on it AND be full of the kind of words people are likely to search for. No simple task! If you upload a video promoting a New Zealand car sales business, for instance, you might title it “Cars for sale at incredible prices across New Zealand” rather than “ABC cars limited video promotional”. That way it registers both keywords as well as with a human browsing YouTube.
The next major consideration is the description of the video. This should contain a link from YouTube to where you hope to drive traffic. This could be your website or perhaps a facebook page etc. It’s best to have this in the first line of the description to make it visible even when the description box is collapsed. The rest of the description should be for both humans and robots. Fill it with your chosen keywords/phrase as well as make it a good summary of the video’s content.
You can add tags to your video when you upload them. This is your chance to simply list your keywords, separated by commas. These are just for the robots to help them catalogue your video.
YouTube closed captions
When you upload a video to YouTube you also have the option of uploading a text file of the audio as closed captions. This allows the hard of hearing (or anyone) to turn on the subtitles. YouTube analyses the text file itself and matches the words as they are spoken. This is far from perfect but it does mean that each word spoken can be read by the robots and so it is vital for them, even more than for the small proportion of humans who like to read them. This feature makes YouTube a really great tool and gives it an advantage over other platforms.
YouTube’s Overlaying links or captions
You can’t link out to other sites but you can link to other YouTube videos. For business purposes I think these overlaying captions and links look a bit tacky but they can help with video seo if you don’t mind them appearing on your video.
YouTube video responses
You can assign your video as a “video response” to other popular YouTube videos. If you can find a video that is related then you can post your video as a video response. You do this by signing in and clicking in the comments box and then select “attach a video”. Each of your videos can only be responding to one other video and the owner of that video has to approve of your video first. But if you do get approval it means you can get traffic from viewers of that video.
Although this isn’t strictly anything to do with your optimizing, it’s important to know how popular YouTube’s own search bar is. It now outranks ask.com, yahoo etc. to climb to the second biggest search engine on the internet. Google automatically catalogues all YouTube videos too!
You don’t get a totally free choice with this. This doesn’t affect the robots but can affect the number of clicks you get from human traffic. You can only select the thumbnail at either 25%, 50% or 75% of the way through the video. If the thumbnail is important make sure the visual at one of those points of the video is compelling.
YouTube optimization conclusion
By following the above guidelines you can make sure you get the most of your videos by maximizing available keywords and exposure on this truly massive internet platform. The more videos you post the more back links, chance of exposure and chance of getting YouTube viewers. If you want to know if YouTube is the right platform for your business video take a look at this blog on video platforms.