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youtube optimizationWhen we talk about SEO we like to look at the top three search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. But by focusing on search engines only we might be missing something big. YouTube gets more visits everyday than both Yahoo and Bing but we never talk about YouTube optimization. It is the third most visited site on the web next to Google and Facebook. Google announced for the 5 year birthday of YouTube that they are now past the 3 billion video views per day mark. Could we call YouTube one of the biggest search engines we are forgetting about?

We don’t include YouTube as a search engine because your website isn’t going to rank on it. But it is a great tool for driving traffic to your website if you can get a video to rank on it. Here are a few YouTube optimization tips:

  • Title, Description, Tags – Use YouTube’s keyword research tool to find a good relevant keyword phrase to try and rank for. Include that keyword in your title, description, and tags. Your video might have a cool name, but people are going to have a much easier time finding it with the name “Zombie’s attack San Francisco” than with the name “Zombocalypse” in the title.
  • Allow comments, ratings, embedding – Your video has a better chance of ranking higher when people are interacting with it. YouTube views your video as more interesting with these features enabled. Once you’ve enabled them encourage people to use them. Get conversations about the video going on in the comments section. Get your video embedded on blogs and social networking sites around the web. Think of it as video link building, kind of.
  • Make it interesting – The better the video is, the easier the last point will be. An interesting video will be shared automatically once people find it. But also make it interesting so people watch it all the way through. If you manage to get a lot of views, but people stop watching after 10 seconds, YouTube will know your video isn’t interesting and it won’t rank high.
  • Don’t spam – According to Matt Liu, the project manager of YouTube, many people try to fill the tags area of their video with popular search terms that are unrelated to each other and unrelated to the video. Make sure all of your tags are related to each other or you will trigger YouTube’s spam filter.

Other factors include the number of views and subscriptions to your channel, but those are more out of your control. Follow these YouTube optimization tips to get your video ranking and the views will follow. Make sure to include a link to your website in the description of your video. Links from YouTube videos do a lot to drive traffic to your site and help with Affordable Search Engine Optimization.
youtube optimization tips

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director