Video sharing is such a popular form of communication. Personal vloggers use it, and everyday more and more companies use the media platform to reach out to larger audiences to spread the word about their goods or services. But once you have the content, how do you market YouTube videos? How can you ensure you are using search engine optimization, or SEO, to stand out on the second most popular search engine (second only to Google, YouTube’s owner)?

It’s easier than you think, with tremendous benefits to your business. It’s all about taking charge of SEO best practices.

Video SEO for YouTube

Video SEO: Take Advantage of Focus Keywords and File Names

You’ve carefully crafted your message, recorded it and polished it up in editing. It’s finally time to upload your YouTube video! But before hitting “upload,” there are a few things to get you ahead of the game.

1. Stay true to your brand and rewrite any content that isn’t originally yours. YouTube will blacklist any unoriginal content—quite the opposite marketing strategy you want to follow.

2. Name your video. A good title will contain your chosen keyword and be at least five words long. Incorporating popular words like “how to,” “review,” or “tutorial” helps ensure your video will be found, as long as you are keeping them relevant to your content.

3. Use the word “video.” Another way to tailor your content for SEO is to name your video file the title of the actual video, but make sure the file name also has the word “video” in it. Video files that are appropriately named are more likely to come up in the search, especially when people are specifically searching for videos. For example, if your video is called “How to Make Soap Art,” your video file should be called “Video on How to Make Soap Art.”

YouTube Video Description

YouTube Video Description

4. Select your keywords. One great way to find the most relevant keyword is by typing possible words into YouTube’s search bar. When you do this, a drop-down list of real searches comes up. Knowing what viewers are actually searching for and incorporating these terms into your description will help you yield real results— i.e. views.

5. Write a description of about 200 words. While this may seem lengthy, this is a great place to insert keywords that will lead viewers to your video as they are searching for related content.

6. Use your chosen keyword at least once within the first 25 words of the description, and between two to four times total. Be intentional, but let the words flow naturally. As you’re writing your description, drop in other keywords or phrases you’ve found in the search menu. Keep word choice in mind, but also keep your description relevant. Write about what your viewer will find interesting to read.

7. Add tags (lots of them). Any and all of these keywords will also make great tags to your video. There is no limit to the number of tags your video has, just make sure they are relevant to the video content and your brand.

Be Original

Custom Thumbnail for Video SEO

Create a Custom Thumbnail

Channels on YouTube each have their own aesthetic. One way to stay recognizable across competition is to maintain consistency. Create thumbnails that are eye-catching and contain elements of the title, but stand out and are recognizable as your brand.

Also think about what your content will look like viewed on mobile devices. You don’t want the text to be too clunky or the imagery in the thumbnail too difficult to see, and therefore be overlooked.

Understanding basic video SEO is one thing—but you should also think about how you compete with other content on the platform itself. How does your marketing strategy fare against other video content?

YouTube Video Click Rate

YouTube Analytics: Click-Through Rate

Consider YouTube’s Algorithm

YouTube’s algorithm includes video click rate, audience retention, and session time. If your video is optimized for the algorithm, it means you have successfully curated an attention-grabbing video title, video thumbnail, video description and ultimately a video that keeps viewers’ attention for at least 15 seconds. Since this then adds to how long users stay on YouTube, it’s a score for the platform. Successful videos are then promoted by YouTube, reaching more audiences.

SEO best practices for video uploads are easy to follow, especially with a little practice.

YouTube Analytics: Audience Retention

Plus, the potential payoff of an SEO-stacked video is huge: more views, increased website traffic, brand awareness, sales conversions, and more. It’s about more than just creating stunning content; help your content be found with a simple SEO video marketing strategy.

To learn how video can boost any business marketing strategy, contact Professional PUNCH today!