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So you’re beginning to understand the keys to optimizing your website for the search engines; but what about video?  Last year, YouTube surpassed Yahoo! in the total number of search queries, making it the 2nd largest search engine in the country in line behind its owner, Google.

Follow these easy steps on how to optimize your videos for YouTube.

  1. Before you even visit www.YouTube.com, let’s talk about the video itself. Is the content interesting? Do you bring a fresh perspective to an age-old topic? If your audience would prefer to watch funny cat videos, you better make sure your video offers useful information people care about. Also, check the length of your video. As interesting as you may think your video is, others may not be willing to commit five minutes to watching you ramble on. Keep your video to about a minute in length – unless you have a really interesting five minutes of footage to show. If your particular topic is extensive, break it up into a series of one-minute videos.
  2. Hold your horses. We’re not quite ready to jump on YouTube yet. First, optimize the filename of your video. Instead of “TVCommercial_20110624.mov,” your filename should be keyword rich, such as “FurnitureStoreCommercialSofas.mov.”
  3. Ok, NOW you may visit www.YouTube.com.  Once you are signed in, upload your video. Write a succinct keyword-rich video title. Don’t let your ego get in your way. This is not a place to put your company name. Make the title count.
  4. Next write a video description that entices users to watch. It should be keyword rich (not keyword stuffed) and should state a call to action; encourage users to browse your online catalog or to call to schedule an appointment. You can put a link to your website in the description field, as well.
  5. Choose the most appropriate category for your video. Is it a How To? Perhaps it’s an IT-related video. By assigning the right category, you allow users searching by video type to find you.
  6. Take your time specifying tags for your video. Assign just 3-5 keywords or phrases as tags.
  7. You’re not done yet. Just because you’ve optimized a video doesn’t mean that’s all you can do. Just as with other social media platforms, YouTube allows users to create profiles. Optimize your YouTube profile by filling out your company’s bio with keywords and a link back to your website.

Last but not least: Share. Share. Share. YouTube considers the number of views important when ranking videos. Embed the YouTube video where appropriate. Share the link to the video on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Share it in a LinkedIn discussion on your industry. The more views, the more popular your video, the better your video ranks.

Categories: SEO
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