Top 3 YouTube SEO Tips

Mar 14,2011 Posted by to Search Engine Optimization

At last fall’s SMX Expo in New York, I attended a session on SEO and YouTube. Among the things I learned: Search engine users are 50 percent more likely to click on videos in search results than on text-based results. And Google Instant, the recent addition to the Google interface that displays search results as you type, has increased clicks on video results by 28 percent.

Clearly, videos are great for attracting attention from search engine users. Here are 3 quick tips to help your videos rise in search engine rankings:

Use YouTube for your keyword research

As with Google, when you start typing a search query on YouTube, the site will suggest terms related to what you’re typing. If you type “silly pets” in YouTube’s search bar, for instance, YouTube will suggest variations such as “silly pet tricks” and “silly pet videos.” These suggestions give you an idea of the terms YouTubers are using to find videos, which you can then add to your YouTube video titles and descriptions. Keep in mind, however, that the most popular terms are often the most competitive, too, which makes them harder to rank for.

Put your important keywords in your title, description, and tags

As with any SEO effort, put your keyword phrase at the beginning of your video’s title, as well as in the description and the tags. Keep titles within 65 characters (including spaces and punctuation). Longer titles can get clipped in search results. Use the entire space alloted for your description and make it as compelling as possible. Your goal is to motivate people to click to view your video from among the others in the search results.

Look at the analytics of other videos

In many cases, you can see the keywords, URLs, and related videos viewers used to find a video. This can give you ideas for keywords to use for your own videos. Note: Some people don’t allow YouTube to display their analytics to others. Also, don’t forget to monitor your own video’s analytics. If YouTube’s analytics aren’t sufficient, consider third-party tools like VOOT (Video Online Optimization Tracker), a new service currently in invitation-only beta.

James A. MartinJames A. Martin is an SEO copywriter and consultant based in San Francisco.


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