As a screen media content creator, one of the most important online venues for your work is going to be YouTube. Not only is the video site being used as a search engine in its own right (second only to Google according to Comscore), but video results from YouTube dominate Google’s search results. It is extremely important to have a strategy to help your online video do well on YouTube searches as well as on the more traditional search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Here are my six top tips for YouTube search engine optimization (SEO):
1. Keyword Research
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you knew this was coming. Keyword research is critical for success with Internet search. When doing this kind of search market research for YouTube, however, make sure you also check the data available in YouTube’s own Keyword Research Tool and the automatic suggestions that this site makes as you start to type in a search query.
2. Check out the Competition
For screen media producers other videos and channels targeting the same terms can be potential partners. Search YouTube for the most important terms as determined by your keyword research and use this information to identify other video creators who share your audience. If they have been successful, get to know them better by checking out their video statistics in YouTube Insights and see how they have set up their channels and videos. If they are relevant and complementary, add them to your own favourites and playlists, comment on their content and try to start a legitimate dialogue.
3. Optimize your Channel
Make sure you use important keyword phrases in the following places:
- Under the Settings tab at the top of the page, your channel Title & Tags should be descriptive and include targeted phrases.
- Under the Profile settings include keywords in how you Describe Yourself and your Interests, and make sure your favourite Movies, Shows, Music and Books include similar genres and topics to your project.
Encourage links, comments and ratings through the text you use throughout your channel and postings. This is key to doing well on YouTube searches. And make sure your YouTube account is activated for sharing with your other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
4. Optimize your Video
Your keyword research once again comes into play as you upload videos. Include important terms in the title, description and tags associated with each video.
Upload your video at midnight California time to maximize the views possible during the first 24 hours.
Create and add your video to a playlist as these are ranked separately and increase your chances of being found on a YouTube search. (If your channel is for your production company, then playlists are also a great way to organize all your videos related to a specific production.)
5. Promote your YouTube presence
Your channel and videos are optimized for search and now it’s time to get the word out. Embed your video in a YouTube player on your website and make sure your channel is synced up automatically with your Facebook page and other social media. Tell your family, friends, fans, production crew, cast, anyone you can think of to go and check out your video, especially in the first 24 hours which is the equivalent of a film’s opening theatrical weekend. Also encourage them to comment, rate and share as much as possible to leverage all parts of YouTube’s search algorithm.
6. Learn from your Metrics
YouTube Insights does a great job providing information about the lifecycle of each video you post. This can give you great direction in terms of how and what you could do differently and better the next time around. It is especially useful in terms of what sites are driving the most eyeballs to your video. These are potential opportunities to pursue for each subsequent video you release on YouTube.
Some Final Words
It is important to not just upload your trailer and then never use or look at YouTube again for your screen media project. Hopefully, you have created multiple video assets during the production of your show and these are all potentially interesting to your audience. Behind the scenes, deleted scenes, alternative endings…all are potential fodder for YouTube. The power of this venue is often in the momentum and following you can create with interesting, repeated and regular uploads. And the more history and activity you generate the better you can do on searches.
Like all social media, YouTube is only as valuable as the conversation you participate in. So go start chatting.
Or Revisit Last Week: Social Media Optimization (SMO) vs. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Video
Submit suggestions, questions or tips of your own via email to annelise(at)veria.ca or on Twitter @veriatweet