Optimize Your Videos For YouTube

One of the most popular search engines online today wasactually started created by three former PayPal employees back in February2005.  It’s not Google, Yahoo, or Bing –it’s YouTube.  The site attractscountless viewers every day and is considered to be the largest video based websiteon the Internet.

Developing and promoting videos is a great way to generatetraffic and promote your products, services, and special offers.  Thequestion everyone wants answered is how to get your videos ranked high onYouTube and even appear in organic search results too.  The good news is that by following a few basic optimization principles, you can quickly and easily optimize your videos for YouTube.

Let’s start with some basic YouTube ranking factors. This search engine works differently thanother search algorithms.  From myexperience, where you appear on the platform and in relation to specific searchqueries depends on a few factors. 

1. Relevancy.Metadata is exceptionally important on YouTube because of the search algorithmitself as well as the role that related videos play as part of the overallvideo viewing experience. Your video title, description, keywords, etc. areheavily weighed as part of search queries. 

2. Ratings. YouTube,just like Amazon, puts a lot of weight on user ratings.  The rating and quantity of reviews indicatesthe viewer’s approval of your video and tells the search algorithm that yourvideo is ideal to promote to the rest of the YouTube universe. 

3. Responses.  YouTube is also very interested in thecomments and responses that others are making. When individuals take the time tosubmit video responses in addition to comments, YouTube gauges the additionalinterest as a key indicator of popularity, thus moving your video higher and higher in search results.

    Optimizing your video is based on four simple, yet powerfulsteps.  True video optimization beginswith the video itself.  It’s thenfollowed by properly formatted titles, tags, and descriptions. 


    When you produce your video, keep your video length longerthan one and a half minutes but shorter than eight minutes.  Videos that seem to rank well both on YouTubeand organically follow this general rule of thumb with regard tolength.  Also, be sure to speak clearly when producing your video,using keywords in the first 10 seconds of the video and last 10 seconds ofthe video.  It’s believed that Google isactually indexing some of your audio. 


    Title your video like you would a pay-per-click ad.  You want users to click through on your titleto improve interactivity and views.  It's certainly believed that having a strong title and good click-through-ratecan boost the rankings of your video.

    When creating your title, include your most importantkeywords at the beginning of the title and keep the title brief.  The shorter the title the more weight you're giving to your keyword phrases.  However,you want the title to be powerful enough to encourage clicks.  Remember to use your keywords first, brandinglast, and encourage click-throughs. 


    When creating your description, again, be sure to use yourkeywords in the beginning.  Youdefinitely have more room than you did in your title or even on conventionalsearch engines to describe your video.  Keep in mind that youcan use the description to include information about your video in general andprovide specific info on products or services.

    I always like to place a URL to a site I’d like to promoteat the very beginning of my YouTube video description. This ensures that theURL is visible and clickable next to your video.  It’s a great way to promote third-partysites, passing authority and link juice of significant proportion. 


    One of the best ways to optimize your tags is to again beginwith your chosen keyword phrase.  Thesecond step is to do some research in the channel that your video will likelyfit into.  What types of tags are beingused by the top ranking videos?  Youshould integrate some of the same tags into the tags associate with your videoto ensure a good ranking among similar videos that have already been posted. 

    Just the Beginning

    Optimizing just a few features on YouTube such as the videoitself, title, description, and video tags is a good starting point for improving theranking of your videos.  There are avariety of additional techniques to further optimize videos for YouTube that deal more closely with the social aspect of the video site itself.  Views,reviews, etc. are all significant factors designed to manipulate video rankingson YouTube.  I’ll be sure to cover theseadditional factors in future posts.