video-marketingThere are two critical goals for most YouTube business accounts. Goal number one is serving as a great marketing piece to help prospects in their decision-making process. The second is to rank well in organic search results in Google and on YouTube itself.

Having your company’s videos rank well on both Google and YouTube can mean big traffic to your site (and video). There are a number of factors that determine where your videos rank on both platforms. Google, which owns YouTube, is really focused on putting how-to videos and entertainment videos in organic results. They know people are continuing to watch more and more video. They assume you want to see a music video rather than read the lyrics. They think you would rather see a video of how to unclog a toilet than read an article about it. The exception to this may be branded videos for your business. Even if your videos aren’t entertaining or how-to related they can still rank well for your business name if well optimized. Having a strong YouTube presence and linking that back to your site should certainly help your rankings all around.
Below are some of the most beneficial techniques for helping your videos rank well.
There are many ranking factors for YouTube videos. Here are the most important ones:

  • Audience retention (how long people watch)
  • Keywords in descriptions
  • Tags
  • Number of subscribers
  • Comments
  • Likes and dislikes

Comments/Subscriptions/Likes and Dislikes: While comments can be hard to come by, there are a couple of ways to get them. The easiest way is to have clients or fans of your business comment on your posted videos. This is also a great time to ask customers to comment on their experience working with you. An example would be a comment like this: “I love this video. I have always enjoyed working with your company and really appreciate you taking the time to put together these videos.” Asking for comments can be made easier if you send people a link to the video and suggestions of the types of comments to write. You can also send out emails to your subscribers to let them know you have posted new videos and ask them to leave their thoughts/comments. Also use that email to ask people to subscribe to your channel and “like” the videos they view. Keep in mind the two goals. Even if there are not a lot of comments to help your videos rank better, prospective clients will read the comments (testimonials) from customers and be more likely to work with you or visit your site.
Remove Ads: Don’t let YouTube use ads on your videos; that is the last thing you want to do! You will get no, or very little, revenue from this. It also makes the video less professional and you risk someone leaving your video when they click on the ad. Check all of the videos on your channel to make sure there are no ads on any of your videos.
Tags: Good tagging helps you get found on YouTube and improves the likelihood of a video ranking on Google. Use as many tags as you can think to add. Start by putting commas between the tag phrases. For example, “digital aptitude marketing agency” should be “digital, aptitude, marketing, agency.” This will help you to appear in more search results. Use suggested tags as they come up, too, so long as they are relevant to the video you are publishing. It is interesting to note that people rarely consider geography when looking for YouTube content. It’s fine to use your city as a tag, but if you run out of tag space, drop location tags first. Remember, the more tags the better! You will be limited to 500 characters for your tags.
Branded Tags: When you view a video on YouTube you will see a lot of related videos from other people on the right side of the screen. We want other peoples’ videos to be replaced with your other videos (assuming you have several). Increase the chances of this happening by adding a unique tag like “digital_aptitude_flix.” It is REALLY important to tag every video with the same unique word/tag that has NO results when you search for it in YouTube. The “digital_aptitude_flix” tag has never been used on YouTube. That means YouTube will see other videos with that same “rare” tag as more valuable than videos with tags like “digital marketing” since there are millions of those tags and only one other “digital_aptitude_flix.” This means that when someone finds one of your videos, your other videos will display on the right-hand side because YouTube thinks they are more relevant. This also decreases the likelihood of viewers stumbling upon a competitor’s video. This won’t eliminate all other videos, but it will eliminate many of them.
Adding Competitive Tags: It is important to target other videos that are ranking well for terms for which you also want to be ranking. For example, let’s say you want to rank well for “corporate video production.” After you search for that term in YouTube, you can then click on “filter->sort by->view count” and see there is a video with over 169,000 views. When you go to that video, you can right click on the page (not on the video) and select “view page source” to open a new tab with a bunch of code. (Note that these instructions are for Google Chrome; other browsers’ steps may differ slightly.) If you search the code for “keywords,” you can see what tags were used in the video. In this case, they use “videographer, los angeles videographer, professional videographer, commercials, documentaries, special events, orange county videographer, video production.” To target this video you can use some of those same keywords in your tags. To take it even further, you can use the company name as a keyword if you want to be really aggressive. The company that uploaded the video is Galil Productions. You can add their name to your tags or their username “galilproductions1” as a keyword. This will increase the likelihood of your video showing up to the right of their popular videos.
Descriptions: Your videos should have great descriptions. Remember that YouTube cannot see what is in your video, so it MUST rely on tags and descriptions to know its contents. Your videos should have unique descriptions of at least 200 words written. Don’t skimp on the descriptions. Also, don’t ever use a duplicate description. Each one should be unique and describe what is in the video. You can also upload a transcript of the video for closed cations and this will help as well.
Categories: You can select from categories such as Travel and Events, Education, Music, and Entertainment when you upload your videos. We recommend you pick one category and stick with it. If you find one category you like and you have previously loaded other videos under other categories you should go back and change them to the same category. This will make it easier for you to be found by the right people. Thinking about the users you are targeting and what category they might use to find you. There are only 15 categories so you are limited in your choices and will have to pick the most relevant category.
Titles and Playlist Names: Titles and playlist names are not the place for stuffing keywords. Titles should be used to encourage the users to view the videos. Think of your titles like movie titles. A great movie title can make you want to go see the movie. There is no need to use your business name in the titles. The user can easily tell who the company is when they get to the video and it feels very much like a sales pitch before one ever clicks on the video. Remember the goal is to rank well and to also have a rich user experience.
Hyperlinks: Many people don’t know that you can have hyperlinks in your video descriptions. At the very start of your video description, you want to have your website hyperlinked so people can easily get to your website. To do this you will have to use the full URL. For example, wont work, but would. You should also have a link to the YouTube channel on your website. Having linking go both ways is valuable.
About Tab: Make sure you have great content on the “About” tab of your channel. Consider adding the content from the about page of your website to this section of YouTube. It would be ideal if this were slightly rewritten to avoid it being duplicate content.
By using all of these techniques, you will have a much higher likely hood of getting your videos seen by the right people. Remember, by having great content that is well optimized you will not only get found on YouTube, but you might very well end up ranking very high in Google organic search results.
What techniques do you use that we dint mention here?