YouTube is now the second largest search engine after Google, with over a billion users and across 54 languages. With an audience this large, isn’t it time you thought about including YouTube in your social media strategy? Uploading your own videos to YouTube is a great way to increase your social reach, generating traffic and promoting your services in the process.
With about 300 hours of video footage being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s important to learn how to stand out from the crowd. Learning how to optimise your YouTube videos can help you attract more viewers and potential clients and leads.
YouTube ranks videos using “metadata” which includes the video’s descriptions, titles and tags, as well as engagement factors, such as how many people watch your video to the end, how many like, comment and share your video, and how many viewers subscribe after watching it.
By optimising this metadata, you can increase the number of people who see your video and their engagement with it then increases the chances of it being seen by even more people. Optimise your videos really well and they could rank in Google searches as well, reaching an even wider audience.
So, if you want to learn how to boost your viewing figures, just follow these four foolproof steps to optimise your YouTube uploads.
1. Optimise your video titles
Of course it’s important to have a compelling video title but it also needs to include words that people are likely to search for. Pick a title of about 50 characters that includes relevant keywords that people may use when searching for videos like yours. Make sure the title of your video file matches the one you choose to use on YouTube.
Keywords are so important because YouTube can’t actually watch your videos to find out what they are about so it relies on the information it can gleen from your title and file name to help categorise your video. Keywords play a huge part in this process of categorisation.
But while they are important, Keywords don’t have to be complicated or daunting. Take wine sales brand Travelling Vineyard for example – you’ll see their titles include their brand name and very simple wine-related keywords, such as ‘wine’ and ‘pinot noir’.
2. Don’t forget your video tags
Not only do your title and file name need to include your relevant keywords, you should also think of a few more keyword phrases to add as tags when you upload the video to YouTube. This is another way YouTube will work out what your video is about.
Start by creating a list of potential keywords and Google each one and see whether there are any YouTube videos on the first page of results. If there are then you have found yourself a ‘video keyword’. This is a keyword that will help your video rank in Google as well as YouTube, giving your video even more reach.
3. Write detailed video descriptions
YouTube video descriptions are possibly the best tool you have to demonstrate to YouTube what your video is actually about. Make your description at least 250 words long and include as much relevant information as possible. Remember, while your description will help YouTube categorise your video you still need to write it with your views at the forefront of your mind.
Once you’ve got your relevant keywords include them in your video description, using your main title keyword somewhere in the first 25 words of your descriptions.
You should also include your key business information such as your brand name, website and links to your social media in your description. Bear in mind, viewers are unlikely to read your entire description, so put your most important information at the start of your description. Brands like Lush Hair Extensions are a good example of how to get it right – they use keywords and link to both their website and social media platforms while giving viewers all the relevant information they are likely to want after watching the video.
4. Check your channel and profile settings
Finally, there a few very simple ways to make sure your channel is as visible as it can be:
- Select ‘visible’ in your channel settings
- Select ‘public’ in your video’s privacy settings
- Use your brand’s name as both your profile name and your YouTube channel name
- Use relevant keywords in your profile and channel descriptions to help people search for your company. Include links to your website and social media as well
- Promote your videos! Optimisation is important but you can also help generate traffic by celebrating your videos. Try embedding them in your website, linking to them from your social media and posting them in relevant forums. And never be afraid to include a bold call to action asking people to subscribe to your channel and comment, share or like. Remember, the more your viewers engage, the better your video will rank and the more people will see it
These easy but effective ways to optimise your YouTube channel and videos will give you a better chance of attracting the viewers you need to grow your brand’s client base.