An introduction into YouTube optimisation

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Chris Taylor

YouTube is becoming an increasingly important content channel fuelling SEO. The myriad blogs and stats over the past few years really says it all:

  • Sites can double their organic search traffic by including a video thumbnail in search rankings (Source: Visibility IQ; 2012)
  • Video is one of the most shared forms of social media for brands; consumers share at least 500,000 online video ads every 24 hours (Unruly Social Video Lab; 2013)
  • Videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click through rate than plain text (Source: RankAbove; 2011)

Consumer appetite for video content isn’t waning either. With over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, consumers can’t get enough of it. Considering the perceived – and measurable – benefits on SEO too, having YouTube videos and optimising them for search could play a major role in your SEO campaign.

YouTube standard logo

This is why we’ll be walking you through a complete guide to YouTube Optimisation for content-driven search marketing over the coming weeks.

For this first post, we’ll touch on a few more benefits of YouTube for SEO; detailing why it’s becoming a valuable content asset. In subsequent follow-up posts however, you can expect to discover:

  • Optimising your YouTube channel
  • How to optimise your YouTube videos for search
  • Marketing and promoting your YouTube videos
  • Tracking your YouTube videos
  • Analysing your YouTube traffic

First things first though – more reasons you should be incorporating video marketing into your organic search strategy.

Scale of the market

If it wasn’t already painfully obvious – YouTube is big business.

Available in over 50 countries and across 61 languages, the platform attracts more than one billion unique users every month.

For marketers and SEOs, an audience this large represents a huge opportunity to drive users towards your site. The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs estimates that the use of video content has risen from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012, making it the joint-fifth most used method of marketing – in a B2B context – behind social media posts, on-site articles, newsletters and blogs.

B2B Content Marketing Usage

Consumption and device-usage

A recent comScore study found that more than 50 per cent of the population of the USA – some 178 million Americans – watched 33 billion online videos in February of this year (Financial Post).

What’s notable to SEOs and marketers about these stats is that 150 million of these viewers accessed billions of video-streams through a Google platform (most likely YouTube itself). Although, it’s possible that views also came from within the search engine results pages too, or on Blogger, through Google Alerts and so on.

Another telling stat for YouTube optimisation purposes, is how people are watching these videos.

According to YouTube official figures, a quarter of all its library is watched on a mobile device. This should ring alarm bells for those optimising both sites and YouTube channels for mobile.

YouTube’s daddy

As if all this evidence of YouTube’s scale and usage isn’t enough, perhaps the most important thing for brands to remember is that YouTube is owned by Google.

YouTube Father's Day 2013

This is significant because Google (quite naturally) is finding opportunities to integrate YouTube into its other products as often as it can. By simply connecting your YouTube account to Google+ page, for example, you’re unifying the search experience for your end users – and creating a strong network of connections and links for Google to crawl and get to know your site.

In short, producing and optimising YouTube content is a fantastic way of marketing your brand and entertaining your audience whilst complimenting your overall search strategy.

Stay tuned to the Vertical Leap blog as next time we’ll be discussing the technical details behind optimising your YouTube channel.

Share this article

About the author

Chris Taylor