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YouTube SEO: Tips to make videos rank and convert

Friday, June 7th, 2013 by Stuart Wooster

YouTube standard logoIn a mighty fine display of how your business can produce more content with its daily activities, I was asked by our Marketing Manager to turn an internal email I wrote into a blog post.

I’m sure she promised cake – or a number 1 ranking on Google, anyway…

Henry from PPC had this question asked of him and let it loose on the team to add our opinions:

“Do you have any tips for tagging videos on YouTube to get better SEO rankings so they appear on Google searches? Some of our competitors appear but we don’t.”

After having had a look at the site in question, I soon spotted a number of areas that I would improve beyond the basics of tagging videos with relevant keywords and brand names, etc.

These, I will share below.

Link to your website

In this instance, each video was about a product being sold on the client’s website. So, the first thing in the description of the video should be a link to the product page mentioned in the video.

This will signal to Google that the video is relevant to a specific page, so placing the link at the beginning means the viewer does not have to click ‘Show more’ to see it – thus increasing the referrals from YouTube to the product page.

Embed the video on your own site

The videos give a nice overview of the product, but are not being embedded or linked to in the product page. Two chances have been passed over here:

  • Telling Google that the two webpages are connected to reinforce their authority.
  • Helping visitors from other traffic sources convert by displaying an informative video.

If the thought of having a distracting video near a website’s call-to-action is off-putting, you can embed it at the bottom of the page. To help, the width of the video can be altered, or you can code a lightbox to pop-up when they click text such as ‘Watch video’.

Write unique YouTube descriptions

Just as you should write unique meta titles and descriptions for your webpages, so you should write unique descriptions for your YouTube videos. In this instance the client had copied and pasted the product description on their website into the YouTube description. For the sake of saving a few seconds, they now have a duplicate content issue which is not favoured by Google.

If the video warrants it, it’s also worth getting a transcription made and adding that to the description. Otherwise, spend some time crafting text that entices the viewer to click through to your webpage – and don’t forget to place the link at the very beginning, before repeating it at the bottom if its length dictates.

Link baiting

Just like any piece of content, think of ways you can engage with industry figures and influencers so they may share the video(s). This would be easy for the site I was viewing as they have a section on their product pages where industry figures were leaving reviews.

These reviewers have thousands of fans, the question is; are those industry people tweeting and sharing the product pages and videos? The opportunity to acquire this type of high quality social signals should be grabbed with both hands, especially as many of their fans are exactly the type of customers that this client wants to visit their site!

Keep optimising

Look at optimising YouTube videos as part of your routine – it is not a ‘set and forget’ task. Look at analytics and consider if the title could be rewritten, just as you would with a webpage. If you have a large amount of videos already uploaded, revisit them and see if they could be re-optimised, re-recorded or even deleted. If they contain helpful information, add them to your marketing strategy or link to them in newsletters. Using this video content, you could even create a blog post in which to then embed the video, before adding it all to your social media schedule so the content is seen time and time again.

I hope the tips above provide you with enough insight to rethink how you approach your SEO strategy when it comes to videos.

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About the author

Stuart Wooster

Stuart Wooster

Stuart took in an interest in Search after launching and managing a number of WordPress based projects beginning in 2007. This led to him making a career change and joining Vertical Leap in January 2012. Follow Stuart on Google+