People usually think that YouTube is just about videos of cats, funny accidents and video logs uploaded users. But actually the site is more than just a place to find all types of videos – it also happens to be the second-largest search engine on the Internet. After all, with millions of uploaded videos come millions of search queries and keywords. According to comScore, users logged over 3.7 billion searches per day on the highly popular video site as of March 2010. Approximately 10 percent of total Internet traffic belongs to YouTube.
It’s no wonder that many SEO consultants and savvy webmasters see YouTube as a golden marketing opportunity. Creating your own video content can help enhance and solidify your brand while reaching out to a market of millions. All it takes to produce video content is a webcam or a mobile device such as a laptop or smart phone that offers video capability. Applying SEO to YouTube can help bring more people to your newly created content while giving you the opportunity to engage in link building.
Keep in mind that YouTube’s search engine is a bit different from Google’s own search engine. For starters, YouTube doesn’t directly rely on keywords or relevancy in determining the rank of each video. Instead, it relies on six distinct factors that largely govern how well a video ranks in regards to SEO:
Content Delivery – Content Delivery is what can make or break your YouTube video. A poorly made video won’t rank well against one that is not only made superbly, but also rewarded with scores of viewers. It doesn’t mean that you have to have a high-dollar budget for a YouTube video – only that making a great video that grabs people’s attention is paramount to creating successful video content.
Title – Having a relevant title that most accurately describes your video content is perhaps one of the most important factors of your YouTube SEO. Since the title is the first thing users see on the search engine results page (SERP), having a great title can have a tremendous effect on the video’s click-through rate.
Description – The description box gives you an opportunity to accurately describe your video content in brief detail. You can also add a relevant, high-quality link in the description if it is related to the video content. Those who search for related content on Google and YouTube will see the description in the SERP. Always remember to include your keywords so that they appear in bold whenever these words match the user’s search query.
Tags – Adding a minimum of 10 tags, separated by quotation marks, makes your content easier to find and more relevant to the subject matter at hand. Using plenty of specific tags to describe your video can make it stand out from other similar content, if done correctly.
Transcription – While YouTube automatically transcribes video content, it needs a guiding hand to make it as accurate as possible. Fortunately, YouTube allows you to make corrections, so you can transcribe your video word-for-word. Using keywords in the video transcription allows the video to appear in the Closed Caption results, possibly giving you an increased click-through rate and a better rank in YouTube’s SERP.
Channel Authority – This aspect of YouTube video content is governed by a number of user engagement factors, including views, social shares, inbound links, likes and embeds. These factors contribute to your channel’s authority in search results, which in turn also serves as the basis for the rankings of your individual videos – it’s all connected.