YouTube SEO Help
With a little SEO help, your YouTube videos can rank both in the search engines and in YouTube itself. This coupled with the fact that YouTube is the second most popular search engine makes understanding YouTube SEO critical.
This post is not intended to convince you that creating and uploading video to YouTube is a good idea, or that you need help to SEO every YouTube video. I’m making the assumption that you already drank that Koolaid.
YouTube SEO Help: Video View Page Layout
YouTube plays each video in a video view page, each having a unique URL. The below image explains YouTube’s video view page layout.
- YouTube video view page layout. Source = YouTube help.
YouTube SEO Help: Video View Page Meta Data
You can control your video view page’s title tag, meta description tag and meta keyword tag through the words you use to name, describe and tag your video. Specifically:
- Title Tag: Pulled from the name (title) of your video. Be sure that the name of your video accurately describes its content and contains the keyword phrase for which you would like the video to rank. Like every webpage displayed in Goolge, the blue text in the organic results is the title tag. Connecting the dots, it’s clear that picking a title for your YouTube video is extremely helpful and defines the SEO goal for the associated YouTube video view page.
- Meta Description Tag: Taken from the YouTube video view page description field. While the major search engines don’t currently use the meta description tag to rank content, they do appear in the SERPs (The black text under the blue link in Google.). Therefore, meta description tags should provide viewers a compelling reason to click on the link to your video. The search engines only read the first 160 characters (or so) so make sure your “please click my result” pitch is contained within this limitation. Also, if it fits naturally, try to use your target keyword phase within the first 160 characters. If forced to choose between using your keyword phrase and writing a compelling reason why viewers should click on your link, opt for the compelling reason. More on the importance of video view page descriptions later.
- Meta Keyword Tag: Keywords are drawn from the tags you assign you your video. Again, you should use your primary keyword as one of your tags.
YouTube SEO Help: Importance of Descriptions
Next to the title of your video, the YouTube video view page description is the best chance you have to tell Google, the other search engines, and YouTube itself what your video is about. Consider adding some or all of the following to your YouTube video view page descriptions.
- Transcript of your video: Search engines can not understand the audio or textual portions of your video… yet. Therefore, providing a transcript, or detailed summary, of your video in the description is a very good SEO idea.
- Link to your website or blog, or social media profile pages. The first line of a YouTube video view page description is visible without expanding the description field. Add a link here to a page on your website (or blog post) created especially to provide visitors more information. These landing pages provide you an opportunity to expand on the points made in the video and to SEO these web pages for the same or similar keyword phrases. While these links are nofollow’d, they drive traffic and increase conversion.
- Link to other social media properties. Your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Digg profile pages all make great links from your YouTube video view description. They allow visitors to interact with your social media properties and increase brand awareness.
I’ll add more YouTube SEO help tips in the near future. The next related post will discuss increasing YouTube video click through rates.