Making Video Work: Improving YouTube SEO

Video marketing is an increasingly popular mode, engaging viewers and creating a more personalized relationship between businesses and clients. However, if you can’t get viewers to find your videos because of poor labeling or ineffective SEO, then video marketing won’t help your business advance. Strategic SEO can get your videos to the top of the YouTube search results and help customers build familiarity with your business. Try these tips for improving your YouTube SEO:

  • Upload HD video instead of SD. High definition videos consistently rank higher than standard videos in searches. Part of the reason for this is that HD videos are a bigger investment, so people put more effort into them. Combining high quality content with high quality video is a sure way to improve your search hits.
  • Use the closed captions and provide transcripts. By captioning and transcribing your videos, you not only increase the accessibility of your video for wider audiences, you also increase the amount of data available for search terms. Searches will in fact search within the closed captioning on your video, a little known fact. A transcript in the description will also figure in the search results.
  • Label your files with keywords. Even if viewers can’t see your file name, search engines can. By uploading your movie with a keyword heavy title, you improve your SEO over something simply labeled MOV001.
  • Use tags appropriately. When tagging your video include all possibly relevant information in the tags. Additionally, pay attention to the tags on other videos that are similar to yours. By using the same tags, you’ll show up as a related video when viewers watch that clip, increasing the likelihood they will click through to yours.
  • Create an active YouTube channel. Videos associated with active YouTube channels, like articles on active blogs, rank better in terms of SEO. This type of listing allows each video’s data to be enriched by the surrounding data. But don’t be fooled into adding lots of irrelevant videos – unrelated information may decrease the usefulness of any SEO data on that page.

Do you do any YouTube advertising? What YouTube tools do you find most useful for improving SEO?

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Bird Pilatsky is a PhD student in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. A graduate of Smith College, with a B.A. in English and the Study of Women and Gender. She works as an archivist and research assistant with particular interests in LGBT issues, disability studies, and literature. Bird also works as a summer camp counselor. She has worked as an art & layout editor, runs an active blog, and enjoys reading, running, and rollerskating.

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