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10 Steps to Optimize Your YouTube Video

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We’ve continued to work on our optimization guide for our clients. While we audit and provide our clients with what’s wrong and why it’s wrong, it’s imperative that we also provide the guidance on how to correct the issues.

When we audit our clients, we’re always surprised at the minimal effort put into to enhance their YouTube presence and the associated information with the videos they upload. Most just upload the video, set the title, and walk away. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google and also compliments Google Search Engine Result Pages. Optimizing your video will ensure its found in relevant searches.

Before You Publish

A few tips on your video’s production. Outside of the actual recording and editing of the video, don’t ignore these important video elements before you publish:

  • Audio – Did you know more people will leave a video for audio issues than video quality? Be sure to record your video with great audio equipment to capture the sound without echoes, reverb, and background noise.
  • Intro – A strong intro should set the tone for why people should continue watching your video. Too many viewers watch a few seconds and walk away. Introduce your brand and tell people what they’re going to learn if they stick around.
  • Outro – A strong outro with a call-to-action and a destination are critical to getting your viewer to take the next step. I’d highly encourage a destination URL, or even an email address and phone number, in the final seconds of your video. Be sure the URL in the video matches the URL we describe in the steps below.

YouTube Video Optimization

Here’s a breakdown of what we look for when reviewing a client’s YouTube videos:

  1. Video Title – Your video channel should provide a keyword rich title. By far, how you title your video is the most important factor. YouTube uses your video title for both the heading on the page and the title of it. Utilize keywords first, then your company information:

    How to Optimize Your YouTube Video | MarTech

  2. Details – Once you upload your video, you’ll see that there are many, many more options for detailing the information on your video. If you are attracting a local audience, you can actually add a location to your video. Fill in every detail you can, it all helps to ensure your video is indexed properly and found!
  3. Video – Be sure to select the preview image that is most compelling for your video. YouTube partners actually get to set their preview images… hopefully, we’ll get to do that soon some day. There are some YouTube hacks out there that describe one frame YouTube pulls for the screenshot, but YouTube sometimes changes the algorithm.
  4. URL First – If someone finds your video and they enjoy it, how are they going to return to your site to engage with you? In your description field, your first step should be to put a link back to the landing page you wish people to visit. Place the URL first so that it’s still visible with the truncated description field that YouTube makes.
  5. Description – Don’t just put a line or two, write a robust explanation of your video. Many successful videos actually include the video transcription in its entirety. Having supporting content on any page is important… on YouTube it’s imperative.
  6. Captions – More and more people are viewing videos with the sound off. Send off your video for captioning so folks can read along with the video.
  7. Tags – Utilize tags effectively to list keywords that you want people to find your video for. Tagging your video is imperative to get found in YouTube searches.
  8. Comments – Videos with high comment activity tend to rank much higher than videos with no comments. Share your video with colleagues and coworkers and encourage them to add a thumbs-up and a comment on the video.
  9. Views – You’re not done yet! Promote your video everywhere… in blog posts, on web pages, in social networks and even with press releases. The more views that your video gets, the more popular it will be. And people tend to watch a video with views and skip over those with low counts of views.
  10. Video Sitemaps – If videos are a key part of your site, you may also wish to create a video sitemap when publishing them on your website or blog. Video content includes web pages which embed video, URLs to players for video, or the URLs of raw video content hosted on your site. The sitemap contains the title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL and raw video file location and/or the player URL.
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