There are several good reasons for you to engage in YouTube marketing—that is, to set up a YouTube channel, upload videos related to your business to that channel, optimize those videos, and engage with your viewers. Perhaps one of the best reasons to do this is the popularity of the website. It is still the world’s most popular video-hosting site. Another good reason is that it is owned by Google and videos posted on the site tend to rank well in Google Universal Search Results, provided they are properly optimized, of course.
Before you rush to create your videos and upload them to YouTube, you may want to take heed of this warning: YouTube marketing isn’t a walk in the park. Over a hundred hours of video are uploaded to the site every single minute, so you can imagine how stiff the competition is likely to be. The good news is that there is a chance for you to succeed if you use the right tools and techniques. And this is exactly what this article is meant to do: provide you with information as regards the tools you should use in making your videos and tips on optimizing your videos.
Similar to written content, video also has to be relevant, informative, and engaging. It also has to be properly optimized. It therefore pays for you to perform for your videos the same basic keyword research and competitor research you perform when creating written content. Here are some tools that are sure to come in handy when you’re preparing your YouTube videos:
- YouTube Search Filters
Whether you are creating written or video content, it is always advisable to check what those who have gone before you did. You could, for example, check out what kind of titles the competition is using and how their thumbnails are usually designed. You could check out which videos are popular with the use of the “Sort by rating” filter. This should give you a good idea as to what topics and video formats people find most appealing. You could also sort the videos according to upload date or number of views.
- YouTube Search Auto-Suggest
By now you probably already know that long-tail key terms have grown in importance in recent years. The more specific your key terms are, the better your chances of ranking well and gaining highly-targeted traffic for your videos. The auto-suggest feature of YouTube provides you with the most popular terms used in similar searches as you begin typing your key terms in the search field. This is very valuable because it gives you a good idea as to what people usually search for.
A similar tool you may also want to make use of is SEOChat’s keyword suggest tool, which checks not only YouTube, but also Google, Amazon, and Bing for the base term you provide. It also shows you results containing your base term plus accompanying terms starting with every letter in the alphabet, thereby giving you more suggestions. For example, if you searched for the term “piano,” the tool will show you the top ten results that begin with “piano” on YouTube, Google, Amazon, and Bing. Right below these results, it will then show you results for “piano a,” “piano b,” and so on.
This tool is valuable not only for YouTube marketing, but for content marketing in general. You can use it to monitor several search results from various sources on just one page. Let’s say you have a dashboard for YouTube keyword research. You could check Google+, Twitter, and other search results that reference YouTube videos with your chosen key terms on that dashboard alone. These results can provide you with some valuable insights as regards future videos you can create.
- Google+ Explore
The Explore feature of Google+ is perhaps the most up-to-date keyword inspiration source you’ll find these days. It allows you to better understand concepts related to your chosen base terms and enables you to expand keyword research so as to make your videos richer in terms of the information they provide. Explore also gives you a clearer understanding of user-generated hashtags and slang that are closely associated with your base terms. Furthermore, the feature helps you understand currently trending phrases that tie in closely with your base terms.
Google+ Explore allows you to better understand hashtags and slang closely related to your chosen base terms. Flickr.com photo by mikecogh
The benefits you get from Google+ Explore are priceless because they allow you to target time-sensitive key terms that can improve your chances of being found by your target audience. There are many cases wherein videos get a lot more exposure on social media simply because they used a highly specific, currently trending hashtag in their respective titles.
Just like YouTube’s auto-suggest feature, this keyword tool is based on Google Suggest. However, it works a little differently. The idea is for you to type in a single keyword, and the tool will provide you with a multitude of loose suggestions related to that word. You can narrow down the suggestions by clicking on tabs such as, “Only questions,” which filters the suggestions and provides you only with those that are phrased as questions. This can be very useful for when you’re planning to make a video that directly answers a question you believe your target audience is asking.
You may use any or all of the above tools to maximize the potential of your YouTube videos.
Sure, the tools discussed above can help you come up with some cool videos, but ensuring the quality of your videos may not be enough to achieve optimum results with them. You also need to optimize those videos properly to make sure they are seen by your target audience and that they lead to the results you expect. Here are some tips on how to optimize your YouTube videos:
- File Name
Before you upload a video on YouTube, make sure its file name matches the video title, and be sure to use a hyphen after every word in the file name.
You take the time to make sure your written content has eye-catching and interesting titles, don’t you? Well, it certainly pays to do the same for your YouTube videos. Make sure the title of each video you put out there has the capability of grabbing the attention of your target audience and that it tells people what the video is all about without being too wordy. And if you plan to incorporate the video into written content, then the video title should be the same or similar to the title of the written content, in the same way the video file name has to be the same as the title.
- Tags and Categories
It is advisable to use about 5 to 7 tags for each video. The best place to start is your video description. Use the keywords in your description as tags and then work your way towards related tags. You should also take the time to categorize your videos properly. It may seem a bit silly when you think about it, but many people actually take categories for granted, which is a pity because selecting the appropriate categories for your videos can actually have a significant impact on your videos’ search rankings.
When you choose categories, be sure to take into consideration not just the topic covered in the video, but also the kind of video it is. For example, if you are posting a how-to video, then you should list it in the “How-to” category as well as in the categories that are closely related to the subject covered. When you monitor your videos, be sure to check how each of your chosen categories fared. That should guide you in choosing categories for future videos.
The main purpose of annotations is to provide viewers with additional information, such as links to related articles or to your official website so they can take the next step—avail of services, buy a product, etc. There is no strict rule as regards where, within the video, you should place your annotations. However, it is generally a good idea to add them towards the end of the video. After all, you’d want people to view your videos in their entirety, wouldn’t you?
No matter how great your videos are, they won’t do you any good unless people know they’re there. And the SEO tips provided above can only do so much. You will also have to take the necessary steps to promote your videos so as to extend its reach. Share them on social media, incorporate them into your blog posts, and post teasers along with a link to the videos on your website.
Videos can definitely be of great help in online marketing. As long as you plan it well and do things right, video marketing can help improve your overall search rankings. You can also expect your bounce rate to decrease when you keep your videos as informative and engaging as possible.