SEO for Video and YouTube

By January 19, 2012 SEO No Comments

Adding videos to your website? Did you remember to optimise them for search? They might be corporate, creative or instructional videos – but whatever they are, you can get extra value from them by optimising the pages they are on (even if they’re on YouTube).


Remember that Google is using blended searches more and more, so your content can show up in both the normal search results, or in a selection of video results – or both!


Since Google can’t actually get in and look at the content on your video, all the optimisations will have to be done to the code on your page and around your video – still, there’s lots you can do;




SEO for Video on Your Own Site


The tips below relate to the page your video is on on your actual site (i.e. not hosted pages on Vimeo, YouTube, etc).


Keywords – similar to all good SEO projects, start out with defining your keywords. This can help you (if you haven’t made your video yet) in finding out what areas of your niche are most popular and in need of video content.

If you already have made your video – use keyword research and tools to find out the best terms to describe and promote your video in order to connect with the largest relevant audience possible. Use the normal keyword tools, but also consider the YouTube keyword tool (although doesn’t seem to  have particularly good results for Australia).


Normal Page Optimisation –as per normal SEO, try to optimise the meta titles, H tags and URL where possible with your keywords. Also, make a unique meta description for the page, and put alt text on images and videos where possible (although difficult with normal YouTube embeds)


Text content – don’t have a page where the only content is your video. Include other relevant text content on your page to support your video – a transcript is usually a great idea


Video Sitemap – You can create and submit video sitemaps to Google to help Google index your video content. Video content can include web pages with embedded video, URLs to players for videos or URLs of raw video content hosted on your site.



SEO for Videos on YouTube


While Social Media is having an increasing impact on search results – on YouTube, it is already one of the most important factors in helping your video be seen. The more your video is viewed, rated, liked and commented on – the better. You need to encourage it through engaging with the community, asking for feedback within the video content, and using your existing networks to help seed and spread the content.


If you have good content, this kind of thing will come naturally – but it can’t hurt to help it along a bit. Natalie Tran is a great example of this – she asks questions within her videos, and then in her next video she will respond verbally to some of the questions and comments raised (also known as music slash comment time).


However, I’m not going to leave you hanging – there are also some concrete things you can do right away to help improve your chances in YouTube;


Keywords – as above, start with some keyword research.


Titles – Similar to normal SEO, keywords should be at the front where possible, but keep in mind the importance of the title for click throughs – no one is going to click through on a spammy video title.



Use as much space as they give you – be as descriptive as possible

Again, use keywords at the front. There does seem to be some indication that, unlike Google, keywords in YouTube descriptions are taken into accoun

You might want to include your site channel, or website URL, in the description. Just note that any links must have http://


Category – Choose appropriate categories carefully – evidence seems to show that changing your categories later can have a detrimental effect on your rankings.


Tags – You can use many tags, but ensure they are all relevant, and include your keywords. You might want to get detailed and try to define your niche as much as possible using these tags


File name – Optimise the raw video file name with your keywords


Video responses – to index new videos quickly, you might want to try using video responses


Closed captions – upload a transcript to YouTube to help those with hearing impairments, language difficulties and to improve discoverability.


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