Video SEO on YouTube is one of the easiest ways to get traffic without hassling with the traditional problems SEO marketers face. Today it is harder than ever before to rank content on your own website with traditional SEO methods. Google is constantly evolving and recent updates require aged content and authority to get on the first page for most keywords. That’s where Video SEO and particularly ranking on YouTube come into the picture. In this guide I’m going to outline what is working right now when it comes to Video SEO on YouTube and why.
1. Traffic IS Paramount (Without Traffic You’re Dead in the Water)
You can check monthly searches for your Keyword using SEM Rush, The Google Keyword Planner, or a software keyword tool such as SECockpit (my preferred keyword tool) or Market Samurai (my second favorite keyword tool). Some people will try to tell you their is no reason to invest in keyword research software because most of them get their data from the Google Planner anyway. However, just like anything else you get what you pay for. If you use a software solution such as SECockpit or Market Samurai you will be able to start out with a much clearer picture of the marketability of your keywords and what the competition is.
In order to step outside of the standard keywords your competition already knows about you will need to use a more advanced method of finding keywords and perhaps a software keyword tool.
2. Content is KING (Longer Videos Rank Higher)
Just like article writing the Video Title is one of the most important aspects of ranking a Video. Your video title should be at least 5 words long with your Keyword in the title. Create a new video for every keyword that you want to target (only focus on one). Many people make the mistake of trying to stuff too many keywords in their video which is just plain lazy.
The intent of each video we create is to rank for one specific keyword.
Use special characters such as: ▓ █ ► ◄ ✔ ✫ ★ to make your video title stand out… Special characters draw attention to your video and increase your Click Through Rate (which is important for outranking your competition).
3. YouTube Video Descriptions are Like Articles
Most people write short video descriptions with little to no content. I’ve heard of people using 500 word articles in their video description with great success. The key is you have up to 5,000 characters and you should use as much of them as possible to write your description. The three most important lines in your Video Description are the first 3. After that you don’t even need to write in complete sentences so don’t spend too much time on it. Remember we are attempting to fool a robot that has the reading comprehension of a 3 year old at best.
The first 3 Lines of your Description appear below your video. 98% of all visitors never click the “more” link to see the full description.
Use the following guidelines to write your video description:
1. Your description should start with your main keyword, on line 1.
2. On lines 2 and 3 include your call to action and the link you want them to visit.
3. Starting with line 4 you start to insert a ton of phrases that target your keyword.
You can include affiliate links in your description but be sure to use a URL shortener! Nobody likes to click affiliate links and chances are raw affiliate links will hurt your rankings anyway. Use a URL shortener to shorten your links such as bit.ly, tiny.cc or Google’s own goo.gl.
4. Optimize Your Video Tags (Helps With Related Videos)
Many people don’t know this but video tags help YouTube determine which video thumbnails to display under “related” videos. You can use this to your advantage by copying the tags from the most popular videos related to your keywords and re-using them. I recommend using the VidIQ Browser Extension for Chrome to view and copy tags from popular videos (you will also have to sign up for VidIQ).
5. Add Annotations and Captions for an Additional SEO Boost!
At this point in time YouTube has no way of telling what a video is about other than using speech recognition and listening for spoken words. It may also have a way of reading powerpoint video content. Technology is not advanced enough however for YouTube to recognize images and associate them with content. What this means is that much of the content regarding the video and what it’s about is provided by the person who uploads the video.
Annotations and Captions can add a lot of valuable SEO benefit to the Video.
Why not add them for the extra boost?
Insert only one annotation in your video for your main keyword.
I recommend to add the caption in the last 10 seconds of your video so your viewers are not bothered by it. The intended purpose of captions is to describe what the content of the video is about. For our purposes we will be exploiting captions by stuffing phrases in it that contain our main keyword.
5. Ranking Videos with High Retention Views
By now most of us are aware of the fact that videos with more views rank higher. However, you can’t just spam views, you need “high retention” views which means people watched your content. YouTube is now capable of detecting bot traffic and it will only count high quality views toward your ranking.
Up until recently you could send 301+ views via bot traffic while your video was “unlisted” and then “list” the video for an instant traffic boost. This worked by tricking YouTube into thinking your video is getting an immediate surge of viral traffic which in turn would boost real actual views. Well YouTube has since closed this loophole but there is still a way to game the system.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Always start your video out unlisted until you fine tune everything.
2. Boost Initial Views (100 or 200 views) using a working YouTube view bot.
3. Order high retention video views (thousands if in a competitive niche).
Step one is optional but it will add 100 or 200 views immediately that you didn’t have to pay for. Use proxies for the best results. Now that the 301 view trick isn’t working YouTube has a more accurate view count when it’s first released. This means you now need more views to trick them into thinking your video is viral.
I recommend adding 2,000 views to your video before making it public.
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have any of of your own resources you can always buy high retention views from a service like this: More YouTube Views.
Of course you don’t have to buy views if you have a list or facebook page in the niche you can share your video and get hundreds or thousands of views right away. There are plenty of ways to get traffic but if you’re just starting out you may have to buy the views until you’re more established. Often times one video will pay for the investment you make several times over and for a long time to come.
6. Using Social Signals to Improve YouTube SEO
Social Signals will help your video rank both on YouTube and on Google. You can improve Social Signals by sharing your video on high authority social media profiles. Find targeted facebook groups related to your products and share your video there. Next share on Twitter, Google +, Blogger, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest.
Create an account on every social site and keep posting your videos.
7. Automate Your Video Creation and Posting
Much of affiliate marketing is a numbers game which means you need to be posting videos at a fairly rapid rate to bring in consistent profits with video marketing. One of the most ironic things about video marketers is that most of them hate creating videos. Perhaps that’s why copy and paste video creation programs are so popular right now. My preferred method for creating videos quickly and easily is to use Video Spin Blaster.
For those of you that are interested here is a great article on SEM Rush about ranking YouTube videos on Google. Ranking YouTube videos on Google will give you a huge boost in traffic, sales and conversions!