I’m no Youtube sensation (and don’t expect to be as long as I’m creating SEO tutorials), but I have gotten over 30,000 views on a few of my videos. I contribute a lot of this to Youtube SEO.
That’s why I like creating videos in conjunction with your website content so BOTH can rank on the 1st page of Youtube and Google. This gives you a place to embed the video on your website (giving it more views, embeds, and engagement signals). It also improves the SEO of your content since Google uses metrics like “time on page” to determine a page’s ranking.
Table Of Contents
- Equipment I Use
- Youtube Ranking Factors
- Choose A Keyword In Autocomplete
- Create Your Video
- Upload The Video With Your Keyword As The File Name
- Write A Descriptive Keyword-Rich Title
- Write A Long Description With Keywords, Timestamps, Links
- Add Tags (Conservatively)
- Design A Nice Custom Thumbnail
- Upload A Transcript
- Add A Location (Local SEO)
- Create A Blog Post Targeting The Same Keyword
- Tips On Embedding Videos
- Respond To Comments
- Promote Your Youtube Video
- Design Your Channel
- Results = 1st Page In Youtube and Google
1. Equipment I Use
- HD camera, video script, other equipment
- Editing program (I use Screencast-O-Matic for $15/yr)
- An associated website (for a custom thumbnail)
- Basic graphic design skills (for a custom thumbnail)
- $25 to hire a freelancer for video transcription (saves time)
- A website/blog to create a blog article and embed your video
- Verified Youtube channel with a logo, banner, about description, etc
2. Youtube Ranking Factors
Infographic by Tag SEO
3. Choose A Keyword In Autocomplete
Where are people searching this topic… Youtube, Google, or both? THAT is where you want to get your keyword from. Use the 2 keyword research methods below (if you use the _ character search engines will fill in the blank anywhere in the phrase and suggest more keywords). Ideally your keyword would show in both Youtube and Google Autocomplete so you can rank your video in both places and capitalize on more traffic. Check it out…
Complete The Phrase (Using Youtube):
Fill In The Blank (Using Google):
Learn The Competition
Broad keywords = more competitive. Choose a specific phrase from Youtube and/or Google Autocomplete. Search it in Youtube and look at how many visible ranking factors the top results have (views, likes, thumbs ups, etc) to make sure the keyword’s not too competitive. Can you create a video better than whoever’s in the top results? Yes? Then it’s probably a good keyword. The more competitive the keyword, the ‘better’ your video needs to be.
4. Create Your Video
Length Is Strength – this applies to both videos and content on your site. Longer videos rank high because people can find everything they’re looking for, especially tutorials and reviews. It’s a good idea to include timestamps in the video description which I’ll show you in step 5.
Mention Your Keyword – verbally mentioning your keyword a few times is like keyword density for videos. Say it naturally, don’t just say it to say it. Partial keyword matches are OK.
HD Quality – you can use your phone, but a nice HD video camera makes a big difference. If you’re recording your computer make sure you check the settings for optimal video + audio.
Get To The Point – no one cares about your pet. Edit out the junk and be concise because 1 second too long of jibber jabber and you’re going to start losing views. Do retakes if needed.
Make Yours Betters – better than whoever’s in the top results, that’s what SEO’s all about.
Add Annotations – this can be done after you upload it, but annotations are the pop-ups you see in videos. They can improve engagement and drive traffic to your other Youtube videos AND website. Here are instructions to link to your website if you would like to do that.
5. Upload The Video With Your Keyword As The File Name
Label the video file as the keyword before uploading the video… self-explanatory.
6. Write A Descriptive Keyword-Rich Title
Good length, descriptive, keyword-rich… your title should be more like a headline. This one has all 3 elements and has the keyword spread throughout the title. It’s not an exact match keyword, but it doesn’t have to be. Spreading it throughout the title is OK.
7. Write a Long Description With Keywords, Timestamps, Links
Keywords – include your keyword in the first sentence since the first 160 characters are used as the meta description which appear directly in search results. Craft this sentence (or two) wisely since people will read this to determine whether they will click on YOUR link. Also include your keyword 1-2 other times in your video description, naturally of course.
Timestamps – adding timestamps in the video description allows viewers to jump to sections and find exactly what they’re looking for. Since my tutorials are long, people definitely use these. Just add the times in your descriptions and save the video. Here are examples…
- :21 (21 seconds)
- 1:21 (1 minute and twenty one seconds)
- 1:30:21 (1 hour, 30 minutes and 21 seconds)
Links – Google follows links to determine the relevancy of a video. Include a few relevant (but helpful) links in the description which can be other Youtube videos you’ve created, blog articles you’ve written, or external resources. Think about your viewers, not so much SEO.
8. Add Tags (Conservatively)
Don’t fuss over this, just add a few. Here are some tags I used for my video:
9. Design A Nice Custom Thumbnail
Upload a custom thumbnail in the video manager under Info & Settings (you will need to verify your account first). Dimensions should be 1280(w) x 720(h) pixels. This is one of the most important elements of Youtube SEO since these appear in search results, the “related searches” section in Youtube, and other places where if you DON’T have a custom thumbnail, you won’t get as many clicks. And more views is what optimizing is all about.
10. Upload A Transcript
Google doesn’t go a good job in transcribing videos into text (look at how sloppy it is in the photo). You will need to transcribe it manually otherwise the keywords you mention in your video will go to waste. You can also outsource this to a freelancer for cheap (see photos).
11. Add A Location (Local SEO)
If your video includes a localized keyword (eg. Chicago Wedding Photographer) or you just want to target a location, you can specify this in the video manager under Advanced Settings. Just remember you should also include that same keyword in all the right places.
12. Create A Blog Post Targeting The Same Keyword
Why You Should Do It
- Both the video + blog post can rank on the 1st page of Google
- Traffic to your blog post = views for your video, and vice versa
- You already created the video so the post should be relatively easy
- Adding videos to your website/blog improves its engagement + SEO
- # of video embeds, views, video engagement are Youtube ranking factors
13. Tips On Embedding Videos
Tweaking The Iframe
Option 1: Copy the Youtube link and paste it to your content (WordPress will do the rest).
Option 2: Go to the Youtube video you want to embed, then copy and paste the embed code into your HTML. This method allows you to specify the video’s width and height:
Option 3: Open a video when you click a link using the WP Video Lightbox Plugin.
Hide Youtube Video Title
<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ymdkFIHsTBA?showinfo=0" width="680" height="380" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>
Hide Youtube Video Controls
<iframe width="680" height="380" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ymdkFIHsTBA?showinfo=0&controls=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
14. Respond To Comments
What makes videos rank higher? Comments. What gets more comments? Responses!
15. Promote Your Youtube Video
Embed it on your website and blog. Share it on your social media pages, social media groups, and incorporate it into your newsletter. Use QR Codes that link to your video. Some of these may seem obvious – but are you actually doing it? Even a simple text link to your video helps but you do need some form of promotion if you expect to get a good amount of views.
16. Design Your Channel
Create a Banner – canvas.com makes this easy. Image should be 2560(w) x 1440(h) pixels.
Channel Homepage – upload logo, fill in about section, add a featured video. Not that hard.
Playlists – if you’re creating a video series, consider adding them to a playlist.
17. Results = 1st Page in Youtube and Google
And that’s how you rank Youtube videos higher in both Youtube and Google! I’m a 1-man show so 100,000 views between my videos is a good amount for me. Surely if you have a small business and people to help with this, you can do it too. If you have questions, leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help you. And if you found this helpful, please give it a share.