If your organization is anything like mine, you probably use YouTube to host your videos and embed them on your website. It’s a good strategy and makes for very easy hosting capabilities. But are you taking the time to optimize them so they can also be found outside your website?
YouTube alone has over a billion users worldwide. And every day, people spend hundreds of millions of hours watching videos. If you’re not optimizing for them, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Optimizing YouTube videos
What does it mean to optimize videos?
You probably already have your videos on your website for your visitors to view. Because you’re already spending the time to create them and upload them, you might as well take the final step to try to get them to show up in the search engines and maximize your exposure.
By writing good video titles, a detailed description and using tags, it allows for YouTube and Google’s search algorithm to figure out what the subject of your video is and rank it in the search results accordingly.
What is a good video title and description?
The title of the video should be descriptive and concise and include the major keyword phrase for which you want your video to rank.
The description should contain information about what the video is about as well as keyword phases that visitors might search on to find it. Be sure that it sounds natural and descriptive for your audience and is not just a paragraph of keyword phrases.
You should aim for at least a 250-word description and include a URL linking back to a relevant page on your website. I suggest putting the link as high up in the description as possible so it doesn’t get lost under the “show more” section.
How many tags should I use?
Ideally you should have 10-20 tags for each video. Each tag should be a word or phrase that relates to the content of the video.
Should I used Closed Captions?
Using closed captions for your videos is not only going to enhance your visitor experience, but it can also help with your SEO efforts. Videos that have been transcribed or use closed captions, tend to rank higher because they offer information in multiple formats giving it a broader reach.
We use a paid service to add closed captions to our videos because we have more control over them. However, if you don’t have the budget, you can add your own subtitles and closed captions in YouTube for free.
Best practices creating videos for YouTube
As I said above there are billions of users watching videos on YouTube. But don’t just throw something up there for the hell of it. There are some best practices in creating videos. Here are a few:
Create engaging content
Users want to learn or be entertained. Create videos that are engaging and relevant to your brand. Be sure to keep them current, update them regularly and respond to any and all comments you receive.
Keep your videos short
In order to get the best bang for your buck, your videos should be between 16 seconds to 2 minutes. It has been proven that this is the sweet spot for the most engagement.
Since Google wants to serve up the most relevant content, they take into consideration how long people watch a video for. If a video is 6 minutes and viewers are only watching it for a minute, Google is less likely to serve that video up as it won’t be looked at as relevant.
Be sure your videos are mobile-friendly
Make sure the videos on your website are mobile-friendly. Do not put not tiny words on the screen that will be scaled down to unreadable text. This is frustrating for users and will cause them to bounce.