YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, larger than even Bing or Yahoo. It’s by far the world’s largest video search engines.
A well optimized video can easily get you tens of thousands of viewers – Each. A video that goes viral can get hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.
Here’s how to optimize your videos for YouTube.
Step 1: Determine Target Keyword Volume
Much as you would if you were optimizing for search engines, the first step to optimizing for videos is to determine both the keyword volume and the competition for each keyword phrase.
Use the Google Keyword Tool to compile a list of potential keywords. You should target a variety of keywords, some of them high volume and high competition, others lower volume with lower competition.
Step 2: Determine Strength of Competition
How strong are competing videos? Do as search for your target keywords and analyze them by:
- Number of views
- Number of comments
- Number of replies
- Number of likes
- Number of video responses
- Percentage of people who liked the video, out of total viewers
- Channel subscribers
To view the number of likes, just open a video. It’ll be right under the view count:
To count the number of comments, click on “View All Comments” at the bottom of the page:
The comment count will be right above the comment box:
Put all this data, along with the total number of views, into an Excel spreadsheet. Do this for at least 20 keywords.
Match up the number of views to the strength of the competition. Look for the weakest competition, as compared to the highest number of monthly searches. Then select the keywords with the best volume-to-competition ratio to optimize for.
Step 3: Write a Keyword Optimized, Attention Catching Headline
The headline has two jobs:
- To get the video to show up when someone searches. Google uses a relevance check to make sure the videos that show up are relevant to their search.
- To convince people to actually click on your video once it shows up in a search.
The most important thing in writing the title tag is to make sure your main keyword is in the title.
The second most important thing is to make sure that your title has well written copy that gets people to click.
Step 4: Get as Many Favorites, Likes and Comments as Possible
The number of likes, favorites and comments you have are some of the most heavily weighed factors for search engine rankings. The more likes, favorites and comments you have, the more YouTube is going to think you have a good video.
How can you increase your number of likes, favorites and comments?
One method is to ask people to do so in your video. You can either hard code into your video, or you can do it in annotations.
To do it in annotations, click on “Annotations” when you’re editing a video.
Click the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” to choose what kind of annotation to add.
Finally, craft a mini-sales message to get people to add comment, like or add your video.
Step 5: Ranking for Related and Suggested Videos
Two potentially lucrative sources of traffic to your videos are related videos and suggested videos. What are they?
They’re the videos that show up when someone else finishes watching a similar video, or the videos that appear on the right hand side of any video you’re watching.
How do you get your videos to appear for on related or suggested videos? Especially other high trafficked and relevant videos?
First, work on the credibility of your own video. The more views you have, the more comments you have and the more likes you have, the higher your likelihood of showing up in suggested or related videos at all.
It’s hard to get a new video to show up in suggested or related videos. But after you have a few thousand views, it really makes sense to try to get them to show up.
Start by copying all the keyword tags that other videos in your industry are using. Having closely related (but not identical) keyword lists tells YouTube that your videos are on as similar subject.6
Then, try to also duplicate the same keywords they target in their title. Of course your title tag should be completely different, but having the same main keyword can really help you land in suggested or related.
Finally, make sure you pick a good video snapshot for your video. In addition to your title, your snapshot is what others will judge your video based on. The higher the CTR to your video from a related video, the more YouTube will think your videos are related and the higher your video will show up in the future.
Step 6: Getting Backlinks
Much like getting rankings in the SEO world, getting rankings in videos requires getting backlinks. The more backlinks, the higher your video will rank.
How do you get backlinks?
The first and most important thing is to have a truly original and high quality video. If you create a video like that, it’s only natural that other people will want to link to your video as a resource.
In addition however, you can do quite a bit of manual link building.
Use sites like Squidoo and Hubpages to get high quality, relevant backlinks. Link to the video from your own site(s). Use distributed articles to get a high number of backlinks.
To wrap things up, it’s important to remember that the majority of YouTube users never try to deliberately get their videos to rank. If you’re focusing on video rankings, you’re already in the top 1%. In time, if you follow the tips outlined in this report, your rankings will very likely beat your competitor’s.