How does Google rank videos?
To a certain extent, getting your videos to rank highly is a Catch-22. YouTube’s algorithm (and, by extension, Google’s) rates videos based on:
So, your video is less likely to be viewed if it doesn’t have many views — but that doesn’t really help, does it? To enter into this loop, you need to optimize your videos for both your audience and the Googlebots. This is less about on-page optimization and more about understanding what YouTube wants from you.
Use Keywords and Tags
Just like with text and images, using keywords in your video titles and descriptions is a great way to let Google (and your audience!) know what your video is about. Put your keywords at the beginning of the title, and any branding at the end. While having a catchy title is important, don’t try to be too clever — puns, jokes and colloquialisms are best left for the description box, as bots don’t understand them.
The same is true for video tags. Just like #hashtags, they need to be used in moderation. A few relevant keyword phrases are of much more value than a long, long list of vaguely related terms.
Use Social Media
If your video has no views, YouTube is not likely to help you get them — you need to do this yourself. If your videos are interesting, high-quality and relevant to your audience, sharing them on your website and on social media is a great way to boost your view count.
Businesses with small online followings are likely to have trouble getting a substantial number of views. For the videos you really want seen, try incentivizing your audience with a competition. “What item is hiding in X in our latest video? Share with your friends and send us a message with your answer for a chance to win Y!” can be really effective when used in moderation.
How does your business optimize YouTube videos for better search engine visibility? Let us know in the comments!