How To Optimise YouTube Video Content For SEO

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Lisa Coghlan offers her top tips on how to optimise your YouTube content to build reputation, maximise on click-through and cultivate relationships

If used correctly, video content can have a positive effect on your SEO efforts. For long-term SEO strategies, taking into account high quality video content and social shares as a result, it is a great way of building upon your natural links over a longer period of time.

By using YouTube video content to your advantage you could potentially build reputable links - but what else can you do to ensure that your video content is being fully optimised for search, and ranks highly within YouTube’s own search facility?

Follow our guidelines below to discover how you can optimise YouTube content to help your videos rank.

1. Ensure the video file name is relevant to the video content

Before anything else, ensure the raw file name of your video has been optimised. It should contain relevant information and be descriptive of the video content. Just as you would optimise an image with a relevant alt attribute, it’s important to clearly display to YouTube and Google exactly what your video content is about.

2. Optimise your video title

If your video content appears in SERPs you may want to optimise the title of your video as if you were writing a meta title. Using 56 to 60 characters, depending on pixel width, will give your video title a better chance of being displayed without truncation in SERPs. Try to include your brand name where possible because you want people to immediately identify your product and know who is responsible for the video content.

3. Don’t forget your video description

With your video descriptions, again, it’s possible they will appear in SERPs so keep your introduction to a limit of 156 characters where possible. Don’t forget to use valuable keywords and ensure your description isn’t duplicate content, scraped from anywhere else on your site. Your description is also a great opportunity to link back to a transactional page, to show the viewer your product or service.

4. Choose appropriate tags

Tags will help users find your video content, so it’s important to use keywords that you want your content to be associated with. Don’t forget to use your brand name too. You want your user to quickly identify who you are and where they can find your product or service.

Luggage tag

5. Add annotations to your video

By adding annotations to your video you are inviting viewers to click through to your site, and potentially increase conversions. Make sure you link using a relevant keyword within the annotation text and link out to a relevant page. This is a great way of increasing those natural links that will build on your current linking strategy.

6. Choose an eye-catching thumbnail

Using an appropriate thumbnail will not directly lead to conversions; however, it will ensure that your video content is inviting enough to be clicked on. YouTube will give you the option of three thumbnails that it will automatically pull through from your content. These options aren’t always the most appropriate so you may want to take some still images at the time of filming to ensure you get the most appropriate thumbnail for your video content.

Call in the Producers

Optimising your YouTube video content is all well and good, but it’s important to make sure that you start out with video content that is of the highest quality possible.

Film clapper board

Keeping it in line with your brand, grabbing your audience’s attention and building a relationship with them by telling a story, is a great way of building natural links that will potentially boost your rankings, and establish you as an expert within your industry.

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