It’s no news that video content is essential for your brand in 2018. Come on, don’t tell me your Facebook and Insta feeds aren’t filled with videos ready to suck your time away (some good, many not so good). Users are spending more and more time watching videos online, making them the perfect platform to market your brand, product or service in an engaging way.
What this also means is that the internet is now flooded with an ocean of videos, making it hard for yours to stand out. It’s got to be more important for your potential customers to see the snazzy vid you’ve spent time, money and brain cells on, than yet another video of a cat doing something stupid? Unless of course your video content includes cats doing something stupid. In that case, I applaud you.
So, how do you get your video to stand out and ultimately get more YouTube views? Well, in the same way we need to follow SEO best practices to ensure the pages of our website rank highly in search engines, we now need to understand video optimisation and its benefits for your business.
What is video optimisation?
To understand video optimisation, or YouTube SEO as it’s quickly becoming known, it’s important to first understand SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). SEO is the ever-evolving practice of creating web content that will rank as highly as possible in search engine results pages. Seeing as search is usually the best platform for a user to discover your content, it’s essential to attract as much traffic as possible and grow a following.
Video optimisation offers quality video content the chance to have higher visibility against other videos. Not just when a user is searching YouTube, but also when they’re searching Google and other search engines. It involves optimising your channel, description, meta data and the videos themselves.
Simple, really. No?
How does video optimisation work?
If you’re already creating videos for your business (and if you’re not, it’s time to get started), you’ll know that YouTube allows you to manually input a title, description and tags, as well as select an optimal video thumbnail and add the video to a playlist.
It’s important to utilise all the above options from the moment your video is uploaded (aside from playlists, which you can add your video to anytime). This will make it easier for your audience to find your video content, increasing your YouTube views. Let’s take a closer look at each option and how you can use video optimisation to its best advantage.
Just like with usual SEO, you’ll want to get started by doing some keyword research. Never skip this step, as it might surprise you what people are actually searching vs. what you think they’re searching (or what you’re searching). When it comes to SEO, never assume anything! Back it up with research/stats.
Your title will also be the first thing users see when it shows up on a page, on social media or in search. Choose wisely! You only have about 70 characters to play with (YouTube offers 100 with spaces, but titles will be cut down depending on where they’re being displayed), so make sure you capitalise that precious space by saying what’s important about your video content.
A great description goes into more detail about your video than the title, but still doesn’t waffle on. Keep it concise and engaging, ensuring you include keywords that reflect the video’s content. The aim of the game here is to get your audience to watch your video because the copy you have provided in your description is that good!
It’s also important to include a couple of links in your description. Depending on what your content is, I’d suggest linking them to the campaign/product/service you are selling, and then another link to the homepage of your website.
It’s also a good idea to add a clear CTA to your video’s description. You don’t want your video’s impact to end once the video does – ensure there’s an enticing call-to-action that allows customers to learn more and purchase whatever product or service you might be selling.
When it comes to adding tags to your YouTube video, it’s all about categorising your video content. It’s important to only use keywords here that are relevant to your video – it’s not like adding hashtags to an Instagram post with the hope of your image being seen. In this case, you will just annoy users if the tags aren’t relevant.
The purpose of YouTube tags is to assist both users and search engines with understanding what your video content is all about.
The Finishing Touches
Once you’ve finished with all the written aspects to your video optimisation, you’ll want to finish up with an enticing thumbnail image and by adding the video to a playlist. Keep the picture clean and simple, but engaging enough to get users to click through. Selecting a playlist for your video to live will increase its visibility and reach, but don’t worry if you don’t have a relevant playlist yet. You can always add this later.