How to Optimize Videos for YouTube
At Farmore, we love video production, but we know great video production is only the start of powerful video marketing. There are several places you should be posting your videos, but having a YouTube channel should be at the top of your video marketing list.
Right now, YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine. According to YouTube’s own statistics, “Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views,” and that number goes up 50% year over year historically. While the majority of these views are generated by entertaining channels, the opportunity for your business to reach viewers is still great. Follow these simple steps for success in your YouTube video marketing.
1. Identify your target audience.
YouTube has a huge audience, which means you should do your homework to make sure your audience is watching. Think with Google is a good resource to see who is on YouTube. If you already have a channel you can see the demographic makeup of your audience by clicking on “demographics” under the “analytics” tab of your creator studio. Currently, men make up over 77% of all viewers.
2. Create relevant content.
When optimizing videos for views, it’s important to create videos people will want to watch, like our latest video of Downtown Tampa. Assuming the purpose of your video is to get people to connect with you and make some sort of conversion, the quality and message of your video are the most important factors. Not to mention, engagement is also important in getting your videos to appear in YouTube search. YouTube announced back in 2012 that it would start ranking videos by amount of time watched. This means the amount of time people spend watching your videos is more important than the number of views your video gets. You can see how many minutes of your videos have been watched in the analytics tab.
3. Perform keyword research.
Just like any other search engine, YouTube uses keyword queries to provide users with relevant results. It’s also important to note that Google indexes videos from YouTube and other video sites, so having the right keywords will make a world of difference.
4. Use a keyword-centric title.
How you title your video will make a great impact on your video’s performance for two reasons: First, having a title that includes your keyword(s) will help YouTube and Google index your video properly. Second, if you have a boring or irrelevant title viewers won’t click. No clicks, no views. No views, no conversions. No conversions, waste of time and money. Take your time to get this one right.
5. Craft a unique thumbnail.
Your video thumbnail indirectly affects your rankings in YouTube and Google. Though search engines can’t see your thumbnails, potential viewers can. Creating a high quality thumbnail that piques interest and accurately reflects the content in the video will increase the click through rate (CTR) of your video in search, suggested videos, and embeds, thereby increasing engagement and increasing your video’s ranking in search.
6. Write a stellar description.
Take the opportunity to include some of your keywords in your description. Just like any good copy, it should be written for humans, not search engines. Include links to related videos or pages on your website. Make sure to format your links correctly or they won’t be active (http://www.farmoremarketing.com). Make your description as long as you would like, but remember that only the first couple sentences will be viewable without expanding the description.
7. Include plenty of tags.
Make sure to tag your videos with your relevant keywords. Use a mix of specific long-tail (three words or more) tags and generic tags. Also, be sure to include your channel and company in your tags. YouTube only allows 500 characters in the tag section, so choose carefully.
8. Utilize annotations.
YouTube is the only video-sharing site that uses annotations, and you’re missing a unique opportunity if you don’t use them. Use annotations to point viewers to some of your other videos, a relevant landing page on your website, or social media channel. I encourage you to be tasteful when it comes to annotations. Too many times they can become more of a distraction than a help.
9. Measure your performance.
Utilize YouTube’s powerful analytics to make necessary adjustments to your meta data to increase performance. Keep track of how your changes affected your video’s performance.
There are other things you can do to increase your visibility on YouTube like optimizing your channel and increasing subscribers, but that is a topic for another time. In the end it’s quite simple: Start with a plan and follow the simple steps I’ve provided. If you already have videos on YouTube, make sure to go back through and optimize them.
About the author
I'm Luke Fortin, CEO of Farmore Marketing. Originally from Turner, Maine, I achieved my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Clearwater Christian College in 2013. I love the combination of business and art that marketing provides--I believe it's what makes a business unique and successful.