YouTube is not just a place to watch cute cat videos, it is (though less importantly) the world’s second-largest search engine, too. Users watch over 1 billion hours of video each day on YouTube. The information available in these videos helps people make purchase decisions, find new interests, learn new things, and keep themselves entertained.
As a corporate brand, optimizing your YouTube content can directly improve your sales and customer engagement.
But content optimization for SEO is a continuously evolving procedure that can be a bit complex to grab. In this post, we are trying to simplify it.
Here, we are sharing a 9-step procedure to optimize your brand videos to rank higher in YouTube as well as Google search results.
Let’s jump right in.
- Targeted Keyword Research
This is the first and the most important part: finding the best keywords to rank your content higher in the results. How is it done?
Start by creating a list of keywords that are relevant to your topic. There are a few ways you can go about it.
#1: YouTube Search Suggestions:
The easiest way to find these keywords is to use YouTube search suggestions. For example, if your corporate video is about Home Remodeling, type this exact phrase in YouTube’s search bar.
YouTube will show you relevant results as well as search predictions:
These suggestions are exact phrases that people have used to look for information on the topic you are targeting. So these keywords are 100% hot.
#2: Metadata of Popular Videos in Your Niche
These could be competitor videos or your own. Just look at the metadata of the top 3-5 videos that are relevant to the topic you are working on and see the keywords other (but relevant to you) brands are using.
To find out the keywords that different videos are ranked for, here are three neat tools:
- Morning Fame
Additionally, you can also look at the video titles and descriptions and manually find the keywords your competitors are focusing on. As you can see in this screenshot, the keyword ‘video convertor’ has been used liberally yet organically and the video ranks in the top 3 results for this keyword.
There are certain topics where Google allocates a substantial chunk of SERPs for video results. Often, these videos are filled with information-heavy content such as tutorials, expert interviews, reviews, and how-tos. If your corporate video is informational, try making it into a tutorial or a how-to piece so you can also aim for direct Google rankings.
As you can see, this search phrase has garnered a lot of video results; some have not even been included in this screenshot.
So, to optimize your YouTube video for Google as well, look at Google keywords and see the tags and targeted keywords for your niche.
- Branded Channel
We see not many people (especially smaller businesses) paying attention to this but if your channel looks professional and appears to be following a design theme, it improves your brand image, positioning, and recall.
An easy way you can achieve a professional look for your corporate YouTube channel is to use a logo as your channel’s display picture and ensure it accompanies every video you post. Companies like Zillion Designs help small businesses connect with graphic designers to build brand logo designs as well as a branding material.
Following a consistent color scheme as well as adding a certain tone and flavor to your videos can also help with brand image and perception.
- An Exceptional Video
YouTube calls it a high-retention video. A high-retention video retains people’s attention/interest. It keeps people watching till the end. The more people watch your video through to the end, the higher YouTube will rank it (because there are more chances of people clicking on the ads).
To create such a video, you need a killer topic and then cover it like no one has ever covered it before. Rand Fishkin, over at Moz, calls it 10xContent.
10xContent is a piece of content that is ten times better than the most highly ranked one available on any given topic/keyword.
To create such content, you need to go deep. Cover all angles and explore every nook.
For example, if your topic is daily organic skincare, your video needs to answer queries on all of the following:
- Why skin care is important
- Why organic
- How is it different from chemical-based products
- The steps
- How to preserve the products
Your coverage of the topic for this keyword should be useful, trustworthy, interesting, and of high quality. It also needs to evoke emotions and must contain comprehensive and accurate information. And, it needs to keep people engaged and should be a great thing to watch and share.
Remember, that creating a high-retention video is difficult but not complicated. People have created killer videos on all kinds of topics. If you are having trouble understanding how to do it, though, there is tons of helpful material available online. This LinkedIn blog post is a great place to start.
- Metadata – Title, Description, Tags, Thumbnail
The metadata of your YouTube corporate video holds great potential for optimization. The metadata includes:
It should contain 4-6 words. Ideally, your keyword should come at the beginning of the title. For example, Video SEO: Optimizing Your YouTube Video.
The reason you should want to keep it concise and bring the keyword at the beginning is to ensure that the meatiest part doesn’t get cut-off in the search results (due to limited space).
In the example above, the keyword ‘Brand Your Channel’ has been used with a slight variation.
This is the place to tell people how awesome your video is and what it is all about. So give your best in the description box. Insert the keyword in the first 70 characters and use it 2-4 times in the entire description.
While your description overall should be hot stuff, keep the most interesting bits for the first 70 characters, so when your video shows up in searches and people glance at the description, it should hook them in!
In this example, the keyword ‘Brand Your Channel’ appears only once but the description is clear, concise, and interesting. Plus, links to relevant videos have been added so the viewer doesn’t bounce and is given ample opportunity to explore the channel. You can also include links to your website and social media here.
Tags are related and relevant keywords and phrases that help YouTube, search engines, and the viewers to know what your video is about. To make your tags most effective, use your main keyword as your first tag, then some relevant keywords that could be variations of the main one. You can also include tags related to the secondary information you are providing in your video.
A thumbnail is a ‘quick snapshot’ of your video that people see when they search for your targeted keyword and your video shows up. If you have a verified YouTube account, you can (and should) upload custom thumbnails for your branded YouTube videos.
In other cases, YouTube gives you three thumbnail options to choose from.
- The Video Itself
Making changes or tweaking your video-making (and publishing) process a little also goes a long way towards YouTube SEO optimization.
In addition to ensuring that you are creating a high-retention video, the following factors also matter in optimizing your corporate video.
#1 Video Length
The duration of the video matters; according to a YouTube SEO study by Backlinko, the average length of videos that appear on the first page of the search results is nearly 15 minutes (14 minutes, 50 seconds).
So, while no strict rules guide the process, the duration of your YouTube corporate video should match the intent.
For example, if it is a YouTube ad campaign video for a small business, it can be of varying lengths as long as it’s promoting the product well. However, if you are creating a video that is intended to inform and educate, aim for at least 10 minutes (plus) mark so you can cover your topic in some authoritative detail.
#2 Video Transcripts & Captions
While this factor does not matter much when YouTube is ranking your videos, keep in mind that you are supposed to be creating a high-retention video. For most of the viewers to be able to enjoy your content, it needs to be accessible.
Accessible content does not rely on certain abilities to become consumable. If you include transcripts and captions in your videos, people with certain disabilities as well as those who cannot listen to the video at the moment, can still watch it and enjoy it on mute.
#3 Say the Keyword
Since YouTube can listen to the videos to find out what a video is about and rank it accordingly, it pays to say your keyword in your video script. It not only allows YouTube to rank your video appropriately for your targeted keywords but also makes the process of auto-transcriptions easier and accurate.
#4 Location For Local SEO
If you run a local business or have made a video that is useful for a certain location, such as NYC Street Style, add location in the video. It will help with local SEO as YouTube and Google can rank your video for the specified location if people are looking for location-based content.
Lastly, promote your video well.
Optimization is only half the job to rank your video better.
Factor likes the number of views, watch time, comments, shares, likes, and the number of people who subscribe to the channel after they watch the video, also matters in making a video popular on YouTube.
The more social credit it has, the higher it will be ranked by YouTube.
So, go crazy with promotion. Share it with friends, include its link in your email signature, circulate it all over your social media, embed it in your blog posts, upload it on your website, and don’t be afraid to link to it when answering questions on Quora (but don’t be spammy; play nice).