There’s a lot of hype surrounding ranking blog posts and that’s understandable because you’d want to rank in search engines and get as much traffic as you possibly can. But people often forget that YouTube is the worlds second largest search engine with over 1 billion unique visitors each month and over 6 billion hours of video being watched monthly. Thus, ranking on YouTube and having a strong presence there is equally important.

Video SEO is not just about stuffing keywords in the title and description. It begins with careful keyword research using the keyword research tool. Those keywords are then used in places such as the video file name, thumbnail file name, title, description, tags, video timeline, closed captions or transcripts and more. You also have to harness the power os simple strategies such as internal linking through annotations with strong descriptions serving as anchor text or the fact that you can create mini channels with playlists, each with their own title and description. You can also create and submit a video site-map just like you would for your blog. And don’t forget the SEO of your channel overall.

All this and more is discussed our latest video tutorial :

Here’s a brief outline of what I show and dicsuss in the video:

It all begins with careful keyword research and you can use the YouTube Keyword tool for that.

Keywords are then inserted in the:

  1. Video File Name: The optimization process begins before even saving the edited video. Each video should be saved with a keyword rich file name at the time of saving after editing. This is similar to image optimization where you save the image with a keyword rich name.
  2. Thumbnail Image File Name:  This is a minor factor for ranking, but it should still be done. If you are using a custom thumbnail for your videos, the thumbnail image should be saved with the main keyphrase you want to rank for.
  3. Title: Put the main keywords/keyphrase at the beginning of the title.
  4. Video Tags: While uploading there is a section for adding video tags. Don’t go overboard with this. Adding 5-6 main keywords/keyphrases is better than adding 15 and that way they are given more weight-age.
  5. Description Box: Add the keywords at the beginning of the description box in the first sentence and  repeat the keyword a few times in the description if possible (this is similar to keyword density in a way).
  6. Video Timeline: A video timeline should be created and entered in each videos description box. This should be done in addition to the transcripts and closed captions file. A video timeline explains what is talked about during what time giving the exact minute and second for the start and finish of the topic. The time ranges show up in blue so your viewers can click on them and go straight to the topic they are interested in. This is important for optimization because it tells YouTube your videos main sub topics so it can rank for them.

Also don’t forget to choose an appropriate video Category. On the upload page, YouTube gives you a list of video categories to choose from.

Besides inserting keywords, there are various other strategies:

Annotations: Annotations are the little notes that appear on top of videos and these should be used to link to other previous videos and keywords should be used in the sentence used to describe the video. This is very similar to inter linking like the way it is done for blog posts and the text used to describe the link is similar to anchor text.

Closed Captions and Transcripts: Closed captions and transcripts are hidden gems of video SEO. They are similar but different, so you can choose to use one of them. A closed captions file should be uploaded for each video (this file contains captions and time codes- what is said and when it is said). This helps in optimization as your captions contain relevant keywords. A transcript file can also be included for each video as well (this file is similar to closed captions, but no time codes are given). These files are important for optimizing because your captions contain keywords.

Video Sitemap: Just like for blogs, you can create a video sitemap for your YouTube channel and submit it to YouTube. Click here for instructions on how to make and submit one.

Playlists:  All the videos of your channel should be organized through playlists and each playlist should be given a keyword rich title and description. Many times when you search for a topic on YouTube, playlists appear in the search results along with videos so it is very important to start having your playlists rank as well.

We hope this video tutorial helped you in learning some new video SEO strategies. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future tutorials!

Feel free to comment in case you have any queries.

Tagged with: search engine optimization, tutorial, Video SEO, Youtube

About Shivani Karwal

Shivani is an SEO Specialist at Powered by Search. You can connect with her on Twitter .