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Global Business 11.07.16 BLOG 

Six Ways to Optimize Your Video for YouTube

By Nick Koumaris, Regional Director, TransPerfect Studios

Optimize Your Video for YouTube

Six Ways to Optimize Your Video for YouTube

The popularity of online video continues to explode. According to recent studies, 93% of marketers use video for online sales and communication (ReelSEO) and 78% of people watch videos online each week (Three Motion Media).

Creating a great video is important, but making sure people can FIND your video is even more crucial. The following six SEO tips will help maximize your video’s accessibility.

1. Use Video Keywords.  Video keywords tend to contain terms such as “how to,” “review,” and “tutorial.” Understanding the increasing importance of rich media for internet users, Google reserves a portion of the first page for video results that use video keywords. By optimizing your on-page text and metadata with video keywords, you’ll get targeted traffic to your video directly from Google’s first page. The easiest way to find video keywords is to search for them and see if video results are produced.        

2. Choose a Compelling Title.  YouTube allows up to 100 characters for video titles; however, Google’s latest update of search results—following the deletion of the right rail of paid search ads—limits most titles to around 70 characters. Don’t bury the lead. It’s vital to present your most gripping information right up front in the title. A good format? Keyword 1, Keyword 2 | Your Brand 

3. Reinforce Your Title With a Riveting Meta Description.  While YouTube permits up to 5,000 characters for the description field, only the first 157 characters will appear as a snippet in search results. Thus, it’s important to front-load your meta descriptions with the most convincing information. Additionally, Google and YouTube rely on your text description to determine your video’s content. As a rule of thumb, include one or two of your most compelling keywords in the meta description, but DO NOT keyword-stuff—repetition is often seen by Google as a sign of spam.

4. Generate Content That Increases Watch Time.  The #1 ranking factor on YouTube is watch time. Watch time is not just a measure of how long or what percentage of your video is viewed, but rather a measure of how much your video contributes to a user’s overall time watching videos on the site. Creating content that keeps the viewer hooked will help ensure that your video gets rightfully rewarded in searches.

5. Use Subtitles.  According to YouTube, 80% of their views are from outside the US.  YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries, and users can navigate the platform in 76 different languages. Search engines tend to prioritize content that is more universally accessible, and with the way YouTube rewards watch time, using subtitles is one of the simplest ways to increase views.

6. Include—and Optimize—Your On-Page Text. This may be the step forgotten the most. How does Google understand your video content? Crawlers do not “see” images or video. They rely on text—in your titles and meta descriptions, as noted above, but also in on-page text. Whether your on-page text outlines what your video contains or includes a full transcript of the video, use it as an opportunity to emphasize more keywords and give your viewers more reasons to spend time on your video page. Along with your title and meta description, on-page text makes your video more visible to Google, and in turn to your customers.

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