Boasting over one billion users and counting, YouTube is retains its title as being the most popular video-sharing platform. Each day, users watch hundreds of millions of hours worth of video on YouTube. It’s available in more than 70 countries, with 89% of its traffic coming from outside the U.S. Because of these characteristics, YouTube has become a popular marketing tool among small business owners and entrepreneurs.
In order to reap the full benefits of YouTube and everything that it has to offer, however, you’ll want to optimize your videos for higher search rankings. Granted, some users may find your videos through other means, but the vast majority of its traffic will come through searches. Failure to properly optimize your videos will result in less traffic – and that means fewer sales/conversions.
Use a Relevant, Keyword-Rich Title
Arguably, the single most important SEO element of a YouTube video is the title. This is the first thing that a user sees when performing searches – either on YouTube or Google – so it’s recommended that you use a relevant, meaningful title that contains your target keywords. Also, keep in mind that YouTube has a maximum title length of 100 characters for videos, so you’ll have to stay within this limit.
Create a Long Description
If the title is the most important SEO element of a YouTube video, then descriptions are a clod second. Unfortunately, many users make the mistake of either skipping the description for their videos, or they use a single sentence. Generally speaking, the longer your description, the better. Long descriptions give search engines “stuff” to crawl and index, at which point your video will be more likely to rank higher in the search results.
Although optional, it’s recommended that you add relevant keywords to your YouTube videos. Upon uploading the video to your account, you’ll be able to specify “Video Keywords,” which are essentially keywords related to your video. Add 4-6 highly targeted keywords that pertain to your video for additional SEO juice.
Allow Viewer Commenting
Why should you allow viewers to comment on your videos? Well, many SEO experts believe that video comments encourage higher search rankings, which makes sense given the fact that it creates additional content for search engines to crawl and index. And furthermore, comments are a sign of user engagement. If a particular video is generating a significant amount of comments, it’s usually indicative of the video being popular, in which case search engines will respond by ranking it higher in their respective indexes.