Video content has seen its popularity soar into the stratosphere, with nothing more point-proving than YouTube’s equally swift rise in popularity. So much so, the platform is more than just a household name, being used in homes, schools, and workplaces worldwide for a variety of purposes.
Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in many people and organizations looking to harness YouTube to benefit their brands and businesses. YouTube can be an excellent source of traffic and brand visibility, provided you tame the notoriously fickle search algorithm. For many, this task is a difficult one, with a range of different tactics suggested online.
Video optimization is one such tactic; one surprisingly practiced quite sparsely. If you practice this tactic, implementing it across your video catalog and in future uploads, you will boost your ranking in the search results. As a result, you will benefit more from what YouTube has to offer.
What benefits can YouTube offer businesses?
Before we discuss video optimization practices, let’s first discuss why you should go through the trouble. By optimizing your videos, you will increase your search ranking on YouTube. Considering YouTube is the largest search engine for video content, second only to Google as the largest search engine in general, this is incredibly useful to your brand.
Building a presence on YouTube, and more importantly, increasing your position in the search results, is a massive boon to visibility. This visibility can be used to direct traffic to your website, provided your content is enough to hook your viewers. The benefits to this are self-explanatory.
Another major benefit to YouTube, and video content in general, is the unparalleled level of engagement the format offers. Engaging with your audience is crucial for several reasons. First, you build a relationship with your customers, which in turn cultivates a loyal customer base. Secondly, you have a direct line to your audience, which can be used to gain an understanding of their opinions of your products and services, what they like, and what they don’t. Lastly, strong communication and transparency with your audience will also boost your reputation to the public.
YouTube, being owned by Google, also provides SEO benefits on a grander level. Google likes to show its users what it thinks they’ll like, in addition to what’s relevant to a search query. Oftentimes, this will mean recommending video content, for example, video tutorials about a topic relevant to a search query. This can direct traffic to your YouTube channel, which in turn can be used to boost brand exposure and direct traffic elsewhere.
Video content, as you might surmise from the above benefits, is excellent for making calls-to-action (CTA). Videos are engaging, and once you have an audience, you can almost directly encourage them to take certain actions. You have doubtless seen YouTubers litter their videos with requests to like, subscribe, and so on. You can do the same, but instead of asking for subscriptions, encourage your viewers to visit your website or browse your products, whatever is most relevant to you.
Video optimization – what you can do
Youtube is a search algorithm, and as such, it has a set of criteria that dictate where a video ranks. You likely know that subscribers and engagement play a core part, along with watch time more recently. What is somewhat less well known is the impact of keywords, video length, and other such factors. These typically fall under the category of video optimization. Let’s discuss how you can optimize your videos to satisfy the YouTube algorithm.
Tailor your content to your audience
The first port of call is the content itself. Watch time is an essential component these days, meaning you should ensure your content matches the expectations of your target audience. Uploading content that doesn’t sit well with your audience will likely result in low watch time, something the algorithm won’t look upon kindly. The reverse is true, however, as a satisfied audience is one that will stick around longer.
This can be accomplished in a couple of ways. Firstly, you should seek to evoke emotion in your audience. People don’t always remember what you say, but they certainly remember how you make them feel, as the saying goes. Injecting humor into your content is a good idea then, as is anything that will make your audience happy. An alternative is to evoke outrage in your audience, a tactic some brands have made good use of, but one that is inherently risky if mishandled.
Another core aspect to include in your content is information. Many people like to come away from a video knowing something they didn’t beforehand. This is especially true for tutorials and educational content, but is also true in a more general sense. Provided you don’t come across as preach, of course.
Make use of keywords
The role of keywords has changed on YouTube somewhat, but they remain a useful tool to optimize your content. Where once you could get away with stuffing your descriptions full of keywords, a more precise approach is now necessary. Include keywords in your video description and in your title. A relevant title with appropriate keywords is gold dust.
Including keywords in your content is also a must, though one that is surprisingly often forgotten. YouTube can’t watch your video in its entirety, at least not yet, but it does take notice of certain keywords. By saying keywords, you stand to boost your results.
Don’t be afraid to promote your content
The benefits of building backlinks and sharing your content online are well known. This is also true for video content. Sharing your content increases your brand visibility, providing similar benefits to those provided by being promoted by the Google algorithm.
You can promote your content in a number of ways. You could encourage your viewers to engage in digital word of mouth, you could post links on forums or other online communities, or you could embed your content on your website, emails, and other places. If you gain even one additional viewer, it will be worth it.
Video optimization can be a pain for those not accustomed to it, but with enough time, it will become second nature. By optimizing your content, you will better expose your brand to a larger audience, something that brings great benefits to your business as a whole. In our digital age, it’s important not to let amazing tools, like YouTube, go untapped.