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Simple tips for optimising your YouTube videos for search engines

25th March 2016

It is predicted that video will become a huge factor in search engine optimisation in 2016.

However, simply recording a video and uploading it to YouTube isn't the only step you need to take. You also need to ensure that the video is tailored for search engines, just like a piece of content that you would place on your website such as a blog post or case study. Did you know that YouTube is actually the second most popular search engine online, trumped only by Google who actually own YouTube. Researchers believe that YouTube generates more than three billion searches per month.

Once your video is completed and uploading, you need to focus on a number of things to maximise your potential reach.

Video file name

The file name of your YouTube video is in fact accessible to search engines like Google. Even though the video file name isn't a major player in terms of SEO, it is still an indicator of your actual video content and should therefore be tailored to your video. This works in a similar way to images and files uploaded to your company website.

Instead of using numbers as a file name or a default name, try to use structured titles with hyphens so as to keep your video readable both by you and search engines.

Video title

The video title has great importance when SEO is involved, and is the most important thing once a video is posted. Just like a page or blog post on a website, the title should be relevant to the content and contain your keywords. This is also what the user is going to see first, so the title should be catchy and enticing to as to get the user to click on it.

Try to use 55 to 60 characters in the title of your video. According to Google, YouTube reads the first 55 to 60 characters, so you should try to use this space to your advantage.

Video description

Did you know that YouTube allows 5,000 characters for each video description? That works out at around 650 to 750 words.

YouTube prefers and rewards longer descriptions in its search guidelines, so you should try to utilise this as much as you can.

700 words is a fairly common length for a blog post, so you can even create a blog-type description for your video. Try composing an article which is relevant to the content at hand by including your keyword phrases from your video and title. You should also include a link/links to your website and even your social media channels within the description of your video - your aim from the video should be to bring people back to your website in order to make a sale/generate an enquiry.

Video tags

YouTube gives a considerable amount of importance on video tags as they provide another big indicator on how videos should be categorized and ranked on YouTube. Try to avoid using generic, simple keywords which are often recommended by YouTube, but instead place keywords from your video file name, video title and video description, with some extra slight variations. Also make sure to include any internationalised words (i.e. "colour" and "color") to ensure you are reaching out to different audiences (if required).

You should try to use at least ten tags which include your main keyword phrases for maximum exposure and reach.

We hope these quick tips will help you when publishing video content online - if you have any questions be sure to contact our videography and search engine optimisation experts on [email protected] or 0845 094 6108.