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Video and SEO – Top 5 Tips


Have you heard of a thing called the internet? It’s everywhere. If you haven’t, you should probably Google it. Google is the #1 most visited site in the world, followed closely by Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo. We don’t think we will surprise you by drawing the connection between search engines, videos, and social media. What this means for you is that:

1. You need video

2. You need to post it to your (well-managed) social media, and

3. You need to find a way to pull in people using search engines.

It’s probably a good thing we specialize in all of these areas.

So you know that SEO is absolutely essential to driving new customers towards your business, and you have heard that video is more likely to make a connection with them. That’s why we put together this list on how to best SEO your video.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Basically, when people search for a service you offer, we want them to be able to find you, and quickly. How often do you continue onto page 15 when you’re looking for something? How do you get your business from page 15 to the first few pages? Proper SEO techniques make this happen.

Video Content Is Important

Search engines can’t “crawl” the content of your video, but that doesn’t mean that your content should be lacking in any way. The attention of your viewers will be fleeting, and regardless of whether your video is the first they are exposed to after searching, if it is not visually appealing, interesting, and to-the-point, your viewers may not watch your video to the end.

1. Title and Settings

Your title needs to reflect not only the literal content of the video, but also needs to keep key search terms in mind. And while it may sound redundant, it is actually a good idea to put the word “video” at the end of your title. YouTube automatically names your video after the file that has been uploaded, often with extensions such as “.mov” at the end. Make sure to take this off.

Your settings should allow as many people as possible to both view and interact with your video. Beyond making sure the video is both public and has a standard YouTube license, it is also key to enable commenting, friending, mobile viewing, and, most importantly, subscriptions. The more people who are subscribed to your channel, the greater your video SEO power. We’ll talk more about channels later.

2. Description (Body Text)

First thing’s first: if you have a website associated with your video or company, we recommend that you post the url before anything else. Your url must include the “http://” in order to make it clickable, like this:https://michigancreate.wpengine.com. This is because YouTube only shows about 4 lines of text without the viewer clicking “show more”, and you want to make this link easily accessible. People are more likely to click “show more” in the middle of a sentence rather than clicking to see if you’ve posted anything else. Following this, describe your video – we see videos all the time with this field completely blank. Remember that search engines are using this text to help locate your video! As such, in your description, try and implement as many key words as you can. Speaking of key words …

3. Tags

Tags are your best friend when it comes to SEO. A common misconception is that you should try and obtain as many of these friends as possible, when really, a handful of meaningful friends are a much better option. We recommend you don’t go much higher than 5; others may recommend fewer yet. Beyond this, too many tags may produce adverse effects for your SEO success. Tags should be relevant, and should be conscious of searching potential. A video about what we do would likely have the tags “Lansing marketing company”, “Lansing video company”, “really awesome interns” … but probably not “we like cupcakes”, regardless of whether or not it’s true.

Also, you should be tagging your channel … have you spruced up your channel lately? Your videos are more likely to get the relevant hits they deserve if your channel tags are similar to your video tags.

And don’t forget to enter in your video’s geographical information.

4. Sharing

Social media! Social Media! Spread the video by posting it to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest … all of them.
Have a blog or website? Embed your video there. The idea is to not only use the audience you already have to boost your views, but to create many back links to your video … all while growing your following.

5. Channel

Your channel is your YouTube profile and portfolio. As such, it should reflect and describe you: when someone visits your channel, you want them to subscribe. Make sure to fill in the description and “about me” sections (you could already have something perfect written on your website) and the tags. Again, it is crucial to allow subscribers, friends, and comments (although there is an option to approve comments before they are posted). It is not a bad idea to model your YouTube channel after your current blog or website.

The moral of the story: it’s all about content.


Still confused about some of these terms? We won’t tell anyone if you want to check out the YouTube Glossary.

YouTube also offers additional Insight to your videos, and we recommend learning more about the attention span of your viewers. (*the “HotSpot” they are referring to is now under the tab “Audience Retention”).

Want extra credit? Think about creating a video sitemap or submitting text for closed captioning to further boost your video SEO.

And, as always, you can call us at Michigan Creative to take care of the entire process for you, from the storyboards to the billboards.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

– Jessica