Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 1st, 2009

Optimizing Videos For YouTube

Here’s a paradigm-shift for you: YouTube is a search engine... for videos. OK, now that we’ve cleared that up, you should be treating your videos in the same way that you treat any other content you post online: implementing SEO strategies and posting them and other video content to the search engines (ex: YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo).

I know what you’re thinking: 1) You don’t have any video assets and 2) YouTube is diluted with babies playing piano and guys getting racked. To go in reverse order, YouTube is also used for serious and helpful information and education. Whenever people use YouTube to find this information, companies have a prime opportunity to get their messaging front and center. Secondly, most companies, whether they realize it or not, have video assets of product demonstrations, client testimonials, clips from a seminar or conference, an interview with an industry expert, etc. If you don’t have any assets, it is really easy to make them.

Now that you are convinced of optimizing videos for YouTube, here is how you do it:


Just like all other on-page optimization, you need to use your keywords in the video and page titles, descriptions and tags.


Off-page optimization is also a factor. Not only should you ensure that your video has inbound links, but you want external links with keyword-rich anchor text pointing to the video to receive the authority that it deserves.

You can’t just optimize a video of your CEO checking his email. Your video needs to be compelling, entertaining, informative, relevant, and engaging. YouTube will also weigh how popular your video is based on number of views, ratings, comments and so forth.

The more activity and engagement your video gets will determine how high it will rise in the rankings. The more people link to the video, the more it will enhance your SEO efforts. Optimize your videos as you would a page on your website, while posting it onto the video search engines and watch your rankings improve, just like you would with Google.