Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on November 24th, 2009

Seven Tips for Video Optimization

Video optimization will hold even more weight in 2010 then it does now and for more than two reasons. However, I am only going to give you two: 1) YouTube is the second-largest search engine, playing the fiddle only behind Google, and 2) Google introduced auto-captioning for its YouTube channel last week, helping people find videos via search engines more efficiently. So, just to be perfectly clear: Videos are highly-sought after online content and Google just made them easier to find via search results.

A well-optimized video and company YouTube channel will benefit any SEO campaign. Your main focus for optimization should be on-page SEO with keyword utilization. If used properly, there are two places where your videos can rank well: in YouTube’s own search results, as well as in the search results on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Here are seven tips for video optimization:

1. Links in Profile Pages

You should first determine where you want to drive the traffic from your channel/profile page, and then use links to those pages as much as possible. Link to other social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter to extend the brand experience, or drive them to customized landing pages that continue their journey to checkout.

2. Optimize the Video Title

Use appropriate keywords in the video title, along with the word “video”. The video’s title is the most important piece of information that engines use to rank. Most searchers also include the word “video” when searching for videos, so its inclusion will help as well.

3.Keyword-rich Description

Each video you publish on your channel needs a unique, keyword-rich description with the URL included. Put the URL at the beginning as it is the next-best indicator to search engines of the video’s content, behind the title. Don’t forget to use appropriate keywords as well.

4. Video Transcripts

Currently, online videos are still invisible to most search engines, so they must guess from the title and description what the content is about. If you have a full transcript of your video placed in the description, the search engines will completely understand the video’s content.

5. Tagging With Keywords

You need to tag your videos with keywords. Along with the title and description, search engines use tags to help classify your video’s content.

6. Broadcast and Share

For each video, options are available for “broadcasting and sharing”. It’s recommended to open commenting and embedding as much as possible, as long as you monitor for spam and inappropriate comments.

7. Compelling Thumbnails

YouTube pulls thumbnails from the one quarter, half, and three quarters marks of every video. You can then choose which thumbnail you want displayed. Edit your video so that one of these thumbnails is a compelling image that will help draw in viewers. Thumbnails are known to impact the viewership of videos.

Video SEO is a growing trend, and if you are producing video content for your company online, these tips should provide you with a great start at optimizing your YouTube channel and profile. If you feel like we left anything crucial out in video optimization, or you have further questions on video SEO best practices, contact us and we will be sure to give you a call and help answer your questions.