In part 1 of this mini series about video marketing on YouTube we discussed two important topics:
- Your mindset as you begin to push videos onto YouTube for brand expansion and traffic generation; and
- A number of things you can do to your video recording to optimize it.
In part 2 we’re going to cover some tips and tricks for what to do after your video is recorded with the title, description and tags.
Before that, I’d like to answer a couple of quick questions that some of you asked me after the previous post:
1. What’s the Maximum Length of a Video That You Can Upload to YouTube?
The answer is 10 minutes flat. People who got in early on YouTube before this 10 minute rule started are “grandfathered” the ability to upload longer videos, but that was within the first year only. If you search on the web, you can actually find people selling their old grandfathered accounts for a lot of cash because many people would love to have the ability to upload videos longer than 10 minutes in length. How legal is this?I can’t answer that, and I advise that you to use your best judgment.
That being said, 10 minutes or less is plenty of time to create a video with great content that can send masses of people to your site and expand your brand.
2. What Do I Do if I Have a Recording That’s Longer Than 10 Minutes?
You can either do your best to edit it so that is under 10 minutes, OR you can break it into two equal parts—and use either the description of the videos, annotations, or a video response to connect the two. More on this later in the series.
3. Is There an Easy Way to Check Video Statistics on YouTube?
Yes—indeed! YouTube has something called “Insight” that tells us a load of information about each of our videos, including incoming traffic, where they came from, and even what parts of our videos people are more interesting to the viewers—plus a lot more.
One thing I do is I added an “Insight Module” to my homepage of YouTube, so that after I sign in, I can immediately see what kind of traffic I’m receiving, and what my most popular videos are. In order to create an “Insight Module”, simply sign into your YouTube account, and click on the “Add/Remove Modules” button, and then select “Insight Chart”.
Okay—now back to our regularly scheduled program…
Today, we’re going to be talking about the Title, Description and Tags of your videos. All three are very important, yet are often overlooked as people get excited to see their videos finally live on YouTube.
The Title of Your Video
Treat the title of your video the same way that you would treat the title of any blog posts that you write. In other words, make sure they:
- Contain targeted keywords that relate to your video; and
- Are not generic—meaning they have some thought behind it that may catch people’s attention.
Having a keyword rich title is important because remember, YouTube is a search engine! And guess what…they are owned by Google (gasp!). Plus, many YouTube videos are picked up in Google Searches, so there’s a potential to get traffic not only from YouTube search, but Google search as well.
YouTube does not crawl through your video and listen to each and every word that you say to see what is the most relevant for a certain keyword. That would be crazy. So, what you say in your video doesn’t directly effect the search engine results, but it definitely matters—indirectly. Much of the rankings are based on views, competition, tags, related videos, and comments. I don’t know the exact algorithm (of course), but viewer action weighs in big time. That’s why it’s really important to include calls to action within your video to get more subscribers, and more comments as well, if possible.
COOL TRICK: You probably know some of the primary keywords you’d like to use in your videos before you even start. Type in those keywords into the YouTube Search field and see what comes up. You’ll get a quick glance at which videos are the most popular and get the most traffic. Here’s the tip: some similar titled videos will show up next to other videos in the “related videos ” area on the right. If your video shows up there, there is always a potential for people to click over and check out your video too. More exposure = more traffic.
The description is where you tell people what your video is about. Sounds simple enough, however there’s one all-important tip that I recommend you do:
Always start the description with the URL of your blog (or whatever website you’re promoting). As you can see in the screenshot above for my video on How to Make a Facebook Landing Page, the first thing that you see in my description below the actual video (see blue arrow) is my website address. Although it’s cut off a bit, it is still clickable, and I get traffic from these links every day. If you include a link in the middle or the bottom of your description, people will have to expand the window below to see it, which most people never do.
Again, start with your link and it will always be there for people to click on.
It’s also important to include a real description (after your link) that contain some relevant keywords to help the YouTube (and Google) search engines determine what your video is about.
Oh, and from what I understand, as of today, html does not work inside the description—so there’s no need to try and optimize with anchor text. Plus, the links from YouTube to your site are NoFollow anyways, which means they don’t really count in Google’s eye as a backlink. It’s still important to include a link though, to drive traffic from your video to your site.
Tags are simply keywords related to your video. You can add as many as you want, however I’d recommend about 7 to 10 tags at most.
COOL TRICK #1: Similar to the trick that I mentioned for the Title of your video, enter your primary keywords into the YouTube search engine and find a popular video with a lot of views. Expand the description of the video and look at the bottom of the window that opened up to view all of the tags that were used for that particular video. If you want to give yourself the best chance to have your own video show up next to the popular one that you selected, use those same exact tags for your own video. Again, I don’t know the exact algorithm, but this will definitely increase your chance of being shown next to the video you selected that is getting a ton of highly targeted traffic already.
COOL TRICK #2: If you plan on uploading a number of videos, you can “create your own tag”—a unique character set or word that you use to tag each of your videos. When you do this, sometimes YouTube will simply show thumbnails of your videos in the related section next to your own open videos because of that unique identifier. It’s a lot better to have more of your videos (instead of other people’s videos) show up in the area next to your open video, so people can possibly stay on content that is your own.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for the title, description and tag of your YouTube video. In part 3, we’ll cover what you can do after your video is uploaded and live on YouTube to maximize traffic to your videos and your own site.