Optimizing and boosting your YouTube Rankings

Figure 1 – check out all of the search terms people used that landed them on a tennis instructional video. Expand your keyword!

Heidi-ho friends!

I was reading this article by Chris Sietsema about optimizing your YouTube content. I think the author is mostly right on, but I’d like to augment his ideas with a few tips of my own. Remember, YouTube is searchable, and anything that is searchable can be optimized!

1)      Make entertaining content. I think entertaining is the wrong word here; it conjures up painful images of corporate suits ordering the marketing department to create a “viral video.”

I think a better word to use is relevant.  Make your videos relevant.  Every business has knowledge to share. It’s just a question of when and how you share it.

A good example is this video about the odds of filling out a perfect NCAA bracket. This video was released just before the 2011 NCAA tournament and got the majority of it’s views around that time.  Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, this video only has 5,000 views.” However what you are not noting is that this video will be relevant every March, anytime someone searches YouTube for “perfect NCAA bracket.”

Sietsema also cites the ingenious “Will It Blend?” video series, which manages to make product demonstration entertaining.

The “Will it Blend” series is a great example of entertaining YouTube marketing and it costs almost nothing to produce. The videos are brief, informative and entertaining. Plus, they provide tangible product benefits.

Find some bit of important knowledge that your business can add to YouTube and start to plan not only what you will release but also when would be the right time to put that content forward.

One more note – keep it brief. I would keep your video at three minutes or less if possible.

2)      Find your keywords. This is absolutely essential in order to get your video noticed.  Whenever you upload a video, you have the option of adding keywords.  Think of any possible search term that someone interested in your video might use in the YouTube search box.

Take a look at the search terms people plugged in that brought them to this instructional/promotional video about tennis lessons (figure 1). The video profited from those searches by adding in keywords like Serena, Roddick and Sampras.

Additionally, Sietsema notes the importance of the YouTube Keyword Tool.  This is a great, free resource that allows you to see the top search words that have led people to videos on that topic.  You can also past in the URL of a video and see the search words that brought people to that video.  Try it now – and then incorporate the phrases that have garnered the most searches into your keywords.

Don’t worry about making the most polished video in the world. Just make something that is interesting, brief (three minutes or less), authentic and – hopefully – entertaining.

I encourage you to check out the rest of Sietsema’s article, where he goes into detail about optimizing video on your website. More so, I encourage you to think about ways you can create optimize your YouTube presence for improved marketing.

Until next time…


Bob Vila and Better Online Video Results

Bob Vila made a successful leap to the world of online videos. Use these lessons to build your own online video presence.

Greetings gang!

Online video is difficult to strategize and implement for many businesses.  While at SXSW Interactive, I attended a session and got some tips that you may find useful.

The session focused on how Bob Villa made the transition from a regular home improvement television show to a successful online video presence.

1) Use a broad list of keywords. Try to think of any conceivable way that users may look for content that relates to your video.  Any search term that is remotely applicable should be applied.

If your video is about how to ice a cake, start thinking about any term that may apply.  So besides “cake” and “icing”, you may generate a list of 50 more.  Terms like “wedding”, “birthday”, “frosting”, “chocolate”, “devil’s food”, “cream cheese,” “coconut”, ‘how to”, etc. You may want to look at your site’s Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics to see what keywords bring people to your site or videos.

People may use different search terms to find what they want – think broadly and make it easy for them to find you.

2) Monetize by saving money. For online video, don’t sweat about trying to create a Hollywood production. Consumers are concerned about CONTENT – not about multiple camera angles.

The lower cost of online video can also help calculate an ROI, based on what would be spent on a traditional advertising route, like a TV ad.  In fact, the panelists noted that they can create 40 online Bob Villa videos for less that the cost of one television episode.

3) Go where the customers are. Don’t limit yourself to YouTube. Also put video content on your website and on Vimeo, Facebook and HULU — make sure that wherever people search for helpful videos, they find your content.

4) Content is king. Create relatively concise videos that serve a purpose, whether that is to inform or to entertain. You are competing with the video of the cat fighting a toaster, so you need to create content that is worthy of their time.

Also, I would highly advise against trying to create something meant to be funny or to go “viral”.  You can’t make something viral, it has to happen on its own. Create useful content, allow people to engage with that content (DO NOT disable contents and ratings on your videos), and then socialize that engagement with sharing functions.

Now get out there and make some videos! Until next time!