Nice Video! But How Are People Going to Find it?

This post is part of PR Soup’s “Guest Blogger Series” featuring insights from Austin-area entrepreneurs and business leaders in areas complementary to PR (including marketing, sales, graphic design, web development and more).

Okay. Great. Everything came into place and you wound up with a beautiful video about your business. Your staff looks courteous, your product looks beautiful, and the soundtrack would make anyone want to do business with you. Fantastic. Now how are people going to see it?

You know the basics:

  • YouTube is the 2nd most popular search engine after Google (also, Google owns YouTube and is now showing video in normal search results)
  • Google ranks websites with embedded video higher than websites without embedded video.

But how do you get your video to show up higher in search results? The answer lies in a concept called Search Engine Optimization. For regular websites, search engine optimization can be a long and complicated process. However, for a video uploaded to YouTube, it’s really quite simple. You just have to know how to fill out the form the right way. Here’s the top five tips for completing YouTube’s meta information. (<—–Caution: contains both jargon and semantics)

  1. Think of key words first — Try to think of the words or phrases that you would want someone to be using to find your video. Enter them in the tags section. I try to generate a list of between 10 and 20 key words and phrases.  Separate them by commas.
  2. Title your video for humans and computers — Use language that is literal and descriptive. While humans might find puns and double entendre entertaining, search engines do not understand them. Come up with a compromise that has key words and is exciting to your readers.
  3. Describe your video well — In the description section you want to make sure to include most, if not all, of your key words. If you want to get technical, you’re looking for a key word density of 12%, but I prefer to include as many key words as I can while still maintaining comfortable readability.
  4. Fill out the form completely — If YouTube asks for the information, they will consider it in crafting their search results. You want to be found in as many categories as possible so give them as much information as you can by selecting a category and then flipping over to the advanced settings and put a location and date in also. Approximates are okay!
  5. Find the best still shot — Showing up in search results is great, but you need to get clicks to move higher. YouTube gives you three options for the still or screen shot that represents your film. The default is often your CEO with their eyes rolling back in their head while they’re biting their lip. See what other options you have.

*Bonus tip* ‘How-to’ videos are extremely popular in YouTube search. If you can work a ‘how to’ video into your strategy I think you will like the results.

Aaron Bramley is the Director of Digital Media for Ridgewood: Ingenious Communication Strategies and the  founder of The Lights. Camera. Help. Nonprofit Film Festival.

The Lights. Camera. Help. Nonprofit Film Festival is seeking PSAs, short films and features that focus on good.  If your favorite cause has a film that highlights the work being done to make the world a better place, Lights. Camera. Help. wants to see it.  LCH, a nonprofit itself, expects to give out a total of approximately $5,000 to the causes represented in the winning films this year.  They are accepting films through June 30, though it’s free to submit through June 15th.  The official selections will be announced by the end of July and the festival will take place at the Spirit of Texas Theater at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas on September 12-14.  Submit now!

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