If you spend money and resources to create video content, then you want people to find it. Just like improving your web copy for Google SEO, you should be optimizing your videos for YouTube's SEO.
Here are a few tools to help your videos rank higher on a video search engine like YouTube.
Let's start with the basics. When you're planning and creating your video, you should conduct several searches to see what videos have been set up and what they've done with their video titles, tags, etc.
Use YouTube's search filters to find results uploaded in the last hour, last day or week, as well as the type of content, duration, and features it contains.
You'll want to search for titles similar to your video and look for the best ranking keywords in your niche. Take a look at the top results in each of your searches. These are videos that have done YouTube SEO right. Take notes on what is working. Examine their descriptions, tags, titles, and thumbnails to determine what they're doing that helps them rank so high.
Similar to doing keyword research on Google, YouTube's auto-suggest tool can also be a great way to determine the most popular keywords on the platform.
Start typing in a keyword related to your niche and take note of each of the auto-suggested endings to that keyword. Those are all popular search terms, and you should use any relevant to your video or niche.
A similar, but more in-depth, tool called SEO Chat takes your base, short-tail keyword and adds each letter of the alphabet to it to give you a full list of every possible long-tail keyword you could rank for.
Sometimes the tools YouTube gives us aren't enough. That's why extensions and other tools have been built to help even further with video SEO.
The TubeBuddy Chrome Extension is one of these.
This extension has a tag explorer that helps you find and use some of the top ranking tags/keywords from other top performing videos. When you perform a search in the tag explorer, it provides you with information on the search volume of a keyword, difficulty to rank, and competition (i.e., how many other videos are also using that keyword).
This extension also has a suggested tags tool that will give you more relevant tags after you've input your initial tags using the tag explorer. It provides you with a scorecard that lets you know your chances of ranking for each of the tags it suggested you add to your video.
In addition, the TubeBuddy extension also allows you to A/B test your video titles or thumbnails to determine which performs the best. You can use up to two variations and get analytics on which one received more engagement and/or clicks.
When using YouTube video content in your digital marketing strategy, it's not simply uploading, publishing, and done. It's important to pay attention to your video SEO, so your content ranks higher in search results and is found by more people. When you're spending so much time and money putting together quality video content, you want to make sure as many people as possible can see it!
Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of TabSite.com and Waftio.com, leading software tools for contests and lead capture, and author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/book.