Lights. Camera. Action. Boom! Your video is done. You edited it, added a few special effects and rush to upload it to YouTube. But wait you’re not done yet. With hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube every day it’s important to make sure you do your best in optimizing your video for search.
YouTube has a proprietary algorithm and nobody knows 100% how the ranking of videos is done. Nevertheless, there is some common wisdom out there on the ways to make your video do better in search. Here are some tips to get you started. Please share yours in the comments!
Name of your file. When uploading a video check the name of your raw file. Use the keywords in the name of the file rather than random numbers. E.g. Saturday_Market_Portland.mov as opposed to 720p.mov
Category. Make sure you submit your video to the right category. There is a Travel and Events category that you’re most likely to use.
Keywords. It’s highly important to include relevant keywords in your title, description and "tags" that people will use when searching YouTube for video content.
Video Title – Keywords are important, but the tricky part is finding the balance between an interesting title and keyword rich. Think of the words you would use when looking for a video like yours. E.g. “Cheap things to do in Moscow” as opposed to “Travel Moscow, Russia, cheap"
Description – make sure your main keywords are somewhere in the beginning of the first sentence. It’s good if you can use your primary keyword twice. However, don’t overdo it. Your description should be succinct and on the point, not just a list of keywords. E.g. “Moscow has lots of things to do. Here are our tips on how to spend a great day in Moscow on the cheap.” Some SEO experts also recommend including a link in your description. Use http:// format for it to be clickable.
Tags – list all possible alteration of your keywords. People have different search patterns, so use a mix of generic and very specific tags. For the keyword groups/phrases use quotation marks e.g. “Portland Saturday Market” “Saturday Market” “Portland, Oregon.”
YouTube Keyword Tool comes in handy when you need help coming up with keywords. With its help you can find keywords with high search volume.
Geo-tagging. Geo-tag your video based on where it was created. This will make it display in the Google Earth. You’ll see “Date and Map Options” when you upload a video. Then you could just use the search browser to choose a specific location or drag the marker.
Make sure you press save button once you added all the tags and descriptions.
Now that you’re done, leverage your other social networks - let all your friends/fans/followers know about your video.