More than 35 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. This means 2,100 hours of video is uploaded every hour, or 50,400 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every day.
“If we were to measure that in movie terms (assuming the average Hollywood film is around 120 minutes long), 35 hours a minute is the equivalent of over 176,000 full-length Hollywood releases every week.” according to Hunter Walk, YouTube’s Director of product management. “Another way to think about it is: if three of the major U.S. networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the last 60 years, they still wouldn’t have broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.”
So, you will need to learn how to optimize your video for YouTube. Otherwise, the odds that a critical mass of viewers will discover it are slim to nil.
Choose Relevant Keywords
The first step in this process is to think about the words users would type into the YouTube search box to find your video. Choosing relevant keywords can help you get your video content in front of interested users.
You can use the YouTube keyword tool to get new keyword ideas. It gives you a couple of options. You can enter a few descriptive words or phrases, or you can type in a YouTube video’s ID or watch page URL. Results can be tailored to more than 40 languages and more than 230 countries.
In addition, the YouTube keyword tool lets you choose the demographic you wish to target. This includes male or female, ages 13 to 65+, applicable countries, and 24 interests from animals to travel.
Although you can use these keywords for advertizing if you want, you don’t need to. The YouTube keyword tool can be used to optimize your video for YouTube search, too.
Remember, users are searching for video content, so they’re less likely to look for something to buy on YouTube than they are on a search engine. Users search for topics related to what entertains them, so choose your keywords accordingly:
- Names (celebrities)
- Titles (movies, shows)
- Objects in the video (cars, etc.)
- Emotions (funny, hilarious)
When choosing your keywords, think about the trends in online video overall, plus trends on YouTube (hot topics, political awareness, celebrity gossip, and popular videos).
Optimize Your Video Title
The second step is to make sure that your titles, video descriptions and tags actually include your keywords. This will help your videos be discovered in YouTube search results and related videos.
Your video’s title can be up to 100 characters long, including the spaces between words. This means your title can be up to 16 words long, depending on the number of characters in each word.
Although you can think of your title as a headline, don’t use puns or other word play in this important element of your video’s metadata. As Steve Lohr of The New York Times once observed, “There are no algorithms for wit, irony, humor or stylish writing.” So, your title should be straightforward enough to be indexed properly and should contain the keyword phrases most important to the message of your video.
If you want to include your brand name in the title, it should always go last. You brand name faces less competition, so put the keywords that face more competition at the beginning of the title, which appears to help in YouTube search ranking.
Your description should be as detailed as possible — short of offering an entire transcript. It can be up to 5,000 characters, including spaces. This means your video’s description can be up to 800 words long.
Include URLs with http:// to other videos, playlists, or your website in your description. This will turn the URLs into a hyperlink.
Optimize Your Tags
Finally, your tags should be as detailed as possible within the 120-character limit. They can include your brand, city, and topics. Consider using your current tags or another user’s tags.
If you want to see an example of how this works, examine the video above, “Optimize YouTube videos and 3 key steps on how to do it.” It has been found in YouTube searches for the terms “how to optimize YouTube video” and “optimize video for YouTube.” It has also been found in Google searches for the term “optimize video for YouTube.”
In addition, it has been found after YouTubers watched two related videos, “YouTube Optimization techniques from Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR” and “Optimize YouTube videos and how to share them with Greg Jarboe.”
The above video also provides a hint at what I’ll cover in upcoming columns. Stay tuned.