Just about anyone can upload a video to YouTube.
This is great news if you’re a business owner who wants to leverage video marketing to get more clients and promote your products or services, because getting started couldn’t be easier!
But it’s not enough to simply put your videos on YouTube – you also need to make sure they can can be easily found when someone is searching on YouTube or Google (or another search engine).
That’s where optimisation comes in. By optimising your YouTube videos and channel to make your content more “findable”, you’ll improve your search engine visibility, which means you’ll boost the chance of your videos appearing in relevant search results and being found by potential clients.
This blog explains three simple strategies for optimising your business YouTube channel and videos so they get found.
What’s the deal with optimising?
If you want people to find and watch your business’s YouTube videos, it’s important to optimise them for the two biggest search engines in the world, Google and YouTube.
No one knows all the variables YouTube’s search algorithm considers when it ranks videos in search results – the algorithm is a well-kept secret. However, many marketers have spent enough time experimenting and aggregating data to know some of the key factors that influence how YouTube chooses which videos to display at the top of a search (factors that seem to influence Google, too).
These key factors are keywords, interactions, and watch times.
By optimising the videos on your business YouTube channel with the right keywords and the right strategies for boosting your interactions and watch times, you can make sure your videos appear front and centre when people are searching for what it is you do or sell.
And if you can get in front of more people, you can sell to more people.
Use your keywords wisely
It’s important to explicitly tell YouTube and Google what your videos and channel are about by using keywords that relate to your business and your content – words which are likely to be terms people are searching for.
Keywords are important because while YouTube and Google’s AI is impressive, it still relies on you to tell it what topics your video covers.
The first place you may choose to start is to include a keyword in your YouTube channel name. While you shouldn’t shove a string of keywords into your channel name, a carefully chosen, relevant keyword will help YouTube understand what you’re about. So, if you’re a Brisbane-based plumber with a company called Happy Drain, you could name your channel “Happy Drain – Plumbers” or, better yet, “Happy Drain – Brisbane Plumbers”.
You’ll also want to add keywords in your “About” description, the first part of which may sometimes appear in YouTube’s search results. Adding keywords can be as simple as stating your company name and what you do. If you ran a software development company called Bizvelopment, you could say “Bizvelopment is a Brisbane software development company with a focus on creating apps that help small businesses work faster and smarter”.
Video titles may be a place to add keywords, but your title should also be compelling and interesting, so be circumspect about adding keywords to video titles.
On the other hand, you can certainly include keywords in your video descriptions. If you had an accounting firm called “Know Your Numbers”, it may be worth leaving your video title as “How to Avoid 5 Common Tax-Time Mistakes That Can Cost You $$$”, because this is compelling and interesting. But in the description, you could say “Know Your Numbers is an accounting firm that helps small business owners in Brisbane make smart decisions to maximise profits, every day”.
Keywords tell search engines what your business’s videos and channel are about, but you also need Google and YouTube to consider your content to be “valuable” if they’re going to put it at the top of their search results.
That’s where other metrics like interaction come in.
In the YouTube world, interaction refers to the number of likes, shares, comments, and subscriptions your videos garner. The more people who like, share, or comment on a video, or who choose to subscribe to your YouTube channel, the more valuable that video appears in the eyes of the search engine gods.
You can encourage people to interact with your videos in this way by following a few simple strategies.
To begin with, you can explicitly ask for likes and shares in your videos. If you pair this request with some reasoning, you’re likely to get more interaction. So, if you have a video tutorial about how to get wine stains out of carpet using your patented stain remover, you could say “If this video has helped you, please give us a ‘like’ or ‘share’ so we can help more people banish wine stains (and stress less about inviting that tipsy friend to their next party)”.
You should also invite people to comment by asking a question or offering a topic for debate. If you were a web designer with a “how to” video showing people how to update their favicon (the browser icon that appears in the corner of an internet browser tab), you could ask your audience “What other simple website edits do you need help with? Let us know in the comments, so we can make a video to help you!”.
Finally, you should embed “like” and “share” buttons throughout your video, so you remove every possible barrier and make it as easy as possible for people to give you the interaction your business channel needs.
Boost your watch times
Another key indicator of quality and value that YouTube considers is your watch times – the amount of time that people spend watching the videos on your business’s YouTube channel. You want to keep people watching your videos to the end, and get them to watch as many as possible.
One primary strategy for encouraging longer watch times is to create playlists for your business’s YouTube channel.
Playlists allow you to string several videos together. When someone watches a playlist, each video transitions straight on to the next one. This can keep someone watching more videos on your channel, for longer.
The only caveat here is that you should only curate playlists with a strong theme or connection between the individual videos you feature. If you’re a graphic designer with several videos that follow your creative process, these would go together nicely in a playlist. The relationship between a video about your creative process and another video showing someone how to save a JPEG as a PNG, on the other hand, is tenuous at best. These videos probably don’t belong in the same playlist (unless you had several other videos in between that logically lead from your creative process video to your file types video).
It’s time to get started
By following these three simple steps, you can improve your business YouTube channel’s search engine visibility, so more people find your videos.
And by getting in front of more people, you improve your chances of convincing more people that your products or services are exactly what you need.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get optimising!
They say that “sharing’s caring”. If this post has helped you understand how to optimise your business YouTube channel, please share it on your preferred social media platform to help other business owners master this simple but powerful strategy!