A Great Video Isn’t Enough: Understanding Search & YouTube


A lot of the time, we don’t have any trouble convincing our clientele that they need video. It’s pretty self-evident why video is important. Nine out of ten shoppers report finding video extremely helpful when making a purchasing decision; three quarters of business executives and B2B buyers report watching at least one work related video every week. Video content can live on your website, but it’s smart and strategic to have a presence on YouTube: the world’s second largest search engine is where many people go first for tutorials and other informative video content.

The thing is, having a great video is just not enough. 300 hours’ worth of video are added to YouTube every single minute. It’s entirely too easy for your amazing video to get lost in the crowd. If you want to be found, you have to pay attention to how YouTube works, particularly in response to its users’ search inquiries.

Put Keywords in Your Titles and Descriptions

YouTube search looks for keywords primarily in two text areas: video titles and descriptions. Therefore, it makes sense to include the terms your customers will be searching for in these areas. Ideal video titles are between 3 and 5 words long; something like “Best Refrigerator for Vegetarians” works great. If you know your customers are going to look for a longer phrase, use that – just remember, you’ve got a 70 character length limit.

Video descriptions can be much longer. You’ve got up to 5,000 characters to describe your video’s content. It’s important to be both accurate and appealing here: include relevant keywords in the description while giving viewers a concise description of what they can expect. A good best practice is to write a succinct overview – two to three sentences with the most relevant keywords included – and then follow that with a lengthier, more detailed description of what happens in the video.

Some people opt to put up word by word transcriptions as well; while there’s no data to indicate that this affects search rankings, it does seem to be an appreciated feature by users who may be watching your videos without sound.

Engagement Matters

YouTube uses engagement levels as part of their algorithm determining video rankings. That means any video that has a larger number of views, comments and shares will show up higher on the relevant search page than a video that doesn’t. That’s why it’s important to have a strategy to include your YouTube content in your larger marketing strategy: sharing it yourself via social media can encourage others to do so, boosting your on-page position.

There is a significant amount of work to be done after your video is created to ensure your video is seen. But this time is well worth it: after all, if no one knows your video is there, was there any point making it in the first place? Give your video the audience it deserves with well written descriptive copy and social media sharing.

A Great Video Isn’t Enough: Understanding Search & YouTube
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A Great Video Isn’t Enough: Understanding Search & YouTube
YouTube is the second largest search engine. Are you optimizing your videos to be found by searchers?

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