Many businesses that use videos don’t have the time or tools to host their videos on their own server, so they opt for loading their productions on YouTube and using the embed code.
If you really don’t have any other options, it’s still better to have something on YouTube than nothing at all. So here’s a list of tips and tricks for making YouTube better for your company. The more of them you can accomplish, the better off you will be in placing your content where the search engines will find and display it.
Give your video a good title
Use keywords in your title. Make it compelling. No one will watch, nor will they search for, “October video.mp4.” But they will watch “How I Saved Money and Solved My ______ Problem in Three Steps.” Get the picture?
Pay attention to the description field
The very first thing in the description field should be “http://” and your website. Don’t just use your homepage, but rather, a page that gets the viewer closer to doing business with you.
Upload a transcript and/or create captions
This is a relatively new feature, but it is possible now to upload a transcript of your video to YouTube. There also is a feature that will let you create captions so the video can be watched, instead of heard.
There is an entire list of best practices for these actions in themselves, so ask for help or search for tutorials.
Big hint: Don’t use Microsoft Word to create your files. Use Wordpad so you can save them as .txt files without all the format encoding. Or if you understand video time code, create a .srt file, and you’ll be able to more precisely control your captions.
The ability for the search engines to read videos due to transcripts is really a game changer.
Create a new page for just the video
If you can whip up a single page on your site and embed the video surrounded by keywords and phrases, that will be great. Then you can put THAT URL into the YouTube description field.
If you have one video optimized for a key phrase, and a different video optimized for a different key phrase, you have increased your chances of being on top of a search and having that search lead back to you.
Put the YouTube “share code” on every social network you can. Your promotion needs to run like a good ad campaign. Maybe not everywhere all at once, and maybe some places more than once, but get it out there and create some talk. Ask folks to share. Ask for comments. Ask for subscribers.
Branding on YouTube
As part of its newly launched “In Video Programming,” you can upload an image that YouTube will use as a “bug” in the corner of your videos. You can also pick in which corner of the video it appears and for how long. There also is a seldom-used workaround for the YouTube embed code that removes YouTube branding.
Some folks don’t want to be associated with YouTube because of its “pedestrian” image. But YouTube is the second largest search engine. It’s a great place to put your videos. And by following some simple steps, it can be another tool in your arsenal for getting noticed.
Ron Harper has had decades of success creating sales and marketing messages. As a production company, Harper writes and produces signature jingles, voiceovers for movie trailers and corporate productions as well as imaging on radio and TV stations around the world. He founded Videos on Your Website in 2008. Besides producing web content, he also teaches businesses how to use YouTube and other social media.