YouTube has incredible potential for marketers in a whole array of different ways.  The problem?  It’s not a well kept secret.  This is a platform extremely crowded with millions of videos.  So, how do you optimize your content to watch your videos instead of any other they could choose?  Keyword optimization.

If you dream of “going viral”, you probably aren’t going to go far if you’re not leading viewers to your videos.  Think of it this way –what do you do when you want to promote a blog post or article you write?  You (should) consider the terms that you use in the article, the tags that you use, and the words and hashtags that you use when linking to the article in other posts.  Videos are no different –in fact, keywords can be even more important.

Why?  An article is text.  The words you write can come up in search engines.  If you don’t work to optimize the keywords, your blogs may not reach very far, but they are out there.  With videos, no one knows what you’re saying until they watch them.  The keywords MUST be added in to different places or it’s not searchable.  It’s honestly a waste of time without them.

So, where are a few of the most important places to include great keywords as per YouTube’s algorithm?  Simply put –the title, the descriptions, and in tags.  Making the most of these sections can really work to get more traffic to your videos and then ultimately to your website or wherever you need to send your customers.

I’d start by making a list of very popular keywords that relate in some way to the content you’ve created.  Once you have this, actually search for these keywords and see if they’re as popular as you think.  When you create your video’s title, incorporate a few of the most searchable keywords.  Make it an interesting title, not just a string of keywords, but use them where you can.

Write long video descriptions.  Extremely long.  I’m suggesting a 200 word minimum.  The longer the description, the more opportunity you have to include keywords to help viewers find your video.  This will help you incredibly in search results.  Search engines have not watched and listened to your video –if Wyou don’t write exactly what’s happening in the video, you’re not going to show up in those searches.  YouTube (and Google) rely on text surrounding your video to understand your video’s topic.  The same is true for the tags you choose.  Be smart about the words that you are using.

Something to consider moving forward is the importance of subscriptions.  Take a minute in your videos, and in your descriptions, to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel.  YouTube grades the highest on subscriptions, liking, and comments; be sure you’re ahead of the game on this one.  They want user experience to be positive so they’re going to bump up videos in the search that have a high subscription rate or like count.  You’d be surprised how many people will subscribe just by you taking the time to ask.

While you’re waiting for your followers to trickle in, organize your YouTube channel by creating keyword-rich playlists. These playlists give YouTube more information about your video’s topic.

All of this translates into more viewers for you.  Help YouTube to help you.  It really is a great marketing opportunity if you adjust it to feature you.  You have to point viewers in your direction to make it work.

What have your experiences been while marketing on YouTube? What tricks have you learned?  Do you think that keywords are just as important (or more important) than video content?  Comment below!