You Tube’s search algorithm includes the optimisation of the following: Title; Description; Tags; Number of Views; Rating. These can be manipulated by YouTube account holder, as well as the account/video viewers, to influence not only its placement in YouTube but also Google’s universal/blended search.

Content ideas for good SEO (linkbait)

Just like Blog posts ‘How to’ Videos are a sure way to get traffic and links to your video, embed your video in your blog post and get an SEO double whammy. You could set up a dedicated ‘how to’ channel and collect your ‘How to’s’ all in one channel for extra effect.

Competitor Research for SEO

Community and social network linking can play a big part in determining ranking on many video search engines. This may include Ratings, Favorites, Playlists, Comments, Honors, Views, Embedding, Response Videos, and Linking. You can check out your competitors video watch page – click on the “Statistics & Data” tab and work out what factors make this video so popular and work out a strategy that will help you achieve the same or better.

Video Dimensions for SEO

Even though YouTube now allows a wide screen format do not use it! Export to the standard 4:3 format because the thumbnails in universal search are still optimized for 4:3.

YouTube Description field SEO

  • Anchor description – 27 characters is the maximum amount for keyword placement before the “three dots” and the end of each video link on YouTube, make sure you put your keywords here
  • Include a clickable URL in the first line of the description tag. to make a link clickable include the http: (eg will be clickable but will not be).


Conclude the video with an instructional/visual cue to click on the link in your description, and show your call-to-action right in the thumbnails. YouTube creates the video thumbnails at ¼, ½, and ¾ of the way through your video, the trick is to have a call to action on the screen at that moment, and then choose that thumbnail in YouTube that has the call to action in the image.

Include a phone number

When you have your phone number on screen a solid background really helps.

Constant Branding and Call To Action throughout the entire video

Think about branding all the way through the video not just at the end and include a call to action within the video while suggesting viewers should click on your URL in the description as described above.

You can also use YouTube “annotations”

By clicking on the annotations tab you can add notes to your video and even links – though unfortuately only to other videos or to your page. This can be useful for linking youtube Videos together. Try asking people to subscribe to your channel as this can be a link too.

Use the success of other YouTube Videos

Add your own comments with your own URLs on popular videos. You can effectively use a call to action here too – try something like “Need Facebook Advertising help?” Check out (yes I know I haven’t followed all my advice in this video, I’ve only just learned it, but wait for the next one! It’s really good advice).

Create a video related to popular content and using a similar but NOT the same keyword/title this can determine if it will show up as a related video within the popular video page.

Link building

YouTube adds “nofollow” to all video titles… except those displayed under ‘Recent Activity. Try and keep the best or most valuable videos in “Recent Activity” section. The anchor text length on “Recent Activity” link is again 27 Characters. Building links to these “Recent Activity” videos is great for SEO.

Measure your Video SEO success

The YouTube Insight feature breaks down your stats so that you can see:

  • Where are your views comming from? Views can come from related videos, YouTube Search, YouTube Other, Viral Other, Google Search, Embedded player views, or external links.
  • Viewer Demographics by age and gender
  • Video views – performance over time
  • Which sites are linking to your video
  • What states, regions, or countries your video is most popular in
  • When your views are engaging at each moment in your video, compared to videos of similar length.

Optimising YOUR WEBSITE with YouTube video

When you have fully optimised your YouTube video you should embed in on your website

  • Create a separate keyword optimised page for every video on your site.
  • Surround the video with a keyword rich description and link to your YouTube page with anchor text being the keywords you would like to rank for.
  • Submit the same description to each of the following video sites: Yahoo! Video, YouTube and Google Video

Google Website Optimizer

You can use google optimiser to help you determine which video from the above works best. You can then set up Goals in Google Analytics (learn more about goals in our Google Analytics Training coures) and learn which video was the most successful. Create different variations of the video and then simply run a test using the free Google Website Optimizer and change nothing but the video on the different versions of the pages.