Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | August 3, 2016

Getting The Most Out Of Your YouTube Videos

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With more than a billion users, and billions of daily video views, gaining user attention on YouTube may seem a daunting prospect. 

However, the sheer size of the audience (a third of all web users) means that the rewards are there.  As a certified Partner, allow me to offer some tips to help you get the most of your YouTube videos.

Invisible ranking signals

  • Video file name.This is used when attempting to categorize the content, so be sure to label it using target keywords.
  • View density.We can all see how many views videos attract over time but view density matters to YouTube. If your video receives a lot of views in a short space of time, it’s more likely to be pushed up the rankings.
  • MetaTags. YouTube’s spiders rely on tags to interpret a video’s content. This is thought to be a big factor in determining the positions a video is able to achieve in YouTube. When you upload a video to YouTube you can tag it with your keywords. 6-8 tags are thought to be the ideal amount. Look at the most popular/top tags on YouTube for your topics, and learn from them.
  • Watch time.YouTube used to use view counts and comment volumes as factors in watch time but this has all changed a few years ago. as the previous factors could be “gamed” relatively easily.
  • Flags / reports.These are negative factors which could harm your video’s visibility.

Visible ranking signals

  • The maximum character limit is 100 characters. Use them well, place keywords towards the front of the title. Titles need to be descriptive and compelling. The video should also deliver on the headline. If you over-promise, people won’t spend time with the videos and they may not share the videos either which helps with those buzz words we all love to hear.  “It went viral!”
  • There are 5,000 characters to play with here, but only the first (roughly) 150 will be visible to people when they land on your page, so these have to work well. This is also an opportunity to add a link back to your site or landing page.
  • YouTube subtitles, closed captions and transcripts. These make the videos available to a wider or even global audience.
  • HD videos. HD quality videos are preferred to lower picture quality ones, though this does not mean that lower quality homemade videos don’t work at all.
  • In-video annotations/YouTube cards. Annotations allow you to add ltexts that are linked to a video; including notes, calls to action, and links to related video assets. This serves to build greater authority and encourages CTR, views and shares. YouTube developed ‘annotations’ in 2015 to include ‘Cards‘ which are better looking version of annotations. The big difference is they work better across screens, and especially on mobile.
  • Thumbnails. Not a ranking factor, but a well-chosen thumbnail should help to improve click through rates and increase views. The ideal size = 640 x 360 pixels minimum, 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Likes and dislikes.These provide an indication of the engagement around a video.
  • View counts. Again, not as influential a factor as in the past, but still an important indication of popularity.

YouTube channel factors

A distinct YouTube channel can help give brands (or anyone) a longer term and more effective YouTube presence. There are some useful tips on this from YouTube.

  • Focus on content. Content needs to match the brand and give customers a clear indication of what to expect from your channel.
  • Keep it simple. Branding should communicate the message behind your channels, so make sure videos, channel trailers etc align with this.
  • Make it easy to find. Your branding should help people to find your videos and channel. This means consistent titles, tagging, descriptions and themes.
  • Channel views.As with video views, the channel stats will contribute towards your rankings.
  • Vanity URLs.Not a ranking factor, but something that should help improve other ranking signals by making your channel more easily found.
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