Best Practices for YouTube MetaData

Best Practices for YouTube MetaData

There are over 20 million B2B customers that watch YouTube videos each month. It is not just for big brands anymore, literally companies of all sizes can benefit from creating content for the world’s most popular video platform.

One common concern I hear constantly is how videos can find an audience and distribution. Paid advertising is certainly effective but I’ve found that video SEO can be hugely powerful when done correctly.

Just take it from Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson, a pair of trainers who have used video to help catapult their business to the next level.

Here are a few tips on that we have found to dramatically increase a videos likelihood of appearing in organic search.

1) Title

You want to make your title pop! One of the first things people see on the search pages are the titles. The font is bolded and larger than all the other text. You only need a few words, but deciding which ones to use is very critical.

The title needs to be attention-grabbing and interesting enough to make people want to click on the video. Make sure to include keywords related to your content at the beginning of the title. The first terms of the title are more valuable than the others, so choose carefully.

When the playful, finger biting video “Charlie bit my finger-again!” hit the YouTube arena, the title was short, sweet and easy to remember so it was easy to reference to and to spread to family, friends and colleagues. Brevity can be your best friend when you are online. When it comes to titles, less really can become more. This video title along with its content, can be seen here!

2) Description

The description section on the video’s page has a limit of 5,000 characters. This leaves you plenty of room to talk about your content and promote your brand.

Only the first 120 characters will show up in a YouTube search. This makes the first 2 or 3 sentences the most important part of the description. You want to use an approach that is similar to creating the title. Include keywords while also keeping it fun and interesting.

Add in more detail about the video for the rest of the description. Try to keep it vague enough that people will want to watch and discover the content on their own. It is also useful to include calls to action and links that will bring viewers to other content that you have created.

A great example of this is Oprah Winfrey’s program, “Super Soul Sunday.” Ms. Winfrey talks with many different thought leaders but her content descriptions always give enough information to hook and engage the viewer but never enough to reveal the lesson that the video is going to teach you. One thing that is consistent about Ms. Winfrey is that her content changes, but her brand is always consistent and comes from an authentic space of love.

3) Tags

Tags allow you to associate even more keywords with your video. Each tag has a limit of 120 characters, but they usually don’t run that long.

For tags, the simpler the better. You want to use words that are more commonly used, such as “funny” or “best”, since they are searched the most. Words like “splendid” or “superlative” are not searched all that often, and should be avoided in tags.

Choosing which keywords to use can be tricky. You want to find a balance of tags that describe your brand and tags that best describe the video.

YouTube has a keyword tool on their site that can help to choose which keywords to include. This also comes in handy when creating a title and description for the video.

4) Categories

Choosing categories for your video is slightly easier than creating the rest of the metadata. You don’t have to worry about finding keywords and catchy phrases, but you do need to decide how you want your video to be labeled within YouTube.

There are a lot of categories to choose from and they can be rather broad. Figuring out which ones to pick can be a little hard. You want to use your best judgement to figure out which category is most relevant to your content. Determine which audience you want to reach with the video and go from there. For example, if you are marketing granola bars, you may want to catergorize them under food, nutrition and snacks with the tags of fruit, nuts and grains.

5) Thumbnails

Thumbnails are essential to the marketing of your video content. They give viewers a brief preview of the topic and tone of the video.

You want the main image be something that is recognizable and popular. The image should be the most prominent part of the thumbnail. It helps to have a scaled down background color.

Don’t overload the thumbnail with text. You want to make sure the subject of the video is addressed without overwhelming the image. Think of your thumbnail as a cover photo. You want to let the viewer know a little bit about what they are going to find when they click on your video but you don’t want to overwhelm them. Let the content speak for itself.

6) General Tips

Make sure to use the YouTube keyword tool. It’s really helpful with creating the titles, descriptions, and tags.

Avoid using irrelevant keywords, even if they have a high search volume. YouTube will pick up on it and label both your channel and your video as Spam.

It’s also a good idea to go back to the metadata every once in a while and update it. The YouTube Insight tool is helpful with this. It shows you which keywords people are using to find your video. From there, you can get rid of the keywords that are not promoting your content. Keep yourself relevant.

For more information check out these articles:

“How To Skyrocket Your Video Views With YouTube Metadata”

“10 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s YouTube Channel”

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