YouTube and SEO


To outline the impact of videos on general user behaviour and media consumption as well as eventually on SEO see some official YouTube numbers first:

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  • YouTube and SEO48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day
  • Over 3 billion videos are viewed a day
  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years
  • 150 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook and every minute more than 400 tweets contain YouTube links.
  • The YouTube player is embedded across tens of millions of websites
  • Over 12 million people are connected and auto-sharing to at least one social network.



What is Video SEO

video seo marketing
Videos in search results

Google’s algorithms always grows in complexity and they blend in search results with videos and images (so called universal search). Now, according to a Searchmetrics study video results appeared in over 60% of all searches. Images appeared in 30%, followed by shopping results at about 20% and news at around 10%. Less than 30% of Google’s results pages do not have a universal element to them.

Hence any SEO Manager or Webmaster intending to be found in an increasingly competitive search market can use videos to bring content to the first SERP.

video seo platforms
Video platforms in search results

Looking at the video platforms available YouTube is by far the most displayed on in the Google search results (see image on the right). Therefore the following SEO video optimization tips cover YouTube and it’s functionalities only.

Video Search Engine Optimisation

Video SEO Marketing is an important word of mouth and internet marketing technique and one needs to bear in mind that YouTube (just like Google+) is part of the Google empire so optimisation really can have a big impact on exposing you brand / company to the public. Lots of users nowadays go to YouTube to find information about new products or technical features of products. Especially independent user generated content product reviews generate trust and can stimulate a purchase. But also how-to guides or series are very popular. So, the demand is there!

In case you’ve got already videos on your website and a YouTube channel you can try the onlinevideograder to find out your video marketing grade for your site.

Social SEO

Just like any Social SEO technique for videos you have to find out where you’re audience hangs out and what they are talking about and of course reaching them. This means disseminate your video content throughout these social media platforms. For easy video uploading to various video platforms available and tracking results you can use Tubemogul. Just make sure to SEO optimise your content and take each platform’s differences into consideration. For Vimeo for instance there are different Social SEO opportunities than for YouTube. These are some platforms you should use on top of YouTube:




The tracking of the results coming back from social can and should be done with Google Analytics and

Video SEO Tips For Your Own Site

Obviously don’t forget to put the videos on your own website as well and we recommend here to create a separate SEO-optimized html page for each new video (+make these site easily shareable on social networks). Also add a description for each video and link to your YouTube page/channel with link anchor text as the desired keyword.

Video SEO Tips For YouTube

The following are pretty easy to follow and need to be done for each video you’re posting on YouTube:


  • Very important is to make use of the title tag of the video and make sure you have the main keyword that you going after in your title ideally at the beginning of the title. YouTube has it’s own keyword tool which I find rather useless, hence I recommend to stick with the traditional Google keyword suggestion tool for your keyword research. Since there’s so much content on YouTube, hardly differentiable by YouTube/Google (no traditional text to crawl available), I recommend to go for long tail keywords than anything else.

Meta Tags

  • Youtube-video-seoFill out the description box and put a link to your website title at the beginning of the text. This is the best thing you can do in terms of directing “direct traffic” from the video back to your site. Make sure the description covers the message you want to bring across and the topic you want to rank for. The content of the description box is is also used for ranking, so put in the relevant keywords.
  • Utilise call to actions and put keywords at the end of the sentence and finish it with an exclamation mark ! or question mark?
  • The video tags must contain your main keywords and variations of them and be generous. The ones suggested by YouTube work not very well from my experience, but give them a try.

YouTube Video Ranking

  • The YouTube ranking uses the comments and ratings, as well as the number of shares and playlists the video appears in – so try to motivate your viewers to like and share the video (either in the video itself or the tags boxes)

Video Sitemap

  • A video site map gives additional boost to visibility and crawlabilty for Google – it is an XML sitemap you can submit to Google Webmaster Tools.


Other Video Marketing Considerations

  • Video preview images: a good idea is the include calls-to-action images and also consider creating your own preview icons than using the YouTube default ones. This in particular important for the YouTube mobile users (screen is smaller hence the pic has to be more meaningful / easy to grasp).
  • In-video description/branding/call to action
  • Try to stick with a 4/3 aspect ratio even YouTube’s 16:9 seems tempting since most devices don’t display this format properly.

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