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How YouTube Can Help Your SEO

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Google has solidified itself as king of search engines. However, they’ve also decided to name a prince — child company YouTube. As the second largest search engine in the world, it makes sense. A few statistics:

  • Since 2016, Google has owned the video platform
  • 80% of video search results are YouTube videos
  • The platform has 30 million daily users
  • Every 60 seconds, 500 hours of video are uploaded
  • YouTube and Google may be taking over the world

The last one isn’t really a statistic, but can anyone argue it as a possibility? There’s no denying that YouTube is a powerful marketing tool for any business. Just like search engine optimization for your website or social media pages, it’s important to consider how YouTube can help your SEO.

Benefits of Using YouTube for Business

Before your business had a website, you may have thought it was unnecessary. Now that you have one, you can’t imagine handing out business cards without your url on them. The same was true for those who thought they didn’t need a social media business page. As of June 2019, there are over 60 million business pages on Facebook with the ability to reach 2 billion people worldwide. Aren’t you glad you’re one of the 60 million?

The same strategy is possible for YouTube and it’s just as beneficial — if not more so. Depending on the industry, your customers may be looking for video content instead of text. “How to” videos or review videos of your company’s products/services can do a lot to boost your business. Not only on YouTube, but on Google as well.

The search engine hasn’t been coy about their preference for video content in recent years. Recent core updates have shown how video content ranks higher on Google. The June 2019 core update saw video carousels showing up more often in search results as well as position #0 (or Featured Snippet). This proves that marketing on YouTube helps businesses get found on Google, too.

Another benefit of using YouTube for business is the ability to repurpose your existing content. Have you worked tirelessly over the last few years to build a blog presence? The good news is you can now use your written text to help boost a new YouTube channel. Utilize blog posts to create those “how to” videos or even start a podcast. This allows your content to live on in a different medium and engage a new audience.

How to Build Good SEO with YouTube

The sheer amount of content being uploaded to YouTube each day means there’s never a shortage of users on the platform. As a business trying to make your mark, it also means you have your work cut out for you. Building good SEO with YouTube is contingent on following the standard principles of SEO but also having a deep understanding of how YouTube ranks content.

Just as you created quality content for a blog or website and then optimized it for search engines, you need to do the same with video content. Going one step further to make an accurate transcription for your video will ensure your work has meaning.

Search engines are unable to crawl images and audio, which is why alt text and keywords are so important. Including keywords in your video descriptions and a transcription can help give you an edge over other YouTube marketers in your industry.

Thanks to Google’s ownership of YouTube, videos you publish will automatically be indexed by Google. This does not mean you will see traffic overnight. You still need to put in the work to make sure your video reaches the target audience. A few quick tips to help get you started:

  • Accurate Subtitles. YouTube automatically transcribes videos and adds subtitles, but the accuracy is around 70%. This runs the risk of your video being marked as spam by Google. Using the auto-captioning as a starting point and cleaning up errors or even hiring a professional transcription service for your videos is highly recommended. Remember, bots cannot watch video content so the more accurate your text is, the more accurate your rankings will be.
  • Utilize the Video Description. With space for 4,850 characters, smart YouTube marketing includes the video description. This is a great place for an accurate video transcript that can later be used for a corresponding infographic, white paper, or blog. The possibilities for SEO are endless, especially since the transcript is keyword-optimized to the video topic.
  • Know and Use Your Keywords. Through YouTube’s free video analytics tool, you can see phrases and keywords users are searching. Use these to write optimized video titles, description, and tags. If you’re publishing a video about YouTube video marketing services, optimize your title, tags, and description for “YouTube video marketing services.” Like Google, the focus should be on writing for humans, not robots. Don’t over-use keywords or phrases/variations of either. This could get you penalized by the platform. Also be sure to say your target keyword in the video so it shows up in the transcript and not just the title/tag/description.
  • Choose a Good Thumbnail. The frame you display as your video thumbnail makes a big difference in click-through rate. Choosing a high-quality thumbnail imagine that has a 16:9 aspect ratio is recommended. YouTube gives you three screenshots as a default but you can select any moment from the video or even a custom image. If it’s the latter, just be sure it’s an accurate representation of the video’s target keyword.

Final Thoughts

YouTube is the next frontier of marketing for businesses. Its popularity has skyrocketed since it came about almost 20 years ago and even more so since it was bought by Google in 2016. The platform has tried to make it easier to use for creators but with several moving parts, it can be difficult.

With the future of the internet moving toward video content, it’s important to understand how YouTube can help your SEO and boost traffic for your business. WebRealSimple offers an array of marketing services with an expertise in YouTube video marketing.

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