Tips For Ranking Higher On and With YouTube

    February 15, 2009
    Chris Crum

Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine and the 4th largest web property?  It also attracts hundreds of millions of users a month, and 15 hours of video are uploaded every minute.

A web presence with that much power really shouldn’t be ignored. At SMX West, YouTube Product Manager Matt Liu made these points, and they are good points to consider when it comes to your marketing. Liu encourages users to "Take advantage of what YouTube has to offer."

Coverage of SMX West continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week. Abby Johnson spoke with Liu in the following exclusive interview:

Liu was joined by The Search Agency‘s Drew Hubbard, RAMP Digital CEO Jonathan Mendez, and JC Longbottom from Performics at SMX West for the "Up Close With YouTube" session. The information in this article is a product of that session.

How Can You Improve Your Video Ranking?

The fact that YouTube is an important search engine means marketers have to strive to get their videos ranked. Some simple things that can improve your rankings include:

– An accurate and descriptive title

– Make sure your description is just that – descriptive. It should be accurate and unique, and use complete sentences.

– Descriptive keyword tags – avoid keyword stuffing

Community Opinion

Obviously YouTube is more than merely a video search engine. You might consider it a social network. It is a community. That means community opinion counts. As with any other community on the web, your best results will come if you actively participate. This means sharing videos with other members. Experiment with annotations, video responses, and thumbnails.

Other YouTube Tools At Your Disposal

Liu touched on a few other aspects of YouTube that marketers should pay attention to. One of course would be embeds or embedded videos. He says you have to make them more discoverable. The beauty of this is that it should be extremely easy to do as they can be embedded just about anywhere.

He also mentioned YouTube Insight, which is a video analytics tool they launched last year. With this, marketers can view demographics, find out where videos are posted, who posted them etc. A few months ago, they released a pretty cool feature for it called " Hot Spots," which lets you pinpoint the specific parts of the video that get viewed the most.

Finally, he talked about sponsored videos. This is simply paid search for YouTube. They started offering this in November.

What to Do and What Not to Do

JC Longbottom spoke next, and he looked at a couple of examples of what to do and what not to do. First, looked at a few super bowl ads, but focused on Pepsi’s MacGruber ad, otherwise known as the "Pepsuber" campaign. This started online as a YouTube sponsored video.

As a result of the Pepsuber ad, people searched for that word and rankings were high on YouTube and Google for it. They had a branded channel page for the campaign and made it engaging, which really pushed the ad’s success.

He then talked about a Denny’s ad for a free breakfast, which had potential, but didn’t do everything right. The Denny’s website was not prepared for the incoming traffic and crashed as a result. They should’ve created an engaging branded channel page.
Drew Hubbard of The Search Agency
 Great Tips For Maximizing Your YouTube Video Potential

Drew Hubbard, who created a channel page for SMX West 2009, had some very hepful tips:

– Use Keyword Rich Descriptions and Tags

– Include the word "Video" in your titles because people do search for it.

– Use a link for the very first thing in your descriptions.

– Make sure and utilize your thumbnails. YouTube pulls these from the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 marks. Make them count.

 – Encourage participation by enabling everything.

– use meta data

– use captions and subtitles

– use watermarks

– use google maps integration

He also says that for your purposes, Google does not recognize videos on the page, and for this reason, you need to include as much supportive content as possible. This will help your rankings. "Use every opportunity to put links on a page," he adds.

YouTube – The Game-Changer

Jonathan Mendez from RAMP Digital Jonathan Mendez took the stage next and talked about what a game-changer YouTube is becoming. He notes that even the President of the United States has a YouTube Channel. I’ll add that the Pope does too.

He says that six year from now, it wouldn’t be unheard of for YouTube to make a bid to host Monday Night Football. It seems like a crazy idea now, but he cites these numbers for the YouTube Live Event:

live stream peak: 700k views
24 hours:M 1.5 million views
48 hours: 4 million views
9 days: 11 million views
2 months: 17 million views

Monday Night Football averages 11.8 million viewers. With the line between television and online video blurring more and more as time passes, it really doesn’t seem so out of the question. Six years is a long time in a fast-moving industry like this.

In addition, Mendez says, "YouTube actually solves digital marketing’s biggest problem." Kids are often using YouTube as a search engine even before Google. He then went through a case study and the session turned into a Q&A.

Abby Johnson contributed to this report of what was a very interesting and informative session. The timeliness of the session is very relevant too. For more on using video to improve your Google rankings, read my interview with Grant Crowell of ReelSEO.