We all know that Google is the number one search engine. What many people are not aware of is the second most popular search engine: YouTube. In fact, the expression “YouTube it” is quickly becoming a common expression when searching for a quick how-to solution (Don’t know how to tie a necktie? YouTube it!). Most of you are likely aware that Google owns YouTube. They acquired it several years back at a very high cost, because they saw the future. And the future of the web is video.
Perhaps you may have heard that one of the best ways for people to find your business online is through video. It’s true–not through YouTube searches, but through Google searches. And yet, most Google searches do NOT yield video in their normal search results. But, as we we indicated last week, Google WANTS to rank video …but the market has yet to provide the content.
And that market is you. Think about that for a moment.
When you go and do a normal web search on Google, most of the time, it will yield only web-based results, with no videos. Once in a while, a YouTube video will appear–and you will know it right away because of the thumbnail images that stand out from the typical text-based web listings.
Why is this? When it comes to video, people are doing the right things; they just aren’t doing them right! They are not correctly search engine optimized (SEO). What most people forget is that SEO does not take place after the video is complete and uploaded; it starts way before production. In fact, SEO is the first step of production, and continues throughout the process!
Most people have this backwards, unfortunately. And it’s for this reason that their videos are not getting found. Here are some of the things that you may be doing wrong when it comes to leveraging video, and why your videos are not being found:
Your video is not focused on what people are searching for. Most people create their videos based upon what they want to say, rather than first starting with knowing what questions people are asking. How do you do this? The Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start. If you plug in a couple search words or expressions, it will show you how many searches per month that it receives, in addition to countless related expressions, and their search volumes also. Bottom line: you need to start with knowing what questions people are asking; what problems they want solved.
Your video is not scripted. Once you know what people are searching for (relative to your subject matter), you need to script out (or plan) your video accordingly. This is a lot of work before any actual production begins. The script ensures that your video will speak directly to the keyword search expressions in a natural manner.
Your video is not optimized on the back end. I’m not trying to get technical here, but when far too many people upload their video to YouTube, they give it the title they want, and then forget it. What about the description fields, and location, and tag references? Most importantly, what about the transcript for closed captioning? These are all search factors that are vitally important to your video being found, and yet they are often ignored. The transcript is perhaps most important–because that is what the search engines need so they know what your video says. You should include your transcript in both the description field of your video (most of the time), and most importantly, in the closed captioning feature for hearing impaired. Don’t rely on the auto captioning function. It is rarely accurate enough.
Your video is not shared and has no contextual back links. Once a video is uploaded and configured, you need to have people share it. It can be shared through social media and email. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, as well as Google+, and countless other channels. In addition, a video needs to be linked to and from authority sources, such as news websites and blogs. These back links are contextual–meaning that the link is assigned to a specific keyword or keyword expression is used in context of the article. A perfect example of such a contextual back link can be found above in my reference to learning how to tie a necktie.
Your channel has no authority. YouTube channels are where videos lie. Does your channel have subscribers and traffic? The more videos you post, the more subscribers and traffic you get, the higher the authority your channel will command. Like anything, it takes time. But a channel with growing authority will rank videos faster than a channel with only one or two videos.
Next week, we will dive more into the script and its structure. We will also discuss the four parts of an effective SEO video script that can shoot your business to the first page of Google, using the SEO video shortcut. You won’t want to miss it.