This week’s SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday came from Jeff McRitchie of MyBinding.com. Jeff looks at 12 ranking factors for how to rank better on YouTube. He splits them into two categories, those being ‘content’ factors and those which are ‘engagement factors’.
Taking the content factors first, we have:
- Title: Do your keyword research to understand what people are looking for and make sure you can deliver on that promise, whilst making it catchy (consider a call to action).
- Description: tell everyone what is unique about your video. Use some keywords and put a link in the description to your site which will light up so people can click on it. Aim for around 300-500 words where possible.
- Tags: You want at least 10 tags. Use your keyword research again. Note that YouTube’s semantic matching is less advanced than Google’s so include singular and plural terms in your tags where relevant.
- Transcription: this for me is the most interesting factor and probably the most underused. YouTube are indexing the transcriptions, so it is definitely worthwhile transcribing your video word for word (manually). When you upload the text file, it will match up the words and will make your video closed caption, which will increase click through rate and improve your ranking.
- Channel authority: Google is looking for channels that have authority, so try to think of all of your videos as a whole and a channel, rather than just single videos that you are trying to rank.
- Delivery: Simply, create awesome content! By creating great content, you will also encourage great engagement, which leads on to the second group of ranking factors.
So on to the engagement factors:
- Views/attention: More views obviously means more attention, but it isn’t just about quantity of views but quality of views. If people are watching your video all the way through, then your users are engaged and so YouTube will rank you better.
- Inbound links: Links count as votes for your video, so think of ways you can build links to both your video and your channel. Of course, great video content will always get good natural links.
- Social shares: social media sites let you easily share content you like. The more people share your content, the more you will rise in the rankings.
- Embeds: let people embed your video right into their own sites – it will improve rankings and more people will see your video. (I’ve embedded Jeff’s video here)
- Comments and Video Responses: Google is good at understanding which comments are real and which are spammy, so try to build good content and respond to comments on your video to build interaction.
- Likes/Favourites: There is a like button, just like Facebook. More thumbs up is better than thumbs down J
The final message from Jeff?
Ultimately, if you create brilliant content and get great engagement, you won’t have any trouble ranking for your target keywords!