When thinking about SEO, we often only worry about the number one search engine, we forget about Youtube SEO.  Did you know that this is the world’s second most popular search engine?  Does that come as a surprise?  It should not!

Since the site only hosts videos, it can be easy to disregard it as a viable search engine.  However, many people prefer to consume their content in video form.

In the old days, simply placing a keyword in the title would get your video ranked in the top ten – easy.  With thousands of videos getting uploaded every day, that is no longer true.

Luckily, you can implement SEO tactics for YouTube just like you would for any other search engine.  Moreover, like website SEO, video SEO will move you up in ranking too.

Interested?  Let us proceed!

1.  Include Closed Captions

Just below the video, in the lower right corner, is a button with the letters CC.  These initials stand for closed captions.

Since YouTube has advanced to a global superpower, captions are great ways to help more people around the world consume your video.  However, closed captions play a much more important role.  YouTube crawls the content in captions!

The process to include closed captions in a video is extremely easy, thanks to YouTube’s speech recognition feature.  The software will automatically detect the beginning and end of each spoken sentence.  So all you have to do is upload the video’s script and taadaa…captions will appear!

All things equal, a video with closed captions will outrank a video without closed captions.

2.  Add the Video’s Script to the Description

Once you’ve gone through the process of including closed captions with your video, you are still left with a copy of your video’s script.  You do not want all that effort to go to waste, do you?  No!  Upload it into the video’s description too.  Would you know it…Google indexes that also!

3.  Use Keywords in the Video File Name

If you are uploading a video about a local cornhole tournament, the video file name should be something like Dallas-Cornhole-Tournament.avi.

True, the viewers will never see the file name.  However, YouTube will.  And a file name like MOV0123.avi is meaningless to the crawlers.

YouTube awards relevancy credit to videos with keyword file names because it assumes if the title and file name match – it must really be what it says it is.

4.  Share Only Engaging Videos

You might think this is a no-brainer, but stick with us.  YouTube grants relevancy credits to videos that have been watched for a longer period of time.  For example, all things equal, a video that has been watched from beginning to end will outrank a video that has only been watched for a few seconds.  YouTube sees this as a good way to measure the quality of the video.

5.  Chose High Definition over Standard Definition

Again, all things equal, a HD video will outrank a SD video every time.  If you think about it, this makes sense.  If you are investing the time, energy and resources to make an HD video, the content is bound to be stellar.

YouTube SEO does not have to be challenging when you use the ideas discussed here.

Guest blogger Josah Smith works for a local marketing firm.  She recently helped Custom Corntoss make a video about cornhole – watch it here.