How to Get the Most Out of Video Content on YouTube

google+, search, SEO, video, youtube

May 17, 2015 by

A certain video platform just celebrated its 10th anniversary, which means we’ve been hearing even more about this runaway success than usual. The first video clip (elephants, if you must know) was uploaded in April 2005, and YouTube’s beta version launched in May. To commemorate the anniversary, YouTube has announced a month-long Blogspot series called “From A-Z: A Letter a Day Throughout May,” highlighting everything we’ve come to associate with the platform (at the time of writing, that was A – animals and B – beauty).

youtube anniversary

But it’s not just a time for retrospective nostalgia about cat videos and David After Dentist (my guesses for C and D, obviously) – this is a great time to reflect on what your business is (or isn’t) doing on YouTube, and what you can do to squeeze more life, leads and value from your video content.

Content Is Still King, But Video Is the Imperial Overlord

I most likely do not need to tell you that people today want, and have even come to expect, video content. This has been the marketing trend for some time, and everything from search results to social media algorithms are adjusting to make way for the true marketing trump card, great video content.

Related Class: B2B Video: Expert Tactics and Tricks

No matter how specific or niche your audience, it’s likely that they’ll reward you for creating and sharing great videos. And it’s a guarantee that social platforms like Facebook will reward you for native video content (with exponentially better reach, autoplay functionality, and more – read it all here). But did you know that even Google rewards video content these days?

The YouTube Boost in Search Results

We all know Google works to prioritize the content that it thinks searchers are most likely to want, so it shouldn’t be too surprising the videos get some preferential treatment in search results. It also probably doesn’t hurt that Google owns YouTube (bought in 2006 for $1.65 billion). All in all, it’s generally easier to get your YouTube video onto the first page of Google search results than it is to get a webpage or blog post up there.

The other major benefit of creating YouTube videos is that Google allows rich snippets for video content in the search listings. So instead of just the usual title-URL-date-text line, you get a thumbnail of the video and a credit for your YouTube channel:

youtube search results

The battle for top of the page search rankings can be cutthroat, but you can do well with snippets that stand out in a page full of text listings, even if you’re not at the top.

Can Your Video Rank in Google’s Search Results?

Google does not always show video results; a great video is far from a guarantee of good listing in the search engine result pages. This depends a lot on the keywords you’ve used for the YouTube video. Only so-called “video keywords” will trigger video results – depending on whether Google believes that searchers using those keywords would prefer text/reading to video/watching. For example, searching for words like “how to” or “demonstration,” or a musician or movie, will likely yield some video results along with typical text-only listings, whereas a product keyword is more likely to bring up Google Shopping results and then regular listings.

The easiest way to figure out if a potential keyword might help your video rank is to Google that keyword and see what you find – if no videos appear on the first page, you’re probably better off trying a different keyword. You can read more about this on Search Engine Watch.

There’s a lot more that goes into optimizing your videos for top performance. For now, check out this class from SEO expert Liana Evans: Video Marketing and YouTube. You’ll learn everything you need to know about getting the most from the platform, and get advice on YouTube advertising, featured videos and more.


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