In the past few weeks, I’ve discussed the importance of content, both as a way to engage your followers and as a means for telling Google what your pages and images are all about. But as we all know, that doesn’t ensure that you will achieve the holy grail of online marketing: getting ranked on page 1 for a search term other than your company name.
Sure, we can get our site to show up in the search results if someone types in “MyCompanyWebsite.com.” But of course that isn’t what people are searching for – they are searching for the products and services that your company offers.
I’ve mentioned this in multiple blog posts in the past, but the way to accomplish this is with YouTube videos. You see, YouTube is owned by Google and they place a lot of search engine priority with a link from YouTube back to your website. Here is an example from a video I created for a client over 10 years ago, and it is still showing up on page 1 all this time later! Notice that I did a search for “Pakistan Baskets,” not the company name.
Since that video is still performing, I decided to take a look at some of the other videos I’ve done for customers over the years and see if they are still ranking…without exception, all the ones I looked up are still showing up on page 1 of the YouTube search results. This does not imply that they are all showing up on page 1 of Google, or even page 1 of the Google video tab, but in many cases they are – AND this is greatly influencing the search results on the main page or “all” tab.
For example, I ranked a video for a dentist in Parker, Colorado. He still shows up as the number 1 result in YouTube for the keyword phrase, “family dentist in Parker.”
And if you do a search in Google, he is the number 1 listing after the ads…
So, the question is, can I consistently duplicate these results for every video I upload? And if so, how? The answer may surprise you. Yes, I can. And I’m going to show you how, but first let me show you some more examples.
Here is a video I did for a salsa company in Texas. The keyword phrase I optimized the video for was “best Texas gourmet salsa.”
Here is one I ranked for the Hair Growth Clinic using the keyword phrase “scalp preparation for hair restoration”:
Another one from 7 years ago, ranking for the term, “Commercial Interior Design in Denver.”
Or this one for “Commercial reupholstery”
This is a video I uploaded just this past week (from the time I am writing this post) for Cowboy Outlets. The keyword phrase we ranked for was “What is the best cowboy boot sole?”
Here’s the most recent one I just uploaded for Cowboy Outlets. The goal was to rank for “Discount Womens Cowboy Boots” and yes, it is now listed #1.
Finally, I just made this one to rank for “diabetic medical carrying case.” Notice that this one I narrated, whereas the one above I just used titles. Both are created from still images from the respective website, so no video footage was actually shot.
Like I said, I have been able to do this consistently, over and over again. In fact, I am so confident about this that I have ranked a video in less than 30 seconds in front of a live audience!
Do I have your attention yet?
YouTube is owned by Google and is the world’s second largest search engine. I’m going to show you how to rank your video on the first page of YouTube and create a powerful link from your video back to the relevant page on your website. AND that keyword search phrase will likely be valid for years to come, all without paying for any advertising!
I use an expensive piece of software to ensure that I am going to be successful, but the concepts can be done by simply understanding these basic principles:
Main Keyword Phrase
- Start with the main keyword phrase you want to rank for. This should be fairly specific, as it is difficult to rank to generic keywords. if you have a local business, include your location. In other words, you probably won’t rank for the keyword “dentist” but you might rank for “family dentist in Parker.” And that’s okay, because people tend to search for those “long-tail keyword phrases” because they know exactly what they are looking for. and because they know what they are looking for, they are more likely to click on your link and take action.
2. Your video title can be up to 100 characters, and you should use as many of those characters as you can. Notice in the last example above, the title is “What is the best cowboy boot sole type for dancing versus outdoor activities?” That is long on purpose, as it gives you more traction. Use as many of the 100 characters as you can. Also, and this is important, be sure to use the EXACT keyword phrase identified above somewhere in the title. In this case, “What is the best cowboy boot sole.”
3. The description of your video can (and should be) long. Describe your video in detail, as google will be looking at the description, just like it does a blog post or product description. In other words, give Google enough information to know what this video is about. As with the title, be sure to include the EXACT keyword phrase at least once in the description, preferably near the beginning.
You will also want to include a link to your website in the description. This link should point to the specific page on your website that talks about what this video is about, not just your home page. In other words, if this video is about a specific product, be sure the link points to that product page. the way to create a link in a video description is to include the fully qualified URL starting with “https://”. Simply putting in yourwebsite.com or even www.yourwebsite.com will NOT generate the link – you MUST use “https://.”
Finally, add in 5 or more hashtags at the end of your description. The very first hash tag should be your primary keyword phrase identified above, such as #familydentistinparker.
4. What you say in your video narration is actually important to the YouTube ranking process. That’s because YouTube uses a voice recognition software to determine two things: copyright infringement and close-captioning text. In other words, YouTube knows if your video is really talking about what you say you are talking about, ,so be sure to use the exact keyword phrase in your narration that you are trying to rank for.
5. YouTube hides the entry for tags under the “advanced” selection, but they remain important for ranking your video. Tags are essentially a few words that might be alternative keywords someone is searching for. While we are trying to rank for a very specific keyword phrase, someone might enter “hair growth” instead of “hair restoration” when they are looking for information. You’d like to rank for both if possible.
Your very first tag should be your primary keyword phrase. You can enter up to 100 tags, so use them liberally. Unlike hashtags, the tags can (and typically should) have spaces between the words. Tags are separated by commas. So for example, if your primary keyword phrase is “family dentist in parker”, your tags might include: “family dentist in parker, parker dentist, best dentist in parker, family dentistry, emergency dentist in parker, teeth whitening, toothache, etc…”
Custom Thumbnails and Playlists
6. YouTube seems to prefer videos that have a custom thumbnail rather than generating one from within the video. Thumbnail images can look like whatever you want as long as the image size is 1280 x 720 pixels. this is what people see before they decide to click on your video and watch it, so make it interesting! YouTube also seems to prefer videos that have been assigned to a playlist, as this helps them identify other relevant videos. so if you are creating a series of videos about say, different cowboy boots that you sell, assign all those videos to a playlist called cowboy boots, and assign your videos about cowboy hats to a different play list.
Re-Purpose Your Video
7. While this doesn’t affect your ranking on YouTube, I have found that if you embed your video on your website, specifically on the page you are linking to from YouTube, that is can help your Google placement. So be sure to grab the embed code form YouTube and insert it on your relevant website page.
And, now that you’ve gone through the process of creating the video, you might as well use it everywhere you can – post it on your blog, social media, Pinterest, etc and generate some more back links to the product page for that video. all those things will also help with your SEO placement.
I did not talk about the number of views that your video gets, the number of comments left on your video, the frequency of views, or any of the other things that most YouTube experts will tell you are important. I also didn’t talk about video quality and engagement. Yes, entertaining videos will get more people to watch them, so it’s great to be entertaining so as to build your audience. I also didn’t talk about the length of the video, because for a ranking video we only need it to be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes – anything longer is not going to help get your website ranked. All the things that YouTube experts talk about ARE important, but they are important only if you are trying to be a YouTube star or influencer, not if you are trying to rank a video for the purposes of getting a link back to your website. As an ecommerce store, that link back to your website is your primary goal.
When you understand this, you will realize that this essentially means that you need to create a video for each and every product that you sell. You can’t just create a single video about your business – you need to create a separate one for each keyword phrase you want to rank for, which typically means one for every single product or service you provide.
Hopefully that was an enlightening article for you. If you’d like us to build you some videos for your business and rank them on page 1 of YouTube, give us a call at 303-688-6560.