If your browser gives you a security warning
about content on this page, go ahead and allow the content to
The only content in question is YouTube
videos. I used HTML instead of PDF so I could
embed the videos directly in this HTML page
for your convenience.
Plus, I can add comments with the videos,
which can't be done
as easily if the videos were individual files.
A few things before we get started...
It's important to remember that YouTube's search
engine is the second most popular search engine,
trailing only Google on the Internet. YouTube's
search engine produces far more searches than even
And since Google owns YouTube and seems to prefer
YouTube videos in the Google search results, it's
quite possible to have your YouTube videos rank
highly in both Google and YouTube search.
This means with good Video Search Engine
Optimization (VSEO), you can "double dip" both
Google and YouTube search engine results since
your YouTube videos can be ranked highly in BOTH
My philosophy is that there's not a single best
way to optimize YouTube videos. My advice is, the
"best way" to do YouTube Video Search Engine
Optimization (VSEO) is by using a variety of
different optimization strategies.
Yes, we want to exploit the basics, but we also
want to vary our strategies. However, using every
technique and strategy found in this report may
cause some "over-optimization" issues.
Plus, things can and do change. What worked
yesterday may not work in the future. There's also a
good probability that YouTube and Google use
different factors when ranking videos for different
It's also probable that YouTube uses concepts
known as "if/then" in their programming.
If a video has a viewer retention rating
higher than 70%, then dislikes don't count for
If a video has a view retention of less than
30%, then dislikes count more.
This is just an example and I'm not saying it's
how things are. The point is, it is a logical
thought process that YouTube COULD use that would
result in three different results: One where
dislikes count a lot, one where they didn't count
at all, and one in the middle where dislikes count
a little bit.
And in this example, it
makes sense that if people are watching a video
all the way through that dislikes wouldn't count
as much as they might if people quit watching the
video after just a little time viewing it.
There's a number of situations like the one in
the example above where YouTube could use if/then
logic, meaning that many ranking factors could be
very important in one case and have little to no
impact in others.
Because of there being so much possibility for the
same feature having the potential for different
levels of importance, much of SEO/VSEO is theory,
despite what the gurus claim. And even if they
were correct, it could change tomorrow.
Also, we need to consider there may be totally
different ranking criteria for different niches
and keywords. Maybe YouTube/Google even uses a bit
of randomness in their ranking algorithm, just
enough to throw us off and keep us from being able
to totally reverse engineer how they rank videos
The best way to combat a number of possibilities,
both now and in the future, is to use a wide
variety of reasonable possibilities. This
philosophy is also a great way of testing
different factors. If you find something that's
working, use it more often, while using strategies
that don't appear to be working less often.
Video SEO is Really a Numbers Game.
Videos Fast, Easy and as Cheap as Possible
is the REAL Key to VSEO
Creating videos is beyond the scope of this report
and there's any number of ways to make them. I just
felt that I needed to make this point, which is, you
need videos before you can optimize them and the
faster, easier and cheaper you can make them the
better. So always be on the look-out for ways to
improve your video making process.
It should be obvious that the more videos you
have, the more keywords you can try to rank for.
The better your videos are, the more people will
watch them and share them.
And the more videos you have, the more you can mix
and match the various elements discussed below to
give your VSEO the widest possible range of
"optimization" possibilities. Again, things can and
do change and there's a limitless number of
combinations of things that can affect your rankings
and views. We want to cover as many reasonable
possibilities as we can.
Video SEO on YouTube should be fairly "easy". Unless
you have a major reason to rank for a particular
keyword or phrase, you should really think about
whether it's best to move on if a certain video
isn't ranking, or to invest your time, money and effort
doing some of the more advanced strategies on this
It's almost always better to create another
video (or two or three), apply VSEO basics and
move on to other keyword phrases whether the first
video ranks or not, than it is to try to use every
trick in the book to get the first video to rank.
You may even find it better to change the
keywords used for the first video rather than to
try to keep up the ranking fight for a phrase you
haven't been able to rank.
I've been in SEO since 1996 and taught it on the
Warrior Forum since 2002. My over-all philosophy
has been, and still is, that SEO (and now VSEO) is
primarily a numbers game. The most important thing
is to try to exploit all reasonable keywords, as
opposed to focusing on a few.
Many marketers search and search for that one
great keyword. Instead, they should find a topic
that has lots of good keywords and make it their
primary goal to use as many of these words and
phrases as possible, in legitimate ways.
It's highly unlikely you'll make a lot of money from
just a few videos. Your focus should be to cover as
many keyword possibilities as possible and NOT focus
only on "good" keywords, as you're taught by many
Market share is an important concept of the
numbers game. If there are 1000 "dog training"
videos on YouTube, how many of them are yours? If
there are 100 "dog training" channels on YouTube,
how many of them are yours? Pure numbers can go a
long way in SEO/VSEO.
And, a big part of the "numbers game" is
longevity. If you just spam, you will lose
accounts. And if you lose accounts, channels and
videos, you are losing numbers. You need to
balance the numbers with enough quality so your
numbers will "stick". Otherwise, it's one step
forward, two steps back.
Preparation and Protection
Google/YouTube allows you to have 50 YouTube
channels per account. An account is based is based
on a unique email address.
However, I strongly suggest you get a dedicated
private proxy and set up a dedicated browser for a
second account that will allow you an additional 50
channels. A private proxy will give you a second IP
address and help hide your identity. And a private
dedicated proxy if fairly cheap, only costing a few
bucks a month.
By "dedicated browser"
I mean a second browser you ONLY use for your
secondary YouTube account and channels. However,
don't use Chrome for your secondary browser, as
it's owned by Google and IMO you shouldn't rely on
it to hide your ID from Google. Go ahead and use
Chrome as your primary browser, but use another
for your secondary.
Add your proxy to your secondary browser so it will
use a separate IP address than your main browser.
YouTube should have some videos showing how to add a
proxy to your particular secondary browser. Try the
following searches on YouTube or Google:
How to use a proxy with Firefox
How to use a proxy with Internet Explorer
How to use a proxy with Opera
The reason for this is to have a backup account
that you can use to do some experimenting, while
protecting your main account and channels. And, it
isn't just about testing and experimenting.
YouTube has been known to close down perfectly
legit accounts for no apparent reason.
In my opinion, if you put in the time and effort
creating content for someone else to use, they have
a moral obligation to be fair to you in return. And
if they're not always going to be fair, then taking
steps to protect yourself as much as possible is
There are probably advantages to linking to videos
on other channels and using them in playlists too,
but there's also probably a limit to how much this
can be done.
And whatever you do, if you want to make sure
YouTube sees your accounts as separate, DO NOT use
YouTube monetization on secondary accounts.
Create More Videos From Long Videos
There isn't a definite answer to how long your
videos should. Again, I suggest mixing things up as
well as taking into consideration the length of the
top ranking videos for your particular keywords.
However, you should always be looking to create as
many legitimate videos as possible.
And a great way to do this is to turn a longer video
into multiple shorter videos.
For example, do you have a 10 minute long video
that can be made into 3 separate shorter videos?
This is a great opportunity for VSEO and getting
Let's say you have a video about "Dog Training"
that's 10 minutes long. Try to cut it into 3
different videos, each using a variety of keywords
Dog Training Part 1 - How to Teach Your Dog to Sit
Dog Training Part 2 - Rewarding A Puppy For Good
Dog Training Part 3 - More K9 Obedience Tips
Plus, you still have your original video:
Dog Training - The Complete Guide for Training
Your Dog How To Sit.
You can now put the three shorter videos into a
playlist. Playlists can and do rank and be listed as
"related" videos, although you probably need more
than 3 videos in a playlist in order to rank.
Now you have 5 different YouTube assets instead
of just one, and each of these assets can rank for
similar but different keywords.
Plus, you've actually done viewers a favor by
giving them more options as to which video they
want to watch. Maybe they only want to watch the
second short video, or maybe the long one. This is
a case of win/win where you're giving your viewers
more options and you're gaining more opportunities
to rank videos.
Another benefit is you have created a natural
internal linking opportunity so that you can add
links to and from each of the videos in the series,
both in your videos' descriptions and through
annotations. We'll cover more about video linking
below, but creating shorter videos from a single
longer video creates natural linking opportunities
You also have videos of varying length. While
YouTube may prefer videos with a certain length
now, they could easily change this in the future.
Having a videos with a wide variety of lengths is
a good way to be best prepared for now and in the
Also, more and more when I search YouTube for
specific topics I am clicking on the shorter videos
first. Too many videos take way too long and could
be a fraction of the time while still giving the
Multiple shorter videos can aid viewer retention.
Viewer retention is an important ranking factor and
the shorter a video is, the more likely it will be
watched all the way through.
More on these subjects below.
Session Watch Time
Session Watch Time is very likely the single most
important YouTube ranking factor. Session Watch
Time simply means how much and how many videos do
people watch AFTER clicking on your video.
And this makes sense. If you were in charge of
YouTube which videos would you favor and why, it's
hard to come up with a better reason than than to
rank the videos that create the most views on
YouTube higher than the videos that people don't
watch and cause people to leave YouTube.
This puts video marketers in a bit of a Catch-22.
Our main goal as marketers is to get people to our
videos and then get them off of YouTube to visit
our own web pages were we sell stuff and get email
subscribers. However to rank well, we need people
to watch other YouTube videos.
In my opinion, this isn't a chicken and the egg
situation. You must get get people to your own
videos before they can click to your own site, so
ranking should be your first priority. Your videos
need to encourage people to watch more videos with
the hopes that while each video will get a lower
percentage of people to click to your own site,
you'll have a much larger total number of people
watching your videos in the first place.
From YouTube's Official Creator blog:
Our video discovery
features were previously designed to drive
views. This rewarded videos that were
successful at attracting clicks, rather than
the videos that actually kept viewers
engaged. (Cleavage thumbnails, anyone?) Now when we suggest videos, we
focus on those that increase the amount of
time that the viewer will spend watching
videos on YouTube, not only on the next
view, but also successive views thereafter. http://YouTubecreator.blogspot.com/2012/08/YouTube-now-why-we-focus-on-watch-time.html
Read the quote from YouTube above again. It's the
most important aspect of ranking videos on YouTube
and it's essential you understand this point.
While the quote above doesn't directly address
ranking, but it does address videos YouTube
"suggests". I know from experience, having a
suggested video brings tons and tons of viewers. And
it's been made clear in other places that YouTube
appreciates high Session Watch Time and rewards
videos that increase views throughout YouTube.
How To Increase Session Watch Time
Annotations and Cards
Annotations are areas of of videos that you can turn
into "hot spots". This YouTube feature allows you to
put clickable links right on your videos.
Cards are a fairly new feature that are similar to
annotations in that they are clickable areas that
appear on videos. The difference between the two are
that cards only appear for 5 seconds and YouTube
controls where they are placed over a video, while
annotations can last as long (or short) as you want
them and you control where they are on the video.
However, cards have the distinct advantage of being
"cell phone friendly". This means if you have
clickable links in cards, people using mobile
devices can click the links.
If your videos are getting a good percentage
of their views from wireless devices such as phones
and tablets, using cards will have a much bigger
impact than annotations.
Use cards and annotations to increase your video's
Session Watch Time by placing links in them to other
End Cards/End Slates/Outros
Some people call them end slates, some call them
outros and I generally call them end cards. Whatever
you want to call them, they are the last part of
your video and should include a strong call to
action. Generally, this is where you encourage
people to subscribe or click a link to your site.
Don't confuse end cards with the cards feature I
discussed just above. An end card is simply the last
part of your video, while a "card" can be inserted
over any part of the video.
To increase Session Watch Time you should strongly
consider a good call to action to watch another
video. Even better, have a link to a playlist (or
Segment Your End Cards and Outros
Instead of giving your viewers a single choice in
your end cards, give them two simple but distinct
For example, let's say you have a video about body
building. Have a link to two different videos or
Click here to lose weight |
Click here to gain weight
Men click here | Women click here
Segmenting viewers can greatly increase your clicks
and video views.
You also want to use things like arrows, pointing
fingers and animated text to highlight links on your
end cards. You need to tell people what to do next.
You must make it as obvious and easy for them as
possible to view another video/playlist or to click
to your site.
Tip: Segmenting viewers is also an excellent
marketing strategy when sending people to offers or
optin forms on your own site. Segment as much as
Using Playlists to Increase Session Watch Time
Linking to playlists is probably the most effective
way to increase Session Watch Time. A playlist is
simply a list of YouTube videos that will
automatically play one after the other.
Playlists can and do get ranked. They can also be
listed as related videos on the pages of other
Virtually every public video on YouTube can be
inserted into a playlist. You can create your own
playlists which include only your own videos, a
mixture of your videos and those from other, or just
video from other folks.
Playlists can be embedded and linked to, just like
videos. Really consider adding all of your videos to
playlists, with your own video at the first
position, then link to and embed the playlist
instead of just linking or embedding your single
video as a way to greatly increase your session
Another strategy to increase Session View Time is to
create a video that is really just an end card and
insert it at the end of a playlist. This is a short
video with only one purpose: To get viewers to click
on a link to ANOTHER playlist. Salesmanship and copy
writing principles really come into play...you need
to sell people on clicking the links.
Tip: Create two playlists, segmenting interests as
suggested above and linking to each.
More on playlists below...
Link to Popular and Trending Videos
If lots of other people are watching a video,
chances are your own viewers will enjoy it too,
assuming it's related to your audience.
Add links to popular and trending videos in your
description, as well as annotations and cards.
Even better, add the popular video to a playlist
with more popular videos along with your own videos
and link to the playlist.
Interesting comments can increase the session time
viewers spend on a video page. You can also link to
your other videos in the comments to encourage
people to click which increases their Session Watch
Viewer Retention is another major ranking factor on
YouTube and is how much of a video is watched on
average by viewers.
Absolute audience retention is simply a ratio
between the number of people that started watching a
video compared to any point in the video. For
example, if people watch a video, but half of them
leave at the half-way point of the video, the
absolute audience retention for the half-way point
Relative audience retention is a comparison of a
video's retention compared to all other videos that
are the same length. YouTube may break relative
audience retention down further by comparing the
retention rate to other videos of a similar length
in the same category and/or that use the similar
In other words, viewer retention is simply how much
of your videos do people watch compared to other
videos. The more of your video people watch, the
better you'll rank.
Tips to Increase Viewer Retention
Write a script and stick to it. Edit out "umms" and
long pauses and things like sneezing and coughing.
Plan ahead and rehearse. If you have a "how to"
where you plan on visiting multiple sites, have
those sites already open in browser tabs. Nothing
worse than watching pages load slowly when they
should have been opened BEFORE recording the video.
Same with folders and files on your hard drive. Open
the folders BEFORE recording and save your viewers
the pain of watching you navigate your computer.
Don't use intros. Instead, insert a graphic for
branding over your video at the beginning.
Keep end cards/outros short, however this conflicts
with a good call to action. You want to leave the
end card open long enough for people to take action,
while on the other hand you want to keep them short
so your viewers don't "bail" during a long end
Use "cliff hangers" where you tell viewers to keep
watching because ________ is coming up.
Use countdowns. For example, count down the 5 best
ways to remove grass stains from clothes, starting
with #5 and ending with #1. Start with your best tip
as #5 and your second best tip last as #1. Add a
cliff hanger or two to encourage the #1 tip.
Use "easter eggs" - Easter eggs are simply something
that's hidden and has some value and require people
to look for it.
Annotations and especially cards are great for this.
Add a card that includes a "prize", such as a link
to a special report or private video. Tell people at
the beginning of the video to watch for the easter
egg and why they should. Maybe have a link to a zip
file on your site they can download and password
protect the zip file. Then, reveal the password in a
You can expand the easter egg strategy to encourage
higher Session Watch Time by turning the easter egg
hunt into a treasure hunt, where viewers need to
find multiple easter eggs to solve a puzzle.
Combine easter egg strategies and treasure hunts
with playlists strategies to increase Session Watch
Tip: Think kids. Kids will watch short videos all
the way through and love to click on things.
Note: Cards only appear for 5 seconds on videos, so
they are excellent to use as easter eggs.
Total Watch Time
Similar to Viewer Retention, Total Watch Time is a
measurement of the total minutes watched, whereas
Viewer Retention is based on a percentage of the
video that is viewed.
Total Watch Time may apply to both individual videos
as well as channels.
Video Title Importance Rating:
Your video title is the single most important part
of optimizing for relevancy for YouTube and Google
search. It's extremely important to include your
main keyword phrase and possibly a secondary keyword
It's also recommended that in addition to keywords
you also include some type of "click bate". Ranking
is only part of the equation, getting people to
actually click through to watch your video is the
A good YouTube title will use a popular keyword
phrase first, then an emotional "trigger" word or
phrase to encourage clicks.
Dog Training Tips - Discover how to have the coolest
In this example, "dog training tips" is our main
keyword and it's used to help us rank. The next part
"discover how to have the coolest dog ever" is our
emotional trigger phrase and is used to encourage
people to click. Everyone wants a cool puppy.
It's even better if you can add an addition keyword
or phrase to the trigger part of the title, such as
the word "puppy".
Also, check out the titles for the highest ranking
videos for your particular keyword. Can you modify
one slightly, adding your own trigger phrase to
improve the click-through rate?
Using trigger words and phrases takes a bit of
copywriting skill. For more on emotional triggers,
see my: Video
Video Tags Importance Rating:
You'll want to be sure to include your main keyword
phrase in your tags, as well as other relevant
keyword phrases to your video's tags. Use the main
keyword you used in your video title as the first
tag, with the other most important keywords listed
next, then your lessor keywords.
I haven't tested this myself, but the best research
I've found suggests that around 17-19 tags was
optimal. However, you should just use this as a
guideline. As always, my own advice is to always mix
Unless you have better research, I suggest you use
about 17-19 tags about half the time and the other
half really mix it up. For some of your other
videos, only use a few keywords, other videos a
dozen or so and for a few more videos add as many
keywords to tags as possible. If you believe a
certain number of tags is out-performing the others,
use that number of tags more often while still
varying the quantity a bit.
In my opinion, the best way to research keywords to
use as tags is to "borrow" the tags most used by the
top ranking videos for a particular keyword search.
For more on this, be sure to check out the "Related
Video Hack" below in this report.
Another option is to research auto complete
suggestions to use as tags. When you do a search at
YouTube and enter a keyword, you'll see a drop-down
box offering suggestions. See if any of these
suggestions are relevant to your video and use them
Another great way to get suggestions for your tags
(as well as ideas for videos) is to use
Many YouTube experts suggest that you insert a
link/URL first in your video descriptions. This can
be OK, however you'll get far more clicks if you put
the links in your annotations and cars because the
links are displayed right in the video where your
viewer's attention is directed.
You can link to any other page on YouTube using
cards and annotations. However, if you want to add
clickable links to your own web pages in cards and
annotations, you must first "associate" your web
site with YouTube.
Another issue with adding your link/URL is that it
takes up important real estate in the YouTube search
results, as well as in other areas across YouTube,
since YouTube will show the first part of your video
description in multiple places. You really don't
want an ugly URL displayed all over YouTube.
You want to include your main keyword early in your
description and make the first 25 words (or so) of
your description interesting. Just like your title,
the first part of your description needs to help
your rank, as well as get clicks. You really need to
"sell" people here on clicking to view your video
After the first 25 words or so, repeat the main
keyword and include some secondary keywords. Add
some other themed related keywords, especially any
that you'll include in your tags.
Once you have your keyword rich, appeal to emotional
triggers at the beginning of your video description,
it's my opinion that the best way to create a good
description for your videos is to use a Closed
Caption/transcript file and simply paste it into
your video's description area. You have about 5000
characters to use in your description, which is
about 700 words. Use them.
See more about Closed Caption files below.
Use Camtasia to
Automatically Generate Closed Captions
The video program Camtasia, versions 7 and 8, have
built-in capabilities to create Closed Captions
Note that if you have background music, it will
really mess with Camtasia's ability to automatically
create Closed Caption files. I suggest you create
the Closed Caption file before adding any background
music or sound effects for best results.
Camtasia works with Windows built-in "Voice to Text"
feature, which you need to "train" for working with
your specific voice and accent. The training is
simply speaking sentences Windows Voice to Text
presents to you. It's easy, you just need a mic.
I have noticed that over time I need to retrain the
Windows voice to text over time.
Once you create a Closed Caption file, you will need
to upload it after you've uploaded your video:
YouTube is a bit funny when it comes to
auto-generating Closed Caption files for videos.
Sometimes YouTube will create them for your videos,
sometimes YouTube won't. Sorry, I don't have a clue
to why or why not. However, if YouTube doesn't
automatically make a Closed Caption file for you,
you can (and probably should) create one by hand,
and YouTube does offer the ability to make your own
Closed Caption file or upload a transcript of the
video and convert it to a Closed Caption file.
Since YouTube changes these features so often, and
because there's already so many good videos on this
subject already, I'll point you to the YouTube
search for videos about creating Closed Caption
files and transcripts:
Again, Closed Caption files and transcripts are very
similar. The difference is that a Closed Caption
file contains timing for when the words are spoken,
while a transcript has no timings.
There are benefits for each and times you will want
to use one or the other. The video below shows you
how to convert a Closed Caption file into a
transcript by removing the time stamps from the
Closed Caption file.
Of course, if you have a short video/Closed Caption
file, you can always remove the time stamps by hand.
It bears repeating...while creating a Closed Caption
file takes some time and effort, it kills THREE very
important birds with one stone.
Closed Caption files likely help your ranking
Closed Caption files/Transcripts make great
descriptions for your videos, which likely helps
Having a Closed Caption file for your video
will list your video when the Closed Caption
search filter is used.
And another important benefit of using Closed
Caption files: Folks with hearing issues can enjoy
your videos too.
Speak Your Keywords in Your Videos
YouTube does try to "listen" to the words in the
audio portion of you videos, they just aren't very
good at it at this point in time.
However, the reason to speak your keywords in your
videos has a 4 start rating is that by using
keywords in your audio voice over, the keywords will
also be added to your Closed Caption and transcript
files. And when you add a Closed Caption with
timings, it makes it much easier for YouTube to
"listen" to your video more accurately.
The first comment on a video is probably fairly
important and you should be the person that makes
the first comment. You want your comment to:
Include some of your main keywords
Encourage others to comment
Comments can not only add keyword relevancy for your
videos, they are also a sign of viewer interaction,
both of which can be ranking factors.
And, reading and responding to comments on a video
view page means the reader/writer is spending more
time on the video page, another metric with might be
a factor in ranking.
Adding links to related videos and playlists can
also add relevance to the video page. Be sure to
also include the title of the video you are linking
to if it contains relevant keywords. This not only
can add relevancy, but increase the video's Session
It's also possible that "Up" and "Down" votes for
certain comments containing keywords can affect the
video's ranking, although this probably isn't big
factor if at all. I'm just pointing out that it's
Take into consideration "Top Comments" and what
keywords they use. Don't be afraid to delete a Top
Comment if you don't think it's beneficial to your
video. Also be aware that spammers will try to
exploit popular videos by voting their own comments
containing links as "Top Comments". Never allow
someone to add a link to somewhere else in your Top
Playlists Importance Rating:
Playlists offer many benefits on YouTube. They give
you more content for your channel which means more
ranking opportunities, they can help increase the
ranking of the videos contained in the playlist, and
much more. Simply by creating and adding a playlist
to your channel shows that you're active.
And it's important to remember that playlists can
and do rank, and they can also appear as "related"
on the pages of other videos. See the "Related
Video Hack" below for more about this.
Note that the minimum number of videos in a playlist
to be eligible for ranking or being included as a
related resource appears to be at least ten videos
and more than 10 is probably better.
If your main purpose for the playlist is to create
higher Session Watch Time for your video, put a
video of your own first in the playlist because the
first video that will get the most credit for
Session Watch Time.
If you're goal is to "sponge" views, authority and
branding from popular videos of others, put a video
of your own second in the playlist, with a video
that's very popular AND is as short as possible as
the first video to play in the playlist.
Note: You can use pretty much any "pubic" video you
find on YouTube in playlists. However this time,
unlisted videos will display in videos while private
videos will not be displayed.
In general, you can create playlists using the URLs
of "related" videos on popular videos, the URLs of
the top ranking videos, most liked for a given
keyword and a mixture of "all of the above".
You can also use playlists to "brand" and "position"
your videos with the big names in your niche. For
example, let's say I released a music video and
upload it to YouTube. I can create a playlist of the
following 4 videos:
Beatles My music video
Note: You will likely need playlists with more than
10 videos to be ranked or listed as a related video.
Or if you had a cheeseburger recipe video, you could
make a playlist and name it "Best Cheese Burger
Recipes" while adding the following videos:
Gordon Ramsey's cheeseburger recipe My cheeseburger recipe
Wolfgang Puck's cheeseburger recipe
Rachael Ray's cheeseburger recipe
The goal is to "position" yourself with the leaders
in your niche so viewers will associate you with the
famous people, giving you additional "branding", as
well as to siphon some of the popularity of those
In addition to branding and positioning your own
cheeseburger recipe with famous chefs, you can use
their popularity to get more views to your own
Also, if you link to a playlist like the one above
instead of directly to your own video only, you have
a much better chance of increasing Session Watch
Time, which is likely the number one YouTube ranking
factor. How to Find Topics for Playlists
When you type in keywords into the YouTube search
box, it will give you suggestions. Use these
suggestions as ideas for titles, tags, in your
descriptions, as well as ideas for videos and
I suggest if you copy playlists that you first set
the playlist to "Private". Then, add some videos of
your own choosing to the playlist, delete a couple
of existing videos, etc., to create a unique
playlist. After you've customized the playlist to a
degree, then set it to "Public". This will speed up
your playlist making capabilities.
Also see the "Related Video Hack" info below
for more tips for creating playlists.
Does Freshness Matter? Importance
Freshness or how recently a video was uploaded could
be a ranking factor for some topics and not so much
for others. For example, if there's been a recent
earthquake in some part of the world, having a
"fresh" video or playlist could be a major benefit.
However, if the topic is about earthquakes in
general and what causes them, and the info isn't
timely, then freshness would have less of an impact
on ranking and it's even possible that older videos
would have a ranking advantage for topics that don't
need to be "fresh".
Note that "Upload date" is a YouTube search filter
Use the "Year Trick" Importance
Adding the present year to your video titles, tags
and descriptions can increase ranking as well as
click-throughs as people often want the most up to
date info for many topics and will often add the
year to their search query.
For example, take these two video titles:
Best Wordpress Tips
Best Wordpress Tips 2015
Of course as time passes and another year comes,
using a year in your videos could become a
liability. While it could take some time on your
part, plan on every December logging into your
channels and updating your videos that include a
For some videos you can simply change it to the next
year. However, you don't want to deceive people and
you'd probably be best just deleting the year for
Internal, External, In & Out, Deep
Linking Importance Rating: 1/2
You can create link strategies within YouTube.
It's interesting to note that links that point out
of YouTube are "nofollow", while links that point to
other pages and videos on YouTube are "dofollow". In
theory, what this means is YouTube links that point
to other parts of YouTube pass "link juice"
(benefits), while links pointing to external sites
and pages don't pass any juice.
If you understand the principles of Google's
PageRank, go ahead and spend a little time adding
comments to video pages and channels with good
PageRank. Every time you post, your channel icon
with a link back to your channel will be created. In
theory, you can increase the PR to your channel,
which then passes PR to your video pages. However,
due to the likelihood that PR doesn't have much
value, don't spend too much time on this. But it's
something to do a little bit of as it may give a bit
of advantage and it won't hurt.
On the other hand, if you don't know anything about
PageRank, just skip this.. There's other strategies
that are better investments of your time than
learning PageRank, at least building it internally
on YouTube. Instead, work on building links to your
"money videos" through adding links to them using
video descriptions as well as annotations and cards.
You can also link to very popular and high ranking
videos to "borrow" a little of their authority and
keyword relevancy for your own videos. For example,
in your own video description link to a very popular
video. Use their high ranking, keyword relevant
title in your description. This allows you to use
their video title in a legit way and possibly siphon
some traffic from people searching for that video.
If you are skilled with linking, think about
creating a link silo strategy with different
accounts and channels to build relevancy as well as
link juice to your YouTube video pages and channels.
It's believed that YouTube appreciates deep links as
linking to certain parts of a video can be helpful
You can deep link to YouTube videos from your web
pages, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can also
deep link "internally" on YouTube. Put these links
in your annotations and your video descriptions.
Think basic SEO and use your keywords near your URLs
and in your annotations.
This is particularly powerful if the video you link
to has a transcript or Closed Caption file and you
link to the time of the video that contains your
relevant keywords. For example, make sure your money
video uses the keyword "dog training" in its
transcript at the 1:01 minute mark, then link to
this point in the video using deep linking and the
keyword "dog training".
You can deep link videos in your own
channels, or across channels.
You can also create link "silos",
"reciprocal" link schemes, 3 way links, etc.
This can be a very powerful technique at the time
I'm writing this. And, it's a "must do" and can
give your video a quick boost in both YouTube and
Google search results.
Upload and optimize your video page, including
title, tags and description.
Grab the embed code for your video.
Embed your video on a blog or site you own
(preferred), or on Blogger/Blogspot. If
possible, a home page embed is best.
Also, in addition to embedding your video,
create an link back to the video view page using
your main keywords as anchor text. For example,
under the embedded video on your page, include:
You can also watch my dog training
video on YouTube.
Ping your blog post
Go back to your video settings page and add a
clickable URL in your description to your blog
post containing the same video.
Again, this is a very effective strategy at this
time and may be enough to get you on the first page
of both Google and YouTube searches, depending on
your competition and other factors.
Buy Domains Not Fiverr Links
Importance Rating: 1/2
I feel pretty strongly about this. Many other people
suggest buying link "blasts" from places link
Fiverr.com and point the links at your YouTube
However, I think there's a much better way to spend
your money. I suggest you buy domains, preferably
expired domains with a few links pointed at the
In my experience, embedding a video on the home page
of a domain is far more beneficial than lots of
low/no value links. The domains don't have to be
great to work, even domains with a PageRank of 1
will do, depending on your competition.
You can embed 3 or 4 videos on your homepage, which
actually makes it cheaper than buying link blasts.
You can add a few more pages to the site, adding
links to the home page to the other pages. Then
embed a video or two on each interior page.
While you can also embed playlists to increase
Session Watch Time, I wouldn't worry about it unless
the domain gets some decent traffic on its own. This
strategy is to increase the ranking of the videos
directly, not increase Session Watch Time.
Another benefit of buying domains is that you own
something and have an asset you can use for other
things, or even sell. You can't sell link blasts you
bought months ago.
If you are going to buy something on Fiverr, try
finding gigs where you can pay $5 adding a guest
post to their blog. Contact them and ask if they
will also embed a video for you, then write a short
description of 250-300 words using a few keywords,
along with a link back to your video on YouTube. In
my opinion, this is much more effective than link
Try to put the domains on different web hosts. A
good strategy is to get a reseller hosting service
so you can trade a little hosting with your friends
so you don't have to pay for additional hosting,
while still getting the diversity of separate
Annotations and Cards
We discussed annotations and cards above and how to
use them to increase your Session Watch Time.
Annotations and cards are an essential part of your
over-all YouTube marketing, but here we'll discuss
using them just for ranking, and the 3 star rating
is for ranking ONLY.
For quick reminder, annotations and cards are "hot
spots" you can add to your videos using the YouTube
Editor. You can add text and clickable links to
other YouTube videos. Try adding some keywords in
the annotations. Some experts claim that annotations
aren't indexed by YouTube/Google. However, it
doesn't hurt to optimize them using keywords
relating to your video.
While the impact of annotations and cards for direct
ranking is up for debate, they are a very important
part of YouTube marketing and they should be
exploited to maximize clicks to your own web pages,
other videos and playlists. And their ability to
drive views to other videos, playlists and channels
to increase Session Watch Time makes them a potent
Tip: Adding keywords to annotations and cards is a
good example of how a video can be "over-optimized".
Again, mix things up. Don't add any keywords in
annotations/cards on some videos, add a main keyword
or two on others and secondary keywords on others
Views and Clicks on Ads
Importance Rating: 1/2
YouTube is in business to make money. It's possible
they use revenue generated by a video in their
ranking system. I'm not certain that they give a
boost to the videos that make them the most money,
I'm only certain that I would. Would you?
Association Importance Rating: 1/2
There's an old saying that you're known by the
company you keep, and this may be a factor in
Playlists - By including your own videos in
playlists containing other videos, you may
inherit some of the relevancy and authority from
the other videos. Use relevant, high ranking and
highly rated videos in your playlists, as well
as videos from popular channels.
Channels - What are the other videos on a
channel you link to about? How much "authority"
does the other channel have?
Links To and From - What resources do you link
to in your descriptions, annotations and cards?
What other resources link to your video? These
videos could impact your own video by
association. For example, maybe YouTube/Google
doesn't like a certain affiliate network. It's
possible that including a link in your
descriptions to this affiliate network could
hurt your video's ranking.
What videos have YOU liked, commented on,
shared and favorited while longed into a
particular channel? Another possible factor is
your viewing history of other videos while you
are logged into your YouTube account. For
example, if you have a channel about dog
training, you may want to only view videos about
dog training while you are logged into that
account. Not sure how big a factor, or even if
it is a factor, but it's something you may want
to pay attention to, as well as clear your
history if you've watched many unrelated videos
while logged into a channel.
Authority, Trust and the "YOU
Rank" Importance Rating:
A probable factor in ranking is how much Google and
YouTube trust you. The YOU Rank is a concept I
created many years ago for Google SEO. It's a theory
that Google collects info on you and uses the data
to influence search engine rankings.
Some factors that may affect authority, trust and
the You Rank:
How long has the channel been alive?
Are you active on the channel, uploading
videos regularly and participating in comments?
Is your channel monetized through Adsense? If
so, Google knows who you are and should add a
degree of trust, since you aren't simply an
Is your channel associated with other
websites? This can be done through Google
analytics and YouTube annotations and cards.
Do you have Adsense on your sites that you
link to? It makes sense that Google and YouTube
may favor videos with links in descriptions,
cards and annotations that link to external
pages they can also profit from.
How many comments have you had on videos by
other people that were voted as a "Top Comment".
YouTube could see this as a sign that you are a
good participant on their site.
Have you or the channel had copyright
strikes? If you have, chances are they could
hurt rankings of your other videos.
Have you had videos (or comments) reported
for breaking the YouTube terms, such as for
being hateful or vulgar?
Have you had videos or comments that were
marked or deleted for being spam?
It's hard to say that any or all of these factors
contribute or not to search engine rankings.
However, they are things to think about and be aware
Understanding and Exploiting YouTube
Filters Importance Rating:
Take a look at the image below. It's an image of the
YouTube search filter window. When you do a search
on YouTube, you have the option of clicking on the
"Filters" button and if you click, you'll see the
If you notice, "Relevance" is in bold above. It is
the default search. But there's a number of other
filters, as well. Under the "Sort by" column, users
also have to options to filter by Upload date, View
count and Rating. While these may or may not impact
searches and we can question to what degree if they
do, they are the most important ranking factors if
these particular filters are enable.
Personally, I sort by "Rating" fairly often. This is
the ratio of Likes to Dislikes. So while this ratio
may or may not influence rankings sorting by
relevancy, it definitely does whenever a person
sorts by rating.
Tip: Always give your own videos a thumbs up.
Also notice other filters like 4k (Ultra high
definition, HD (High Definition), Subtitles/Closed
Caption (videos with Closed Captions). Then there's
also Short and Long, as well as filters for Videos,
Channels and Playlists.
Some of these may be ranking factors, and some may
not. However, creating a short 3 minute video in HD
that uses Closed Captions and is included in a
Playlist means that it can be found using 4
additional filters. We do know that if our video
doesn't fit these filters, it won't be found if
these filters are selected.
An HD video with Closed Captions can be found in the
default search, but a video without these elements
will NEVER be found in the filtered searches.
It some cases, it's a double benefit or better.
Closed Captions very well may help a video rank, and
they definitely allow your video to be included in
the Closed Caption filter search. And a video that
is HD and uses Closed Captions may get a ranking
bump for both of these, as well as be found using
each filter. Now add that video to a playlist and
you could get another ranking boost as well as have
the video eligible for yet another filter...and it
it's under 4 minutes long, yet another filter.
The point is, get to know the filters and create
videos with them in mind. Give your videos the
potential to be found in the most possible ways.
HD Quality and Aspect Ratio
There's some discussions going on that YouTube (and
Google) prefer High Def videos to standard def.
Generally speaking, High Definition is at least 720
pixels wide and uses a 16:9 aspect ratio.
I suggest creating and uploading videos that are at
least 720 x 450 and preferably 1280x720, both of
which are 16:9.
16x9 is the ratio of the size of the width of a
video compared to the height and creates a
rectangular shape. 16:9 fits mobile devices and
newer computer screens. Because of how many mobile
users and folks with newer monitors watch videos on
YouTube, I can see why YouTube would want to give HD
videos a bit of a boost in the rankings.
The old 4:3 aspect ratio was more box-like and was
intended for old computer monitors.
Check the User Guide for your favorite video
editor(s) to see how to render your videos in High
And remember, not only is 16:9 HD best for mobile
devices, new monitors, and is a probable ranking
factor, HD is also a YouTube filter.
Properties and File Names
Using your main keyword as the file name of the
video is very popular advice. I'm of the opinion
that it really doesn't do much, if anything at all.
However, it probably doesn't hurt either and it's
easy to do, so you can give it a shot it you want.
No harm, no foul.
After creating a video and before you upload it to
YouTube, the typical advice is to change the file
name to something that contains your primary keyword
PuppyTraningTips.mp4 (Only use mp4
if your video is in mp4 format.)
A more interesting strategy to me, and I haven't
tested this much and should, is to use the
"properties" settings in Windows. I'm not sure if
Mac will do something like this or not, but check to
see if you are a Mac person.
The short video below shows you how to use the
Windows Properties Manager to optimize the
properties of your videos:
Click through Rate in SERPs and Related
There are two reasons click through rate is
important. First, it could affect your ranking
and related relevancy. And second, it doesn't do
much good if your videos rank well and are listed as
related videos on other video view pages if no one
clicks through to watch your video.
To enhance your click through rate involves a few
The use of keywords that are truly relevant
to your videos
An enticing thumbnail
A video title that contains relevant keywords
AND headline writing essentials
A good description
Relevant channel art and channel name
A good channel description
Misc. Social Factors That (May)
Affect Ranking Importance
Words probably aren't the only factors when ranking
a video on YouTube or Google. Human actions can also
play a role.
The following can apply both to individual videos as
well as channels as a whole. Here's a few things to
Having your videos included in playlists made
by others may have an impact on both relevancy
Number of comments.
Number of embeds as well as the strength
(PageRank/Authority) of the sites that embed
Number of social shares using the YouTube
Number of subscribers a particular video
Subscriber ratio: Number of video view to
Number of likes and dislikes.
Ratio of likes and dislikes - This ratio
affects your video's "Rating" in the search
filter. Always be sure to give your own videos a
Number of times a video is made a Favorite.
Use YouTube analytics to see when people are leaving
your video. If you have a video that just isn't
working, add an annotation just before the point
when the most people are leaving and have them click
to a better video in an attempt to increase Session
Live Events and Hangouts
Importance Rating: 1/2
While similar, there are some differences between
Live Events and Hangouts. What's important is that
both stream live video and then create a video on
YouTube. Your videos don't need to use a video
camera shooting live action. You can also use videos
that are already on your computer.
There's decent evidence that YouTube gives a ranking
edge to videos that were created through Live and
Hangouts. However, there also seems to be evidence
that you need some people to watch the event when
it's live to get the maximum ranking benefits.
Outgoing links Importance Rating: 1/2
Try to include keywords in any URLs you use for your
videos, such as in your annotations and URLs you add
to your video descriptions. Of course, this means
the page you link to needs to actually exist.
For example, if you are promoting a dog training
product on your site, the URL you use in YouTube
should look something like:
The category you select to have your video listed in
could be a factor for relevancy. However, there's
two schools of thought on this.
1. What category are the other ranked and related
videos listed in? Being the the same category could
help your relevance.
2. Don't list your video in the same category. Yes,
the category should be appropriate for your video,
but by listing it in a category that isn't used by
your main competition could mean less competition
which could result in a YouTube editor adding your
video as a "suggested" video. If this happens, your
video can get tons of views without ranking or being
Related Video Hack
Here's an extremely important
concept...despite all the guru claims, more
views are sent to YouTube videos by being listed
as a "related" video in the column on the right
of popular videos. Even though study after study
shows more traffic is sent via "related" videos,
all many YouTube marketers seem to be interested
in is search rankings. And these folks are
missing out on some serious potential traffic.
You MUST factor in optimizing for "related" videos
and not only for ranking your videos in the
YouTube and Google search results if you want to
get the maximum viewers to your videos.
This is a 100% FREE technique that uses three free
tools. You can (and should) also use this research
for a number of your VSEO opportunities.
It's a pretty straight-forward process. Using
Firefox with Link Gopher installed navigate either
to a popular YouTube video or the search engine
results for any particular keywords.
Using Link Gopher extract the URLs using this
Paste the URLs into a text document and clean up the
URLs. Save the text file.
Import the text file containing the URLs into
YouTube adds video titles tags and descriptions into
the pages' meta tags and Screaming From will extract
the meta tags from the URLs listed in your text
file. Note that Screaming Frog scrapes the meta tag
data from the YouTube HTML code and doesn't scrape
the actual titles, tags and descriptions themselves.
YouTube limits the text from tags and description it
puts into meta tags for the page, so the Screaming
Frog data isn't totally complete. However, it's a
huge time saver over doing it by hand, so IMO the
trade off is well worth it.
Once Screaming Frog scrapes the data it will display
it sort of a "spread sheet" format. You can copy and
paste all the data into a single file and use
Textalyser to analyze the data for the tags titles
and descriptions or you can do each individually by
just copy and pasting the data from the relevant
For example sometimes you may want to isolate just
the most popular words and phrases used in YouTube
video titles and use the data to build your own
video titles. Then repeat the tag data to create
your own tags. And the same for your descriptions.
Other times you may want to combine all the results
into a single document and analyze it all together
and create your video title tags and descriptions
from the cumulative data. There's no single best way
and you need to vary between the strategies.
This strategy is even more powerful if you do the
research BEFORE you create your videos, then make
the content of your video around your keyword
research. By including the most common topics in
your YouTube videos, you'll won't be guilty of spam.
Also, did you notice how many of the search results
and related videos are YouTube playlists? Another
use of this method is to grab URLs to create YouTube
playlists. You can do this for YouTube search
results AND for related videos. Then create short
videos of your own to add to the playlists.
Your videos can include a call to action to click to
your site to get more info or simply to get people
to subscribe to your own channel. If done right,
this can be a sort of legit YouTube subscriber "high
jack", resulting in your channel getting more
subscribers by legitimately exploiting videos other
I suggest never copying and pasting anything
exactly. For example, if you scrape a page for the
"related videos" URLs, don't use the exact
collection of video URLs in the exact order. Do use
the top 3-4 videos in your research in order. Then
remove a URL or two from the list and add a few URLs
of your own that aren't on the list. Then shuffle
the order of all the video URLs other than the first
few. Also, mix in your own video(s) using titles,
tags and description words and phrases for
And, remember to give some "love" when using
someone's name or channel name. Using a little
common sense and flattery will go a long way. By
doing research first you can see if someone's name
or channel name are used often. In this case just
add a quick segment to your video that says "I love
this video/name/channel name". You can also add this
in your description. You'll look a lot less spammy
and it will go a long way to help you connect with
owners of popular channels in your niches. Never
forget that YouTube is also a social site and the
single best way to get traction on YouTube is to be
friendly with popular YouTube channels. Having good
videos that compliment these channel owners has a
ton of marketing benefits.
For extra credit, "deep link" some of the links to
the most relevant part of the other videos.
Also, you can create Playlists using the results,
being sure to include your own video in the first or
second position in the Playlist. The playlists can
be created on the same YouTube channel as your own
video or on other channels you control.
Tip: You can also use the Link Gopher plugin for
Firefox, shown in the video above, to "steal" the
URLs from playlists to help create your own
First, open Firefox and do a YouTube search for your
keywords. Then, filter by "Playlists" and use Link
Gopher to extract the URLs using either of these
filters in Link Gopher:
Title and Channel Name Hijack
Importance Rating: 1/2
The goal with the Title and Channel Name Hijack is
to exploit popular videos and channels in a
legitimate and friendly way.
While many people focus on optimizing for keywords
based on keyword research, another option is to find
popular videos and create original and unique videos
based on the most popular videos.
Many people will search for a hot video by title and
this presents a huge opportunity for savvy YouTube
marketers and the titles of new and trending videos
probably don't show up in any keyword research tools
One way to do a title hijack is to post a video
response. YouTube used to have an official video
response feature, but discontinued it a while back.
But this doesn't mean you still can't create a video
in response to a popular video.
Let's say there's a topic in the news that's getting
a lot of attention and a video about it getting a
lot of views. Take the title of that video, and add
to the end of the title something like:
Johnny Depp in Trouble for Smuggling
Then add: | My Response
And you get:
Johnny Depp in Trouble for Smuggling Pets |
In addition to using a variation of the video's
title as your own title, add the title to your
description along with a link to the popular video.
Not only will having the title help your own ranking
for a search for that title, if viewers follow the
link, you have a good chance of improving your own
video's Session Watch Time.
You can also hijack channel names and video titles,
just make sure you are polite and respectful. As
pointed out above in the Related Video Hack, if you
make a video and want it to be listed as a related
video, post a list of some of the titles used by the
other Related Videos, along with links and a
To use a channel name, just give a "shout out" to
the channel along with a link, thanking them for
Just "stuffing" titles and channel names will make
those folks that created the videos and channels
pretty angry and they could flag you.
However, if you also say how great they are and also
include a link, it becomes much harder for them to
be angry. It's also a great ice breaker to message
them saying something like, "I love your video and
included a link to in from my video. Thanks and keep
up the great work!"
Tip: When creating a playlist, include a list of the
titles and links of the videos used in the playlist
in the playlist's description. You need to write a
description for optimization, you may as well use
the keyword rich titles for a start. I also like to
add a short description for each video to make use
of more keywords.
Unique Tag Trick
Importance Rating: 1/2
Some folks make up a unique word/phrase such as
bloomingoes or zingadule and add it to the tags and
descriptions of all the videos on their YouTube
channel channel. The goal is, by having a
word/phrase no one else is using, only their own
videos will be listed as related videos for all
their channel's videos.
So instead of YouTube showing videos from other
people in the right column and at the end of videos
after they are played, only their own videos are
Always be on the lookout for popular channels that
use a unique, made up word in their tags. If you
find that another channel is using the unique word
trick, steal their word/phrase in an attempt to
appear as a related video to their videos.
But make sure the other channel is actually getting
plenty of views. It doesn't do your videos any good
to be listed as related on other videos that don't
get any views themselves.
Buying Views Importance Rating:
The number of views a video gets is a possible
ranking criteria. Not to mention, you need people to
view a video before Session Watch Time or Viewer
Retention can be calculated and factored.
There's two very different strategies to buying
views for your videos:
I don't suggest that you use fake views, which are
usually created using software or view-exchange
schemes. YouTube is very clear about not
appreciating fake views and there's serious risk to
your accounts and channels if you're caught. The
risk simply isn't worth the gain IMO.
On the other hand, YouTube seems to reward videos
that get views from buying traffic from Google's
Adwords. And since Google owns YouTube, this does
make some sense.
Adwords has an option to promote YouTube videos, and
it's much cheaper to buy ads on YouTube than the
Also, it's possible to get $75 worth of ads if you
spend $25 on your first YouTube campaign. That's
$100 total in ads for only $25 to get you started,
so it is probably worth it for you to test and see
if the views help your ranking.
Some YouTube marketers set their videos to
"unlisted" when they first upload the videos. Then
they pay for 1000 views or so, and after the video
has been viewed 1000 times, they reset the video to
"public" to make it seem as if the video went viral
and got a bunch of views quickly. I can't vouch for
this strategy first hand, but it's something you may
want to test for yourself.
Google has a great service where they will walk you
through your first campaign, just call:
Check this page for your $75 advertising coupon: https://www.YouTube.com/YouTube/advertise/ Note:
This offer is limited to new advertisers in the US
only. Not sure if any similar offers are
available to those that live in other countries or
Optimize for Local Importance Rating:
The following advice is for individual videos as
well as for the channel.
Include a phone number with a local area code
in tags, description and in annotations and
Use a local address, including zip code. Also,
include your local zip codes in tags,
descriptions, annotations and cards.
Include the names of all surrounding areas,
including neighborhood names, cities and towns,
Set Default Video Location. You can enter the
"location" of the video each time you upload a
new one. However, you can also enter the
location in your channel defaults so you don't
have to enter the location every time you upload
a new video. The channel defaults may also help
ranking and relevancy for all videos on a
Optimize Your YouTube
Channel Importance Rating:
Optimizing your channel on YouTube fully will take a
bit of time and effort. The good news is, you only
need to do it once per channel.
YouTube has removed quite a few features that helped
with channel optimization. The features that do
remain are scattered around in a seemingly random
fashion that can make them hard to find.
There could be some channel ranking criteria in
addition to the basic optimization listed below,
such as things like video upload consistency and
frequency of video uploads to your channel or how
"social" you are by commenting on other videos and
Channel Default Settings
Channel "defaults" could play a role in relevancy
and ranking for all videos on the channel,
specifically adding a couple of main keywords to
your description and tags.
You can also enter a default title with your main
keyword phrase, however you will probably want to
change this for virtually every video you upload in
the future. The purpose to enter a default title
with your main keywords is to optimize your channel,
not necessarily your individual videos. Know that
all channel defaults can be modified whenever you
upload a new video.
Also, if your channel is dedicated to a specific
location, enter a default location.
A quick note about your default channel description:
This is an excellent place to add links to your:
Your own website/homepage
Social media accounts
Think of this content as your "signature" you would
use in email or forums. Then as you upload more
videos, add a custom description before the links to
your other accounts.
This makes it fast and easy to have this info in all
your descriptions. And, many people will "scrape"
your descriptions to use with your videos on their
own sites and blogs. By including links to your
channel and other resources you can get additional
links from the scraper sites to your own stuff.
Also, you may want to add your channel name as a
default tag, so that it is automatically added to
every video uploaded to the channel.
Note: The default description for the channel and
the channel description are two different things.
The default channel description will be used for
every video you upload, although it can be modified
for each video at any time. However, the channel
description is used for your channel and not your
The same is true for default channel tags and
channel keywords. While these can be the same or
similar, default channel tags are used for all the
individual videos you upload, while channel keywords
apply to your channel only.
Pick an Optimized Channel/User Name
IMO, your user name should include your main
keyword(s) plus a branding word, such as:
You can change your channel name, but it's also
associated with your Google+ account that's set up
when you first create your YouTube channel. I
"believe" you can only change your channel name one
time, but not certain.
Write a good description about what your channel is
about, using general keywords when possible. You
want to use the keywords that get the most views,
not specific long-tail niche keywords.
To edit your channel description, go to your channel
page and on your channel banner move your mouse over
the upper-right-hand corner of your banner until a
little pen icon appears. Click it and select "Edit
To modify your channel description go to:
Your Channel => About tab => Channel
See video above for more info.
YouTube lets you add links to your website and
social accounts to your channel page. You will be
able to add a link "title" along with a URL. Again,
think basic SEO and use keywords in the link titles
and URLs when you can. Of course, any keywords used
in the URLs must point to a web page that actually
To Modify Your Channel Links Go To:
Your Channel => About tab => Channel links
See video above for more info.
Choose 5-10 general keywords with highest traffic
potential for channel , each phrase in "quotes".
Again, these should be very general keywords. Leave
long-tail, niche-like keywords for individual
Why channel keywords aren't on the same page as the
channel description is a mystery only known by
YouTube. You can get there two ways:
Creator Studio => Channel => Advanced =>
Allow Ads on Your Videos
Even if you don't use YouTube/Google monetization,
it may be a good idea to allow ads on your videos.
It makes sense that YouTube will show a little
favoritism to videos that make them money. The
drawback is that your competition may be the ones
doing the advertising.
This tells Google/YouTube a little more about you,
building trust and authority. It also allows you
access to a very important feature, which is the
ability to add clickable links directly to your web
site's pages right on your videos using annotations
This is VERY IMPORTANT! Telling people to
click on a link in your description is OK. But
putting a clickable link right in your videos and
being able to say "CLICK HERE" will produce far more
NOTE: Annotations give you more control. However,
cards work in mobile devices. Use both, especially
with clickable links in your videos that are enabled
only with associated web sites.
In order to associate a site with YouTube it needs
to be added to a Google Webmaster Tools account
first. It can be a bit of a pain, but you only have
to do it once per channel and it offers tremendous
Video: How to Enable
Discussions/Comments, Browse View and Add a
Enable Discussion: Channel Comments
See video above for more info.
You can allow comments to be posted to your channel
page. Realize that you can add comments to your own
channel too. Make sure to make the first comment on
your channel by posting a few keyword optimized
comments of your own as well as encouragement for
others to comment as well.
Again, you have a choice to allow others to post
comments on your channel page. It's up to you...They
may post "hateful" or non-relevant comments. On the
other hand, total number of comments may have a hand
in how all the videos on your channel are ranked in
the YouTube search engine.
A compromise is to set the discussion so that you
can moderate comments before they are posted.
However, this will take more of your time.
Interacting with your viewers by responding to
comments may have an impact on ranking. It
definitely helps with getting and keeping
subscribers. And it's possible that the more often
your feed page is updated, the better.
Plus, any time an update is made, including channel
comments in another opportunity to ping your
channel. Just don't ping more than once a day to
prevent being seen as a spammer.
To edit or modify you Discussion settings, from your
main channel page, move your mouse to hover on the
right side of your tabs menu and click “edit channel
navigation” Click to enable both the browse view and
Enable Browse View
See video above for more info.
The Browse View needs to be enabled in order for
people to see your channel page's content. It also
needs to be enabled to be able to create a Channel
Trailer video used to encourage new subscribers.
From your main channel page, move your mouse to
hover on the right side of your tabs menu and click
“edit channel navigation” Click to enable both the
browse view and discussion settings.
See video above for more info.
Your channel trailer is a video that YouTube shows
automatically to every person that visits your
YouTube channel that is NOT a subscriber to your
The purpose of this video is to get people to
subscribe to your YouTube channel. It should be
short and convincing. Explain to people the benefits
of subscribing or show them something that's very
entertaining, interesting and/or informative so they
are more inclined to subscribe to your channel.
You can either select a video that's already on your
channel or choose to upload one from your hard
YouTube will automatically add a "subscribe" end
card to the end of your channel trailer video.
Reminder: You must have "Browse View" enabled to
utilize channel trailers.
Click “edit channel navigation” Click to enable both
the browse view and discussion settings.
Exploit Channel Sections
Video: Where to find the "Sections" Feature
on Your YouTube Channel Page
Think of your YouTube channel as a web page, which
it is. You can add all sorts of content to your
channel page and make it a real destination full of
useful and interesting content.
Sections allow you to organize content on your
channels and can include videos as well as
playlists. Only the first/top section will display
content without scrolling, so make sure your most
important content is displayed here.
Also, you can display content from other channels in
sections. So if you have related content from other
channels you own, post them here.
And never forget that YouTube is really a social
channel. This is a tremendous opportunity to have a
"video exchange" with other channel owners. Don't
think of other channel owners as competition. You'll
be much better off in the long run thinking of them
as possible future partners and collaborators.
You will find the Channel Sections feature on your
main channel page. See video above for more info.
Featured channels are an option to highlight other
channels on your own channel page. These can be your
own channels or those of others. Try to add a few
popular channels related to your own. Featured
channels can add relevancy to your own channel and
can be "traded" with similar channels.
You can also even use your featured channels as an
"ice-breaker" when contacting bigger, more
established channels. Just say something like "Hey,
I think your channel is really cool, so I added it
as a featured channel on my channel page. When
trying to get the attention of someone more
"successful" than yourself, it's always best to do
something beneficial for them before asking for
something for your own benefit.
When considering adding featured channels, think
about keyword relevancy as well as joint venture
You can find featured channels on your channel page
in the right-hand column.
Use Fan Finder for FREE Channel Advertising
Fan finder is a video of your choice that is used to
promote your channel. YouTube will show this video
for FREE to people it thinks may be interested in
what your channel has to offer.
I'm not positive how YouTube determines who to show
your Fan Finder video too, but "borrowing" tags and
keywords of the most popular channels, as well as
adding popular channels in your niche as your
"Featured Channels" may not be a bad idea for
determining the audience that will see your Fan
This allows certain updates to be shared to another
social network. At this time, only Twitter is
available. While it's probably a good idea to share
YouTube updates automatically on your Twitter
stream, there's other ways to do it that include
many more sites than just Twitter, like www.IFTTT.com.
Channel Art Importance Rating: 1/2
Artwork is a very underrated element when it comes
to optimizing your marketing on YouTube. And artwork
for YouTube is much more than just a banner for your
channel. Your art and graphics can really help make
your over-all presence really stand out in many
places on YouTube.
YouTube art and graphics can also be a real pain in
the neck. You need a channel header in a variety of
sizes to fit desktop computers, TV, as well as
You'll even want to make custom artwork to use with
your your end cards/outros. Good artwork can get you
more clicks, views, likes and subscribers.
Plus, you'll need an icon image as well as being
able to create custom thumbnails for your videos to
maximize their click through rates. It's one thing
to get a video to rank well, and it's another to get
people to click and often the image they see to
represent your video in the search results will
determine if they click or not.
Yes, the video below is a sales video for The
YouTube Channel Art Maker, and yes these are my
affiliate links. However, the video also gives you
some great insight into why good artwork on YouTube
is so important whether you get the software or not.
Submit Channel RSS Feed to RSS
Directories Importance Rating:
If you already have the software, go ahead and do
this yourself. If you don't, hire someone at Fiverr
to do it for you since you only need to do it one
time. I suggest waiting until you have uploaded at
least 5-6 videos before submitting your channel's
The URL to your YouTube channel will look like
this...Just change "username" to your own channel
This site has a list of 200 places to submit your
RSS, although I would put Technorati at the top of
the list and I consider it as the one place you
should always submit your RSS to. Then mix it up
with the other RSS directory sites for each of your
RSS URLs. http://www.bypeople.com/200-websites-to-submit-your-blog-and-rss/
Links to Channel Page
Just like "regular" SEO, you can improve the
ranking, relevancy and authority by getting links
that point to your channel page. But SEO shouldn't
be your only goal. A good link not only gives some
SEO benefits, it should also be able to send actual
Remember to use anchor text when linking. But also
remember not to "over-SEO" and to mix up keywords in
your anchor text using a variety:
My YouTube channel
Important Reminder: Your user name and
channel name are two different things. They can be
the same, but you can make them different, too.
Ping Your Video RSS Every Time You
Upload a New One
Pinging is a little different from submitting
an RSS feed. For submission, you only have to submit
an RSS feed to an RSS directory one time. However,
to benefit from pinging, you'll want to do every
time you upload a new video, but don't over-do it.
Just ping once a day and only if you've uploaded a
new video, otherwise the ping sites may ban you as a
Remember, you only submit
an RSS feed one time. You ping an RSS feed each
time it updates.
If you're new to pinging, just copy the URL for your
channel's RSS feed, go to one of the following ping
services and enter the URL:
Social Market has videos and tutorials how to use
it, so be sure to check those out.
Tip: Don't over-do bookmarking and blast every video
to 100s of sites. Instead, just submit each video to
8-20 bookmarking sites, mixing up the sites for each
My biggest concern with this report is that you'll
get overwhelmed and think you have to do everything
all the time. Don't.
Do the basics each time. Then go back and add a
thing or two for every new video you upload, mixing
them up as you create more videos.
The real key to Video SEO is being able to make good
videos quickly and easily. It is really a numbers
Main Goals of Each Video
Generally speaking, your videos should have at least
one of the following goals:
Increase Session Watch Time
Get people off your YouTube page and on to a
page of on your own domain
Drive viewers to more important videos
Get people to subscribe to your channel.
Yes, increasing Session Watch Time and getting
people off YouTube to visit your own pages is a
conflict of interest. The best way to balance these
two conflicting strategies is something we each need
to figure out for ourselves.
If your video doesn't rank for your targeted
keywords after a week or two:
Change your keywords.
Create a new title.
If you have a short description make it
longer. And if it's long, cut it down some.
Change your tags. If you have a lot of them,
try using just a few. If you have a few, add
Change the category.
Note that while YouTube ranks new stuff pretty fast,
it can take weeks for them to take into account any
changes. But if your video isn't getting any
traction anyway, modifying your keywords can't hurt
and is fairly easy to do.
Is Your Video Still Dead?
Have you changed your keywords, title, tags and
description and your video is still not ranking? The
truth is, unless you are a star on YouTube with lots
of subscribers, most of your videos will likely be
ranking "duds". Again, it's a numbers game. A few of
your videos will bring the vast majority of your
views and clicks.
Use dead videos to build internal links to your
other videos and playlists using annotations, cards,
links in your descriptions and comments, etc.
Every video you have, even if it doesn't get views,
creates another web page on YouTube for you to use
for free. If a video isn't getting views, use the
page to build links to other videos and playlists.
This is the basic essential "to
do" quick start list.
One time only:
Optimize Channel - One time only
Submit Channel RSS feed to RSS
directories/aggregators - One time only
Since YouTube changes these features so often, and
because there's already so many good videos on this
subject already, I'll point you to the YouTube
search for videos about creating Closed Caption
files and transcripts:
Mass Planner free trial for 5 days
- This is an affiliate link. However, I not only use
Mass Planner myself to build social networks, I pay
for it too. Mass Planner isn't something I am simply
recommending to make a buck.
Mass Planner is simply the best and cheapest way to
automate posting content on the major social sites.
And, it will follow and unfollow too, building
social media networks on auto pilot.
Social media is a great way to build an audience for
your videos. Take it slow and steady. If you can get
just 10 real people a day to follow and friend you
on 5 different social media platforms, that 50
people a day.
And just 50 a day is 18,250 people in a year. And
this is using a very slow, but safe pace.
Utilize Free Website Building Sites For
Embeds and Links
List of 45 free online website builders - Use
this list to create free sites that you can use to
embed your videos as well as link to them. Use
social media accounts built up using MassPlanner to
create links to these sites.