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YouTube Optimization for Local SEO

YouTube is an instrumental piece of the social media landscape. Not just because it’s a great place to watch videos of sneezing baby pandas and South Korean superstars, but because it can be used to increase your ranking in local search results. Everyone knows how important and influential YouTube is these days, spiders included. So if you use YouTube optimization techniques, you can give your clients’ websites a big boost in traffic. We’ll show you how.

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Where to Start with YouTube Optimization

Before you start optimizing, you’ll need to create and upload a video. If you’re an amateur when it comes to filmmaking, don’t worry about it. Most YouTubers are. You won’t need lessons in cinematography, and expensive equipment isn’t required.

To start, brainstorm interesting topics that apply to your client’s line of work. You could create an advertisement, make how-to videos, or teach viewers about the industry. An ad may seem like the best route, but remember that people don’t go on YouTube to watch advertisements (at least, not usually). They go to watch entertaining, interesting videos. So while an ad is easier, a how-to video will probably be more popular and helpful.

Once you’ve decided on the content, record the video using whatever equipment you have handy. Most digital cameras, cell phones, and laptops nowadays are equipped to shoot video, and of course you could also use an actual video camera. Do spend a little time making the video look and sound nice, but don’t obsess over the details. A clean, professional video will reflect well on your client’s business, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. YouTube optimization is far more important than a flawless, exceptionally shot video. So let’s start optimizing!

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YouTube Optimization Tips for Local SEO

First, as you’re editing the recording, add your contact information into the video. Include your name, address, phone number, and URL into the last frames. Web crawlers will be able to read the information through optical character recognition. You should also state your contact information out loud. People say that the audio may be translated into text transcripts by Google’s algorithms and improve your YouTube optimization. I don’t know if I buy this 100%, but it’s best practice even if that isn’t the case. Once you have the video looking and sounding the way you’d hoped, upload it and take a moment to choose the most attractive screen-cap/thumbnail as well (when searchers are scanning through videos, an intriguing thumbnail can make all the difference).

Next, you need to geotag your video to digitally connect it to the physical location of your business. Go into the Video Manager’s Advanced Settings. Then, enter your business’s address into the search field and wait for it to pop up on the map (if the marker is a little off, you can click and drag it to the right place). Save the information and you’re done! SEOs aren’t quite certain how Google uses this information (yet another mystery of SEO), but the data may still have an influence on search results, especially if searchers are located near your business’s location.

After that, you’ll need to optimize the video’s description. Include a link to your business’s website near the beginning of the description. Although the link will be “nofollowed” by YouTube, it should still improve the business’s local search ranking. Also type your business’s name, address, city location, and phone number into the description. If you want, you can even add a bio about the company and its services and include links to your social media profiles.

Then, tag your video. Include your business’s category and location as well as any other relevant keywords. This is the last thing you’ll want to do on YouTube.

Now that your video is chock-full of keywords and contact information, it’s time to head out into the World Wide Web to improve its YouTube optimization even further. Add the video to your business listing in Google Places and Google+ Local. You should also share the video on your own personal Google+ stream. Then, embed the video in your website or blog (or both!). Of course, you could just store your videos on your website to begin with (not bothering with YouTube at all), but most SEOs agree that YouTube’s popularity and sharing potential is more beneficial.

Finally, flaunt the video on all your social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, etc. The more places you promote the video, the more likely people will see it, click on it, watch it, and maybe even share it.

You don’t need to hire a professional filmmaker or spend weeks recording and editing a video in order to effectively use YouTube for SEO. Just create a simple, professional video (we recommend Animoto) and employ all of our YouTube optimization tips. For more helpful advice regarding SEO, social media, and online marketing, keep following the 417 Marketing blog.

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