YouTube SEO

How to get started with YouTube SEO

Videos are a great way to promote your business, brand, stimulate engagement as well as disseminate information in a more visual way. People often find it easier and less draining to watch videos, rather than reading long-form content.

Once you’ve created your videos, to have maximum engagement, they need to be found during search. In case you weren’t aware, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world! After Google (who owns YouTube!).

YouTube currently handles over 30 million visitors per day, making it a strategic platform for your business.

From a search engine optimisation perspective, YouTube SEO works very differently to a website. There are no links to build with YouTube, and interaction with your YouTube video is a significant ranking factor.

This blog will show you how to get started with YouTube SEO, and how you can get your videos to rank better.

Keyword research

Keyword research for YouTube is very similar to standard on-page SEO. We’ll use the same approach that I’ve detailed in a previous blog, which can be found here.

Quite simply, what you are looking for, is key words that are high value and low competition. You’re really looking for keywords that have 300+ searches per month. it’s difficult to ascertain exact search numbers, as Google’s Keyword Planner’s figures are notoriously inaccurate, as highlighted here.

 

Google Ad Words Keyword Planner

Although it has its detractors, this tool is still arguably the most useful keyword research tool for SEO.

To get started, sign up for a free Google AdWords account, if you don’t already have one. You can then use the Keyword Planner tool to get a basic indication of search volumes for your keywords and recommended alternate keywords.

By inputting my service in this example: Veterinary and adding a landing page, Google suggests the following keywords (including average searches):

YouTube SEO

In this example, we’re looking to SEO a video on dog vaccinations. There are sufficient searches for this keyword (> 1,000) and the competition is medium. To make life easier, most SEO tools have an in-built formula (often known as Keyword Efficiency Index or KEI) to break down searches divided by competition, to see if the keyword is a good target. You can calculate the KEI manually, or use a tool such as SEO Powersuite to calculate it for you:

Sydney SEO

 

As you can see above, the KEI for “dog vaccinations” is green and is a strong candidate for a keyword to use to optimise our YouTube video on the topic.

 

Google Trends

Google Trends is also a valuable tool for keywords. It’s especially useful (if it weren’t obvious!) to identify topics that are trending currently. If we enter Dog Vaccinations, we can see that it provides a similar number to that estimated by SEO Powersuite, around 1800 searches per month.

Sydney YouTube SEO

YouTube auto complete

Just like the feature that’s included in Google search, YouTube has a predictive text field, to display other related and frequently searched keywords. This can be useful for brainstorming and a good starting point for your keyword research.

Sydney YouTube consultant

 

The video itself

Video length

SEO these days is all about answering the searchers’ question (or “intent”). Google believes the longer the content, the more thoroughly the searcher’s question will be answered. Like textual content, for videos, the longer the video, the better it will rank. Your videos should be at least 5 minutes long.

Video title

The video title should be at least 5 words long. This gives google enough information to accurately categorise the video. You’ll want to include the keyword you want to rank for once in your title. Also, try and make the title attractive and compelling to the searcher, so they click through. In our example, we’ll use: “What you need to know about dog vaccinations

Video description

The description field in YouTube is extremely important. It forms the crux of YouTube SEO. Here are some guidelines for you to populate the description field in YouTube:

  • Include a link to your website at the very top of the description. This assists the click-through rate to your website from YouTube.
  • Include the keyword you want to rank for towards the start of the description. These early words have a particularly high impact on your SEO.
  • The description should be somewhat lengthy. 250+ words (out of the allowable 5,000) should be populated to give Google enough content to decide what your video is about.
  • Repeat your keyword a few times to have a significant keyword density. 3 or 4 times is adequate if you stick to the 250 word guideline.
  • Tags can be used if you feel the need. They aren’t super helpful for SEO, but assist categorisation of videos.

Interaction

Engagement As always with SEO, it’s a “catch 22”. Your videos will need many views to rank well. This is especially true if you are tying to rank in a high competition nice. So you need many views to rank. Makes sense. Not!

Comments are an important SEO metric for YouTube. Encourage comments in the description, and respond to any comments that have been left.

Subscribers, favourites and thumbs up/down, followers. these metrics are also important for YouTube SEO. The more people want to interact with your videos and like/dislike sends signals to Google, which they use to decide rankings.

Watch time

How long users watch the video, is an important metric for SEO. If most people stop watching your 5 minute videos after 30 seconds, you won’t rank well. The longer users watch, the better. Consider editing your videos if they contain too much “filler”.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Whether users click the links in the video description to go to your site is a ranking factor for Google. Give users a reason to click the link.

Promoting your video

Social Media & Email

Use social media channels, email newsletters etc to promote the video to your followers. Google+ communities can be useful, as well as the usual social media channels you use that are specific to your demographics.

Web 2.0

Embedding your video in Web 2.0 platforms such as Tumbler and WordPress blogs can assist your SEO greatly. This can drive traffic and send signals to Google to enable you to rank higher. The question and answer site Quora is also a good place to promote your videos.

Forum commenting

Responding to forum comments with a link to your video can be useful for SEO. It promotes your video to expand it’s exposure, and the link from the forum is another signal to Google about the relative importance of your video.

Conclusion

YouTube SEO, is similar to on-page SEO for websites. Keyword research is essential, and you’ll need to spend the time populating title, description, working on interaction and promotion of your videos

Hopefully this introductory guide to YouTube SEO will get you on your way to getting a higher ranking for your videos, more click-through and increased engagement for your YouTube channel.

If you need assistance with SEO on your website, or YouTube channel, contact us today!

Content pitfalls for SEO

SEO copywritingContent marketing can be extremely effective for extending your reach, driving traffic to your website and ultimately helping you reach your business goals. In this blog, I’ll aim to highlight some of the pitfalls we’ve seen regarding SEO copywriting:

Too short content

 Having content in your page that is less than 300 words is not very useful for SEO. 300 words should be the minimum target to aim for, but you should have 1500+ well written and thought out words that displays your authority to Google.

Content gives the search engine lots of information to read and helps it process and better understand what you are trying to convey in your message. As always, it’s critical to focus on engaging and original content, not filler just to make up the word count. You can find additional tips and suggestions on the topic here.

Don’t stand out

Is your content the same as your competitors? In 2017, your content needs to stand out! Create stand-alone engaging content in a variety of mediums. You’ll need to critically think about what your readers are interested in, and wow them with something they haven’t read before. I’ll touch on the fastest growing mediums later in this post.

 You don’t have a content plan

What content will you create, and when? It’s important to have a content plan to schedule when you will post. What you will post about and what medium you will use? Without a content plan, it’s nearly impossible to produce content on a reliable schedule and that which is of a sufficient quality.

Not optimized for search

Your blog posts need to be optimized for search. Before writing a piece, think about what angle you will take. When writing content, be clear and consistent about what the focus keyword will be for your article. Determining your focus keyword shouldn’t be determined by guessing, they should be thoroughly researched in google trends or the keyword research tool in AdWords. You can read more on the process we recommend here. That’s essentially the process for SEO copywriting, and your focus keyword should be mentioned sparingly throughout your content.

Over-optimizing

“Keyword stuffing” should be avoided. Don’t try and fool the search engine into ranking you higher, it’s likely to have the opposite effect and have your site penalized instead. Content should read organically, and your content first and foremost should be written for the experience of the end user, not the search engine.

No Landing pages

Landing pages are vital for each service, or location area you service. Without separate landing pages for each service and location, you are really limited in how many focus keywords you can use on your website. For example, Rather than just “Tax accountant” you should have separate landing pages, say “BAS Accountant” “Estate Planning” and “Financial Planning” depending on what services you offer. Minimum one focus keyword should be set per landing page.

Not Blogging

Blogging is still a great way to create followers and the number one method of SEO copywriting to rank well in Google and show your authority on a subject. Many businesses don’t blog regularly, or at all. It’s important to have at least one “Cornerstone article” with blogs that link to these.

Only using blogs

Time has dictated that content such as Infographics and video are becoming more important for SEO and followers. If you think about it, it’s quite logical! Just like short forms of communication are becoming more prevalent (such as chat), video and infographics are able to deliver more information in a shorter time/attention span. Infographics and videos are especially important, as research has shown that they’re extensively shared on social media.

Content marketing is extremely important for your business. SEO copywriting is effective to drive quality traffic to your website leading to increased leads and sales. Sure, it takes effort, but the returns will be worthwhile if you have an effective content marketing strategy.

If the above seems overwhelming, contact Evolocity today to learn how we can help your business with content marketing and SEO services to grow your business.

 

How to achieve small business SEO Success!

Ever hear the joke that the best place to bury a body is on page 2 of Google?!

Business SEOIn all seriousness, small business SEO success is vital to rank well in google and to benefit from the exceptional power of free, organic ranking. A key component of your business’ marketing efforts in 2017 should be to effectively rank in search engines.

SEO is rapidly obliterating traditional forms of printed media when it comes to business listing or advertising for products or services. The question is, do you know what’s required for your website to rank well?

There are many effective ways to assist your business to rank higher in search results. SEO techniques are not stand alone, and need to be integrated with social media, traditional reviews and in many cases Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In this blog, we’ll provide valuable tips for you to achieve small business SEO success and help you rocket up the google rankings!

Content

Content is King! Quite simply, if you have great content you’re well on the way to small business SEO success. Let’s break down overall content:

Pages- Ensure each page on your website has enough significant content (minimum 300-500 words). Content should incorporate the keywords you want to be ranked for and these should be legitimate for your business. Don’t go overboard spamming your content with keywords, just mention your preferred keywords 2-3 times in your copy and ensure they are aligned with your page content.

Posts– Many people claim Blogging is dying. Actually, we believe the opposite for SEO. Although blogging is unmistakably changing, as users become more difficult to engage. That’s where pictures, infographics and videos come in. There’s no hard and fast rules to how often you should blog, but try and keep it consistent and frequent. The same content requirements for pages (above) applies to blog posts. Ensure there’s significant content in your blogs that’s meaningful for your business.

PicturesTry and include pictures in each page/post. Firstly, it’s more enticing for people to read your pages/posts if they are visually appealing, and secondly ensure you enter ALT text keyword description for the image so it can be indexed effectively by google. Many businesses overlook this task as it requires effort for the often hundreds of photos on your site. Don’t overlook it!

 Keywords

Keyword research is important (and time consuming)! Keyword planning and research is really the foundation of SEO, so it’s important to invest the time and effort planning and researching head and long tail keywords and deciding which is applicable for each page, post, taxonomy etc of your website. We’ve covered keyword research in more detail here.

Local website listings

Ensure you are listed on local websites including google places, Facebook, yelp, yellow pages, gumtree, true local etc. These local sites are extremely important for small/local businesses and impact SEO significantly. Check your entries are listed, accurate and updated.

Links

External– Link creation and link building are vital for good rankings in Google. Links equate to credibility for search engines and the more genuine links you have, the more credibility your websites will gain. Please note, We don’t recommend “Spammy” or paid backlinks, as these are more likely to affect your ranking negatively.

Internal– Your internal webpages and blogs need to link to each other and there needs to be a clear chain of links from your homepage to all pages, to assist Google to crawl your website. Check regularly for broken links and correct them.

Invest effort creating a linking strategy for but internal and external links. You won’t regret it!

Performance

Are you aware of how long your pages take to load? Do you know the size of your pages? Slow websites are painful and significantly affect the bounce rate of users, as well as your ranking. Google needs to crawl billions of websites each day and you website will be penalised if it crawls too slow or has too any crawl errors.

Review the performance of your website monthly and tune it to make it as fast as possible.

 Reviews

Have as many clients as possible offer testimonials and reviews in Google and Social media accounts. Reviews build credibility for your business and give new clients confidence in your ability to deliver. Maybe offer a reciprocal link, discount or other incentive to clients and partners to encourage leaving a review.

 Social media

Social media engagement is necessary for all businesses. Social media is a great way to engage with your customers, don’t miss the opportunity! Although the mediums differ slightly between B2C and B2B businesses, Facebook is a good place to start for both. Don’t overlook Google+ and it’s impact on google rankings also.

This blog post is a summary of actions to take for you to increase your chances of small business SEO success.

For honest, responsive and cost-effective SEO services for your business, contact Evolocity today for a free website analysis.

 

How to kick start keyword research for SEO

SEO KeywordsKeyword research for SEO is usually, and rightly so the starting point for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Loosely defined, Keyword research is the activity where you begin building a list of keywords you’d like your site to rank for.

In the following blog post, I’ll share some strategies of keyword research for SEO that will help your website rank for the correct keywords. That is, those keywords your customers are searching for, not what you think they are searching for!

Proper keyword research is one of the most important, high return activities you can do for SEO, as ranking for the correct keyword is the ultimate goal for SEO.

Many people see traffic and it’s growth as the ultimate benchmark of their website, but generic traffic isn’t particularly important. You need the correct traffic to your website; that is, people who are specifically looking for, and want to buy your goods or services.

If you’re a small Accountancy practice in Sydney, do you really want to rank #1 for the keyword Accountant? Yes, you say? Are you sure?

A person searching for “Accountant”, is probably not looking for an Accountant in Sydney for their tax return, they’re likely reading about what an accountant is/does for research. On the other hand, if someone is searching for “best tax accountant bondi”, they’re practically ready to call, which means a higher conversion rate than using the generic keyword “Accountant”. That’s exactly where the often overlooked Long tail keywords come in.

Long tail keywords are more specific (and longer) keywords, which as a result are easier to rank for. They’re also used by google searchers (is that even a word?) that are further along in the decision making process and as such have a higher chance of conversion.

Using the previous scenario for Accountants will help to explain Keyword research a little better. Here are the steps to follow:

Brainstorming

What is your mission? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Using the example above, If I’m an accountant in Bondi, how can I create sufficient long tail keywords? To do this, you’d need to break down your keywords. Usually either by location, services offered, customer service etc in order to find your niche.

Let’s try “Bondi Accountant” (No search data). Ok, let’s next try “Tax Accountant Sydney” (720 searches p/mth). It looks like Accountancy services will be a more useful strategy here, as that’s what is being searched for in Google.

Google Instant predictions:

Keyword Research for SEO

Google Instant predictions, while not always useful, often provides some long tail keyword ideas based on search analytics, such as “Accountant Sydney Tax Return” in this case.

Google Ad Words Keyword Planner

Arguably the most useful tool in your SEO keyword research for SEO arsenal! Sign up for a free Google AdWords account and use the Keyword Planner tool to understand search volumes and keyword alternatives for your website.

By inputting my service: Accounting and adding a landing page, Google suggests the following keywords (including average searches):

Keyword Research for SEO

If we enter “Accountant Sydney Tax Return”, we get some juicy long tail keywords (with high search volumes) that we probably wouldn’t have considered previously:

Keyword Research for SEO

This AdWords research really provided some “food for thought” and some additional keyword ideas that hadn’t been initially considered with a high search volume. Additional research will be required to settle on some suitable keywords for your SEO.

Other tools that are useful to expand upon and research your keywords further include:

Google trends– useful for “big” topics that trend heavily in Google.

Yoast Suggest– Expands your Keywords search and splits suggestions alphabetically.

Eventually, there should be hundreds of keywords for your site’s SEO. Research and testing will help you build an effective list over time.

To summarise, this is a primer on beginning keyword research for SEO. Long tail keywords are usually what you want to rank well for, as these convert better to sales.

Each business is different, and as such their keyword strategy will differ. With SEO, it’s always about the long game.

Research your keywords heavily, set them in your SEO plugin and review results periodically in Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools. Adjust as necessary. Repeat!

Click here to read more on common mistakes for Wordress SEO.

Contact Evolocity today to learn about our cost-effective SEO packages and how we can assist your business grow your online presence.