In 2018, more than 500 million hours of video were watched on YouTube every day. With video on social media channels exploding as well, YouTube is only a part of video’s dominance in the digital world. What this means for marketing professionals is that video content is now non-negotiable and, like all content, your videos need to be search engine optimized. The rules of search engine optimization for video content are similar to those you want to follow when integrating social content into your search engine strategy more generally. When used correctly, they’ll make your video content much more effective.

Your YouTube SEO Strategy

With video taking over, YouTube is even more important to web marketing than ever. Not only have some YouTube stars achieved levels of fame once associated only with movie actors, that fame is big business, generating millions of views for related channels. With such a large and growing audience, and search traffic second only to Google itself, YouTube should be a big part of any digital marketing strategy. To start, you want to optimize your video content for all that search traffic.

That’s right, you should start planning out your SEO strategy before you even create video content, so you can match your content and phrasing to common search keywords. Research keywords with search intent in mind (in other words, think about the context in which people are searching this phrase). Keywords can be included in many places too: don’t just think about titles and tags, but filenames and narration text as well.

Optimizing Video on Social

Similarly, when you post content to social media, you can optimize it for search engine results by using relevant keywords and hashtags, and keeping content light and easy to share. Again, the content itself is one place to start. Don’t create high quality video content for low-traffic topics as this is a waste of time. Instead, focus your best content on high traffic areas and carefully chosen keywords that will help you reach your audience.

With a little preparation, and a careful keyword strategy, you can reach a much bigger audience with your video content. Remember, you want the content to be relevant within the context they’re searching, so don’t try to force content just to hit a certain keyword phrase. Similarly, using a good thumbnail that clearly shows the video’s relevance to a search helps it stand out, and helps confirm for the viewer that this is the video they want. As video continues to cement its place as the dominant form of media online, make sure your SEO strategy is keeping up.