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Episode 8: Search, SEO, and YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. So, there are two ways to think about search when it comes to YouTube.

First, you need to figure out how to get your videos to rank higher on YouTube itself. Second, you need to think about how you can optimize your videos so they rank higher in Google.

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Episode Transcription

Hi. I’m Matt Brown from HubSpot, and this is Skill Up. The show where you’ll learn how to take your sales, marketing, and service skills to the next level.

It’s the final rose ceremony for this season of Skill Up. And hey, we were here for the right reasons. We bobbed and weaved our way through weekly date challenges, and we learned a little bit about YouTube marketing along the way.

But before we step out onto that beach platform overlooking the ocean, we have one last topic to cover. And you could say, it’s the most important episode in Skill Up history!

Ok, well, don’t want to be that hyperbolic host. It’s an important episode. As important as the others. Maybe a bit more? But that’s debatable.

First segment!

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When it comes to YouTube, one thing you're gonna hear a lot is how you think about SEO on your channel. If you’ve listened to the rest of this season, then you’ve heard yours truly say it, I don’t know, 25 times? 63 times?

How about this one? YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine -- second only to Google.

So, there are two ways to think about search when it comes to YouTube. First, you need to figure out how to get your videos to rank higher on YouTube itself. Second, you need to think about how you can optimize your videos so they rank higher in Google.

If we’re talkin’ reality podcast here, then I’ll tell you this. The majority of videos on YouTube aren’t actually optimized for YouTube. So if you do even the bare minimum of SEO work, you’ll outplace a majority of the already insane library of videos housed in YouTube.

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So let’s take advantage of some SEO.

The first thing you need to think about is, of course, the one thing we’ve been talking about all season. Make great content.

The types of videos that rank highest on YouTube are those that solve two things -- Solving problems and entertaining people. Your brand is generally the former. Cat videos, the latter. But that’s not to say you can’t be both. So, yea. Be both.

When you create content that educates, teaches, or entertains, you're going to have a better shot at getting to the heart of your audience.

People don't really want sales videos. But they might be willing to watch a demonstration of a product if they think it's going to solve a problem for them. If you think to yourself, I can't do that, well, then I challenge you to think a little harder.

You're an expert in your industry. I'm sure you have all sorts of really interesting things that you can talk about relating to that. Find ways to tap into that experience, that knowledge.

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There are several places within YouTube that you should think about using keywords to optimize for rank and search -- and those are your title, description, and tags.

Now, since this is our final episode of the season, I’ll toss you two pro tips: First, make sure you use a keyword in the title of the video file before you upload it. Second, use keywords in the words you say in the video.

You’re gonna want to transcribe the video yourself. Trust me, it’s much better than what Google’s transcription tools can do. Use a third-party source like Rev, Trint, or Descript. Go over your transcriptions very carefully so that they're readable to people and to search engines.

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So, to get started, you need to think about keyword planning.

Start by generating a list of keywords that you're familiar with in relation to the content you're creating and your buyer persona. Long-tail keywords and phrases are especially important to consider. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. They’re also less competitive.

Once you have an idea of your top keywords, go to the search bar in Google, and type in your search term. You'll see the autocomplete list of similar terms. You may want to use these for additional tags.

Next check out the videos that show up for your keywords. Find the most relevant ones -- they likely rank high but were made a while back. What’ll help you most is to look for videos that have been released recently and have risen to the top.

Once you’ve found those, view the source of the video. When you're on the video page, right click the page and select view source. Do a search for keywords inside here. That'll take you to the part of the source code that shows you what tags the creator used on that video. You’re basically Leo in Inception right now.

Finding these tags will also net you some new terms you may not have written down initially. But don’t just copy the keywords others are using. You need to see what’s making a body of videos rank higher than others in a specific category.

Another great place to find keywords is in your own YouTube search report under Traffic Source. This one will give you keywords that people used to find videos you already created.

Next, you can log into a Google ad words account and use their keyword planner. This is free for anyone to use, but you do need to sign up for a Google AdWords account.

You should know, the keyword planner is not just for ads. You can use it for SEO purposes. But keep in mind, your top keywords should be highly specific and low competition. That way, you can own search for that word or phrase.

The types of videos that usually show up in a Google search typically fall under these categories: How to or why keywords, reviews, and unboxing, tutorials and demos, clickbait or funny videos, sports, and fitness workouts.

Links to your video from other websites will help your ranking. You’ll get more views, but Google also prioritizes videos embedded elsewhere. So make sure you're adding your video to your company’s website and blog posts. Also, go ahead and link to the video on your social channels.

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So to recap: Make great videos. It all starts with great content. You can only optimize a beautifully shot, 40-minute video of a rock so much.

Once you’re done with the video, it’s time to work on keywords. Include keywords in your title, description, tags, video file, thumbnails, that tiny pocket inside your normal pocket in your jeans. Add it everywhere!

But don’t be spammy about it. Use your keywords too much, and it’s an eyesore for viewers. So put together a strong list of keywords, including long-tail keywords, to best optimize your videos.

And that’s it. Look at us. YouTube Marketers. Remember, you can also re-listen to past episodes to brush up on your YouTube skills. And if you’d like even more insight into YouTube Marketing, head on over to HubSpot do com.

See you next season.

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[cue sound of waves]

Woman’s voice: Matt, do you accept this final rose? Matt? [off mic] Did he leave already? We’re not done yet!