Digital Insights

How to Maximize Your Local SEO Campaigns with YouTube Videos

Published: June 10, 2015

For the most part, local SEO has gotten much harder than it was just a few short years ago. Caught between ever-increasing competition for many local keywords and the combined effects of Google’s Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon algorithm updates, many local marketers have all but abandoned SEO in search of greener and more profitable pastures.

One bright spot on the local SEO landscape that has yet to be overrun with competitors and Google guidelines is YouTube videos, which represent a highly effective and largely untapped opportunity for dominating local search marketing.

How Effective are YouTube Videos?

  • YouTube videos are big and literally getting bigger by the minute – some 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds.
  • YouTube reaches more U.S. adults in the 18 to 34 years demographic than any cable network.
  • Viewers retain 95 percent of the information they receive from a video compared to 10 percent retention when they read it in a text format.
  • A video embedded on your website attracts two to three times more monthly visitors, doubles the amount of time they spend on your site, and increases organic search traffic by 157 percent.

Getting Started in Video

Promoting your business with video is a lot simpler than some people would have you think. While a high-quality, Hollywood-style production is beyond the reach of most local marketers, you shouldn’t obsess over the limitations of a modest budget. The subject matter and the way you present it will largely determine whether your video gets watched and shared. A basic yet hard-hitting slideshow video can be created using images taken with your smartphone or digital camera and edited with inexpensive video editing software.

Consider your subject matter carefully. A commercial that informs prospective customers about your products or services is an obvious choice, but will generally not be as effective as a less blatant sales-driven video.

A more effective strategy might be a video series centered on your industry or product niche that showcases how you do whatever it is you do. Informative how-to videos and “public service” videos that teach people what to look for when considering a purchase in your product category are extremely popular and can help boost your search rankings while building your credibility as an authority in your field.

Optimizing Your Video for Top Traffic-Crushing Search Rankings

While YouTube’s formula for ranking videos is much simpler than Google’s web page ranking algorithm, it does encompass a number of critical ranking factors that you should be aware of: title tag information, audience retention, number of subscriber opt-ins after viewing, keywords contained in the description tag, video length, comments, likes and dislikes.

Write long video descriptions. Since YouTube and Google can’t watch your video, they rely on your text to understand what your video is all about. Give a brief but full description of your video, complete with the target keywords that you want to rank for. Aim for at least a 200-word description tag.

Optimize your video for video keywords. Certain keywords in the Google search results are heavily oriented towards video, and you should be targeting those for your video in order to rank well on Google as well as on YouTube.

Ask viewers to like, comment, and subscribe. Since there are no backlinks in videos, YouTube relies on viewer comments, likes, and subscription opt-ins to help gauge a video’s popularity and relevance. Always invite your viewers to engage at the end of every video.


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