Google has been working to make it easier to get video news content indexed in Google News. As part of this effort, they posted a few tips on their blog yesterday, to help publishers make their YouTube news clips more discoverable. While the post is focused on publishers who are uploading news content, Google’s tips are useful for all kinds of content creators, from artists to musicians to documentarians and everything in between.
There are all sorts of ways to optimize your YouTube videos, making them more discoverable, from tags to descriptions and more. The following are the six best practices for increasing the discoverability of your video content, according to Google.
Upload Time Sensitive Material ASAP
When you are dealing with time sensitive content you should always upload your video as quickly as possible. For instance, if you get footage of an earthquake or other big news event you’ll want to get it up on YouTube as quickly as you can. Not only will being first help you stand out from all the other earthquake footage, but will also help you reach news homepages more quickly. If you come out with the same footage a few days after the fact then nobody will care anymore and nobody will watch.
This is also applicable to videos having to do with popular trends on YouTube. If you want to make a remix or parody of a popular YouTube clip, make sure to upload your clip as quickly as possible. Once the popularity of the clip you are parodying dies down you will have trouble getting views on your clip.
Stick To One Story Per Video
You don’t want to cover too much in a single video, especially if you are covering news. If you tell one story per video your content will be much more easily discoverable than if you compile several segments and news stories into one clip.
Having your video about one story allows you to focus your title, tags, categories and descriptions on that single story and, therefore, makes it easier for viewers to find. Additionally, short clips often have more viral potential, as viewers will sit through a short clip while they may not sit through a clip that is several minutes long.
Categorize Your Videos
When you upload a video to YouTube, don’t forget to put it in a category. If you are uploading a news item, put it in the ‘News & Politics’ category. Other YouTube categories include Autos & Vehicles, Comedy, Education, Entertainment, Film & Animation, Gaming, Howto & Style, Music, Nonprofits & Activism, People & Blogs, Pets & Animals, Science & Technology, Sports, and Travel & Events. Be sure to choose the most appropriate category for the content of your video. If you aren’t sure, look for similar videos and see how they are categorized.
Provide Detailed Descriptions
You should be as detailed as possible in your video descriptions, providing as much information as you can in a few sentences. For news items, it is important to include the who, what, when, where and why of your story. The more detailed your description the better.
It is important to note that, although your description should be detailed, descriptions should also be short. You don’t want it to take viewers longer to read your description than it takes them to watch the actual video. The description should serve as a short teaser to let viewers know what the video is about and decide whether or not they want to watch.
Don’t Forget The Tags
Including tags is extremely important when it comes to optimizing YouTube videos. The tags are the keywords that make your video searchable and help viewers find your content. You should include rich tags with your video, including the names of people in the video, places, companies and more.
Always be sure to include keywords that are related directly to the content of your video. I know it can be tempting to use keywords that are popular at the time but may not have anything to do with your clip, just to drive views. However, all that does is make viewers mad when they start watching your video and realize it has nothing to do with what they were looking for.
Make Your Video Embeddable
When you upload your video make sure that it will be embeddable on outside sites. From the Edit video page in YouTube, click on “Yes, external sites may embed and play this video” under the ‘Embedding’ section of ‘Broadcasting and Sharing Options.’ This is a technical requirement if you are hoping to have your video displayed on sites like Google News.
Additionally, if you are hoping to get a lot of views on your video you will want to make sure it is embeddable so that bloggers can share it on their websites and that your video can be shared on Facebook and other social networks. You’ll also want to make sure your video is set to Public to ensure that it gets the most possible coverage.
By putting these tips to use you can greatly increase the discoverability of your content on YouTube. Do you remember each of these elements each time you upload a video to YouTube?