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Sergio Aicardi

Use YouTube Features to Boost Video SEO

Sergio Aicardi
Use YouTube Features to Boost Video SEO

It's hard to think about life without YouTube, and when bloggers think about YouTube, it's seen as a traffic driver on its own. Upload videos to the most popular site and get views—it’s quick and easy. But what about utilizing YouTube to actually drive traffic to your website? YouTube itself has more than one billion users worldwide and four billion views per day, so you should be tapping into that resource to help boost your own site.

It's hard to think about life without YouTube, and when bloggers think about YouTube, it's seen as a traffic driver on its own. Upload videos to the most popular site and get views—it’s quick and easy. But what about utilizing YouTube to actually drive traffic to your website? YouTube itself has more than one billion users worldwide and four billion views per day, so you should be tapping into that resource to help boost your own site.

Of course YouTube optimization is nothing new, and over the years YouTube has installed many new features to help make it easier. With all of the different options to make them easier, however, it can sometimes be tough to know where to start.

The questions are easy:

Which YouTube features are right for your business, and in what order should you get started?

Branded Introduction

YouTube allows you to create a branded introduction to create a solid foundation for your company on the site. There is an option to add a three-second intro before each video to inform viewers they are about to watch a video from your company. Think of it like the "MGM" or "Universal Studios" symbol before the start of a feature film.

Check out this video tutorial that shows you how to add a three-second branded intro.

How it helps build your brand

This branding intro can be added to all of your YouTube videos and promote your entire array of content on the site. It’s a nice way to keep everything consistent and unified so that people know they’re viewing your content without any question.

Trailer Time

You can add a trailer to help entice viewers to subscribe to your channel. The trailer can be just like a feature-film trailer in that it shows clips of several different videos and provides a nice representation of what viewers can expect if they were to subscribe.

Here is a tutorial on how to add a trailer to your YouTube account.

How it helps build your brand

Consider it free advertising, in a way. A trailer is a good way to compile the best of your content into one place to put your best foot forward for a potential subscriber who may not know your name or your brand yet. And because it's essentially free advertising, you're selling yourself, your YouTube channel and your company right away.

Include a Logo

When you see a golden "M" with a red background, you instantly think McDonald's. Their logo has been a global staple for decades and just the one letter is now synonymous with the fast-food chain. Obviously it will be difficult for your company to ever reach the popularity of McDonald's, but you can follow the same path in terms of the logo. Include your logo in all videos to help get your audience familiar with your brand.

Here's a tutorial on how to add your logo to each video.

How it helps build your brand

Even if it's subconscious, they may see your logo later and think of your YouTube channel or your brand. Say they watch a two-minute video you uploaded to YouTube. If your logo is a watermark on the entire video and doesn't disrupt the actual content, it's essentially two minutes of free advertising for your brand on your own site. Can't beat that.

Annotations

YouTube annotations may be the best way to build your brand and drive traffic to your site. Annotations are the little word bubbles that pop up during the course of a video on YouTube, much like a speech bubble in a comic strip. They're interactive elements a channel can incorporate into a video to link to other videos, a website, etc. In the screenshot below you can see an annotation popping up in a video:

YouTube Description for SEO

Annotations can also be a good way to call viewers to action, asking them to like, share or otherwise promote a video. You can use annotations to help gain subscribers by making it quick and easy for the audience to become a follower. You can even show related videos throughout the YouTube video the viewer is currently consuming, sort of like an embedded link in an article.

With social media's immense popularity, most YouTube users enjoy being interactive with online content they enjoy and annotations make that simpler and simpler is always better, especially in the world of 140-character attention spans created by Twitter. The key is to add relevant and helpful annotations to your videos after you upload them to YouTube.

YouTube has complete directions on how to add and properly utilize annotations.

How it helps build your brand

People may stumble upon your YouTube video from a search engine or a link/embed on another site. When people come in your channel through a side door like that, they may not necessarily be inclined to find out more about your channel, brand or site. Annotations change that by gaining the viewers' attention with pop-ups that are far less annoying than pop-up ads. Annotations help increase viewership, engagement and subscribers, all of which helps promote your brand and drive traffic to your website and YouTube channel.

Make Use of the Video Description

YouTube allows you plenty of freedom to make the description of your email to cater to your company's needs. You can include a link to your website, a call to action for viewers to subscribe to your channel or ways to connect on social media. Below is another example from No Risk SEO that shows how to best use a description:

YouTube Description for SEO

How it helps you build your brand

Again, anything that creates a simpler way for viewers to follow/subscribe is a very good thing. The description can directly drive traffic to your site, increase your social media profile and provide more relevant background info on the video and your company. As you can see in the example above, the company used links to other YouTube videos on their channel (thus helping improve CTR) as well as links to their webpage and information that users can quickly glance at to learn more about the video. They even have an annotation telling users to visit another page first before watching the video, which is a great way for a company to show that they really know their stuff.

What features have you used on YouTube to help build your brand? What have your experiences been like with annotations or some of the other features we mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sergio Aicardi is the owner of The Miami SEO Company and lives in sunny South Florida. He offers consulting to many marketing companies in Miami and business owners alike. His responsibilities include developing business relationships and optimizing internal processes to ensure the business is constantly growing, while constantly enhancing the quality of services rendered.

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