Any mention of SEO, and you probably get an image of pandas and penguins and hummingbirds in your mind. That’s quite understandable, especially since Google is still the world’s largest search engine and most of your search volume probably comes from this site.
But the Google search engine isn’t the only site you can or should concern yourself with when it comes to local SEO. YouTube, for one, is a site you should consider using if you want to improve your local search engine optimization efforts. After all, it is also owned by Google. More than its ownership, though, the most important reason for you to leverage YouTube is its size. Check the statistics:
- YouTube gets more than a billion unique visits each month.
- YouTube gets 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.
- YouTube gets over 6 billion hours of video watched every month.
- YouTube is localized in 56 countries and 70% of site traffic comes from local areas outside the United States.
Still questioning the importance of YouTube for local SEO? I guess not.
So, how do you leverage YouTube to improve local SEO? Here are some tips.
Geotag Your Videos
Geotagging your video means you should associate it with the geographical coordinates of your business location. This is done by going to the Video Manager and then clicking on Advanced settings. You may then provide your business address and then click on Search. A pop-up map will appear, displaying the location of your business. You may drag the marker to make sure you’ve got the exact location on the map. When you save this location, YouTube will store it as longitude and latitude coordinates.
State Your Name, Address, and Phone Number
Google algorithms are able to read text within a video, which makes it a good idea to include your business name, address, and phone number towards the end of your videos. You may also want to include your URL for good measure. In addition, it is advisable for you to read out these pieces of information as they appear on-screen. Google’s systems can automatically convert the audio into text transcripts, so reading the information out loud helps you ensure it’ll show up in the transcript. The more people see and/or hear your business information, the more likely they are to remember it.
Make Good Use of the Description Field
YouTube provides ample space for the description of each video, so make the most of it. In addition to the description itself, you’d do well to include your business name, contact information, location, and a link to your website. If there’s still enough space, it would also be wise to include a short business biography and other information that may convince people that your business is worth patronizing.
One of the secret weapons of optimizing sites via YouTube is the proper use of keyword tags. Make sure you provide as many relevant tags as possible for each of your videos. Naturally, you’d want to include your location and business category as video tags. You could also include keywords and phrases that are relevant to your niche. Bear in mind that the main purpose of video tags is to get the right people to view your videos.
Associate Your Videos with Your Google+ Local Page and Google Places Listing
Associating your YouTube videos with your business listing on Google Places helps show both Google and your target market what subjects or industries your business is relevant to and what types of valuable information you may be able to provide online users. Other than your Google Places listings, it would also be wise to associate your videos with your Google+ Local page so you can share them in all your Google+ streams. You may also want to ask your employees to share the videos in their own streams. Remember that the number of shares a video gets indicates its popularity.
Of course, before you do any of these things, you should make sure the videos you upload on YouTube are of excellent quality. When you have a video on an interesting subject presented in a compelling manner, you can be sure that whatever benefits the above tips have to offer will be significantly increased.
Bonus Tip: You may want to embed your videos on your blog and your official website, as the number of embeds is also an indicator of a video’s popularity. You should also take full advantage of your social media accounts by promoting your videos there. This improves the chances of your videos getting viewed by as many of your target audience as possible.
People naturally like videos. Because of this, Google has taken a liking to videos as well. Is there really any reason for you NOT to optimize your YouTube videos? I think not.
Meet Guest: Emma-Julie Fox
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