5 Simple YouTube SEO Mistakes

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You may have heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, but have you given much thought to what that means for your YouTube videos and how they’re found?

Here are five simple SEO mistakes that YouTube users make –

1. Not keeping it relevant. Before we even get into where to put what, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.  Keywords, at the risk of oversimplifying, are the words we use to tell search engines what our content is all about.  And, in this day and age, keywords are only good if they are relevant, while still giving their SEO a little boost.

In all the following examples, I am going to reference a fictitious company called SuperShiny.  We’re going to pretend that they offer floor cleaning services in Atlanta. So, SuperShiny should stick to using keywords in their titles, descriptions and tags that are actually relevant to their video content.


2. Using just your organization’s name in the title. Think about what people would be searching for if they needed what you’re providing, but they didn’t know you existed yet.

For example – rather than titling your YouTube video “SuperShiny Floor Waxing” give “Floor Cleaning and Waxing Service Atlanta Georgia – SuperShiny” a try. Searchers are more likely to be looking for a floor cleaning and waxing service than they are to be searching specifically for your company.  And, if your organization is local, throwing your location into the title can be very beneficial to SEO.


3. Not putting a link to your website or a relevant landing page/blog post as the first line of your description, but be sure to include the “http://” in your link, otherwise it will not be clickable and there’s a good chance that only creepy stalker type people will actually copy and paste your link in their browser’s address bar.

4. Not providing a keyword rich description using, once again, keywords that are descriptive of your organization rather than just an organization name or tagline.

For example – “http://www.SuperShinyAtlanta.com  Floor cleaning and waxing for commercial, industrial and residential wood, ceramic, vinyl, tile, laminate and marble flooring surfaces in Atlanta, Georgia.  Servicing Fulton county for over 35 years…”


5. Not thinking deep and wide enough when tagging. Keep in mind, YouTube video tags are used to help YouTube suggest those “Related Videos” that come up when a viewer is finished watching a video.  So, think about what other videos might be relevant when it comes to people searching for your content and tag appropriately.  You can be a little more frivolous and adventurous here since your viewers are not likely to read through your tags as they would your title and description.

For example – rather than just “floor cleaning”, “floor waxing”, “Atlanta”, and other keywords that may apply directly to the video and/or organization, try using some other still relevant, but perhaps a little less relevant, tags on your video as well. Also try “scrubber”, “natural floor cleaning”, “floor repair”, “floor care products”, “buffer”, etc. even if SuperShiny doesn’t use natural floor cleaning methods. Perhaps, someone searching for “natural floor cleaning” would still find SuperShiny’s content relevant.

So, there you have five simple mistakes to avoid when trying to give your YouTube videos a little SEO boost.  Hope you can make good use of them, and should you ever need help creating YouTube videos, you know who to call.

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  • Thanks Rocky, great advice. I’m committing to improve my titles right here and now. I’d appreciate you staying on me about it…I mean reminding me, titles matter.

  • I hear lots of talk about online video these days but rarely do I hear, or see, the above tips talked about. Bravo. If you have a more regional, national or e-commerce product try the YouTube keyword tool, you will see exactly what keywords people are typing in YouTube. Ive used this successfully on a few occasions.

  • Excellent tips Rocky. Many clients can break into hotly contested SERPs with video and this certainly sends them in the right direction. Keep those awesome tips coming.

  • Thanks for the comments guys!

  • BenRowland

    The part about tags is helpful, but doesn’t really dig deep enough into the matter.  If we use your example above, a video for SuperShiny Floor Waxing, you gave a list of keywords and key-phrases: “floor cleaning”, “floor waxing”, “Atlanta”, “scrubber”, “natural floor cleaning”, “floor repair”, “floor care products” and “buffer”, but what about the individual words in your phrases? 
    Why not use all the individual words as tags instead?  Like: “floor”, “cleaning”, “waxing”, “Atlanta”, “scrubber”, “natural”, “repair”, “floor care”, “products” and “buffer”.  s there a reason for this?
    Also, how about other combinations of the phrases?
    Just trying to figure it all out, thanks for the help. :)

  • Great info, we recently published a video on measuring for elevator pads and although we did not reference this article first, I think we did a good job of anticipating these issues and planning accordingly. If anyone has time, we would appreciate feedback: http://www.eaglemat.com/elevator-pads.html. Just click-through the video to find it on YouTube. Thanks everyone!

  • Hey Rocky

    Just a quick headsup that YouTube have now expanded the above-the fold description – although your advice still holds true.

    I just wrote about it here – http://www.faqtube.tv/youtube-video-descriptions/

    Hope it helps