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If You Don’t Count Virality, Is Video SEO Still Powerful?

Video SEO is all the rage right now — YouTube continues to add more new content every day than a human can watch in their entire lifetime; descriptive videos convey the essence of products and services more easily than any amount of text; and of course a single good video can get dozens or hundreds of backlinks if properly shared between video portals.

But why? If you Google around, it looks on the surface like every SEO specialist on the block is promoting videos because they make excellent social media fodder — in short, videos go viral more often than any other kind of content. There’s a reason why we have the term “viral video” but not the term “viral infographic” or “viral article”.

Clearly, however, not all videos go viral — in fact, statistically, less than one in every million YouTube videos do. So if your chances of going viral are so slim, why do video SEO?

Because it’s still strong, that’s why. Let’s look at what happens when you put a video up on YouTube and you do it right:

Title Your title needs to have your primary keyword in it, as close to the beginning as possible. Use the rest of the 99 characters to mention your brand, any secondary keywords, and then treat the rest of the title as an abbreviated ‘description’ area — the more you say, the more searches will jive with something in your title.

Tags You have 120 characters to tag with, and you should use every one of them. Put in your most heterogeneous keywords so that the tags hit the broadest spectrum of searches.

Description Again — you have 5,000 characters to describe your video, but in this case, don’t stuff your keywords. The description isn’t for search engines, it’s for people, and it needs to be written for people…but of course if you can squeeze in an extra keyword without damaging the natural flow of the description, do it! Also, encourage people to create video responses to your videos — every video response is automatically linked back to the video it responds to.

So far, you haven’t even posted your video yet, and you’ve loaded it down with a boatload of high-keyword SEO value. But that’s just the beginning: once your video is up, you have 2 weeks during which Google pays close attention to the social responses that your video is getting, and every positive social response improves the position of the video in the SERPS. So you do whatever you can do improve your:

  • Ratings
  • Comments
  • Favorites
  • Video Responses

The more of each of those you have, the higher your video will rank initially, which can mean a lot to it’s ability to rank in the long term — so hit them hard. Even if your video never goes viral, you’ll still feel a lot of SEO impact if you put the work in up front.

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