SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your video and multimedia content is the never-ending story. It’s a process without a specific end. In a perfect world, you are constantly uploading and updating videos because fresh content increases SEO. More videos, more keywords in the descriptions equal more opportunities to rank high. Google’s software seems to favor larger, more detailed websites with rich content that informs rather than “sells.” Social sharing across multiple platforms is increasingly important.

In my opinion, for video, YouTube is still king. There is a lot of utility in other formats like Vimeo and BrightCove, but with Google’s vast resources behind YouTube (which it owns); there are countless benefits, the most important of which is SEO. Search engine optimization has never been a fair, level playing field and probably never will be, but if you have one video hosting site to choose, pick Google’s. (That said, there are actually several).

I like to recommend that when clients host their videos on YouTube that they create their own custom YouTube pages and channels. It’s easy to put your own “skin” and branding throughout a standard YouTube page and then to pull the videos through to the home page on your traditional website or social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Although you can do this yourself, there are companies (like mine) that actually do this for you.

If you have or plan to post multiple videos to YouTube, you should create channels or playlists within your page. YouTube actually tells us more playlists equal more viewership, because subscribers are able to select niches that appeal to them and tune out the rest, so it’s a balancing act because you could be inadvertently steering viewers away from videos you want them to see.

One way to address this is to feature six or seven of the top channels or playlist and have a link for “others.” Or you could rotate the top six or seven (but this would have to be done manually, there’s no automatic way to set this yet in YouTube).

There’s generally no harm in having older videos up as long as they have utility, but you don’t want to click on a playlist and find out the most recent video is from 2009. Another great way to promote your YouTube channel is to create a trailer for it.

The trailer video should be 1:00-2:00 minutes long (shorter is always better), but should it have narration, flashy graphics with the name of playlists within the channel.  The trailer is essentially a free video add that YouTube could place on sites which fit your niche.

Back to your traditional website…in most cases, it helps to make your video more SEO friendly by creating an XML file with video site map, which helps search engines know the file is a video, the type of file/the technical specs as well as letting Google know which content you wish to be indexed, which gives you more influence on how your videos are listed and define what metadata is relevant video, thus optimizing search results. YouTube and Google have a lot of information available to webmasters on what works best. The listing includes five items, “Title,” “Brief Description”, “URL of video player”, “URL of thumbnail image” and “URL of raw files.”

Even with all the advances with mobile, geolocators, etc., video is still driven by keywords. Make your keywords count. This not Twitter where you only have 140 characters. Longer descriptions are actually better. Fill out every field. Always include the transcript whether it’s requested or not and add key industry terms, product names, competitors and relevant phrases your online fans are likely to search for. You might even include common spellings and misspellings.

Be sure to promote your video on all available channels. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn for B to B—any place you have at your disposal can help promote your videos. I even recommend clients list their social media channels in print media along with their website on their company vehicles, their storefronts, their lobbies, T-Shirts—take every opportunity to boost your SEO. Any thoughts, questions or comments, feel free to reach out.