Leveraging YouTube for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

by Guest on July 25, 2012

in Digital Marketing,Internet,Social Media

A Guest blog from Deploy Dental. The opinions expressed are from Deply Dental not Dr. Larry Emmott. However I believe it is valuable for dentists to get various takes on technology issues in order to make good technology choices.

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By: Deploy Dental

One of the most powerful ways for local small businesses to leverage YouTube is to take advantage of the high value Google and other search engines place on video content.  When viewing a Google search results page you have likely noticed that YouTube and other video results are often the most prominently displayed (featuring a small screenshot preview of the video).  Even if these videos are not in the number one position, they often still get many clicks due to this visual distinction.

In this tutorial we’ll discuss the necessary steps to get your business featured in these video results, fully capitalizing on the opportunity YouTube provides for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Although these principles can be applied to almost any product or service, specifics will be discussed in the context of dentistry.

Choosing Video Topics

Long Tail vs. Short Tail Keywords

SEO specialists often break keywords down into two categories: long tail and short tail.  Short tail keywords are typically characterized as being the shortest in overall length and covering the most general topics of your business.  For example, a common short tail keyword for a dentist is simply location plus dentist, such as “San Francisco dentist.”  Since these are the most general, they will almost always receive the most searches in a geographic area.

Long tail keywords are exactly the opposite.  They contain longer keyword phrases and are much more specific to services or specialties within your industry.  For example, a long tail keyword for a dentist might be “teeth whitening San Francisco” or “pediatric dentist in San Francisco.”  Since these are more specific searches, they will generate a lower amount of traffic.

Which Strategy to Pick?

When utilizing YouTube for your marketing purposes, perhaps the most important aspects are deciding upon and fully understanding your strategy for targeting keywords.  It may be tempting to go for the short tail keywords (generating the most views and site exposure), but this is not without its drawbacks.  These keywords are always the most sought after, so those in moderate or larger sized markets may find the going tough against already established competitors.  Furthermore, videos based on general keywords tend to not be as informative or engaging to the viewer, as they are usually just introductions to the practice or office tours.  So, while it is still advisable to have these videos accessible through your YouTube Channel, you should not rely solely on them for your SEO.

Instead of relying on those few introductory or office tour videos, we recommend that that majority of your focus be on very specific services that your practice offers.  (porcelain veneers, CEREC, teeth whitening, etc.)  These types of keywords are always less competitive, so your chances are much greater to reach the first page of Google search results.  Furthermore, even though they will generate less overall views, those who do find and view these videos can be deemed to be much more valuable and targeted potential clients, since they have already shown an interest in one of your services.

So, in summary, while you will surely wish to include a few general topics in your videos, you will likely gain the most return from targeting more specific, long tail keywords.

Proper Keyword Usage

After uploading a video to YouTube, it is vital that potential keyword searches are appropriately placed in each of the available fields: title, description, tags, and category.

‘Title’ is perhaps the most crucial, as it will be both the first thing visible and, probably, the deciding factor for generating a click.  Your title, while remaining as succinct as possible, should include your location, specific service (the topic of your video), and perhaps the name of your business.  An appropriate title for a dentist’s video on Invisalign might be “Invisalign San Francisco, Smith Family Dental.”

The ‘Description’ field allows a little more room to work with.  So, without overtly spamming your keywords, give a short description of the contents of the video and any personal comments.  Be sure to also include the name of your practice and a link to your website.

The ‘Tags’ field is where you can cover some more bases with possible keywords, so include any additional phrases that might relate to your video and that people may be searching for.  For example, a dentist’s video on Invisalign might have tags such as, Invisalign, San Francisco, orthodontics, straightening teeth, retainers, etc.

The final option is to simply select the appropriate category for your video.  There is not a great variety of options available, so most likely your video will be categorized under ‘Education’ or ‘Howto’

Embed within Your Site

The final step to making a well rounded YouTube SEO campaign is to embed the video on your site.  This may of course require some moderate HTML coding ability, or contacting your website provider with the request.  The video should be placed on the page to which it most relates, such as the service page of the same topic.  (i.e. teeth whitening video on the teeth whitening page)  Appropriately placed, the video will benefit from the keyword optimization that has, hopefully, already been performed on this page.  The opposite will also be true, as any optimization you’ve performed on the video will help boost that page’s rankings for those long tail keywords.

Final Thoughts

As search engine optimization has become a mainstream marketing strategy among local small businesses (particularly dentistry), YouTube videos are yet another way these businesses can distinguish themselves.  In an otherwise crowded search space, video results are one of the few remaining bastions in which significant progress can still be made, especially amongst long tail search terms.  It is crucial that all small businesses take advantage of this marketing opportunity while it is still readily available.

For more tips on increasing your number of YouTube views, covering several topics not limited to SEO alone, check out our previous article titled, “10 Tips to Maximize YouTube Exposure.”

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