Posted October 2, 2012 by Steve Young

We all know the popularity of YouTube, but did you know that it is the #2 search engine on the web? Thats right its ahead of Yahoo and Bing. YouTube is quickly becoming a place where users go to get information on different products and services.

For example, Blendtec has cleverly used YouTube to produce a series of videos called Will it Blend where Tom Dickson, the Blendtec founder, tries to blend different objects including the new iPhone 4 to show off the power of his blender. What can we learn from Blendtec? For small businesses its important to have high-quality video production combined with information-rich content. Throw in a little creative humor and you have a winning combination. Here are some useful YouTube tips to maximize your exposure.

1. Dont Forget Video in Your Title

Similar to the the early days of Google where the title of a web page was an important factor in how well the page ranked, the title of your video is the most important piece of information that you can provide to YouTube. Make sure your title contains all the relevant keywords to your business and dont forget to use the word video when appropriate. Considering that most searchers include the word video when searching for a video, this inclusion can boost the relevance of your page.

2. Provide Links in Your Description

Write a unique, keyword-rich description that includes a URL to your business. Make sure to put the URL towards the beginning of the description, so users will still be able to see the link even if the description information is collapsed.

3. Tag Your Video with Keywords

As with many other sites, YouTubes content is organized on a tag word basis. Along with the title and the description, tags help YouTube identify the substance of your video. The beauty of a tag word system is that the more tags you use the better. By using relevant keywords in your tags, youll be maximizing the possibility that your video shows up on a related search. However, you want to use tags responsibly and only use keywords that are relevant to your video otherwise you may leave your viewers a bit agitated.

4. Add Subtitles & Annotations

Adding captions to your video allows for the hundreds of millions of hearing impaired around the word to enjoy your content. With YouTubes auto-captioning feature, theres no reason not to do it. Plus, you can re-purpose the transcript and video on your homepage making your website very SEO-friendly. Annotations are a great way to get a users attention, but you want to be careful to not overuse them because they can be quite distracting. Currently, only links to other YouTube pages are clickable, however, you can place a call to action that points to the URL you included in your description. For example, save 10% off your next oil change by visiting our site below.

5. Get Free Insight

For every video you upload, YouTube offers free analytics data via the Insight feature where you can see statistics on views, demographics, community and subscribers. Most importantly, theres discovery data that shows you how people are finding your videos, including the links they followed to get there. In addition, you can see how many views you are getting through the YouTube player page, embed player and mobile devices.

About Steve Young

Steve Young is the Director of Product Marketing at SmartShoot. He enjoys writing about marketing, design and product development. Although he shares the same name as a famous quarterback he unfortunately does not share the same bank account, so please throw him a bone and share or comment on his posts. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

Keep in touch: @stevepyoung

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