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Each month over 800 million unique visitors pass through YouTube, sharing, liking and enjoying over 3 billion hours of music videos, how-to’s and documentaries that are readily available, and most importantly free to access. ..

Each month over 800 million unique visitors pass through YouTube, sharing, liking and enjoying over 3 billion hours of music videos, how-to’s and documentaries that are readily available, and most importantly free to access. The obvious popularity, as displayed by these statistics, indicates YouTube will not only send strong social signals back to your website, enhancing your SEO, but can also improve your page rank and drive a significant amount of traffic referrals. This is traffic that businesses simply cannot afford to ignore.

Here are 6 tips to help you rank high on YouTube in 2013:

  1. Content quality: Content is KING! You've heard that before right? Good quality videos will get more attention on YouTube. Videos that are poor quality either technically or in respect to their content and subject matter will sink into the depths of YouTube and fail to gain any significant exposure. Making sure your content is interesting and captivating will not only ensure people find your videos in the first place, but will increase the likelihood that they will return to view more of your content over time and also share your content with others.

  2. Snappy title: A snappy title will help your video to stand out from the crowd. An average quality video with a compelling title will gain more clicks and views than a better quality video with a boring title. The title must, of course, be relevant to your video; over-promising and under delivering will frustrate viewers. The difference between “social media tips” and “5 secret techniques the pro's use to maximize there social media presence” is clear to see. Which title is more likely to compel you to click?

  3. Keyword targeting: Ensure you have properly researched the most common keywords for your subject matter so that you can target your video to be found when people are searching. One advantage of online marketing vs offline is that you can easily access data in relation to past search trends. For instance, you can establish which keywords or phrases people are most likely to use when they are searching for videos relating to a specific subject. Armed with this knowledge, you can optimize your video to increase the likelihood that YouTube searchers will find it. If you have not discovered which keywords people are using, you will be optimizing blindly and may in fact optimize your video to appear for a search that has virtually no traffic.

  4. Keyword optimization: You should optimize your Title, Description and Tags when you upload a video on YouTube. Avoid keyword stuffing, as this kind of 'over' optimization can in fact work against you. The best advice is to ensure that you include your target keyword or phrase once in the title and twice in the description. Your tags should start with your main target keyword or phrase and should include further close variations. Avoid adding more than 10 keyword tags in total, as this can result in either over optimization or dilution.

  5. Start the social sharing process: When you upload a new video to YouTube, it is important to start the social sharing process by following a defined publishing strategy. Post updates with a link to your video on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Pin the video on Pinterest, share it on Digg, Stumbleupon and Reddit. Ask friends and colleagues to share it too. As a marathon starts with the first step, video's that go viral start with the first share, and that first share is within your control.

  6. Link to your video: Google treats in-bound links like 'votes' and Google owns YouTube. So it makes sense that videos with more in-bound links are more likely to rank prominently on YouTube, and also in the general Google organic search listings. You could reach out to friends and influencers in your niche and make them aware of the video, asking them to link to it. Or you could build some article directory or web 2.0 links to your videos. Utilizing YouTube in the right way can be highly beneficial for your business, follow the 6 tips above and give your videos the best opportunity to rank high on YouTube, gain more views and send more visitors to your website.

Richard Best is the Managing Director at Mint Online Marketing. Mint are a UK online marketing agency, offering good value SEO, PPC and Social Media services.

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