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10 Starting Points for Video SEO Keyword Optimization

Optimizing your video for search is a crucial step in online video production if you want to capitalize from video’s powerful SEO potential. Nor can you just rely on your dealer website alone to ensure traffic is directed to your video. Video search engine optimization (SEO) creates additional paths to reach your video content – and back to your website or landing page - without which your video may garner very little benefit from search. With mobile browsing increasing in popularity, Video SEO helps to ensure mobile-friendly viewing and discovery.


Video SEO is Crucial for Success

YouTube keyword tags are unique or summary words that define a video’s key content. Importantly, they’re powerful tool that you need to use to make the most of your content. And you need to make the investment to make your video SEO perform properly.

Proper VSEO (video SEO) requires planning and a systematic approach. It’s a crucial component of a modern digital marketing strategy.

The Three Options for Video Hosting

  • Social Distribution – Using YouTube to host and gain exposure.
  • Private Distribution – Self host your videos, e.g., on your Website
  • Private Distribution+ – Don’t use YouTube – professionally host with an Online Video Platform (OVP).

At, we strongly advocate that you do use YouTube.  And maintain a YouTube channel as a part of your video marketing strategy.

If your dealership is just starting to explore online video solutions, YouTube can be inexpensive and in most cases sufficient. And, if you need to scale up your video production strategy and distribution, you can always move to a corporate hosting solution like OoyalaBrightCove or Kaltura down the road (most likely if you are an OEM). You can also connect your YouTube channel to FaceBook using YouTube Channels from Involver (now Oracle). 

We believe that branding platforms such as Navigaya are the future of video marketing because they represent the best of both worlds:  a "brandable" social video platform built on top of YouTube! 

The YouTube Benefit

Why use YouTube instead of a self-hosting solution? Google ‘search juice’ and VSEO (video search engine optimization), powerful free HD and mobile video hosting, sharing and metrics and tapping an audience of millions of viewers continually searching for new video content.

Needless to say YouTube viewers are not all searching for a car and the downside of using YouTube without a broader video marketing strategy is that its audience is much too general for an auto dealer attempting to find elusive car buyers.


Not Entirely Your Friend

 Know Going in: YouTube, which is Google owned, has it’s own agenda. YouTube’s goal is to keep viewers on the site as long as possible by suggesting you might like to view. This can be bad, if you’re not prepared. Why? Right along side your video on YouTube’s site, there will be suggestions for other related videos – perhaps your competition!


10 Ways to Optimize YouTube Video Tags for Results


Tags play a big role in VSEO.

 Tags – an abbreviation for ‘meta-tags’ – are used by software platforms to decide how to categorize and display relevant content. When you search YouTube – which is a search engine in reality – it uses the words listed in a video’s tags to assist in determining if the video is relevant to you.

The title, description, likes, and closed captioning script and other information also play a role in relevancy too, and we’ll cover these aspects in other articles.

Be Relevant for Search. What are viewers searching for? Use words that are used often as key search terms when tagging a video with keywords.


1. Be Concise
If you find discovering descriptive words a challenge, try this exercise: What three words, on their own, describe your video’s topic, content and message?

Example, if a video was made as a companion to this article: “video, keyword, optimization”

Those would be the three core key words.

Here’s the trick: those three words, if popular enough, will ideally be the combination of words used in a search that’ll have your video pulled up as a result! Read on to see what we mean…


2. Provide Context
“Honda” is a broad term to search for. Hundreds of dealers in many cities, Honda USA, all share the name – Google and it’s users searching for results can’t differentiate without a bit of context.

Using quotations in a tag, you can link words together. Examples: “Honda Dealer NY” or “Honda Dealer near 10466” or “2011 Honda Accord NY” help narrow the term, while keeping the search short.


3. Be Descriptive
Tie in describing words – examples: “used” “low miles” “best price” and “one owner” all can add value to relevant tag. Local geographic area tags such as “New York”, Brooklyn”, and “Bronx″ help narrow your audience target to people in your geographic market!


4. Don't Use Connective Text
Don’t use connecting words in your tags – just skip using words like “or” “and” and linking words like these. These are words that the YouTube search engine will ignore anyway. Example: “The proper methods to fill and repair a car bumper with bondo brand filler for any car” is long and unwieldy as a title for a video.

 Using the rules suggested as well, an alternate name which is far more search friendly could be: “Proper Bondo Filling Best Methods for Cars, Video“. The only filler word remaining is the word ‘for’, which is entirely necessary as it shows the context for the bondo filling!


5. Categories are Your Friend
Use YouTube’s supplies categories, and use those that apply. A must-do step, one which counts in YouTube’s eyes, helping your video get seen.


6. Targeting Counts
In many cases for search optimization, by design it’s a good idea to ensure that for most results your video doesn’t show! Why? Your video would get buried under a mountain of seemingly similar results!

 For instance, if your video is about a rare ’1991 Subaru Legacy RS’, don’t use a common tag like “car” or even “subaru” – far too many results will come up for these extremely broad terms for your video ever to be relevant. A search for “cars” on YouTube brings up 2,210,000 results – far too many, and unspecific. The search for “subaru” brings up half a million results – still too many.

Rather, break up the tags like so: “legacy rs” which is very specific and has a higher chance of being listed inquiry the results. What else is specific to this item that people may be searching for? Add a few more combinations “1991 subaru legacy” “legacy rs rally” “1991 turbo legacy” which hit some more specifics.


7. Competition Matters
Type in a search term you think your video could or should be listed for and take a look at videos that are listed near the top.  Are they similar in content to yours?  Examine their titles ad an indication of what keyword tags may be relevant.  YouTube no longer exposes tags in its video descriptions so the practice of copying the tags from videos targeting similar audiences to yours is no longer allowed.  At, we have analyzed thousands of dealer videos, car videos, etc. and we have compiled a database of video tags, which we update continuously to ensure that our client videos are fully optimized for SEO.


8. YouTube Works For You
YouTube will notice patterns in your tags as you fill out information for your video. It will offer suggestions for keyword tags – clicking the relevant ones to add them will naturally work in your favor. This feature will surely improve with time – it is a good practice to revisit previously uploaded videos periodically to tweak their tags; a service that we also provide for our clients.


9. Use Your Instincts
Use your instincts – what would you search for?  You can always tweak your tags later anyway. You can go back and tweak your YouTube tags, title, description, etc again and again (or have us do it for you).


10. Be Persistant
Get started now, but don’t let anyone – or anything – get in your way! This needs to happen. If you are not leveraging video marketing and VSEO for your dealership ad your cars, you are missing out on the most effective form of Internet search marketing.



11. Bonus Pro Tip: When working on a broad marketing strategy, it’s good to hold onto your search optimization text, especially when the video is broadly used. When working on a client’s YouTube marketing, we create and save the tags, title and all other relevant information and in a database.

Those tags can be used over and over elsewhere down the road – flickr, wordpress, SEM, etc – it’s worth keeping a record!


Google’s Secret Search Sauce

Google‘s always updating and tweaking how their search engines rank and offer content – as such, it’s hard to nail down their current trends. They keep everyone on our toes, which is great for us because we keep publishing what we learn for our clients.



Views: 387

Tags: 10, keyword, optimize., seo, tags, video, video SEO, vseo, ways,


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Comment by Alexander Lau on October 28, 2014 at 7:54am

Thanks! There were folks laughing at me, but I am measuring conversions from these:

Comment by Ken Beam on December 17, 2012 at 5:34pm

Very nice thread Joe...............well done!

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