Video SEO – Looking at keywords and advertising

A lot of businesses continue to spend (often a lot) of money getting a film or animation created to enforce their brand and are then disappointed when the film doesn’t get watched on YouTube.


The worst case we’ve come across is where a company spent £1,500 on a video and only got 3 organic views through search terms. That’s a whopping £500 per view!


We wanted to turn the tide and deliver results for one of these companies, increasing their ROI and helping other businesses to do the same. So we created the Video SEO Challenge, AKA The Pygmalion Project and chose one business’ film (not created by us) that wasn’t performing well.

This blog concentrates on Keywords and gives a little insight into how a lot of knowhow and a little keyword research can drive up your YouTube views.

Of course, feel free to visit our video production page and judge us for yourself.


Making the most of your film

In stage 1, we showed how the film was performing before we got our grubby mitts on it. You can read our blog here about it. We decided to keep the company and film confidential as this project isn’t about showing up the competition, it’s about showing how companies in the same situation can improve their return on investment.


“We’d kind of given up hope of the film ever generating any business. ” Client


One key issue with the film was that it was ranking for a search term that no one was searching for.


Keywords – how to make sure your film ranks for the right terms

Search behaviour on YouTube is different to that on Google, so we use a number of methods to work out what keywords to target. A very basic way though is to use the Google Keywords Tool.

A lot of people will be aware of the Keywords Tool. If you’re not, have a play with it here: Google Keywords Tool

For more information about keywords and which to pick, have a look at our other blogs:

The impact of getting your keywords correct can be huge. Here’s one we made earlier:

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.18.46

We identified a number of keywords associated with our film and made sure the title, description and tags all reflected what people are searching for.

The film now ranks on page one for four relevant terms locally and is currently on page 2 within a UK wide search.

If you are a YouTube partner, you can take advantage of Associated Website Annotations and direct the view straight to your website.

We applied exactly the same principals to our client’s film for the SEO Challenge 2013 and you can do the same with yours. This will greatly improve the chances of your video getting found.


“We certainly think of the film as more effective now it’s being marketed in the right way.  It had gone stale on our website and views on YouTube maybe crept up by one or two a week.  We’re going through the motions of a website redesign and we definitely will incorporate more video into it.” Client



Google Adwords – YouTube Advertising

We’re also running a very small advertising campaign, which is helping to generate interest in the film. Using YouTube’s advertising platform can be very cost effective and deliver some fantastic results that would take (if ever), many months of organic optimisation. If you decide to go down this route, the principals are similar:

  • Research: Do your research and play with the Keyword tool
  • Targeting: Make sure you carefully select your targeting groups. Separate off different targeting groups, so you can monitor which are most effective.
  • Call to action: Make sure you have a strong call to action.


A quick note about YouTube Advertising. Unlike other forms of advertising, you only pay if people watch your advert (for pre-roll this is 30 seconds or more). So essentially you are only paying if someone is actually interested enough to watch it. Plus, the brand name will be popping up costing you nothing. Within the first week promoting our client’s film, 47,000 people saw their brand name and we were only charged for the ones that clicked on the advert.


By the end of the 3rd week, the film had received 997 views and 96,557 impressions (people simply seeing the video on the site). We’ve also achieved 150 views through the film being found organically through search, which costs you nothing.


“I do feel we missed an opportunity after the film was first produced but am glad we are getting there now.” Client



Let us not forget Social Media.

Before we started The Pygmalion Project, the film had been viewed from Twitter 24 times and been watched from Facebook once.

Make sure you are using all the available channels to promote your film and where possible, link them all back to YouTube. These include:

  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Other video platforms

Facebook and LinkedIn have advertising platforms which you may want to consider too, but they are wildly expensive compared to YouTube and don’t deliver half the results.


More information

Video SEO and advertising is a big area. You can find more information in our ‘how to’ guides and on other sites such as Reelseo.


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