An analysis of Google Universal Search results by Searchmetrics found that videos appear in 65% of Google searched in the United States. However, 54% of these video results were from Youtube, about 5% were from Vimeo, about 5% were from Dailymotion, and no other video provider got more than about 1%.
Youtube uses metadata – your video’s title, tags and description – to index your video correctly.
Title: Offer keywords first, branding at the end.
A ccurately describe your video’s actual content(transcript excerpts are ideal) in one or two sentences.
Describe your channel and link to your channel page.
Drive viewers to subscribe(so include a subscribe link)
Link to other episodes or related videos and playlists.
Include your channel’s release schedule.
Include links to time-codes in the video for long-form content.
Include a recurring keyword tagline. The keyword tagline is a group of sentences that describe your channel. They should include several search-driven keywords. Repeating this tagline in episode descriptions will inform first-time viewers about your channel.
Tags are descriptive keywords that will help people find your videos.
Include a mix of both general and specific tags.
Use enough tags to thoroughly and accurately describe the video.
Update catalogue videos’s tags when new search trends emerge.
Properly format tags to sensure appropriate indexing of your video.
Include keywords from your title in your video’s tags.
List tags in order of relevance to the video and try to use the whole 120-character limit.
Create custom thumbnails
When shooting a video, take shots that will make great thumbnails.
Always upload custom thumbnails with the video file.
Make sure the thumbnail is no raccy.
Consider the legibility of your thumbnail at multiple sizes. Thumbnails change size depending on the Youtube placement and device.
Use visual cues(colors, images, shapes, personalities) that are consistent with your brand.
Thumbnails should be clear, in focus, and high-resolution(640px-360px minimum, 16:9 aspect ratio)
Use bright, high-contrast images.
Include close-ups of faces.
Use visually compelling imagery.
Make sure your thumbnail is well framed with good composition.
Ensure the foreground stands out from background
check that the thumbnail looks great at both small and large sizes.
Be sure the image accurately represents the content.
Optimize your annotations
Annotations are clickable overlays that you can add to your YouTube videos.
Subscribe direct link. Annotate the “subscription confirmation” page to make it easy for viewers to subscribe to your channel.
Navigation. Highlight your newest video, create a table of contents for long videos, or prompt users to enter a sequential playlist viewing experience (e.g.,”click here for the next video in this series”).
Calls to action. Drive engagement by inviting viewers to like, comment, or respond to questions. Complement scripted calls to action in the video with textual annotations.
Avoid annotations along the very top of the frame. This is where your title will show if it’s embedded.
Don’t obstruct the actual content.
Don’t bombard the viewer. This can feel “spammy”
When appropriate, set annotations to open a new window when clicked. Be careful! Don’t take viewers away from a video too soon.
Annotations at the end of a video should open in the same window.
Optimize your captions
Providing captions makes your video content accessible to a wider audience. It also acts a additional metadata, which helps your video show up in more places on the site. If your video is captioned for multiple languages, it will be searchable in those languages.
Creating a video sitemap may let Google know about your rich video content, but your videos still need to get a significant number of views or watch time to appear in Google Universal Search results.
The Google video extension of the Sitemaps protocol(www.sitemaps.org/) enables you to give Google descriptive information – such as a video’s title, descripton, duration, and so on – that makes it easier for users to find a particular piece of content. Google may use text available on your video’s page rather than the text you supply in the sitemap’s video content, if this differs.
Your sitemap will need to include the following minimum information for each video: title, description, playpage URL, thumbnail URL, and the raw video URL or URL to Flash video player. Without these five pieces of information, Google cannot surface your videos in its search results.