Quiet as it's kept, I reached another milestone on my YouTube channel last month. Since I uploaded my first YouTube video 4 years ago, I've been able to rack up over 250,000 views on my channel.
When you consider the fact that all of my videos are geeky tutorials and most of them appeal to a tiny segment of the huge demographic of the typical YouTube audience, I'm quite pleased with that achievement.
As I've mentioned here before many times, it also makes my heart glad to know that I have encouraged some of my blogging friends to take content creation to the next level and start their own YouTube channels.
But I won't stop until YOU (that's right, I'm talking to YOU) record and upload your first YouTube video too. I think every blogger should be using video to boost their online rankings, build authority and make a deeper connection with their audience of fans and followers.
Here are a few YouTube SEO myths that are proliferating the internet, and since they might be holding you back, let put them to rest right here and now.
Myth #1 Don't waste your time uploading videos anywhere besides YouTube
You can find an audience for your videos on a lot of different platforms besides YouTube. Not taking advantage of other video platforms is the first one I want to address on this list of SEO myths and mistakes.
You can try DailyMotion, Viddler, PhotoBucket, Flickr and even Facebook too. Don't worry if you think that its going to take you a whole lot more time to upload your videos to all of those channels. You can use OneLoad to upload to all those destinations at the same time!
In this image, you can see some of my stats from OneLoad. Notice that YouTube makes up 89.7% of the total views of my videos. But if you turn that around, what it really means is that I got 11% more views just by uploading to those other sites. Not to mention that the views from Facebook, Flickr and PhotoBucket aren't even included in this. Here's a link to the video that shows you how simple it is to upload your video to all of these sites at once using OneLoad. Did I mention it's totally free?
Myth #2 You Can Get Google Authorship for a Youtube Video
Well the truth is that we used to get Authorship for our individual YouTube videos, but for some reason, Google decided to take away our profile images from the search listings.
Don't believe me? Here's what YouTube Authorship looked like before (notice my picture appears):
For the full explanation, watch the video. Google Authorship on YouTube has Vanished.
This change makes it more important than ever before that we use attractive custom thumbnail images on our video. I'm using TubeSlicer for this and you can find out more about it from Joey Kissimmee (this is an aff. link).
Myth #3 Make your YouTube video short because people have short attention spans
Well part of that statement is true. People do have short attention spans and everyone is always just plain old busy. That's why what you really need to do is make more engaging videos not shorter videos. Keep people interested by providing useful information that helps them solve a problem, or educates them, or entertains them. And if you find that your topic is really short, use annotations and playlists to send people to other videos.
I know we always want people to leave YouTube and come over to our blogs. But since we are talking about YouTube SEO myths, keep in mind that YouTube wants to keep people on their platform and the longer your video keeps them them, the more kred you get with YouTube.
I'll give you an example. Let's say you have a one minute video. People love the video and they watch it all the way to the end. That gets you excited because you figure YouTube is looking at your retention time and everyone is watching 100% of your video.
WRONG! Here's the real deal.
I made this mistake too. But but I learned is to forget about percentages and all of that math.
Let's try another example, this time I'll use one of my long videos. I created a tutorial for the SEOPressor Plugin. This is a 30 minute video – and you know what? YouTube loves to show this video in search results and so does Google, because the average watch time is over 7 minutes. Which means I did 7 times better than your 1 minute video, even though people didn't watch to the end.
I put a lot of work into making the SEOPressor video because I knew that anyone who purchased the plugin would need a full tutorial on how to set it up. [Here's my affiliate link if you want to get it too]. I added time stamps in the description box, to make it easy for people to jump to the part of the video were I cover the specific module they need help with. That encourages people to watch the video longer. If I didn't have the time stamps, they might skip around for a second or two and miss they part they need. Then eventually they would get frustrated, leave my channel and go off in search of another shorter video.
Takeaway: Be sure to use time stamps to make those long YouTube videos more user friendly.
Myth #4 There's a formula to get your YouTube videos ranked number one every time
I bet you knew this one was coming right? I mean if you are a YouTube video creator than you have seen countless blog posts, videos and even podcasts where someone promises that if you follow their advice you'll get the secret of how to rank on YouTube in the first spot.
There's only one problem.
When you take a look at all the videos the person has uploaded to YouTube only one or two of them has a decent amount of views. There's no magic formula that works for every video. Even celebrities can't duplicate YouTube success from one video to the next. Gangham Style has well over 1 billion views, but Psy's other video view counts can't compare.
Side note: I just noticed that Psy is also using Daily Motion to get more views on Gangham Style. If you add the 400,000 views on Daily Motion to the 1.7 billion YouTube views and that brings his total view count to well over 2 billion. Now do you believe me about using Daily Motion?
Myth #5 We can't find the meta tags of popular videos because YouTube hides them
It's true that they did make the decision over a year ago to hide the list of tags for YouTube videos so they aren't visibly displayed on the video watch page. This is another one of those decisions that left YouTube video creators scratching their heads. But I will admit that a lot of us were “stealing” the tags from poplular videos in our niche and recycling them on our own videos. It saves people like me who don't like doing keyword research, a ton of time. I'm not exactly sure why they took those tags away from pubic view, but it's simple as pie to bring them back into view again.
You can use any browser extension for SEO to see the meta tags for other people's videos. In the past I recommened using SEO Site Tools or PageRank Status extensions for this. But now we have something even better.
VidIq Vision not only lets us see all the hidden YouTube tags, but we can even see social stats like Facebook shares and Tweets. I mentioned this extension previously, but since then they added even more features including counts for shares on LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Reddit.
In the top portion of the screenshot I demonstrate how VidIq displays stats and YouTube tags in the default view, and in the bottom portion you can see that if you click on “Tweets” you'll see a list of recent tweets for the video. This is a great way to discover new people to connect with on Twitter.
What's really important on YouTube
I'm not really an expert when it comes to SEO but I do have some pretty good resources for you to check out. The first one I recommend is ReelSEO and a panel Mark Robertson moderated called The Video Metrics That Matter. Hint It's Not Views. When I saw that title my first thought was Oh great, now they tell me! lol
Be sure to follow all three of the Rob's who made up this panel for more insights to what really matters for YouTube SEO and engagement.
If you want to get serious about having a successful YouTube channel you need to go beyond just using good titles, tags, descriptions, captions, thumbnails and annotations. Of course all of those things are important. I encourage you to go a little deeper and you'll see that it will pay off in the long run.
What are your thoughts about video SEO? Please share your YouTube tips and tricks in the comments below.