I noticed something on my YouTube Channel today.
Something that is so smack-myself-on-the-forehead stupid, I couldn’t believe it.
Something that made such an exponential difference in increasing views for my videos I was astonished.
Something that made me say, “I should know better.”
Take a look at the screenshot below. These are all videos about keyword research, but one has exceptionally higher views than the others. Can you figure out the reason why?
It’s not totally obvious because YouTube truncated the video name of the first one.
It’s name is “Steal This Niche – How to Do Keyword Research.”
The other two vides have less keyword centric names (and, to be fair, the “Intro” vid was just uploaded to YouTube a couple of weeks ago – it had previously been hosted on Viddler and received about 8,000 views there). Their generic titles of “Intro” or “For the Shortys” won’t drive a lot – or any – keyword centered traffic.
But “How to Do Keyword Research,” the name of the first video, received 25,000 views. Everything else is the same – the vids were posted on my site, they were embedded as part of a keyword research training series, and I mailed my list when each one was initially published to let folks know they existed.
As much as I go on and on about keyword research, choosing the right keywords and on-page optimization, I got caught with my pants down here! I didn’t even USE proper keywords on those two lower view count videos and whaddya know, they didn’t get the same kind of traffic as keyword optimized vids.
Where that extra traffic came from might surprise you though. Here’s the stats from YouTube:
There were about 5,600 views from embeds – most likely views from the video being embedded here, on my own site.
But there were 12,948 from YouTube Suggested Video – that is, those videos that appear in the right hand sidebar or after a video when you’re done watching a clip. That’s where most of the bonus traffic from this video came from.
I want to take a minute to remind you (and myself) that while it’s unlikely I’ll rank on Page 1 of Google with my video for the highly competitive keyword phrase “keyword research,” it’s highly likely that YouTube identifies my video’s content and is able to drive MASSIVE traffic with *just* the “Suggested” function. I don’t even have to rank highly in YouTube’s regular search – and it doesn’t appear I do, with only 1,300 views coming from YouTube search. I just have to have appropriate keywords in my video title so that YouTube can display my video as “Suggested” and users, from the title, will understand what it’s about and click through.
Here’s a look at the videos that are referring “Suggested” traffic to my video:
While there’s one that’s sent about 1,700 views, you can see that overall, it’s a case of many videos sending a little traffic, not one huge spike from one source. It’s the long tail.
I’ve missed out on a combined 34,000 extra video views by not properly optimizing the titles on my other two vides.
I think the market was so focused on getting YouTube videos into Google search results as part of Universal Search that the idea of getting internal YouTube traffic was overlooked.
Here’s proof it’s there, and it’s WELL worth optimizing for.
Head on over to YouTube and check your videos – are there titles and descriptions you could update to be more keyword-centric?