YouTube: Improving Your Videos’ Ranking in an Ocean of Content
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2019
H. Perras
Marketing Consultant and Speaker, Marketing, Montreal, QC, Canada

In order to get involved in the distribution of content on a new platform, it is important to understand its functioning and strategy. We need to know where it stands compared to other tools used to adapt the content accordingly. In the cases of YouTube and Facebook, both platforms encourage the distribution of videos, but the type and format of each one differ.

YouTube by the Numbers…

YouTube was created in 2005 by three former PayPal employees and purchased by Google in 2006. The 1st video published in 2005 came from the San Diego zoo, and the showcase of animals—especially in comical situations—still attracts a lot of views.

The site now has more than 1.9 billion users per month, who watch each day more than 1 billion hours of videos, which represents more than Netflix’s and Facebook’s combined videos.

YouTube has launched local versions in more than 91 countries; you can browse in a total of 80 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population). YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine to the world and the 3rd most visited website after Google and Facebook.

Searches for “How to?” type videos increase 70% year after year, demonstrating that YouTube is a powerful educational tool. Some experts suggest the possibility that YouTube could play a key role in the education of young people and the specialization of workers, especially in countries where education is less accessible.

In an average month, 8 out of 10 people aged 18 to 49 are watching YouTube. Men represent 62% of users. Age groups of 35 and over and 55 and over constitute the fastest growing audiences on YouTube. In addition, 37% of 18 to 34-year-olds binge-watch YouTube. And YouTube draws about one third of all Internet users.

Facebook vs. YouTube Videos

Since Facebook’s algorithm prefers shorter videos, it is better to post videos of less than 60 seconds, while YouTube favours videos of 5 minutes or more.

YouTube is ideal for longer music videos and detailed tutorials (e.g., how to?), while quick promotional content has more success on Facebook.

Most YouTube videos are discovered during searches on site and on Google, or in the form of suggestions based on other videos. Facebook videos are only viewed in the first place by people who like your page. This may change if the video is liked, commented upon or shared. 85% of the people do not enable sound on Facebook, while sound is by default enabled on YouTube.

A Few Tips to Improve your Video SEO on YouTube

Create your channel and select a striking graphic which stands out from others for the illustration that appears in the form of a banner at the top of your YouTube page (channel banner: recommended format 2560 x 1440 pixels).

Make longer videos of 8 to 12 minutes. Why? Because YouTube measures the performance of its platform by the average viewing per session of users. On YouTube, longer videos surpass shorter videos in search and video suggestions algorithms.

The first 30 seconds are critical to capture the attention of the user. Take for example trailers on Netflix that determine if you will watch an entire series. You must be succinct and quickly enter the heart of the matter, explaining to the user the benefits of listening to your video. Don’t waste too much time introducing yourself. Be confident and engaging!

The beginning of your video should include a snippet of the subject matter. YouTube analyzes images to catalogue videos, the first images are therefore important. For example, if your topic is cutting claws on dogs, put at the beginning a picture or a segment representing that.

Choose for your title specific keywords including the topics covered in your video. The same keywords must be found in the title, in the tags (to be entered when you program the video in the interface) and in the description. Don’t put too many, though; YouTube being a search engine similar to Google, you don’t want to make too wide a search field.

Titles are critical for click-through rates (CTR). Start with the most important keyword. Also, be aware that having a number in a title increase the CTR; for example, “Walking your dog on a leash: our 5 foolproof tips.”

Add end-of-slides which allow to suggest other videos from the same channel as well as a subscribe to the channel button.

At the end, remember to insert a call to action asking a specific question to users so that they comment under the video. This level of commitment has a huge impact in the SEO of the videos. It should be noted that there are four types of actions on YouTube: Like - Share - Comment - Subscribe.

In this era when young people learn a lot online and in video form, positioning oneself as an expert on YouTube on animal health care is an attractive approach. You can put related explanatory videos on your website to refer your clients seeking explanations on how to clean ears or walk a dog on a leash. Finally, never underestimate the synergistic effect between Google and YouTube for your online presence’s SEO.


Speaker Information
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H. Perras
Montreal, QC, Canada