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More and more local businesses are using YouTube as a way to advertise their products and services, and are having great success in doing so.

If you’re ready to expand your brand visibility on YouTube, we’ve come up with a cheat sheet to help you avoid common mistakes, and get more exposure faster!

You Need Top Rankings in Google

Google, the #1 search engine, now owns YouTube, which is why now you see videos popping up in its organic search results. By properly tagging your videos and using keywords that help it to get found is important. Since there aren't a lot of videos showing up in Google when you search for services, like "discrimination lawyer New York City" or "pizza delivery Miami", this means that there is a major opportunity for your business videos to get exposure in organic search results.

Make sure to optimize your videos with those targeted keywords. Avoid manipulating your search results with fake channel subscribers, thumbs up votes and comments. You want to generate these naturally by producing video content that is high quality and authentic. Create a YouTube channel and publish them there or on a channel that aggregates that has legitimate subscribers.

Here are a couple of ways you can get better Google rankings for your YouTube channels:

  • Make sure your titles have local targeted keyword phrases. For instance, if you are a carpet cleaner in New York City, then you need to make sure that's somewhere in your video title. Your title should also have other words that are relevant to the video as well.
  • Check to ensure your local targeted keywords are included in your video descriptions. Your descriptions on YouTube are allowed to be between 500-600 words. As a rule of thumb, you should place the keyword phrase in the beginning, and use different variations of the phrase throughout the rest. Long tail keywords are great for this purpose.
  • Upload a transcript of your videos, which can help to reinforce your videos, since your videos are likely about your products or services. Google looks at this, so it will also help your rankings.
  • Use playlists to optimize your YouTube channel.

    If you look on YouTube, you'll find most business channels with one single video. Most people don't have many ideas for additional videos, so instead playlists can be used to leverage your channel. You can do this by optimizing your playlists with targeted keyword phrases. Make sure that the videos you include in those playlists are relevant to those keywords.
  • Make sure your video file has keywords. Don't make the mistake that other local business owners make, who don't include keyword phrases in their. .mp4 and .mov video files. For example, your file name should look something like this: carpet-cleaner-New-York-City.mp4. Obviously, this will help to further reinforce your Google rankings.
  • Use custom thumbnails for your YouTube channel. If you're allowed to upload thumbnail images, choose something that will identify your brand, rather than something generic. The standard size for thumbnail images is 1280 x 720. You could use an image of your logo. This helps to draw attention from visitors and helps with Google search results.
  • Share all of your YouTube videos on all of your social media accounts. You should also embed your video as much as possible. One way to do this is to embed the video on your landing page located on your blog or Web site.

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Use Citations to Leverage Your Video SEO

Another way to improve your SEO rankings for local business videos is to using citations. The volume and authority of your local business citations are huge factors in how well you rank in search engines. But what exactly is a citation? It's your business name, address and phone number that' published throughout the Internet.

However, the more high quality your citations the better. These are listings that match the citation you use on your Google local business page exactly. The more citations you have that match your business page on Google, the better it will be for your local search results.

The authority of these citations, on the other hand, is based on the Web sites they're placed on. This too holds weight on how well your rankings will be in Google. This is where YouTube comes into play. For instance, your YouTube homepage is a PR9 and the site gets billions of views monthly, which makes it have a high authority. So each time you create a new video for your YouTube channel, make sure to include your business name, phone number, address and Web site URL, to the video descriptions. This will give your citations the authority it needs to boost your SEO.

Create and Optimize Your YouTube Videos

Because YouTube is owned by Google, you can put to use this resource to help increase your rankings in local search. YouTube videos have proven to be a valuable way to promote your brand, thanks to the high amount of searches it gets, which is around 3 billion searches monthly. Out of these 3 billion searches, it's likely that there's a small percentage in there who is looking for your business, service or product locally.

Leveraging your YouTube videos is one of the best ways to influence your search on YouTube and increasing your chances of being found on Google. Combining together the use of metro targeted keywords, descriptions, thumbnails, playlists and citations, you should be able to push forward in your SEO campaign with great results in return.

Just make sure that your videos are useful to the viewer (not just a blatant self-promotion) and that you analyze the traffic they're receiving. Give these tips a try and see if you can dominate local search results for your business industry!

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