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Picking phrases and concepts to highlight

From: Video SEO Basics

Video: Picking phrases and concepts to highlight

Say you know your topic and you're ready to create some videos. But you still need to know what specific key phrases you should use in the video title, in the description, and in other text elements of the video. There's an important distinction between a topic and a key phrase. A topic is your subject. For example, how do I climb hills faster? A key phrase is a specific phrase that you think folks will use to find videos on this topic. For example, cycling climbing techniques.

Picking phrases and concepts to highlight

Say you know your topic and you're ready to create some videos. But you still need to know what specific key phrases you should use in the video title, in the description, and in other text elements of the video. There's an important distinction between a topic and a key phrase. A topic is your subject. For example, how do I climb hills faster? A key phrase is a specific phrase that you think folks will use to find videos on this topic. For example, cycling climbing techniques.

The topic is very very general. The key phrase requires a bit of a look inside your audience's heads. Because you need to anticipate exactly how they're going to search for the answer to their question. To understand that you need to understand the words they commonly use, it's tricky, but there's some great keyword tools out there that can help. You can use the keyword data that various video hosting services offer. YouTube has a tool and I'll give you the URL for that in a moment, where you can go in and just type in the phrase and get specific data on that phrase.

You can see here this is giving me terms, volumes of possible, and of course the ability to add those terms to an advertising campaign, which I'll talk about in a moment. Even terms that show up with not enough data are still getting some search traffic. So I can look at these phrases, see the terms they have in common and figure out the best phrase to use in my video title description and in the video itself. And the address for that tool is Youtube.com/keyword_tool. And I'll also show all the URL's of different tools I talk about at the end of this video. One very important caution about the YouTube tool, it is designed for people who are buying advertising on YouTube.

That data it provides is supposed to help advertisers figure out where to place their ads. That means the numbers probably aren't 100 percent accurate from the perspective of a video content creator. Because a number one position in the regular rankings on YouTube, will not get you a 50, 60, 70 percent share of total search volume. But in my experience, they're a good way to choose the top search phrases because they still show their relative difference in traffic between phrases. So even if the numbers aren't precise, the difference between the phrases is usually very, very accurate. So it's a great tool for that kind of comparison.

You can supplement your YouTube queuer research with other tools as well. Like Google Suggest, YouTube suggestions will let you see the most popular searches relating to a particular phrase. So, you can start typing a phrase into the search box on any page of YouTube, and see what appears in the little drop down. Those are great suggestions for search phrases. There are lots of non-video tools as well. Some of my favorites are commercial tools like WordTracker, Keyword Discovery and SEMRush. I also like to use Google suggest as a broader check for questions and I like to use the Google Adwords keywords tool but again you have to keep in mind this is designed for advertisers. It's not designed for people looking for what I would call organic or natural search data.

You can find the AdWords keyword tool at this address and once you have that data you can sort of do a sanity check on the phrases you choose by taking a look at another tool called GoogleTrends. To make sure you aren't catching a phrase as it's popularity is trailing off. And that's really important, you don't want to put a lot of effort into a topic or phrase and then find out that people are no longer interested. And the URL for this tool is google.com/trends. A few critical rules to keep in mind when you're selecting your key phrase.

First of all, choose one or two at most. You don't have much room to optimize the title and description in your video. Right, it's going to be short. It's only going to be 60, 80 characters. So focus on one phrase, or if you have two phrases that overlap, like cycle and climbing. And cycling climbing tips, maybe on two in general I prefer to focus on one. Use the audience's language. An example I always like to use is if you sell running shoes, don't talk all the time about athletic footwear, that's not the phrase people will use to find you. They don't think of their shoes as athletic footwear, they think of them as running shoes.

Remember, even if you think your audience is using the wrong key phrase, you need to optimize for the phrase that they're going to use. You can always steer them in the right direction later on, but you have to get them to find you first. Also, don't worry about competition at least, don't worry about competition as much as you might in conventional SEO. Since there's so many different factors involved in video rankings. You have a better chance about ranking really tough competitors in video SEO than you would in normal SEO. Obviously you should pick the easier phrase if it's just as good. But remember that you always have a shot at a top ranking. One secret weapon I like to use for keyword research. You can actually look at competitor videos and use the YouTube keyword tool to extract the best keywords from those videos.

Here's how you do it, first, go to a competitors video on YouTube. Copy the address of that page, the URL. Go to the YouTube keyword tool, change the setting under how would you like to generate keyword ideas from descriptive words or phrases to YouTube video idea URL. And then paste in the URL you just copied, and then click Get Keyboard Ideas. Poof! You get a list of all the keywords and phrases that YouTube feels are relevant to that particular video.

As promised, here's the three URLs of the tools that I talked about again. Now that you've watched this video, take some of the tools that you've learned about and go apply them to pick out specific keywords around the topics that you've chosen.

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Video SEO Basics

20 video lessons · 6393 viewers

Ian Lurie
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