• YouTube Optimization: Tips to Help Your Videos Rank Above the Competition

    YouTube Optimization

    With YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world (behind only Google) doesn’t it seem that attorneys without a YouTube channel to represent their firms are at a marketing disadvantage? Showcasing your brand, work environment, staff members and specialties of your firm through the use of video is a strategy growing in popularity with lawyers worldwide. However, even if you produce some of the most unique and compelling video content, what good does it do if your videos aren’t easily found by your target audience, i.e. potential clients? This is where we will begin discussing the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your YouTube videos. Simply put, effective YouTube optimization can help boost your video’s rankings and give you a leg up in the competitive realm of digital marketing. So you’ve created a great new video highlighting your firm as one of the greatest ever… Excellent! Now let’s talk about how to get it seen.

    Hit the Ground Running For Effective YouTube Optimization:

    YouTube ranks their videos based on an algorithm that takes a number of factors into account. Their sole purpose is to keep people on their platform as long as possible. The number of views, viewing duration, shares, the number of videos a viewer watches after yours, the length of your videos (the longer the better) and the frequency of your video uploads all determine your searchability ranking. In addition, the first 24 to 48 hours after uploading your video are the most crucial for recognition. The more views your video has within this timeframe, the more likely it is to gain a top ranking in the long-term and also show YouTube that your brand is notable and worth the high listing.

    Now that we’ve established that the time directly after upload is key, let’s backtrack a bit and delve into the pre-upload optimization strategies.

    Keyword Research:

    In order for you to know which keywords rank the best, you’ll need to invest some time to research. A simple search of videos using the keywords that most closely relate to your firm’s brand and video content will shed some light on what words you should be adding to the various fields of your video. YouTube awards those using relative keywords that accurately depict what to expect when searching for a particular video, so choosing the right ones is of the utmost importance.

    Naming Your File:

    Your video file name should not only include what the viewer can expect to see, but should also the keywords you want to rank for. If you’re uploading a video about services that your firm provides, a sufficient name for the file could be “law_firm_services_video.mp3”. Be sure to name your file appropriately before uploading it.

    YouTube Optimization - Video Manager snapshot

    Titling Your Video:

    Much like the file name, the title of your video should contain your keywords. This will make it clear to viewers what the video is about as well as making your keyword usage uniform. Typically, you’ll want to include your keyword at the beginning of the video title. It’s recommended to make your title at least 5 words long so you can fit in the necessary keywords as well as any other words describing the content.

    Video Description:

    Any keywords that you want to rank for should be added to the very beginning and used 2-3 times within the video description. Make it as accurate to the content as possible in at least 250 words. Relevant links, such as your firm’s website, can boost traffic and click-thru rates by including them within the description.


    In the “tags” field, add the words you think people will be searching forYouTube Optimization that are related to your video. Include as many relevant tags as you can, as YouTube does not penalize you or hurt your ranking for an exorbitant amount. Add your keywords, your firm’s name, taglines, and other related words that pertain to your content. The tags most specific to the video should be listed first, whereas general tags should be listed after. The more the merrier! In addition to targeted tags helping your video rank higher, it can also help it show up more often in the “related videos” sidebar section.

    Thumbnail Images:

    The images you display as your video thumbnails must be uniform for YouTube optimization. Your brand should be clearly displayed, which in the case for attorneys, should be your professional headshot to show you as the face of the firm. Be consistent with all of your thumbnail images.


    This interactive feature can come in the form of a note, quote bubble, or other highlights that appear at a certain point in your video. Annotations can be used to sway viewers to click on a link to visit your website, social channels or even schedule a consultation with you. As long as you aren’t bombarding the entire video with unnecessary links, this can assist in hiking your rank.

    Getting More Views:

    The number of views on your video is a crucial component to ranking success. One way of driving more traffic to your content is by embedding the video on your email signature, your law firm’s website (such as in a blog), all of your social channels and office newsletters. Another strategy is to share your video link on Q&A or information forums that are related to your content, like “Quora” or “Yahoo! Answers“. Important Note: If you do decide to do this, be sure to add the link that directs them straight to your video on YouTube, NOT your website or social channels. Adding links that lead to your firm’s platforms is considered “spammy” and can get you banned from those forums.

    It’s just that simple! Once you’ve created compelling and relative videos, you’re ready to optimize for SEO and publish on YouTube to show off your awesome firm for the world to see. Interested in seeing a fellow attorney’s channel in action?

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