YouTube videos can pack a real punch when it comes to driving traffic and getting attention, but to bask in golden light of virality you first need to effectively garner visibility and draw a sizable crowd. And you can take the first step in the right direction by optimizing your YouTube video for better visibility. 

In this post, I’ll discuss a few key things that you need to know about getting the most out of your YouTube SEO efforts.

1. Ensure that all video descriptions are keyword-rich and contain at least one URL that links back to your website. This step is especially critical because an optimized description can vastly improve the visibility and search engine-friendliness of a given video.

2. Videos are invisible to search engines, so while submitting a video transcript (in lieu of a description) isn’t absolutely necessary, it is quite helpful if your video contains a number of keywords that you’d like to rank for. But then again, perhaps you’d want to tailor your descriptive context to sell the video rather provide a mere transcript. It’s your call.

3. Titles should always be optimized for maximum visibility. Plus, YouTube offers users the ability to add captions to and annotations to your videos, further improving their visibility levels. In fact, you can leverage these features to include extra links, social media initiatives and even a call to action.

4. Proper keyword selection and tagging are essential to any SEO effort on YouTube. As always, remember to be judicious in defining your keyword selection process – you don’t want to dilute your ranking by over-optimizing your video and that means keep things under 4 keywords. Now that might not make too much sense to you, but bear in mind that I’m only talking about your main keywords. YouTube allows a tag limit of 500 characters per video, and that gives you a chance to tag your main and secondary keywords while connecting the video with other popular posts.

5. Remember to allow people to embed your video on to their blogs and enable sharing across different social networks. Nearly all videos that have skyrocketed in search engine rankings have first been embedded across content-rich websites, many with additional content to place the video in context. Also, remember to extensively promote your video across social bookmarking sites and content indexes.

Next, place a digital watermark in the upper corner of any and all videos that you release. This will help reinforce your brand colors and emblem.

On a final note, Youtube Insights provides users with lots of great user and viewing metrics including global popularity levels - broken down into regional levels of interest - and data on when users stopped viewing your videos. While the information on offer may seem relatively basic to most professionals, it’s certainly better than nothing.