With 48 hours of video content uploaded every minute, it’s no wonder YouTube has become the web’s second most popular search engine. YouTube videos have a direct feed into Google search results (see below), which means maximizing a video’s search exposure should be a critical task in the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts for companies and brands.

Here are a few key things PR professionals should do as part of the YouTube upload process to gain as much search exposure as possible for a client’s video content:

Structure your video title for search. 

The video title is the most important element for ranking well in search results because it’s one of the first places search engines look when ranking a video. Phrases and keywords in the video title determine which searches to rank the video for. Use the Google keyword tool to identify popular search phrases to include in your title.

Have a strong video description. 

You have 5,000 characters to work with, which is a lot, so try to make your video description at least 150 words. Also, include a link to your website, specifically to the page with content that corresponds to your video topic.

For example, if your video is about improving your financial situation and you have a relevant article on your website about the same topic, make sure your description includes that unique URL. Place the link at the top of the description, so users see it first.

Always include a call to action to your site. 

With YouTube garnering so much traffic, brands have an opportunity to tap into and monetize this traffic to drive purchases or conversions on their site. If you can, end your description with a call to action promoting a specific product or relevant service.

Implement at least six YouTube tags. 

Not to be confused with standard SEO website tags, YouTube video tags are exclusive to YouTube. It’s one of the many ways videos are categorized in searches and in relevance to other content. YouTube auto generates suggested tags, but you can also use the YouTube keyword tool to identify tags or create your own.

Choose the right category. 

Since YouTube allows users to drill down and find videos based on categories, be sure to select one that places your video among similar content.

Assign each video to a relevant playlist. 

When you create a playlist category, include a relevant word or phrase that has a lot of search volume behind it. For example, a credit-oriented channel could choose “credit education” as a playlist title and include all relevant content from the brand on the list.

Leverage video promotion tactics. 

While there are a variety of paid tactics you could consider using, there are several things you can do for free to bring more visits to your videos. First, share the video with your network via social media profiles, blogs, or email newsletter. Additionally, embed the video across similar themed pages on your website. A good example is how our client TransUnion embeds their credit education videos on their site.

As brands continue to move towards a publisher mindset and users go to YouTube to search for content, it remains a critical element to any content strategy. PR professionals should be sure to keep these tactics in mind when producing and promoting video content.

Author is Nick Papagiannis, Director of Interactive/Search for independent marketing and communications firm Cramer-Krasselt.  Original post can be found on Ragan’s PR Daily here.