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YouTube has emerged as the second largest search engine after Google. According to Amazon’s Alexa, YouTube is also the third most visited website in the world. People are increasingly interested in getting answers to their “how to” questions through YouTube videos because the answers are much more informative and engaging as compared to text. As a result, “how to” related searches on YouTube are growing 70 percent year on year.

You can boost the online visibility of your dermatology practice and improve the traffic to your website by creating patient-friendly and informative YouTube videos. However, if end up with great video content that no one is watching, it will defeat the purpose. Therefore, it is important to implement the right strategies to optimize your YouTube presence and ensure that your dermatology videos rank high in YouTube search results.

With the right approach, not only will you rank prominently in YouTube search, but also in Google’s video and web search. When your target audience views your videos, they will have the opportunity to click on your website links provided in every video. This will drive the traffic back to your website and help to build your practice brand. Include the videos also in your website and promote them via social media for greater exposure.

How to Optimize your YouTube Channel

You can launch a new YouTube channel for your dermatology practice or optimize an existing one. Follow these steps to achieve top search rankings in YouTube search for relevant localized keywords.

Channel Branding. Choose a well-branded name, banner, icon, and vanity URL for your YouTube channel. Make sure the banner and icon images for your channel are unique, high quality, and reflect the theme of your channel. To claim a vanity URL for your channel, you will have to wait until the channel is at least 30 days old, has uploaded channel art and photo, and has a minimum of 500 subscribers.

Your goal should be to work toward gaining a vanity URL so that the channel becomes well-optimized and easily memorable. Google’s YouTube Help provides additional details on how to qualify for a vanity URL.

Localized Keywords. Identify the most relevant keywords that are related to your dermatology practice and have substantial search volume. Place these keywords in the YouTube channel keywords element to enable the search engine to rank your channel appropriately.

Make use of the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool to analyze search volume data. In the keyword terms, include the local areas around your practice location to reach out to the targeted local audience.

Website Link and Description. In the channel settings, find the associated website feature to link your YouTube channel with your practice website. This linkage will help to create brand authority in the results in YouTube search. In the description section of the channel, include branded and keyword optimized content.

Accurate, relevant and optimized description will boost the search ranking of your YouTube channel. In the description, you can again include the link to your practice website as well as links to your social media accounts to enable easy navigation for your target audience.

YouTube Channel Homepage. Make use of the featured video option to create an impactful YouTube channel homepage. This option will let you highlight your flagship video that will play by default when an individual visits your channel homepage.

This can immediately grab the viewer’s attention, build engagement, and introduce them to your practice. You can also highlight specific video playlists on the homepage that will make it easy and quick for the visitors to discover your latest or most important video content.

Channel Promotion. Promote your YouTube channel by placing links prominently on your practice website homepage as well as in your social media profiles. You may also include the channel link in your email signatures and other forms of communication. The more you promote your channel, the more it will gain visibility, traffic, and authority.

Factors that Influence Ranking

YouTube video ranking is influenced by a number of factors, which must be considered while building and promoting your channel.

SEO Tags. The title, description, and keyword tags for your YouTube videos are critical to your video rankings. The title and description must be succinct, accurate, and keyword optimized to enable search engines to index and rank the video appropriately in search results.

Quality of Videos. Create HD videos for your YouTube channel instead of low quality videos. HD is a powerful user element, and YouTube search will highlight these videos. Low quality videos will not only rank poorly, but will also discourage your target viewers and subscribers and are more likely to receive dislikes and negative comments.

Viewer Response. Your video rankings on YouTube will be influenced by the number of likes, views, inbound links, and social shares that they achieve. The more you are able to publicize your video, the better its chances of receiving active viewer response.

To distribute new video content, share it on across your social networks, include it in email updates and newsletters, embed on your website and blog, and share on popular social platforms such as StumbleUpon and Reddit.

Annotations and Thumbnails. YouTube gives you the option to upload a custom thumbnail for each video. Use a vibrant, eye-catching, high quality image in order to achieve more views and clicks. Annotations will let you highlight text in your video, which could include your contact number, call to action, and relevant video notes. You may even ask viewers to like or share the video if they enjoyed it.

Closed Captions. If your dermatology video has spoken-word content, you can add closed captions. This feature will expose your content to a larger audience, including those who do not understand English and those who are hearing impaired. Search rankings of your videos will improve when you use such features.

Quality Content Connects

Online video marketing can dramatically improve the local search rankings and visibility of your dermatology practice and help to boost your online reputation. The bottom line is to create quality video content that connects with your target audience, educates them about new procedures and services, solves their problems, and adds great value.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of dermatologists.  With a team of 140+ full time marketers, helps dermatologists who know where they want to go get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.

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