So, YouTube is now the number 2 search engine with an estimated 30% or all searches in the US taking place there.

Here in the UK internet users watch an average of 117.7 videos per month (that’s 161 million hours of video content per month! – according to ComScore – Video Metrix – Sept 16th 08)

If you have video content, or want to create videos to promote your products and services, its worth spending a little time to ensure your content gets ranked well for search. Because it relatively new its nowhere near as competitive as you might think.

There are two scenarios – you may want to host your videos on YouTube and the many other video hosting sites (YouTube is tops with 44%, Google video second – then a string of others – see below). Alternativley you may want to host the videos yourself – or indeed both. There are guidelines for both scenarios below:-

1. On your own site

– dedicate a page to each video

– ensure there is lots of textual content around the video describing it and including important keyphrase repetitions (as standard SEO). You could ideally use a keyphrase rich transcript of the video

-ensure the video url contains the target keyphrase

– ensure the video filename contains the target keyphrase

– where possible add metadata (via your video editing software) – title, description etc as standard SEO

– ensure the web page the video is on is also optimised – title, description etc as standard SEO (ensure the words ‘video’, ‘clip’ etc are included in the keyphrase targets)

-In addition, ideally…..

-include a few anchor text rich links from your own webpages and external sites

-include a RSS facility

use a sitemap – see Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Introducing Video Sitemaps

2. On YouTube and other external video sites

-ensure video is tagged with relevant keywords

– ensure it is in the most appropriate category

-overdub the video with your domain name

– ensure you include a clickable domain name back to your site

-ensure the title and description include your target keyphrases (you can use Youtube to see what the most popular phrases are in your category)

-Ideally get a couple of friends to ‘rate’ your video – ratings (good or bad) have a strong impact on rankings

-YouTube is the most popular but Google video, Brightcove and Metacafe are also very popular. You could use Tubemogul to submit to all major video hosting platforms

… Finally, for both on-site and externally hosted, you could get references to relevant blogs to increase the exposure and the links

There’s more info here