YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine – second only to its parent company, Google. YouTube videos contain 8 out of 10 video search results. And the platform is continually increasing, with 500 hours of video per minute uploaded to YouTube.
How do you stop being lost in the video sea? Your best bet is to create and publish great videos, and then customize them to search using best practises for video SEO. You can create a solid YouTube SEO strategy with those tips.
You can know the fundamentals of search engine optimization for YouTube videos, such as using title keywords, meta description, and tags. Since search engines can only crawl text — not photos or audio — you need to get the most out of the text in your video. That is why it is so important for YouTube SEO to have a full, correct transcript.
What is YouTube SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ever-changing method of creating web content to improve ranking factors that rank high on the results pages of search engines (SERPs). Since search is often the gatekeeper of your content, it is important to optimize the search for your website in order to attract traffic and build a following.
YouTube SEO includes the optimization of your site, playlists, metadata, overview and the videos. You can customize the search for your videos inside and outside YouTube.
A key component of YouTube SEO is making use of the power of the text of your video in the form of transcripts, closed captions and subtitles.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel?
1. Research and Find Your Keyword
Just like you’d need a keyword for SEO optimization of your blog posts, you need a simple keyword for your video content. This actually is the core of your plan when it comes to successfully doing SEO for YouTube.
Here are a few ways to search for a keyword:
Use YouTube’s autosuggest: Type your content into the simple topic and see what’s coming up. There are ideas people actively check out on YouTube.
Use Google Trends’ YouTube Search feature: Google Trends will show you which searches are popular and will let you check the site on YouTube.
Research keyword volume with the YouTube SEO tool of your choosing: While several keyword research tools are available on the market, we highly recommend SEMrush. We were having good luck with Ahrefs as well.
Whichever approach you use, make sure your keyword is relevant to your content and can naturally be included in your title, subtitles and summary of the video.
2. Add Your Intended Keyword to Your Video Title
If you have your keyword in place and your video is registered, then you are now ready to begin optimizing with a few best practises for the YouTube SEO.
First let’s start with the title. You’ll have the chance to give it a name right after your video downloads.
It’s important to give your video a catchy title to get more people to click on it (just as getting a good topic for your emails would increase the open rates).
Your title should contain the keyword in a way that would sound obvious. For example, if your keyword was “YouTube SEO,” and you were only targeting people learning about YouTube, then your title would be “YouTube SEO for Beginners.”
Although titling your video with a keyword won’t magically rate your video at # 1, it definitely helps bring you somewhat closer to the YouTube algorithm.
3. Optimize Your Video Descriptions
You will have the opportunity to give your video a summary, directly under your title, and while doing so, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
4. Find your video's correct tags
Tags are also considered a best practise SEO after you have specified the meaning of your video and keyword.
Tags are a fantastic piece of metadata that provides a little more detail to YouTube and Google on what your video is about (remember, these search engines cannot “see” at videos like humans).
As a rule, the first tag should be your keyword followed by other words relevant to it. Don’t just sail overboard. Your best bet will be to stick to 5-10 tags per frame.
5. Categorize Your Video
You’ll want to place your video in a category at this stage to help users (and YouTube’s algorithm) find their videos more easily:
Think about your content, and what category it would better fit into. There are only 15 groups in total so you may not find exactly what you’re searching for.
In some cases, it might be difficult to distinguish between two identical categories (such as “Comedy” and “Entertainment”) but it is easier most of the time to assign the content to one.
6. Add a Custom Thumbnail
This is one SEO technique for YouTube that many video uploaders tend to ignore. When you upload your video to YouTube, you’ll get different options for an auto-generated thumbnail (your users will see the picture of your video in the search results).
But when it comes to YouTube SEO, your best bet is to upload a custom thumbnail that lets people click through to your video.
More than just having more views, these clicks will suggest to YouTube’s algorithm that your content is a common result (which will help you rank higher, accordingly).
7. Include End Screens and Cards
You now have the option to add cards and end screens to your video. Both are important components of your SEO strategy on YouTube.
Secondly, you can add end screens at the end of your video which are a way of showing users your relevant content.
There are various elements that you can add to the end screen, all designed to get your viewers to select one of your videos, subscribe to your channel, or support a similar channel. These elements will show up inside the limits of the blue box at the end of your frame.
You then have a function called “cards” that are like end screens but can be used in the video.
You may advertise another of your videos, or support a similar site, like end screens. In comparison to end screens, you can ask your viewers to take part in a survey that is a perfect way to improve user interaction.
The goal of all these cards is the same: to engage with your viewers for as long as possible and keep them with your content.
The longer they spend on your posts, the more positive signals are sent to the algorithm of YouTube.
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