Did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine behind Google? If you’re looking for ways to optimize your YouTube channel to get found by your prospects, then you’ve come to the right place! If you're just starting to create YouTube videos, you might get dejected at times seeing the low reach of your YouTube channel and videos, but one thing to keep in mind is that every channel, at one point, started with zero views and subscribers.
So how do some videos have millions of views, while another videos on the same topic have a very limited number of views? The answer to that is simple: YouTube SEO. With the right SEO strategy in place, you too can grow your YouTube views and subscribers. With that being said, here are the 10 tips you need to know for optimizing your YouTube SEO.
1. Focus on Select Keywords
Creating a few select keywords for each video will improve your their rankings. All search engines maintain the same search method of matching with the most relevant result. YouTube is the same too in this case. Look up some big-view videos on YouTube and you’ll notice that they’re focusing on select keywords rather than sentences to describe what the video is about. YouTube or not, keywords will determine the eventual reach of your audience. You can use tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush to find popular keywords for your videos.
2. Optimize Your Video Titles
Once you’ve selected your keywords, you can now focus on ways to optimize your video to boost your YouTube rankings. One of the best ways to do this is by having those keywords in the video's title. However, with thousands of videos going out every minute, keywords in the title just isn't enough to reach your viewers.
You need to make your titles compelling and inviting. Titles that promise something of value can be the most attractive to viewers. For example, a title like “10 real-life hacks that actually work” promises something of value, so it will be more likely to get your viewers interested in watching.
3. Optimize Your Video Descriptions
Besides optimizing your videos' titles, you need to optimize your videos' descriptions as well. The title is mainly directed towards catching the eye of a potential viewer, but good descriptions can help explain what the video is actually about.
YouTube descriptions will display the first 125 characters, so instead of writing 125, it’s recommended to have a description with 250 characters. It's also recommended to place your most important keywords at the beginning of the video description.
4. Include the Right Video Tags
After optimizing your title and description, you can also place your keywords in the video tag section. Video tags aren’t seen by normal uses as they are more for YouTube reference only. Because of this, the viewers won’t see what you are including in the tags. Feel free to add as many search terms or variations of your keywords, because the more diverse you can be with your keywords, the better chance your video has of appearing in YouTube search lists.
5. Produce an Engaging Script
You might think, what's the need of having a script? You might think that scripts give out wooden and robotic feelings while speaking and that a speech should come out as natural and spontaneous. Though all of that is true, scripting can give you a better chance to look natural and spontaneous while ensuring to not get sidetracked and lose viewers.
6. Keep People Watching
The longer a person watches your videos, the more "view time" your channel gets. That’s why it’s important to keep your viewers watching. However, one of the biggest problems most viewers have is the content is not always engaging to them. To make your content more engaging, you can add things like animations and jokes so that you can make yourself more relatable with the content that you’re creating. This will improve the overall ranking of your YouTube channel.
7. Engage with Your Audience
Do you know why nearly every successful content creator ends their video with these few phrases: “If you like this video give it a like, share and subscribe for more content…”
This is because SEO is affected by viewers’ engagement! Whenever your videos get any sort of engagement such as likes, comments or shares, it sends strong signal to YouTube that viewers liked this content. YouTube will then suggest to viewers more of your videos for them to watch.
8. Use Convincing Thumbnail Images
There are two things that a viewer notices first before anything else: the video title and the video thumbnail. And as visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than words, a thumbnail can make or break your video. By default, YouTube will assign a thumbnail from your video, but it's recommended to make a rather interesting thumbnail that will make people want to click on your video.
9. Connect with Your Audience Socially
It's also important to share your YouTube video and your YouTube channel on as many social platforms as possible. You can share your videos and channel on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and much more.
10. Include Closed Captions
As we’ve said before, the more views on your channel the better. There are a lot of people with various physical handicaps that don’t allow them to hear or see your video properly. For the convenience of those people, you can add closed captions to your videos. Though YouTube has an auto-closed caption system, it's not perfect and can lead to a bad experience. Closed captions can also be used for peoples of different languages.
If you're interested in discussing your current marketing strategy and how you can start to improve your SEO results on YouTube, and on your other digital channels, we invite you to schedule an inbound marketing consultation with our team.
Guest Blog Contributor: Kathrin Garner is an enthusiastic journalist and writes article on social issues. As an activist, she takes part in FV KASA program, and also searches for current issues, and writes about those to a wide range of readers around the globe.