YouTube is currently the second most used search engine in the world. Simply put, YouTube is a powerful platform for marketing your business. But if you're not using SEO tactics to boost your visibility, you're missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
In this quick guide, we'll share some tactics that you can use to improve your ranking on the platform. So whether you're just starting or you've been using YouTube for a while, these tips will help you boost your YouTube SEO efforts, get more views, and reach a wider audience.
What Is YouTube SEO?
YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your YouTube videos to rank higher in YouTube search results.
Just like with traditional SEO, YouTube SEO involves using the right keywords, tags, and descriptions to help YouTube algorithms understand what your video is about and match it with the right audience.
This also means that, like traditional SEO, YouTube SEO can be a little tricky. This is because YouTube ranking factors are constantly changing. While that doesn't mean you shouldn't create SEO content for YouTube, it simply means that you need to stay up to date on the algorithm and audience changes.
However, by keeping up with the latest changes and following best practices, you can ensure that your videos are as visible as possible. And when your videos are more visible, that means more views, subscribers, and engagement for your channel.
Why YouTube SEO Matters
There are a lot of benefits to learning how to boost your YouTube SEO efforts. For one, it can help you get more views on your videos. And if your videos are getting more views, that means you have a better chance of ranking higher in search results.
Plus, optimizing your videos can also help you target specific keywords and audiences, which can lead to even more views and subscribers. In other words, YouTube SEO is important because it can help you get more eyes on your content.
And the more eyes you have on your content, the better your chances of becoming successful on YouTube. This, in turn, can lead to increased conversions, improved brand visibility, and best of all: the potential for monetization.
What Are YouTube Ranking Factors?
Similar to Google, YouTube's algorithm is a closely guarded secret. However, there are a few key factors that are known to influence rankings.
One of the most important is engagement, which includes factors like watch time, comments, likes, and shares. YouTube also considers the number of views and click-through rate when ranking videos.
Additionally, YouTube looks at the relevance of your video title and tags, as well as the quality of your thumbnail image. Optimizing for these YouTube ranking factors can help you drive more traffic to your videos and build a successful channel.
Optimization Strategies for YouTube
Understanding that YouTube places importance on things like keywords and video descriptions is great. However, it's only part of the battle when it comes to creating successful YouTube content. You also need to understand how to optimize those factors.
If you're not seeing the kind of success you'd like with your YouTube channel then sit tight and scroll through these ten YouTube SEO tactics. Treat this list like a mini checklist and work through it every time you publish a new video.
Choose a Target Keyword
If you're looking to optimize your YouTube channel, one of the best places to start is by choosing a target keyword. This is a word or phrase that you want your videos to rank for in search engines.
When selecting a target keyword, it's important to choose a target keyword that is relevant to your content and has a good amount of search volume. Once you've selected a target keyword, you can begin optimizing your channel and videos for that keyword.
This involves using the target keyword in your video title, description, and tags. You can also use it in your video's file name and throughout the video itself.
Choose The Right Title
Your video's title is what people will see first when they search for a video, so it's important to make sure that it's both accurate and engaging. A good title should be descriptive and keyword-rich, but it should also be catchy and easy to remember.
A great way to come up with a good title is to think about what people would search for if they were looking for a video like yours. Once you have a list of potential keywords, try to combine them into a single phrase that is both informative and attention-grabbing.
Optimize Your Video Description
While you don't want to stuff your description with keywords, it is important to include some key phrases that will help optimize your video for search engines.
How long should your description be? In the Semrush study linked above, they found that more than half of the videos that ranked at the first position had over 50 words in the video description. This was longer for videos with the keyword how to in the title.
Include keywords in your titles, thumbnails, and descriptions for your YouTube videos. Channel SEO is beneficial to brand awareness for your business and adding keywords to YouTube is a very simple step to improve your channel's optimization and searchability.
By adding relevant keywords to your channel, you can reach a wider audience and ensure that potential clients or viewers can find your videos more easily. In addition, keywords can help you to target specific audiences and demographic groups.
Create Engaging Thumbnails
Your thumbnail is what appears on YouTube when someone is searching for a video or scrolling through their feed, and it's your first chance to make a good impression. A great thumbnail will grab attention and make people want to click on your video.
There are a few things you can do to create engaging thumbnails, but the best YouTube SEO ideas for thumbnails include:
- Using bright colors
- Making the thumbnail relevant
- Including the title in a way that stands out
Don't try to cram too much information into your thumbnail. A clean, professional-looking thumbnail is more likely to be clicked on than a busy one. When in doubt, look at some of the most viewed videos for your keyword and take a look at their thumbnails for inspiration.
Use Closed Captions
If you want to ensure that your YouTube videos are accessible to as many people as possible, it's important to use closed captions. Closed captions are a text version of the audio track for a video, and they can be displayed on-screen or accessed through a transcript.
This is especially important for people with hearing impairments, but it can also be helpful for people who are watching a video in a noisy environment or who don't speak the same language as the video's audio track.
In addition to making your videos more accessible, using closed captions can also help you reach a wider audience as they're one of YouTube's ranking factors.
Creating playlists for your YouTube videos is a great way to help optimize your channel for SEO. Not only will it help organize your content, but it will also give viewers an easy way to find related videos.
You can create a playlist by clicking the "Add to" button below a video and selecting "Create new playlist."
Give your playlist a title that accurately describes its contents, and then add a description. Be sure to include keywords that you want to rank for, as this will help YouTube index your playlist more effectively.
Once you've created your playlist, be sure to promote it on your other social media channels and your website. By making it easy for viewers to find all of your related content in one place, you'll be more likely to keep them engaged with your channel.
Include Annotations and End Screens
You can include annotations anywhere in your video, but it's generally best to put them near the beginning or end so that people have time to read them.
End screens, on the other hand, are only shown at the end of a video. Both are great ways to promote your channel or other videos that you think people will enjoy. This increases the time viewers spend on your channel and encourages them to continue viewing your content.
When you add hashtags to your video, you're essentially tagging your video with certain keywords that describe the content. YouTube then uses these keywords to index your video, making it more likely to show up in search results.
But it's not just enough to add any old hashtag to your videos. You need to choose the right hashtags, ones that are relevant to your video and that have a relatively high search volume.
Promote Your Videos
Finally, a component you'll see in most YouTube SEO strategies is to promote your videos! After all, YouTube doesn't do this organically for you. There are several ways to promote your videos, and the most effective method will vary depending on your goals and audience.
However, some general tips for promoting your videos include:
- Creating engaging titles and descriptions
- Using relevant keywords
- Posting your videos on social media
- Engaging with the YouTube community
Promoting your videos takes time and effort, but it is well worth it if you want your videos to reach a wide audience.
Get Help With Growth Hacking Strategies
Learning how to boost your YouTube SEO is only one part of a successful marketing strategy. Learning about YouTube SEO tactics can help, sure, but all businesses can benefit from taking a growth-hacking approach.
Don't wait any longer. Let us help you take your business to the next level with our proven growth hacking strategies!