How SEO Works On YouTube
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Did you know that YouTube is a search engine?
If you think about it, of course, it is. It has a search bar where you can type what video you want to see.
Therefore, as a search engine, it should be treated in the same way that other search platforms are in terms of search engine optimization.
Think about it.
How much time and effort, not to mention money, do you currently pour into your SEO efforts for Google?
The answer is probably A LOT.
So why would you not put the same effort into the largest source of videos online?
If you are not sure where to start when it comes to YouTube SEO techniques, don’t worry, the below YouTube optimization guide includes:
- Why SEO is important for YouTube
- How to make an SEO friendly YouTube video
- The best SEO techniques for YouTube videos
Why is SEO important for YouTube?
Video content has exploded in recent years, with an estimated 85% of all internet users in the United States watching a video online every month. Furthermore, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from their favorite brands.
Of course, not all your videos need to be shared on YouTube, but the ones you choose to share on this popular platform need to be high quality and optimized so that users can find them.
It is the same as creating content for Google; if you want your target audience to find your content easily, you need to know the best YouTube SEO strategies and YouTube video ranking tricks.
How can I create SEO friendly YouTube videos?
Whether you are making your first YouTube video for your business or have created many before but have not optimized them, it is crucial that you learn how to rank YouTube video fast if you want to blow your competition out of the water.
Find the right keywords
Even if you are used to carrying out keyword research for your SEO channel, it is worth knowing that finding keywords for video content is a little bit different.
You may have already noticed that searches for videos tend to start with “How to”, although this is not always the case.
One of the easiest ways to find keywords for video content is to type in your existing keywords into Google and see if any results show up from YouTube. You can then use an online tool such as Ubersuggest to find out how many monthly searches these keywords get.
Optimize your title
When it comes to SEO hacks in YouTube, this is arguably the simplest one to apply. All you need to do is ensure that you optimize your video content’s title with one of your chosen keywords.
As most people are looking for a video to solve a problem, make sure your title clearly conveys how your video can help users.
Optimize your tags
If you are looking for YouTube tags best practices, then you have come to the right place. In the same way that tags allow Google to understand and rank your content, tags on YouTube allow this platform to know what your video is about.
Top tips for writing and optimizing tags for YouTube include:
- Tags can be up to 120 characters long
- Create unique tags that contain your keywords
- Consider localizing your tags
- Use tagging with relayed topics and keywords to help your videos appear under “related content.”
The more comments you can get on the videos you post on YouTube, the better. In fact, in the same way that Google prioritizes popular content, so does YouTube. The more comments you can get, the more visibility you will enjoy online.
There are several ways in which you can encourage users to comment on your YouTube videos, including:
- End each video with a question
- Host a YouTube competition
- Leave the first comment yourself
- Replicate your best performing video
Ask users to subscribe
If you watch videos regularly on YouTube, you will know that most channels regularly ask their viewers to subscribe. This results in people watching your videos on a regular and consistent basis, something that YouTube looks upon favorably.
Although you can ask your viewers to like your videos, leave a comment and subscribe, your priority should be in converting one-time viewers into loyal subscribers.
Provide high-quality videos
Even with the best SEO techniques for YouTube videos globally, you won’t attract a lot of viewers without high-quality video content. That being said, high quality doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a professional videographer. If you have a smartphone and a little bit of camera expertise, you can create videos that your target audience will love to watch and share.
Ways in which you can improve the quality of your video content include:
- Invest in a tripod
- Add a backdrop
- Focus on good lighting
- Purchase a microphone
Create a good thumbnail
Although this will not directly affect your SEO score YouTube, it will make a difference in how many people notice and click on your video. By ensuring you create a stand-out thumbnail that effectively tells viewers what your video is about, you are pretty much guaranteed more clicks.
Top tips for creating an eye-catching thumbnail include:
- Use close-up images
- Choose bold colors
- Show human faces
- Include a few words of text
- Use an action shot
Add closed captions
Closed captions work by opening up your videos to a larger audience. Although they were actually created for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, they are now often used by marketers as an SEO friendly YouTube technique.
This is because they are crawlable by search engines, which means you can enjoy a little lift in the ranking by simply adding your own captions.
Share your videos on social media
This may seem obvious, but as YouTube is a social channel, it makes sense to share your videos across all your relevant social media platforms. Facebook is arguably the most important social media platform with over 2.7 billion monthly users, but that doesn’t mean that sharing your videos on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram isn’t also important.
Track your performance
As with all digital marketing methods, you need to make sure that you track your performance so that you can identify what it is working well and what isn’t. For YouTube SEO, you can do this by analyzing your audience retention report. This report will show you how long users spend watching your videos, as well as your top-performing video content.
Would you like help to optimize your video content for YouTube? Get in touch here today for expert SEO advice and even more YouTube ranking tricks!