We all know that YouTube is a giant of the internet. It’s the second largest search engine out there right after Google and is responsible for over ninety billion page views every single month! Madness. It’s also a key player in driving traffic to other websites. It’s easy to see why you’d want a piece of the pie in such a case.
The fact is that there are many nuances to YouTube and the manner in which you upload your content. As it’s a closed system these white hat techniques are helpful and perfectly benign – that doesn’t mean they are ineffective though. Quite the opposite.
It’s a common case that people will upload their videos to YouTube and not get views as they feel they should. This all comes down to search. YouTube videos are no different from pages in that they need to be optimized in order to reach the maximum amount of people.
We’ll assume your content is on point and of good quality to warrant a high view count and subscriber rate. Instead of worrying about the video content, we’ll go over five simple YouTube SEO tips you can’t afford to miss in order to get to the top of the YouTube ladder in your chosen niche.
Use These YouTube SEO Tips to Make Your Videos Searchable
Before we get started on these tips it’s worth noting that YouTube has its own algorithm separate from Google, which it uses to rank videos.
You can buy YouTube traffic but this alone isn’t enough to be sure that you will have a good organic ranking.
View time is a big part of your ranking on YouTube If someone starts watching but quits out in a few seconds you are looking at a negative impact on your ratings.
Critically, the one-minute point is a desirable metric. Most YouTube videos now are designed around this to both bring in revenue and increase their rankings in one fell swoop.
Thumbnails play a part in this and are down to you – we’ll instead go over techniques that have more to do with good old keywords.
So let’s get started.
1. The title
The big one. Your title is a critical part of your SEO strategy for YouTube You need to of course have a title that is attention-grabbing, succinct, and informative.
Your title needs to be friendly to a wide range of viewers and easily understood. It’s best to avoid overly technical language as a result unless your video is specifically referring to a product or the like which will be specifically searched for.
A key tip is to take full advantage of the fact that YouTube auto-suggests as you fill in the search field. You can use this to fill in a few words along the lines of what your video is regarding see what people are going for.
2. The description
Next on the table is the text body available to describe your video. This is a goldmine for SEO and links.
People will usually look at a video description on YouTube for further information mentioned in the video itself and also for useful links to content and a brief run-down of the video without the need to view it fully.
The key here is that the first two to three lines are critical when it comes to ranking within the search engine.
You need to make sure that these first three sentences cover the full video content. It’s also a good opportunity to use keywords from your auto-complete work covered above.
Important: if a keyword searched matches the first two lines of the description in your video you’ll get a higher ranking. Don’t miss out on that one.
It’s worth noting that while you need to maximize your SEO with the description it still needs to accurately reflect the content and goals of the channel to increase organic ranking.
3. The file name
The actual file name for your upload is, surprisingly, an important element to consider. You don’t want to make the mistake of uploading your video with the file name as “movie001.mp4” or the like.
Make sure your video file names are in line with your keywords, as you will be using them in your descriptions and titles.
The reason for this is that the YouTube search engine can’t actually look at the video content itself. The algorithm will work off your video file name and will significantly contribute to the ranking and indexing you’ll receive.
This is a fantastic way to get your video on the way to listing, particularly as you can have an immediate boost while the video is tied up in processing.
Keep it in line with your keyword strategy and you’re good to go. Remember that it’s only you seeing this one but the benefit will impact your rankings.
4. Use the closed caption feature
This feature as we all know is a text overlay, which can guide the viewer or point them toward different content. CC can be translated into various languages and can contain the actual text of what was being said in the video.
YouTube now has an algorithm that will convert any voice into a text transcript. It’s far from perfect and is often the butt of many a joke but it is there and with clear video content it can help your indexing.
The reason for this is again, down to keywords. It gives YouTube another way to index your video without having fully viewed the video file, which it can’t do just yet.
Working with this will help make sure that you are hitting those valuable keyword points wherever it’s possible. You can even use services such as captions for YouTube to help do this for you.
5. Tags and researching your keywords
Finally, we come to the subject of tags. These again feed into the keyword strategy and help you hit that topic from all available angles.
There are a couple of brief tips to go over first.
Specific tags – you can use your keywords here first which will help you rank as YouTube’s algorithm sees fit.
General tags – You can put in a general and a matching keyword in to help your video be picked up in related searches that don’t include your main keywords.
There’s a helpful tool called Tubebuddy that you can use to analyze which tags are best to use with your video and its specific content. It’ll help show what your own ranking for a keyword is as well. It’s a very powerful tool and could have a significant impact in guiding your keywords accurately.
With the above points in mind and the smart use of tools like Tubebuddy to guide you, you’ll find that your work will result in excellent SERPs. Keeping it consistent with guided and accurate keywords through hitting all these YouTube SEO Tips will give your videos a leg up over the competition without anyone having even clicked on your thumbnail. Great!