Are you looking for a detailed answer on how YouTube SEO functions? Do you want to optimize your videos according to its algorithm? Then, keep reading as you have landed at the right place. In this article, we will provide some of the best tips that will definitely help you get maximum views, irrespective of your content niche and channel size. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Understanding YouTube’s Algorithm
In your YouTube journey, you must first have the know-how of the platform’s algorithm and what factors it depends on for ranking channels. It functions just like any other search engine which wants to deliver answers to the searcher’s specific queries. Hence, you must consider using words and phrases your target audience would use while searching.
Moreover, YouTube analytics also matters a lot. While ranking the content, this platform depends majorly on the watch time of your videos. If the viewers stay on your videos for a longer time, the chances for your channel’s ranking are higher. Hence, you must also focus on creating valuable content to retain audiences.
Should You Optimize Your Videos On YouTube?
This question might arise in your mind considering how only influencers and celebrities with a bigger fan following have the ball in their court on YouTube. And you might just be lost in the effort that is not generating results. However, even small businesses can enjoy massive engagement on their channels with the right techniques.
One of them includes posting value-providing content. Moreover, you must find the right audience for the content you provide. In fact, it is more important than the videos you create. Combining both factors, if you can solve the problems of your viewers, then the major part of YouTube optimization is already done by your side.
Also, the ranking factor plays a huge role if you use your YouTube channel for inbound video marketing. The days are gone when marketers only focused on creating written pieces for brand promotion. Now there are several other things to explore besides blogs and e-books, including podcasts and other informational videos.
If you still cannot understand the point, don’t panic, as our comprehensive guide has got you covered completely.
Proven YouTube SEO Tips
- Use a target keyword as the name of your video file:
To identify related keywords, you can use multiple YouTube SEO tools we will discuss in this article. After researching them, the main concern remains their placement. While you will get many opportunities to incorporate the target phrase into your video’s viewing page once it is published, do not forget to ensure your video’s file also contains it.
It is crucial because YouTube will read the file name with any code combined. Ideally, the name should have your video’s main keyword in the file format. Any additional information might result in ranking issues.
- Keywords must be inserted naturally into the video’s title:
Think of yourself as a viewer. Whenever you search for a video, you look at its title and decide whether it will help solve your query. Considering that, your video’s title must be clear and short with the keyword.
Moreover, it must make sense to compel the searcher to watch your content. You can also get the best results if your keyword matches exactly with what the viewer searches for. Hence, using top-notch tools for keyword research is a highly recommended tip.
Lastly, do not forget to follow the limit of 60 characters; otherwise, it will get cut off in the SERP.
3. Focus on optimizing the video’s description:
Although the actual limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1000 characters. But that does not mean that you write a blog post there. Of course, the searcher will go on Google if he wants written content.
Just including one to two lines equivalent to 100 characters would be enough. In fact, YouTube only displays the first 100 characters to the viewer with a show more button if you have exceeded it. That’s why you must not waste time writing long descriptions; it will do nothing good for you.
Keep it to the point and use a catchy call to action along with important links. Although there is a minimum link between a keyword-rich description and ranking, still you should not completely ignore this part. An optimized description can make your video appear in the search bar and be a huge source of views.
Further, you can add transcripts to your video to optimize the content for viewers watching it without volume.
- Tag popular videos that relate to the topic of your content:
Tagging related popular videos in your content is a great way to let your audience know what they can expect in the video. Moreover, it is also a great way to tell YouTube about your content’s topic.
When you tag things related to the topic of your video, YouTube is most likely to suggest it to people watching similar content. It will help increase your video’s overall reach. However, many content creators try to be smart and tag videos irrelevant to their content’s actual context, which might get them penalized by Google. Hence, avoid doing that.
5. Provide a category for your video:
You can visit Advanced Settings on your account to categorize your published video. In that way, YouTube will combine your content with others in a similar category creating a playlist that will eventually get you more views.
However, following this step is not a piece of cake. To determine the right category for your video, you must go through multiple questions, like.
- Who are the top creators of the particular category, and what are they popular for?
- Is there any similarity between the viewers of two channels in the same category?
- Do the videos inside a similar category have their other aspects like content quality, length, and format the same?
6. Create and upload a personalized thumbnail:
Your video’s thumbnail plays a vital role in creating a viewer’s decision of whether they should watch your content. Hence, it has a huge impact on your clicks and views. Regarding this, YouTube provides an auto-generated thumbnail as well extracted from your Video and there is no harm in using that.
However, to optimize your content further, it is highly recommended to go for a personalized one. The ratio of the image must be 16:9 with 1280*720 resolution and less than 2 MBs in size. Its format could be anything including .jpg, .gif, .png, etc.
Following these rules, you can ensure the placement of a high-quality thumbnail within your video, which will definitely attract more viewers. However, to be able to follow this step, you must first verify your YouTube account.
- Add subtitles or closed captions in your video:
These two factors are important in content optimization using short and long-tailed keywords. To incorporate these, you must first upload a timed subtitles file. In fact, YouTube also allows adding transcript text as subtitles so it syncs smoothly with the video.
When adding subtitles, the process is similar, just that you can control the text you want to appear within a single frame. You can adjust these settings by visiting Video Manager.
8. Insert cards and end screens:
YouTube cards are pre-formatted notifications that appear while a viewer is watching your video to promote your other content on the channel. It appears on the screen’s top right corner as an ‘i’ icon. You can add almost five cards in a single video from six types that include:
- Channel cards
- Donation cards
- Funding request to fans
- External link cards
- Poll cards
- Video or playlists cards
Other than that, end screens are almost the same as cards, just that they appear when the video is finished and have more visuals in them. Also, be careful of the fact that your designated end screens do not appear at your video’s end, as YouTube is constantly monitoring it.
Hence, you must consider these factors when deciding between which type of cards and end screens you are willing to put. You might face challenges in understanding these factors due to their complexity. But, with a bit of guidance, you can definitely be on your way to gaining maximum views.
9. Use hashtags:
Using hashtags of terms related to your content is a great way to increase your reach to the target audience. These tags will appear on the top of your video, which makes it easier for viewers to click and discover them.
You can add a few hashtags to the description but do not overload it, as YouTube might flag it as spam. Only 2 to 3 hashtags are enough to ensure an optimized description.
- Create a playlist:
You can also create a playlist with videos on the general topic and name them with a keyword. It will work for YouTube to know the topic of your videos and increase views when your audience keeps discovering one video after another on your channel.
- Write a comment and pin it:
This step is optional but can help you a lot in increasing your video’s ranking. Moreover, with the right strategy, you can use this step to enhance viewer engagement on your channel. For example, you can attach a resource related to the video’s topics. Just ensure that it provides value to the viewer.
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YouTube SEO Tools
Ahrefs, a feature-packed SEO platform, lets you perform multiple content optimization tasks, including:
- Evaluate the ranking of your website
- Calculate the traffic each keyword brings to your videos
- Find relevant keywords for new content with higher chances of ranking
Besides that, you can also use its Keyword Explorer tool, which lets you get a deeper understanding of each keyword based on a search engine like YouTube. It provides the keyword’s search volume, click rates, ranking, and related secondary phrases.
Seeing Canva in this list might have confused you as it is a popular graphic design tool. It can immensely help you design top-notch and compelling thumbnails for your videos. It has several pre-built templates; you can also create preview images from scratch.
- HubSpot Content Strategy:
At HubSpot’s strategic tool, you can hunt for a number of keywords with high potential to rank. While it also groups them for better understanding. It helps you know which of your content is related to each other, what type of videos you plan to upload, and what you have already published.
Although these keywords are more likely to be diverted to the Google search engine, it might still bring up your videos, eventually increasing the chances for views.
4. VidIQ Vision
It is a Google Chrome extension that helps you determine how some YouTube videos perform well. and this will display everything regarding that particular video, including its watch time, optimized tags, etc. It even displays the SEO score, which you can increase by different ways to optimize your content.
An all-in-one video platform, TubeBuddy, helps you manage, optimize and promote your content on YouTube. It can translate your content from the local language to English, increasing the ranking chances. Moreover, you can also discover its exceptional keyword explorer, a tracker that tells the ranking of your uploaded content, suggestions for optimized tags, etc.
Lastly, there is Cyfe, a software suite where you can find comprehensive analytical details of your content. It tells you about the traffic your videos are gaining and determines the popularity of keywords across different platforms.
Irrespective of what SEO tip and tool you follow, your top priority must still be to create value-providing content. Once you ensure quality to your viewers, you will surely pave your way toward growth. So don’t wait and get started now.
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