How to Optimize Your Videos: But, as you concentrate on those areas, don’t overlook the power of YouTube SEO. Once you’ve mastered the art of storytelling and understand how to get clicks, SEO will propel your content to thousands of additional YouTube viewers.
What exactly is YouTube SEO?
How to Optimize Your Videos: YouTube SEO (search engine optimization) is a collection of methods for optimizing content on YouTube, whether it’s individual videos, playlists, or an entire channel. The practices range from incorporating popular keywords into your video and its metadata (such as titles and descriptions) to utilizing hashtags to reach a larger audience.
SEO is important for YouTube because it assists the recommendation system in determining the subject matter of a video. This should help the content get featured on search pages over time. After all, the goal of YouTube SEO is to increase video views and rank higher.
Best YouTube SEO Practices
Are you ready to begin? If this is the case, it’s time to devise a YouTube SEO strategy. Read on for a complete optimization checklist, covering everything from improving titles to adding hashtags to writing video descriptions.
Choose a Targeted Keyword for Your Content
Before you can optimize your video, you must first determine which keywords you want to target on YouTube. The majority of this information comes from keyword research, so once you’ve decided on a topic, the next step is to identify the search terms people will use to find your video.
You can use any keyword research tools to help you with this. The best ones will display the most important aspects of a keyword, such as:
- Search volume Competition
- Other terms that match
- People’s questions about the topic and more
You can then determine which keywords are easier to rank for and plan your video accordingly.
Let’s say you want to create a video about teacakes. When you enter this phrase into vidIQ’s keyword research tool, you will see that it has low competition and a medium search volume.
“Tea cakes” will make an excellent target keyword because competition is low and searches are fairly high. Few creators are exploring the topic on YouTube, but viewers are looking for it every month; you can fill the void!
Of course, this is just the start of keyword research. Your target keyword could be hiding in another section of the tool, such as matching terms, related terms, or frequently asked questions.
Include keywords in the title and description of your video.
Once you’ve decided on a target keyword, find a natural way to incorporate it into your title and description.
For example, if your keyword is “London train views,” use it only once in your title and make sure everything is clear.
To see the variance, compare these two titles:
“Amazing London Train Views for $40 a Ticket” is a natural-sounding title.
“London Train Views Vlog: Cheap Views From London Train Stations” is an odd-sounding title.
The keyword is overused in the second title, which is confusing. The first title is straightforward, informative, and intriguing!
Also, try to use the keyword again in the video description. You can even include a few relevant keywords if you have them.
All of this will assist the YouTube algorithm in comprehending your content and displaying it on the appropriate search pages, resulting in a higher video ranking.
Double-check that the video’s thumbnail reinforces the title.
Most people don’t consider thumbnails when it comes to YouTube SEO, but they’re crucial. The first thing people notice about a video is the thumbnail—not the title, description, or how SEO-friendly those assets are. Above all, viewers use the thumbnail to confirm that the video matches their interests or offers something unique.
As a result, you should always include a custom YouTube thumbnail with your videos. You can then use the image to reinforce the title and draw people in.
Assume your title is “Modern Billionaires vs. Historical Billionaires: How They Spent Their Fortunes.” You could use images of Elon Musk and Henry Ford, the word “versus” nestled between them, and $100 bills scattered throughout the thumbnail to reinforce the title.
Remember to optimize your thumbnail from a technical standpoint as you design:
- Use a 1280×720 image resolution.
- Allow for a maximum file size of 2MB.
- Make use of the 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Use JPG, GIF, or PNG as your file format.
Make Use of Hashtags to Reach a larger audience
Another way to optimize your video content is to use YouTube hashtags. These clickable pieces of metadata help people find what they’re looking for on YouTube, so including a few in your title and description is always a good idea. Simply type #, followed by the descriptor you want to use.
Your video could appear on a popular hashtag page, such as the one below for #makeup tutorial, if you use the right hashtag(s). Having your video featured in this lucrative section of the app or website increases its exposure!
The key is to do your homework on these hashtag pages ahead of time. Which ones are popular enough to help your video but small enough that you can still be featured?
Include Captions and Subtitles to Improve Accessibility
It’s tempting to skip the whole captioning process, especially when you’re ready to upload. But what if we told you that if you skipped this step, you could lose thousands of views?
This is because different people have different viewing experiences on YouTube. Some people prefer to watch videos with the sound turned off and read the captions instead. Others require captions at all times because they cannot hear the audio. A third group of viewers requires language-based subtitles in order to comprehend the video in their native language.
YouTube can assist with some of this because each video you upload includes automatic captions. The majority of the work is done by YouTube’s translation technology; all you have to do is review the transcript and correct a few errors here and there.
If you have a multicultural audience, you can also add subtitles during the video editing process. Tokyo Meets Brooklyn, for example, produces videos in Japanese with English subtitles and vice versa.
Make a Playlist for Your Video
One way to increase the number of views on your video is to include it in a story-based playlist. Playlists not only encourage people to binge-watch your content, but they also help people find your videos in the first place. After all, viewers can limit a YouTube search to only show playlists.
Use cards and end screens to promote your video.
After you’ve optimized your video, it’s a good idea to promote it within other videos on your YouTube channel. This is simple with cards and end screens.
YouTube cards are clickable elements that appear while viewing a video. They are typically used to direct people to another piece of content that is related to the current topic. So, if you want to increase the number of views and exposure for a video, include a YouTube card in your next video!
End screens are interactive outros that appear at the end of a video, usually between 5 and 20 seconds. An end screen can contain a variety of elements (subscribe button, website link, etc.), but the best option is to recommend one video to watch next. Viewers will be able to move on to the next video without having to think too hard. This is an excellent location for increasing the exposure of a fully optimized video!
Save time by using a YouTube SEO tool.
Knowing the most recent YouTube SEO tips will get you a long way, but you don’t need to become an expert. In reality, using SEO tools that analyze content for you is faster. That way, you can focus on what really matters, such as coming up with video ideas and filming content.
This is where vidIQ can assist you with a comprehensive SEO report. This tool will analyze your video’s SEO and tell you what’s missing each time you upload it. There’s even a checklist to keep you on track, such as adding keywords to your title, putting your video in a playlist, and adding closed captions to your content.
YouTube SEO: The Key to Increasing Views
If you follow these suggestions, you can begin improving your YouTube ranking right away. You’ll increase the visibility of your channel and get more people to watch your videos, making room for even bigger goals like YouTube monetization.