It will come as a surprise to no one that YouTube video views have skyrocketed. Many have turned to YouTube in the last year to learn something new, find answers to questions, or entertain themselves. How can you ensure that all those new viewers are finding your content? It takes strategy, not luck, to succeed at video marketing. Here are some basic tips to improve your YouTube SEO so your videos will rank.
As a reminder, SEO stands for search engine optimization. You want to make your content SEO friendly so that people can find you when they use a search for something online.
Most people know that Google is the largest search engine in the world, and and that’s why comes to mind immediately when we hear the term “search engine.” (It’s also why we have turned “Google” into a verb. You know—”just Google it.”) Did you know that YouTube is also a search engine, and that it is actually the second largest search engine in the world? It also happens to be owned by Google, so you’re wise to pay attention to SEO on YouTube.
The tips we are sharing will help boost your SEO with all search engines, including YouTube’s.
Choose a Keyword
Just as you would with your written content, you will want to choose a keyword to focus on for your video. It’s important that you do some research to choose a keyword that you can rank for. There are several options for finding solid video keywords:
- use a keyword research tool, like Ubersuggest and Google Trends
- type search terms into YouTube’s search bar to see what’s trending
- check out your competition to see what keywords they use in their popular videos
Once you have selected a keyword that you can rank for (meaning that there is interest in the term, but it isn’t so popular that you don’t stand a chance of getting onto the first page of search results) you can start to optimize your video.
Work That Keyword
The first thing you should do is to rename your video file using the keyword(s) you chose. You will have to do this before you upload the video, so that the video is saved with that keyword in the name file.
Next, you will need to insert the keyword naturally into the title of the video. Don’t make it awkward! Make your title descriptive and clear, and be sure to include your keyword(s).
Finally, make sure that you include the keyword in your video description. YouTube only shows the first 100 or so characters above the fold, so make sure that the first line packs a punch. (You might want to see our tips on how to write a good meta description to help with this step.)
Other YouTube SEO Tips
The tips we have shared so far go in the “must do” category for improving your YouTube SEO. There are several other steps that we highly recommend to make your videos as user (and search engine) friendly as possible. They include:
- add tags to your video
- categorize your videos
- upload a custom thumbnail image
- add subtitles and closed captions
- add cards and end screens
- sort your videos into playlists
These additional tips will keep users on your channel longer, which helps your SEO in the long run. Engaging content keeps viewers watching. Longer viewing times shows the search engine bots that your video is reliable and worthy of being recommended.
Does some of this SEO stuff sound like a foreign language? We can be your translators! Focus on running your business while we focus on fine tuning your website and its content. Our SEO Audit will pin point what is lacking, and provide you with suggestions for improvement so that you can make the search engine bots happy AND get found.