SEO applies to YouTube videos too, just as much as it applies to your blog post titles, and product names in ecommerce shops.
Good SEO leads to higher visibility in the search results, so that more people see your content, and have the opportunity to decide whether to click through to it or not.
So here are my 5 top tips to optimize YouTube videos for SEO:
- Most importantly your video content needs to be top notch content that your target audience will love to watch.
The biggest factor that determines if YouTube will pick your video to appear on the first page (and top of first page especially) for any search on YouTube is your video watch time, and channel watch time. Make your videos engaging, fun to watch, educational perhaps, and above all entertaining. This will help to increase your watch time, and increase your likes, comments, subscribes, and shares – again these are important factors that can effect your YouTube ranking.
- Research the best keywords that closely match your video content (don’t skip this step!)
Amateurs guess the keywords people search for, and they are leaving a lot of potential views on the table. Professionals know the keywords that their target audience are searching for because they did the research. It isn’t difficult – just start typing the keywords you think most closely match your video content, and then look at the suggestions that appear. Those are the actual keywords real people are using on YouTube, or you can use the YouTube keyword tool at keywordtool.io which does a similar job, but can bring up more matches.
- Eliminate high competition keywords, target those with lower competition (for greater results)
Once you have a list of possible keywords, you can search YouTube for each phrase, then count the number of times that phrase appears on the page using the Search function within your web browser. The fewer times that exact phrase appears on the first page of results, the easier it will be to rank for that phrase. If you get lots of matches (10 or more), then I would suggest you try for a different keyword. You can use a tool called TubeKAT I developed to automate this step of the process.
- Make sure your keyword is in all the right places when uploading your video to YouTube
Your keyword needs to be in the title, in the tags, and in the video description (preferably as close to the beginning of the description as possible). I recommend in the tags you put the keyword itself, then the keyword with stop words such as “and” and “it” etc. removed, then the single words by themselves. You can also include popular misspellings, and I suggest you also add your own unique identifier, such as your channel name, in all your keyword tags – this increases the chance that your other videos will appear in the suggestions at the end, and down the right hand side in YouTube.
- Publicise your new upload
Get the ball rolling by getting the word out, and getting those initial views in as soon as possible. I recommend embedding the video in a blog post, sharing that link out to all your social media channels, and also emailing it to all your email newsletter subscribers. That should get some initial views in so that YouTube’s algorithm pricks up its ears and notices that your video might be going viral.
By following these suggestions next time you upload your video, you should improve the search engine optimization of it, which if you have a good video thumbnail, title, and description, should lead to getting more views, more engagement, more leads, adsense revenue, and affiliate commissions!
Let me know how you get on in the reply section below, and also let me know if you have any other suggestions to improve the SEO of YouTube videos.