Video consumption is at an all-time high, as is the coronavirus pandemic forced, locked down around the world, provides video a boost and, of course, we are all familiar with the powerhouse of the video streaming platform “YouTube.”
Search engines such as YouTube and Google utilize the same basic principles in their algorithms to determine the website and ranking of videos. The goal is to provide users with the optimal experience. YouTube video results are now merged with Google results for search to make it easier to look for information.
In this post, I’ll explain precisely how you can bring visitors to your YouTube channels by using a few YouTube SEO-friendly tips.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is YouTube SEO?
- 2 How does YouTube SEO Algorithm work?
- 2.1 1. Rename your video file using a target keyword.
- 2.2 2. Include your keyword naturally in the title of the video.
- 2.3 3. Optimize your video description.
- 2.4 4. Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
- 2.5 5. Categorize your video.
- 2.6 6. Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video’s result link.
- 2.7 7. Use an SRT File to add subtitles & closed captions.
- 2.8 8. Add Cards and End Screens to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership.
- 3 YouTube SEO Tools
- 4 Conclusion
What is YouTube SEO?
As the name implies, YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your video to get higher rankings on YouTube’s YouTube index. Before we can understand how to implement YouTube SEO, we must first learn what’s on the YouTube SERP.
If you type in a keyword into YouTube’s YouTube Google search engine, you will get some of the results below:
YouTube, like Google SERP, lists Ads first, followed by Organic results. YouTube SEO is about placing our videos in the top position on YouTube’s Organic results. To learn how to optimize our videos for Google’s YouTube SEO search engines, we must also know how the YouTube algorithm functions.
How does YouTube SEO Algorithm work?
As per YouTube Creator Academy, this is how YouTube search algorithms work:
As you can see from the above image, there are two significant elements in the YouTube Algorithm:
Optimized and relevant Descriptions, Titles, and video content.
Engaging Users If your videos are receiving more views and likes, YouTube algorithms consider it an indicator to increase the rank of your videos on YouTube’s SERP. YouTube SERP.
1. Rename your video file using a target keyword.
Like you do optimize the content of your writings, it is recommended to utilize an SEO tool first to determine the specific keywords you’d like your video to concentrate on (you can browse the most popular YouTube search engine optimization tools in the following tips or simply click the link earlier in this paragraph).
Once you have a keyword first, the most obvious spot is to put the video file before adding it to YouTube. Why? YouTube cannot actually “watch” your video to assess its relevance to the keyword you’re trying to rank for and, as you’ll discover in the next section, there are only so many locations you can put the keywords on the page that shows your video’s view after it’s been published. However, YouTube can examine the file’s name as well as the code associated with it after it’s been uploaded.
With that in mind, replace the “business_ad_003FINAL.mov” file name (don’t be embarrassed … we’ve all been there during post-production) with your desired keyword. If your keyword is “house painting tips,” for example, your video’s file name should be “house-painting-tips” followed by your preferred video file type (MOV, MP4, and WMV are some of the most common that are compatible with YouTube).
2. Include your keyword naturally in the title of the video.
When we go to YouTube and search for videos, among the first things our attention is attracted to will be the name. This is often the deciding factor in whether or not the user will click on your video; therefore, your title should not just be appealing but also simple and clear.
While your keywords play an important role in the title of your video, it is also helpful if the title is close to what viewers are looking for. The research conducted by Backlinko revealed that videos with a precise keyword match in their title only have a small advantage over videos with no. Here’s a graph of the findings:
Also, although “using your target keyword in your title may help you rank for that term,” report’s writer Brian Dean states, “the relationship between keyword-rich video titles and rankings” isn’t always the most positive one. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to make your title more optimized for the keyword. It is incorporated naturally in a title that informs viewers precisely what they’re about to experience.
Last but not least, you must keep your headline short Then, make sure to keep it short HubSpot manager of campaigns, Alicia Collins, suggests limiting the length to 60 characters to ensure that it doesn’t get cut off on pages of results.
3. Optimize your video description.
First of all, according to the guidelines of Google, the character limit for official descriptions for YouTube description of videos is 1000 characters. While it’s fine to make use of all those characters, remember that your viewers are here to enjoy an online video, not write an essay.
If you decide to write a more detailed description, remember that YouTube only shows the first three or two lines of text, around 100 characters. At this point, users need to hit “show more” to see the entire description. This is why we recommend loading descriptions with crucial details, such as CTAs or important links.
For optimizing the content of the video, it’s not bad to provide a transcript of the video, particularly for people who must listen to it at a lower volume. But, research by Backlinko also showed no connection between descriptions optimized for a specific term and the search results for that keyword.
Dean is cautious not to advocate removing the optimized description completely; However, he cautions against removing the optimized description completely. “An optimized description helps you show up in the suggested videos sidebar,” Dean states, “which is a significant source of views for most channels.”
4. Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
The YouTube Official Creator Academy recommends using tags to let your viewers know what the video’s content is. However, you’re providing information to your viewers and educating YouTube on the platform itself. Dean says that YouTube makes use of tags “to understand the content and context of your video.”
This is how YouTube discovers ways to link your video to similar ones. This can expand the reach of your video. First, however, you must choose your tags carefully. Don’t choose a tag that’s irrelevant just because you believe it will bring you more views. In actual fact, Google might be penalizing you for it. As with your description, make sure you use the most important keywords with a mix of the ones used frequently and those with a long tail (as in, keywords that answer questions like “how to do I? “).
5. Categorize your video.
After you upload your film, then you can group the video under “Advanced settings.” Selecting a category is a different method to categorize your content with similar videos on YouTube to ensure it is placed in various playlists and gets exposure to more people who are a part of your target audience.
It may not be as easy as it appears. In reality, the YouTube Creator Academy recommends that advertisers undergo a thorough procedure to determine what category each video falls into. It’s useful, the manual says, “to think about what is working well for each category” that you’re contemplating by answering questions such as:
Who are the most prolific creators in this category? What are their strengths, and what are they able to do?
Do you see any similarities among the viewers of similar channels within a certain segment?
Are the videos that fall within the same category have similar features such as length, production value, or size?
The thumbnail of your video is the primary image that users will see when they scroll through a listing of results from your video. Along with the title of the video, it sends an alert to the user about the content of the video, and it may affect the number of views and clicks your video is viewed.
While you may choose one of the thumbnails that YouTube automatically generates, however, we strongly suggest uploading your own custom thumbnail. The Creator Academy reports that ” 90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails,” they recommend using images with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels -which corresponds to the ratio of 16:9 — which are stored as 2MB or less .jpg, .gif, .bmp as well as .png files. If you comply with these parameters, it will help make sure that your thumbnail appears in the same high-quality way across all viewing platforms.
It’s crucial to know it is necessary to note that the YouTube account must be verified in order to upload a customized thumbnail image. To verify it, go to youtube.com/verify and follow the steps that are provided on the page.
As with the majority of texts we’ve covered here, Subtitles and closed captions can help YouTube search results by highlighting key keywords.
To include closed captions or subtitles on your videos, you’ll need to upload a compatible transcript of text or timed subtitles files. If you’re looking for the former, you may also directly type in the text transcript for the video so that it syncs automatically to the movie.
Subtitles can be added using the same procedure, but you can restrict the quantity of text you want to display. For either option, visit your video manager and select “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Select the video you wish to include closed captioning or subtitles to, then click the drop-down menu next to”edit. Choose “Subtitles/CC.” Then, you can choose how you’d like closed captioning or subtitles.
Learn how to include closed captions in your YouTube video by watching the video below.
8. Add Cards and End Screens to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership.
When you’re watching a movie, have you ever noticed an oblong, white image that has the letter “i” in the center appear in the corner or a transparent text-based bar that asks to sign up? They’re Cards, they call them, which Creator Academy defines as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”
There is the possibility of adding five cards to one video. There are six kinds of cards:
- Channel cards that direct users to a different channel.
- Donation cards are designed to promote fundraising for U.S. nonprofit organizations.
- Funding from fans to encourage your viewers to support your content creation.
- Link cards guide viewers to an external website or crowdfunding platform that is approved or an approved sales platform.
- Poll cards post questions to the audience and vote on a possible answer.
- Playlist cards or videos, which connect with other YouTube content.
For more details on how to add an image card to your video, take the official instructions provided by Google or look up our video.
End screens display the same information as cards, however like you could be able to guess, they don’t display until the video is finished and are more visual in nature. One example is an overlay that includes the image of a book as well as an image link that allows you to see more information about the video below:
There are several specific instructions on how to add screen ends based on the kind of platform you’d like to build them for, in addition to the different kinds of content that YouTube can access. Google provides the specifics on how to make your content optimized for each of these considerations on this page.
It’s important to keep in mind that YouTube constantly tests the end screens to improve the user experience. There are instances that “your end screen, as designated by you, may not appear.” Be aware of these issues when deciding whether to use either end screens or cards.
The above factors might seem difficult or time-consuming. But bear in mind: The time viewers spend viewing YouTube on their television has increased by more than a third each year. There’s a huge audience waiting to reach. If you optimize your site for YouTube, your chances of getting noticed rise.
The majority of the SEO suggestions above depend on you finding a keyword and then advertising your video appropriately. However, not all of these techniques can be executed via YouTube on their own. To get the most value for your videography dollar, take a look at the below tools to help optimize your video to be searchable.
YouTube SEO Tools
1. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer for YouTube SEO
Ahrefs is an all-encompassing SEO platform that lets you monitor the ranking of a website, calculate the amount of organic traffic you’ll get from each keyword, and conduct research on the keywords you could need to develop new content.
One of the most popular features of Ahrefs is the Keywords Explorer, which allows users to search for a variety of information related to the keyword that people are interested in. As you can see from the screenshot in the above image, you are able to sort the results of your keywords by search engines, including YouTube.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer lets you know the volume of searches for each keyword in the month and the number of clicks made from videos that are ranked for the keyword, as well as relevant keywords and many more.
2. Canva for YouTube SEO
You may have heard of Canva as an online design template that can be used to create various kinds of cards, images, logos, designs, and much more. It’s just a coincidence that this well-known product comes with an exclusive Thumbnail Creator designed for videos on YouTube. A catchy thumbnail is very important for YouTube SEO.
In the guidelines above, thumbnails are crucial to promoting your content on YouTube results and enticing viewers to click on your video. With Canva’s Thumbnail Creator, You can design the ideal preview image for your video with 1280 x 720 pixels, the dimensions that thumbnails on YouTube require.
3. HubSpot for YouTube SEO
Our tool for analyzing content strategies created here at HubSpot lets you discover popular keywords to use; you can create content and arrange these keywords into groups that we refer to as “topic clusters.” When you sort your content into topics clusters, you can see what content is closely related to each other as well as the kinds of content you’ve planned, as well as the content you’ve already written.
Although the search terms you find in HubSpot show their prominence in a typical Google search, some of these topics also have videos appearing on Google’s search results pages. In these instances, you can make topic clusters that contain blogs as well as YouTube content associated with the same topic.
The clustering of your content — and linking videos to blog posts and vice versa — could boost your credibility in the views of Google and YouTube as well as provide an opportunity to draw more users who are interested in the subject.
4. VidIQ Vision for YouTube SEO
It’s a Chrome extension, accessible through Google’s store on the internet, which is the above link, which lets you understand how and the reasons why certain YouTube videos are so successful. It also analyzes the keywords the video is optimized for the average time it takes to watch as well as the speed at which the video is receiving traffic.
The tool also provides the SEO “score” you can use to create content that can match (or exceed) the results that you get on YouTube.
5. TubeBuddy for YouTube SEO
TubeBuddy is a one-stop video platform that lets you control the creation as well as the optimization and promotion of your YouTube content. The features it offers include an automated translator for languages (which assists you in ranking for keywords that are not English), Keyword Explorer tag suggestion as well a rank tracker to your uploaded videos, and many more.
6. Cyfe for YouTube SEO
Cyfe is a comprehensive software suite that provides, among other features, an analytics platform for websites. With Cyfe, you can monitor the performance of your pages across all websites you’ve got content on — which includes YouTube — and also where the traffic to each page comes from.
No matter which SEO trick or tool you use to begin, A successful YouTube channel must have quality content. Be sure that your viewers are watching something relevant and of good quality to see when they come across you. We hope this YouTube SEO guide can help you improve your YouTube ranking.