YouTube has come a long way since its first video “Me at the Zoo” in 2005. Today, it ranks as the world’s second-largest search engine and is accessed by 1/3rd of the world’s population monthly.
With massive competition in terms of video advertising, brands are actively using YouTube SEO to rank their content.
This brings us to the next set of questions: how does YouTube SEO work and how to optimize your YouTube channel? Which SEO strategies to focus on?
To sort all these queries out, we have compiled a list of 10 proven YouTube SEO tips. Let’s check them out!
What is YouTube SEO?
YouTube SEO is a strategy to help you optimize channels and videos for better placement in the search results. It includes optimization of the channel, descriptions, playlists, meta tags, and other crucial elements.
Proper YouTube channel optimization helps the algorithm understand where to rank your videos and can increase the discovery rate on the platform.
Some benefits of YouTube SEO optimization are:
- Your content can easily reach the target audience and help increase the overall Click-Through Rate (CTR).
- Getting impressions is much easier in the initial posting days. YouTube SEO will improve the long-term visibility of your videos and generate engagement in later months or years as well.
- Optimized videos are also good for building brand authority and awareness over some time.
10 Tips to Optimize Your YouTube Channel
Here is a list of 10 tried and tested YouTube SEO strategies for your channel:
1. Conduct In-depth Keyword Research
Just like Google, YouTube is also a search engine and values keywords above everything. With the right keywords, you can reach your target audience easily and tell the algorithm where to rank your content.
Some of the YouTube best practices for finding relevant keywords are:
Use YouTube auto-complete:
When you type something in the search bar, YouTube suggests certain keywords for you. These terms are actively searched by users across the world and can help YouTube SEO optimization.
Check out competitors’ videos:
Go to a competitor’s channel and sort the videos by the most popular. Check which particular keywords they are ranking for.
Go to YouTube Analytics:
2. Write an Engaging Video Title
The video title can make or break your entire YouTube SEO strategy! This might seem like an exaggeration but not having a relevant title will lead to a massive downfall in click-through rate.
The first thing to keep in mind while writing your video title is keyword integration. Once you have a list of top-performing keywords ready at hand, you can smartly include the primary term in your title.
Also, it is better to keep the title short. According to research, people tend to click on YouTube video titles with less than 50 characters – a maximum of 100.
Check how this short video title includes the main keyword, Pokemon, and also ignites user curiosity.
3. Write Subtitles for the Video
YouTube introduced the subtitles features in 2008 to help people consume content in noisy environments and increase overall accessibility for differently-abled individuals. However, the feature doesn’t always work well for regional languages!
As such, it becomes crucial for you to add captions to the video itself.
These captions help the YouTube algorithm get a better understanding of the content and then rank it accordingly.
Stats also prove it to be just right! According to a survey, 80% of US consumers are more likely to watch the video until the end, given that captions are available.
4. Say Keywords Out Loud
YouTube is now able to transcribe your videos to a certain extent! You can leverage this feature by saying the target keywords in your video multiple times.
Doing so can help the search algorithm understand what exactly your content is about and rank it accordingly.
You’ll probably say the keyword aloud anyway but emphasize it in the video introduction only.
5. Add Hashtags for More Visibility
Like other social media platforms, YouTube also rewards the wise usage of hashtags in video titles or descriptions. Hashtags will help your target users find the tagged content and boost the discoverability factor of your channel.
When you add trending hashtags to your video description, they are shown on top of the title. It is also a good way to let the audience know in brief about the video’s content at first glance.
6. Add Cards and End Screens
You must have noticed that while watching a YouTube video, a random rectangle pops on the screen out of nowhere. That’s exactly what a card is. Cards help improve YouTube SEO because they help direct traffic to other videos.
End Screens perform the same function, but they only show in the last 5-20 seconds.
Cards and End Screens both can help keep a viewer engaged for longer on your channel and increase subscribers.
7. Customize the Thumbnails
Thumbnails, along with the video title, form the first impression of your video. If the viewer feels compelled enough to click on this thumbnail, they’ll go ahead. Otherwise, they might scroll down, and your video is likely to get lost in a sea of content.
While creating thumbnails, keep in mind that they should be instantly recognizable with your brand and ignite some sort of curiosity in the viewers’ minds.
One of the most important things to remember while creating a thumbnail is its size. The officially recognized size is 1280 x 720 pixels.
8. Add Timestamps to Engage More Users
Remember those days when you’d search the comment box to know which particular timestamp you should skip to? Well, YouTube made that easy by introducing Video Chapters in early 2020.
Here, you can add timestamps to break the videos into multiple parts and make it easy for the viewer to access any specific section. Video Chapters are particularly helpful for lengthy videos and can help increase the user retention rate substantially.
Timestamps are also great for YouTube channel optimization as the Google algorithm can then recommend the video for specific queries. In a way, you can consider them to be the video equivalent of blog snippets.
For example: Check how Vaizle has divided the video into multiple chapters to give the audience an idea about what to expect next!
9. Create Keyword-Optimized Playlists
Once you have posted multiple videos, it is time to make it easy for your audience to find them. You can do the same by creating keyword-optimized playlists.
It won’t just be beneficial for YouTube SEO, but will also keep your viewers more engaged and improve view count substantially.
Check how Yoga with Kassandra has created a playlist with all 5-15 minute Yoga videos.
10. Lastly, Track Your YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics is a data goldmine that can help know if your YouTube SEO strategy is working or not. Here, you can track metrics and check the graph to see how well the channel has performed in a given period.
With YouTube Analytics, you can get information about:
- Watch Time: This particular metric tells the total duration viewers have spent watching your videos.
- Unique Viewers: Total number of individuals watching your videos in a specific period.
- Traffic Sources: Here, you will find different sources where people are reaching your YouTube channel and which specific source gives the best results.
YouTube’s importance in video advertising is undeniable. But to succeed with ever-growing competition, you need the power of SEO on your side!
Starting with YouTube SEO includes conducting detailed keyword research to find what your audience is actively searching for. Once the keywords are ready, you can proceed with optimizing other aspects like video title, description, and hashtags.
Once you’re done with optimization, head to the FREE YouTube Channel Analytics by Vaizle to check how well the account is performing. Here, you can view detailed insights of the YouTube channel and top-performing videos of all time.
Getting started with Vaizle is as easy as it can get. Simply log in with your Google account, pick the YouTube channel you want to analyze, and voila — you can now view the latest YouTube insights.
FAQ’s on Youtube SEO
1. What is SEO on YouTube?
YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your channel and videos to improve content visibility. Focusing on SEO will help YouTube algorithm rank your content better and bring it to your target audience’s recommendation section.
2. How do I increase my YouTube visibility?
To increase your YouTube channel’s visibility, start by working on basic SEO elements like keyword research and hashtags. Side by side, you can also focus on collaborating with other creators.
3. Does SEO work for YouTube growth?
Yes, SEO is extremely crucial for YouTube growth and can help you gain visibility and bring more relevant traffic to your channel. Optimizing YouTube video titles and descriptions will work to enhance overall discoverability.