YouTube SEO is a strategy used for optimizing channels and videos to improve placement in search engine results. YouTube has become the largest video platform on the internet and is considered one of the search engines as well. Therefore, knowing how to optimize the content on this platform is quite important for video creators.
YouTube was created in 2005 and won millions of users, so Google became interested in it. It did not take long before they bought YouTube in 2006 and turned into a phenomenon.
With the growth of the business. Today, any person or brand can publish and watch various commercial videos and audio content on the web. This is why YouTube was forced to organize all the content in the search engine. This way, users will be able to easily find what they are looking for or are interested in. This platform created an algorithm in order to rank the best content for each search attempt.
Nowadays, whoever wants more visibility and popularity must adopt strategies to optimize video for better ranking. These strategies are called YouTube SEO. in this article, Zigma8 will take you on an interesting ride to become more familiar with this trend. So, keep reading to learn everything about YouTube SEO.
What Is YouTube SEO?
Let us take a few steps back and remind you of what SEO is in general. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the set of strategies for optimizing the user experience with the aim of improving the page’s placement on search engine result pages (SERPs). It is based on programming, design, content production, and the relationship with other sites in order for a site to be considered the best by search engines. SEO is done with the aim of reaching the top position of Google Search. Google will crawl, index, and rank web content for users to find the best results. Therefore an intelligent algorithm is developed to identify the pages with a good experience.
YouTube offers its own search engine system that allows users to find channels and videos easily. Some studies showed that YouTube has a higher number of searches than other search engines like Bing or Yahoo.
How Does YouTube SEO Work?
YouTube adopts the same search intelligence as Google with the same purpose, which is to offer the best search experience to users. Once users type a search term on YouTube, the robots scour across the channels and videos to deliver the most related results to the users. To do so, several factors are considered.
User search and browsing histories are important points for customizing result pages. For publishers, it is also necessary to know that the channels and contents are ranked based on engagement and optimization.
For example, a video with the correct title. Title and descriptions tend to have better placement, or a channel with lots of comments and likes also will be positioned better than others. Note that Google and YouTube are integrated; that is why while searching a term in Google, a carousel of videos will be presented as well. This means SEO optimization for YouTube will be applied to the search in the platform as well as the Google search.
How to Implement SEO for YouTube?
Whatever you do for your SEO, the decision to appear on the top depends on the platform algorithm. For that, you need to follow the best practices collected and used by many others. Numerous criteria are important to determine to rank, but the more a video earns points on the YouTube search engine, the more chances it has to reach the top. The following tips can be used as practiced SEO strategies resulting in better ranking.
- Keyword Research
Keywords are essential in YouTube SEO. The platform will use keywords to identify the video’s subject and content indexes and associate them with users’ searches. You need to know which keywords identify your videos better and, at the same time, have the potential to attract more viewers. For quality keyword research, start with the search bar autocomplete, which is the basic YouTube tool. It helps users by using the most searched terms on the network. It helps creators with new keyword ideas that are in high demand.
The next step is to benchmark competitors and visit channels with authorities and more viewers to learn all about their SEO practices. To do this, filter videos by the option to sort by the most popular videos on their channels. Channel analysis will also help you find inspiration for new videos or search terms used by people to reach your videos.
Once you prepare your list of keywords, choose those with good reach potential. For small businesses using long-tail keywords seems to be a better choice. These words have basic traffic but, at the same time, do not have brutal competition going on. Therefore it is easier to gain a good position using them. Long tail keywords are three words or more and represent a more specific term. Also, use keywords that are closely related to the content and subject of the video, or else they will abandon your channel for giving the wrong information.
- Video Title
One of the fields in which your selected keywords will appear is the title. The title is the most important factor for YouTube to index and rank content. The title of a video must be close to the users’ search terms. It is proven that the first places of searches usually use the exact match of the used keywords in the video title. The average number of characters used in titles is considered to be between 47 to 48 out of a maximum of 100. Keep the titles concise and short, containing the exact keywords.
- Video Tags
Tags are essential in YouTube ranking. This way, it will index the content and direct related traffic. In the tag field, 120 characters can be used. It is recommended to use 6 to 8 words.
The description must contain information about what the video is about in the most detailed way possible. Since the title should be short, the description can be longer, containing more details, up to 5000 characters. Try to write an attractive and useful description, as it will serve both users and algorithms. You can also use a call to action in order to invite users to join the channel, download some content, or visit a website.
- File Name
Use a descriptive title for your videos instead of using numbers and codes. It will help platforms to identify what the video is about right in the name of the file.
- Captions and Transcriptions
The YouTube algorithm is not able to read images and videos, only texts and code. One of the strategies to adopt is to create transcription and captions for a video. You can use YouTube tools or by yourself to create transcriptions of a video. If you give timestamps to the transcript, you can use it as a caption, too, if people are not from your country or cannot activate the audio to interact with your video.
All we have talked about so far is related to on-page SEO. There are other types of SEO strategies called off-page SEO. It contains link-building and relationships with other sites. Off-page SEO refers to audience engagement. Encourage viewers to like, comment, subscribe, and share the video. One of the best ways to encourage people to comment is to answer them. Keep in mind that you need to engage people till the end of the video, and Google will use this factor to determine whether you are offering something interesting to the audience. If users abandon your video quickly, it can have a negative effect on your ranking.
By optimizing the title, description, and tags, a video is ready to be visible on YouTube. You can use other channels to promote YouTube and your videos. For instance:
● Embed the video in a blog post
● Create related videos and post them on the website
● Advertise the videos using email marketing
● Distribute videos on social media
● Create a video and respond to people comments and messages
● Participate in groups, forums, and Q&A sites and make people interact with your videos
Many people will choose a video based solely on the appeal of the preview image. The thumbnail is the first thing a user sees when they are searching and looking through a video listing, and it can make or break their decision to click or pass. Great thumbnails will increase viewers. Although you can select a thumbnail based on YouTube suggestions from the video frames, it is much better to create and upload a custom one that is creative, interesting, and eye-catching.
Dwell time is crucial for SEO. Spending more time on a page makes it more valuable for algorithms, and it will ultimately rank higher. Audience retention is a major part of YouTube SEO. YouTube has explicitly said that retention is a significant factor for ranking, and you should keep it close to 100 percent. Try to make a series of connected videos to keep the views on your channel. Focus on making great videos that are engaging and deliver value. Keep your introduction short and give the right to the main point of your topic.
Optimization is about quality. Therefore it is necessary to raise the production value of your content to boost it. Well-made videos will receive more traffic, more engagement, and more validity. It is important for a creator to have qualified images, audio as well as the content. It is not about having expensive equipment; it is mostly about having a quality product to make the video worthy of watching. Pay attention to your background and lighting, and use any feedback you receive to make your production process better.
YouTube SEO Tools
If you are looking for the right direction for your YouTube efforts, there are some tools that can help you implement SEO for your YouTube channel. Here are a few to check out:
● VidIQ Vision
● Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
In this article, you have read about everything that can help you with YouTube SEO. These tips will help you create a better experience for users as well as equip you to follow the algorithms and become recognized for your efforts. SEO is important for all the search engines out there, and it is time for you to take better advantage of these tips.
Zigma8 is here to help you with all your marketing and branding attempts, just hit us up, and we will make your voice heard.