Close-up of a YouTube screen on a laptop

Improving Your YouTube Video SEO

You’ve probably read some of our posts about improving search engine optimization for your website and online content. SEO boosts your visibility online and generates leads for your business. If YouTube videos are a key part of your online content marketing, consider the importance of improving SEO for your YouTube videos as well. 

YouTube is the second largest search engine, with three billion searches per month. This means that consumers rely on YouTube regularly to find information, products, and services they need. 

Our experts at Content Journey can help you develop YouTube video SEO that is specific enough to reach your target audience amongst the site’s huge user base.

Understanding YouTube Video SEO

YouTube video SEO is your strategy for increasing your visibility on YouTube. Like any search engine, YouTube has an algorithm. For your content to stand out on YouTube, you must understand its algorithm. The main thing you need to know is that YouTube pushes specificity. The search engine brings up exactly what’s typed into search or the closest thing to it. It’s less about location and more about keywords. 

For content creators, SEO is your bread and butter. Posting videos that don’t receive traffic won’t do much for your business, so optimizing them is crucial. Your follower count increases when your videos get views, and your business ultimately grows.

Keyword Research for YouTube Videos

So, how do you know which words to include in your video titles and descriptions? By conducting keyword research. Keyword research is exactly what it sounds like. It’s your online investigation into the words your ideal audience is typing into YouTube.

The Importance of Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of effective YouTube video SEO. Writing with keywords is important in each step of the uploading journey. From the name of your video file to the description of the video, YouTube’s algorithm picks up on all of it. Targeted words will push your videos to the right audience.

Tools for Keyword Research

There are various tools and platforms for conducting keyword research on YouTube. We like Semrush at Content Journey. Some others include Hubspot SEO Marketing Software and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. Sometimes, an effective tool is just what you need to spark ideas and tweak your current keywords.

Strategies for Finding the Right KeywordsTrack the success rate of your keywords by using a tool like Rank Tracker for YouTube. It can help you determine your keyword ranking, overall position, keyword distribution, and top-ranking keywords. Rank Tracker can help you weed out the bad keywords and expound upon the good ones. 

Finding the right keywords is not a one-time thing. You must continually research and update accordingly to keep your SEO in good standing with YouTube’s algorithm.

Optimizing Your Video Content

Video content for your business means little if you aren’t optimizing it. Remember that your audience can’t see your hard work and valuable information if you don’t cater your content to them. Try some of the following tactics to optimize your video content.

Craft Compelling Video Titles

Creating attention-grabbing and SEO-friendly video titles may not feel natural, but titles need to flow in a natural way while still including keywords. You’ll need to get creative to make your video title clear and impactful. Remember that the title is the “first impression” of your video. Users see the title before they receive any other information about your video. In other words, they use it to decide if they want to watch your video. Make the title worth their search.

Write Effective Video Descriptions

Just because you have keywords doesn’t mean you can’t use variations of them. Your video description is the perfect place to do so. Natural placement of keywords and variations in the description will do wonders for your visibility on YouTube and in other search engines. Pay attention to the clarity, brevity, and impact of your description writing. A good rule of thumb is to use your keyword once or twice, plus variations.

Leverage Tags and Metadata

Tags on YouTube aren’t necessarily how people search for your content, but they are how YouTube categorizes your videos and presents them. Tags can become spammy when you use too many. Instead, choose tags that are specific to your video, industry, and ultimate purpose. 

For example, if you own a hair care company and use YouTube for product demonstrations, your tags will consist of hair terms, tutorial lingo, and product names relevant to your business. 

Appropriate tags place your business in front of the right people on YouTube.

An extreme close up of a YouTube screen, showing the home and trending tabs

Maximizing Engagement and User Interaction

Simply uploading a YouTube video is not the end of a video’s online journey. In fact, it’s only the beginning. The next stage is for YouTube users to interact with your video content. Likes, comments, shares, and subscriptions boost video rankings on YouTube.

Encourage Audience Engagement

One unique way to encourage audience engagement is to comment on your own videos and pin the comment at the top of the comment section. You can throw extra tidbits of information in your comment, which evokes responses and likes. 

A good old Call to Action is another way to ask your audience for their participation. Tell them to leave an emoji in the comments if they agree with something, ask them to turn on post notifications, or request that they share your video on other socials. 

The Impact of Thumbnails

While your video title is the first words your audience sees, your thumbnail is the first image your audience sees when your video pops up. Think about how often you’ve clicked on a YouTube video simply because the thumbnail intrigued you. 

A custom thumbnail is more impactful than the stock ones YouTube suggests. 

To customize and download thumbnails, you can use free YouTube thumbnail creators like FotoJet, Canva, and PicMaker. You can then save and upload your custom thumbnail to YouTube from your computer. 

Remember to name your thumbnail the same title as your video or a major keyword. 

Your thumbnails are more visually appealing when they include faces, clear emotions, text with contrasting colors, clipart, or backgrounds.

Accessibility in Video

Did you know that the accessibility of your videos impacts the SEO? YouTube honors accessibility by boosting your ranks in search. You want as many people as possible to be able to see and use your video, so accessibility should be essential for you, too.

Accessibility is more important to consumers than ever before. Even viewers who may not need video captions often watch with the sound off, choosing to read instead. Because it’s valuable to your audience, it should be valuable to you. 

Transcripts and closed captions benefit users of all types and improve your SEO. If YouTube knows your videos are inclusive and accessible, they’ll rank higher in search so that more people can benefit from them.

Promotion and Beyond YouTube

It probably seems like all the pre-uploading work and optimization of your channel is enough to grow your YouTube viewership. But you don’t just want people to find your video on YouTube. You want to get the most mileage out of all your content, which means promoting your published videos.

Promoting Your Videos

Videos can be included in your email marketing, embedded in your blog posts, shared in snippets on social media, and displayed on your website. As long as the videos you share are relevant and helpful to your audience, share them! 

Keep in mind that the tone of the video you’re sharing should match the email you’re sending, blog post you’re writing, and the like. There’s a time and place for everything!

External Traffic and SEO

Driving external traffic to your videos can positively impact SEO. Exposure to people outside of your YouTube subscribers spreads awareness for your brand. Search engines will start recommending your videos to groups of people you haven’t considered before. In this scenario, your exposure, audience, and business grows!

Analyzing and Adapting

At the end of the day, analyzing your results is the best way to track your progress and video performance. We suggest utilizing YouTube Analytics to do so. It allows you to see the watch time of your videos, traffic sources, subscriber growth, and much more. 

Studying your video metrics will help you improve what’s not working and keep what is. 

Another helpful tip for measuring your channel’s success is staying current with algorithm changes. Do your best to keep up with YouTube’s algorithm updates and adapt your strategies accordingly. The last thing you want is for YouTube to bury your visibility or change how people find you. 

Before the Upload

You’re juggling a lot of details as a business owner, so adding improving a YouTube channel to your list of duties may seem like a lot. That’s where we come in! Consider outsourcing your needs by working with our team of SEO experts. We can help you promote and upload video content and ensure you’re getting the most from each video. Contact Content Journey to help you take your video marketing to the next level.

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