Not so long ago, inbound marketing was an entirely novel concept. The marketing world eventually realized they couldn’t just publish a lot of content. The information that they were putting out there in whichever way or form had to be of high quality, relevant and optimized to be discovered by search engines easily.
The written word was once the primary source of content consumed by the audience. That isn’t the case anymore. Integrated content strategies now consist of both written content, such as blogs and ebooks, and multimedia, such as podcasts and videos.
The popularity of video content is on the rise. As per the State of Inbound report published in 2018, nearly half of marketers plan to increase their spending on YouTube — more than on any other marketing medium. From small brick-and-mortar companies like your local grocery store to large corporations like Windstream Communications, several businesses have incorporated YouTube SEO into their digital marketing strategy.
There are tons of videos on YouTube that get millions of views, as well as videos that don’t get any views at all. A few factors can often determine whether or not a video will engage the audience and get more views and likes.
With YouTube SEO, the process of optimizing your videos can be consolidated into one simplified process – one that can be used for all your old videos as well as new videos as they are published. It might take a little while to get used to YouTube SEO as it is different from regular SEO.
Therefore, we have gathered everything you need to know about YouTube SEO to implement an effective video marketing strategy.
How Does YouTube SEO Work?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the evolving discipline that entails optimizing web content to achieve high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Your content is often found by a simple search done by a user looking to satisfy some basic need. This is why it is important to optimize it for search so that it is found by users.
In contrast to Google, which evaluates rankings based on backlinks and other factors, YouTube SEO is dependent on setting up the right channel and playlists, and optimizing the meta title, and descriptions. YouTube allows you to optimize your videos both inside and outside the platform.
You probably already know some YouTube SEO basics, such as adding keywords to titles, tags, and descriptions. There are, however, other things you can do using video accessibility for YouTube SEO. Because search engine bots responsible for ranking pages can’t view videos, the accompanying text data help them index the videos. A YouTube SEO strategy’s most critical aspect is leveraging your video’s text via subtitles, closed captions, and transcripts, which can significantly improve engagement, user experience, viewership, and watch time.
YouTube SEO Tips and Techniques
Now that we’ve established what YouTube SEO is, let’s examine how to go about optimizing your YouTube videos:
Add a Target Keyword to the Filename of Your Video
In the same way that you would optimize written content, you should identify the keywords relevant to your video. When you have identified a keyword, your first step should be to insert the keyword into your video file name – even before uploading the video to YouTube. The reason is that YouTube can’t see how relevant your video is to your targeted keyword. And given there are only a limited number of places for your keyword to be placed on the viewing page of your video, adding the keyword to the file name will allow YouTube to read the file name as well as all the associated code when your video is uploaded.
Therefore, you must replace the “video ad file 001.mov” file name with the keyword that you wish to use. Assuming your keyword is “makeup tips,” for instance, you should name the video file “makeup-tips” along with the video format you want to use (MP4, WMV, and MOV are the most common video formats that YouTube supports).
Incorporate Your Keyword Naturally Into the Video Title
The title of the video is one of the things that catches our attention when we search for videos. In most cases, the title determines whether viewers will click to watch a video, so it must not only be persuasive but also concise and clear.
In addition to using your keyword in the title of your video, you might also want to ensure that the title closely matches what viewers are searching for. According to Backlinko, videos with exact keyword matches in the title are only slightly more likely to rank higher than those that don’t.
Make Sure Your Video Description Is Optimized
YouTube video descriptions have an official limit of 1,000 characters, according to Google. Although you may use as much space as you want, keep in mind that your viewers probably came here to watch videos, not read essays.
In case you do decide to include a longer description, YouTube will only display the first two or three sentences, which equates to approximately 100 characters. Afterward, viewers need to click “see more” to view the entire description. Therefore, we recommend that you include the most important information first, such as calls to action or crucial links.
In terms of video optimization, a transcript would be helpful, especially for those watching it without sound.
Sort Your Videos into Categories
You can categorize a video once it is uploaded under “Advanced settings.” YouTube categories help you group videos based on similar content, so they appear in different playlists and are discovered by more users who are interested in your content.
The process may not be as straightforward as it seems. As a matter of fact, it is recommended that marketers use a comprehensive approach to categorize their videos in the right way to generate engagement.
Add a Custom Thumbnail Image to the Video Link
The thumbnail for your video is the main image viewers see as they scroll through video results. This thumbnail, along with the video’s title, gives viewers a sense of its content, which can influence how many viewers click on your video.
Although YouTube automatically generates thumbnails for your videos, we recommend uploading your own. According to the Creator Academy, “90% of the most popular YouTube videos feature custom thumbnails”
Include Captions and Subtitles Using an SRT File
Taking into account the fact that closed captions and subtitles highlight important keywords, it can boost YouTube search optimization.
When adding captions or subtitles to your video, you will need to upload a timed subtitles file or a text transcript. It’s also possible to enter the transcript text directly for a video so that the two are synchronized.
Similar steps apply to adding subtitles, but you can specify how much text is displayed on the video viewing page.
Tools to Implement an Effective YouTube SEO Strategy
When it comes to optimizing your YouTube performance, you need to make sure that your videos are relevant to current trends. This will enable them to be found by users searching for similar content.
There are some tools you’ll need for that. With these YouTube SEO tools, you can optimize your YouTube videos based on how users search for them.
But first things first, make sure you have a reliable internet connection like the one offered by Kinetic Internet to use the below-mentioned tools.
Google Keyword Planner
There are many free tools offered by Google for creators to use when determining what keywords should be included in their content. Google Keyword Planner is an excellent and highly useful tool. The Google Keyword Planner can be accessed directly from the Google Ads dashboard (it is not necessary to run ads to use it). This tool will help you determine which keywords are the most valuable to Google. You can then incorporate them into the title, description, and other pieces of written content on your YouTube video viewing page.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
Ahrefs is a powerful and elaborate SEO tool that lets you track a website’s ranking. It lets you find out how much organic traffic you’ll get from certain keywords, and determine what keywords you might want to write about in the future.
One of Ahrefs’ most popular features is Keyword Explorer, which provides a wealth of information about the keywords you enter. It allows you to sort your keyword results by search engines, which includes YouTube.
With Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you can see how many monthly searches a keyword receives, related keywords, the number of clicks received by videos ranking for that keyword, and more.
To figure out how your channel is doing, you can use YouTube’s own analytics tool. It allows you to understand your audience and what content appeals to them. It helps you increase video views on YouTube and maintain their engagement. It will also show you the watch time on your videos and how many people are watching them.
Rank Tracker is a free yet high-quality keyword research tool. The tool lets you display YouTube’s suggested keywords and analyze their search volume, competitiveness, and expected traffic. You can use Rank Tracker to uncover keywords that will put your videos in contention for being showcased in the featured snippet that appears at the top of search results.
Here’s an extension you can get through Chrome’s Web store, which can help you figure out why particular YouTube videos are doing well. This includes a video’s tags, how long viewers watch the video, and even how fast it might grow in popularity.
VidIQ then provides you with an SEO score that will help you create content that works well on YouTube.
TubeBuddy is another browser extension on this list. The tool lets you manage your YouTube channel in a variety of ways. There are tools within the extension for data and research, promotion, productivity, and bulk processing. Through TubeBuddy, you can make YouTube videos and schedule them, manage content more easily with saved responses, and create custom end screens.
Cyfe is a powerful software suite that provides users with web analytics functionality, among other things. This platform allows you to track page performance across all of your online channels, including YouTube, and where visitors are coming from.
Besides traffic analytics, Cyfe can help you identify how you rank for certain keywords and which ones are most popular.
Why Is YouTube SEO Important?
YouTube is the second most popular search engine, with 2 billion users worldwide. Each minute, 500 minutes of videos are uploaded to YouTube. The platform has ample ecommerce opportunities since 90% of people discover new brands or products on it. Content is the key to YouTube’s success, but that is only half of the equation. With the help of YouTube SEO techniques, brands can boost their online presence and engagement and increase their visibility. Below-mentioned are a few reasons why YouTube SEO is important:
Video Engagement Is Indirectly Impacted By YouTube SEO
Engagement metrics including views, subscribers, likes, comments, and estimated watch time determine how well a video ranks on YouTube. To determine content quality, the search engine evaluates the user experience. The higher the engagement metric, the higher the ranking.
These metrics can be indirectly impacted by YouTube SEO. When displaying videos for searches, YouTube takes into account various video characteristics, including titles, descriptions, transcripts, and tags. With YouTube SEO, these elements can be optimized, increasing the visibility of the video. Videos with higher organic rankings tend to have better engagement.
Content Ideas for YouTube Videos
Analyzing keyword data is the first step in YouTube SEO, just as it is in any SEO strategy. New web videos are published every day, so staying relevant is crucial. It is possible to set YouTube up as a search engine in Google Trends so that you can track terms that rise in popularity on YouTube. Although Google Trends does not provide data on search volumes, it does indicate the relative popularity of a topic. If you wish to collect metrics from a YouTube search, check out Ahrefs Keyword Explorer instead.
The data from search engines can also provide ideas for video content, just as it would for website content. YouTube search data can be provided by SEO tools to help content producers understand what consumers are searching for on YouTube. This data can also be used to explain the keywords people are searching for around a particular brand or industry.
Paid Media Metrics Can Be Improved By YouTube SEO
There has always been much discussion about organic and paid searches on Google, but how about YouTube? There are two types of paid audiences based on how viewers interact with a YouTube channel: Remarketing Audiences and Similar Audiences. The organic growth of these audiences expands the number and quality of audience segments that paid media can then target with various advertising formats. These paid campaigns are intended to reach a marketing objective at the beginning or end of a customer’s journey. The effectiveness of paid media can be influenced by YouTube SEO at all stages of a customer’s journey.
With your newfound knowledge of YouTube SEO, you’re ready to jumpstart your YouTube marketing efforts!
A few key points to take into account before you start devising a YouTube SEO strategy: Be sure to get your viewers to subscribe to your channel and leave comments on your videos. The likes and shares will also help get your videos seen by a wider audience and help you improve your video. Furthermore, it also shows Google how popular your content is, which is the whole point!
Besides that, have a reliable internet connection in place to achieve the full effectiveness of a YouTube SEO strategy. If in case you don’t, call Windstream Customer Service and subscribe to one of their internet plans.