How do you do SEO for YouTube? In this article, we will describe how to optimize videos on the most popular video sharing platform and what SEO actions can be implemented.
YouTube is not just the world’s largest video content platform, it is also the second most used search engine, after Google. The number of searches is larger than that of Bing, AOL, Yahoo and Ask.com combined. YouTube has over 2 billion users per month and videos are viewed every day for over a billion hours, generating billions of views (source: YouTube).
For this reason, one also speaks of SEO for YouTube, purchased by Google in 2006 for 1.6 billion dollars. Just as for Google, it is actually possible to obtain an improvement in video ranking through search engine optimization techniques.
Videos are powerful marketing tools. According to research by Wyzowl, in 2020 85% of companies used video as marketing tools and 92% of marketing teams acknowledge that video is an important component in their content marketing strategy. The research of the American company (one of the major players of the sector) reveals that 74% of the respondents said that watching a video from a branded channel convinced them to buy an app or tool online. So, basically, managing a well-ranked YouTube channel is not much different from maintaining a website that is at the top of Google SERP.
SEO specialists agree on one point: Google loves videos. One of the main points of video marketing is that hosting interesting video content on the website positively affects search engine ranking.
If SEO on Google operates through the analysis of user needs expressed by queries, content curation and the processing of useful content, even SEO optimization on YouTube must primarily respond to visitors’ intentions of research.
The YouTube algorithm determines which videos will be recommended to users based on their interests and the performances of the video. Among the ranking factors, positively evaluated by YouTube for positioning purposes, we can find:
• The amount of time users spent viewing the video
• The number of clicks on the video thumbnail
• Interactions (Likes, comments, shares, etc.)
• The trueness of the description and the meta description of the video to the user’s query
• Videos previously viewed by the user, based on topics and channels
• The number of videos that the user has viewed on that specific channel
• The number of subscribers and the quality of the channel.
Optimizing a video for YouTube takes a few tasks. Here are some effective tips:
Name the video file using a target keyword
Just like SEO on text and content, to optimize videos for YouTube, it is therefore desirable to identify the keywords on which you wish the video to appear in the SERP by using specific tools (e.g. vidIQ Vision for YouTube which is an extension of Chrome). Once a target keyword for users has been identified, the video file must be renamed, because the YouTube algorithm also classifies the content on the basis of the keyword or a long tail keyword, the terms of which are separated by a dash.
Enter the keyword naturally in the video title
Users search on YouTube and it is good that the title of the video corresponds to the most used terminology on the search engine rather than a specific keyword. A good title positively affects the clicks and those converting correspond more perfectly to what the user is looking for. The title of the video should not exceed 60 characters in order not to seem cut off on search results pages.
Optimize video description and use subtitles
Although the character limit for video descriptions allowed by YouTube is 1,000 characters, it is still good to pay attention to the User Experience and remember that the user is on the platform to watch a video, and not to read a complex article.
If you choose to write a longer description, remember that YouTube only displays the first two or three text lines, i.e. approximately 100 characters and you will need to click on “show more” to view the full description. This is why it is good to include the most important information in the first lines, such as CTAs or links to follow. An optimized description helps to appear in the recommended video sidebar which is a significant source of potential views. Enabling the feature that generates (automatic) subtitles, or rather, adding a file containing them allows YouTube to scan them, just like Google does with the texts of web content, thus improving the ranking.
Tag your video with popular keywords that relate the video topic and select the video category
The official YouTube Creator Academy suggests to use tags to let users, and the YouTube crawler, know what the video is about. As a result, YouTube evaluate how to associate the video with similar content. It is good to tag the most significant keywords without omitting a mix of common and more long tail ones, such as those that answer the How To question, for example. Once you choose the tags, it is possible to access to the “Advanced settings” to classify the video according to categories so that it winds up in large playlists and gains visibility to a specific audience.
Using YouTube Analytics for dynamic optimization
Like any self-respecting optimization, even SEO for YouTube cannot be separated from an analysis from data produced by views. To do this it is necessary to use YouTube Analytics, a tool offered by the platform. The Analytics of your YouTube channel measures the number of views and their duration, traffic sources, the performance of the channel in terms of number of subscribers, the demographics of the audience, user retention rate and much more. Based on this data, it is possible to improve the optimization of the videos and get information on the most successful multimedia contents, including for the purpose of creating future videos.
The data are in fact the focus of a SEO Audit which starts with the gathering and analysis of data and ends with the continuous monitoring of the results, the processing of which allows to receive new indications for later content optimization.
We wrote that YouTube is a search engine and the SEO for YouTube allows you to climb the SERP. ByTek offers high quality SEO projects, which allow you to achieve noticeable results and increase conversions with often triple-digit growth rates.