When we think about search engine optimization, we tend to focus on content optimized to show up in Google’s results. Yes; that’s an important element of SEO… it’s possibly the most important one. But if we don’t expand our reach, we’re missing out on great opportunities.
When publishing videos on YouTube, you should also focus on SEO.
Just think about it. YouTube also has a search function. When you want to watch a particular video, you use it. Even if you use Google to search for a video, the SEO strategies implemented for video content will make a difference in the results.
Let’s not ignore any aspect of SEO. Let’s focus on YouTube for a moment, so we’ll see how you can achieve better results with your video rankings if you implement a few simple strategies.
1. Research Your YouTube Competitors
Researching the competition is a traditional practice for SEO. You check what your competitors publish on their websites, and you keep an eye on their most popular content. Then, you try to target the same or similar topics, with your own twist. You do your best to provide better content for the same target audience, so you’ll get a portion of their audience.
You should do the same when creating video content for YouTube. The type of video you publish is a big part of the SEO strategy. You’ll understand what works if you check the most popular videos in your category.
Pay attention to the title format, the tags, the descriptions, and the comments written by the publishers. See how they make their channels work.
Then, you’ll implement what you learned through this research (without copying though; you need your unique touch).
2. Use YouTube Keywords
When you use Google with an intention to find a video, you use simple phrases. Here are a few examples:
• How to repot an orchid
• Taco recipe
• Funny cat videos
If we try to categorize keywords that make a big difference in YouTube rankings, we’ll identify a few groups:
• How-to keywords
• Recipe keywords
• Funny videos keywords
• Free classes
To figure out how popular a certain phrase is, you can use a keyword position tool. You’ll identify the volume of searches a particular keyword gets, so you can include them in the text that accompanies your videos.
YouTube’s autocomplete function is another great way to discover popular keywords. Start typing something related to your industry. This function is programmed in a way to suggest the most popular phrases that YouTube users use.
You can also apply short links to improve SEO. When customizing a slug of a short URL, use key queries from Google.
3. Optimize Your Video Title, Tags and Description
Written content is where you can fit keywords. YouTube’s algorithm keywords in the video description title, and tags, so it can evaluate how relevant your video is to a user’s search.
With the previous steps, you identified a few keywords that you can use. Now, you should fit them into different elements of your videos:
• Use the target keyword in the title of your video. The title should be descriptive. Clickbaits work in exceptional situations. In most cases, people want to see a clear title that tells exactly what the video is about.
• Then, you’ll figure out how to tag YouTube videos. Use your other keywords, but don’t go overboard. Up to five tags under your video should be enough. The tags should be short. Since they are written as a single word, they have to be readable.
• Then, you’ll use the remaining keywords in the description. Don’t make it too long and don’t use too many keywords. Just explain what the video is about.
4. Create Videos that Keep People’s Attention
Here’s the truth: YouTube’s algorithm won’t only rely on what you say about your videos. You can implement all the right keywords. You can create perfect titles. But if the videos don’t keep people’s attention to the very end, it’s hardly likely for the algorithm to recommend them to users.
The quality and uniqueness of your video are important elements of YouTube SEO.
YouTube gives you an audience retention report, which you can use to analyze the types of content that work for your target viewers.
If you keep viewers watching the entire videos, it’s more likely for your channel to show up in YouTube search results.
YouTube SEO Is Pretty Straightforward
If you understand classic SEO techniques that work for Google, it won’t be too difficult to translate them into your YouTube SEO strategy.
There are four main rules to follow:
• Research your competitors and cover similar topics in a better way
• Find the right keywords
• Optimize the video’s title, tags, and description
• Create high-quality videos that keep a viewer’s attention.
The bottom line is: if your videos aren’t good, your videos won’t rank no matter how well you use the right keywords. YouTube is great at recognizing quality, since it values the retention rates and viewcount. When your audience recognizes quality, YouTube will do the same.
What did you learn?
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