Created in 2005, today, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google, its parent company. YouTube has become an internet phenomenon. It’s quite obvious that everyone wants to be at the top of the search results for the search engine. Many wishes to be top of the platform but in reality, there are only a few who actually make it to the top. The difference is all about search engine optimization or SEO. As YouTube just like its parent company Google is a search engine, SEO plays the most important role in it. It is YouTube SEO based on which videos and channels get placed in search results on the platform.
Still, most people don’t pay enough attention to it or don’t know how to get it right. However, you need not worry as we’ve got you all covered.
Here’s the ultimate YouTube SEO Guide that you’ll need to make your dream of YouTube stardom into a reality:
Get Your YouTube Videos on Point
No matter what tip or tool you use for SEO for YouTube, you won’t be successful if your videos in the first place are not on point. First and foremost, you should make sure that the videos on your YouTube channel are on point. Well, you don’t need to be a pro with flawless production skills or have an expensive setup to create good videos. As long as your videos are high-quality, unique, engaging, concise, and relevant to your target audience, you’re good to go.
Create High-Retention Videos
In addition to the above point, you should aim to plan and create high-retention videos. Well, if you don’t know, audience retention means how much time a person spends on a particular page, channel, or website. On YouTube, it is a metric that shows how many of your videos a viewer watches before shifting on to something else. The more audience retention your channel has, the higher it will rank on YouTube.
We would suggest you split your videos into bite-sized chapters. It’ll make it easy for your viewers to digest your content. Also, you can try to keep video introductions brief and dive right into the topic. This way you’ll grab viewers’ attention and engage them right away.
Go For Longer Videos
It has been observed that videos with a duration of less than 2 minutes tend to get poorly positioned on YouTube. We are not saying that videos of such short durations won’t perform at all. It’s just that in most cases it’s seen that good-performing videos on YouTube are of a bit longer duration. Hence, we would say that it’s worth investing in longer videos.
We would suggest you go for creating videos with an average duration of 10 – 15 minutes. Also, don’t need to unnecessarily stretch videos. If the relevance, value, and quality of your videos are on point, you need not worry so much about the length.
Perform Good Keyword Research
As we’ve covered all the points of creating SEO-perfect YouTube videos, let’s move on to the other important YouTube SEO tips. Keywords, just like Google, play probably the most crucial role in YouTube SEO. It is keywords through which the YouTube algorithm identifies a video’s subject, indexes, and associates it with users’ searches. Hence, the next important thing that you should focus on after your videos is keyword research.
Keywords vary depending on the channel and videos. You need to research to know which keywords would be ideal for you. Go for keywords that best identify your videos, are relevant to your niche, and have good potential to reach the target audience. For keyword research, you can take the help of the YouTube search bar, look at keywords used by your competitors, or use tools out there.
Keywords are to be added to various fields such as file name, title, tags, and description. Don’t worry we’ll discuss each of them below.
Use Keywords in The File Name
Very few people know that YouTube SEO techniques begin even before you upload your videos. Well, the YouTube algorithm reads and analyzes your video’s file name. hence, it is the file name of your videos in the first place based on which the platform’s algorithm starts determining what the video is about. Hence, it becomes important to include the main keywords in the file name of the videos that you’re going to post.
Use Keywords in The Video Title
Once you have put the right keywords in the file name, it’s time for you to put keywords in the title of your videos. This is one of the most important fields where the keywords should be present. It’s pretty much impossible for a title without the right keywords to index and rank on the platform. You should make sure that you insert keywords naturally in the video title. Ensure that the title is compelling, clear, concise, and matches what viewers will be searching for.
Use Keywords in The Video Description
The next super important field where you should insert keywords is the description of your videos. Through the description, you should aim to provide as much information as possible about what the video is about. We would suggest you use keywords in the first 25 words of the description. It is advisable to use keywords 2-4 times in the entire description and avoid being spammy. Also, try to make the description minimum of 250 words.
Include Transcriptions & Captions in Your Videos
As you may or may not know, the YouTube algorithm is not capable of reading images and videos. The algorithm I only able to read, understand, and analyze only texts and codes available. Thus, creating transcriptions & captions and including them in your videos becomes a great strategy to let the algorithm understand what your content is about.
You can add timestamps to the transcript and turn them into captions. In addition to captions, you can also put the transcript text in the description of your videos. You can either do all these manually, use YouTube’s tools, or other tools that facilitate this work.
Create Custom Thumbnails for Your Videos
Most of the videos that we choose to watch on YouTube are based only on the appeal of their thumbnails. You must have realized how important the right thumbnail can be. Be it YouTube or any other platform, no matter where your videos list, it is thumbnails that’ll represent your videos. They are the first thing users see when they stumble across your video listing.
Hence, the right custom thumbnails can help your videos stand out and drastically boost overall metrics. Ultimately leading to higher rankings. Such thumbnails can hugely influence and encourage users to click, watch, and engage with your videos. Go for thumbnails that are high-quality, catchy, relevant to videos, and relevant to the target audience. We would suggest you use images of 1280×720 pixels, representing a 16:9 ratio, and of 2MB or smaller size.
Promote Your Videos As Well As Channel
Once you’ve already used all the aforementioned YouTube SEO tips, you need to invest in promotions of your videos and channel. Today, amidst cut-throat competition, it’s quite impossible to get desired success on YouTube without doing marketing and promotions. YouTube marketing and promotions if done right can work wonders for you.
However, you must remember to not limit yourself and promote videos outside of YouTube. You can advertise your videos using email marketing and distribute them on various social media platforms. Also, you can embed your videos in your blog posts on related topics.
Use Cards & End Screens to Your Advantage
The best way to make your audience engage in your videos in a specific way is to include clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs). This way you won’t leave anything up to just chance. Including the right, CTAs will also ensure your audience will complete the correct action instead of missing the shot.
We would suggest you integrate verbal CTAs like asking your viewers in videos to like, share, comment, subscribe, etc. Just like CTAs, there are some built-in features on YouTube that you can use to take your SEO to the next level. These built-in features include cards and end screens.
You can use end screens and cards to encourage users to subscribe to your channel, check other videos, playlists, and so forth. So, make sure that you use these features wisely. These interactive features can boost overall engagement and raise search rankings.
Keep A Track of Your YouTube Analytics
The only real and effective way to measure the SEO and success on YouTube is to monitor your analytics closely. This way you get to know about how your videos are performing. You get to know where in which areas you’re lagging and need to improve. Luckily, YouTube already has an excellent built-in analytics function. There are some essential metrics you should keep a track of to keep improving your SEO. These metrics include watch time, impressions CTR, card CTR, traffic sources, unique viewers, and subscriber growth.
With this, we come to an end to our YouTube SEO guide. Now, as you know all the tips and strategies to boost SEO, it’s time to implement them. We’re sure that with these tips and strategies you’ll soon be able to achieve your desired rankings on YouTube. Always remember that in the end, it’s a lengthy journey. You should remain consistent with your efforts, disciplined, and never quit. All the best for your SEO efforts!