YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the internet, and for a good reason. It’s a great place to find videos on just about any topic you can imagine.
But if you want your YouTube channel to be successful, you need to optimize it for search engine ranking. In other words, you need to use video SEO tactics to help your videos rank higher in the search results.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. Here are eight simple video SEO tips that will help you get started.
Video SEO Tips: Do Comprehensive Keyword Research
You need to target the right keywords for YouTube videos to rank higher in the search results. Fortunately, there are several different tools you can use to do your keyword research quickly and more efficiently. Some of the most popular online keyword tools are as follows:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google search (lookup suggestions, people also ask, related searches, etc.)
Once you’ve found a few relevant keywords, the next step is to utilize those keywords properly. Keywords will signal to YouTube that your video applies to those keywords, and as a result, it will be more likely to rank higher for those keywords. But how do you do this? Check out the rest of the tips below.
Use Keyword-Rich Titles
The first step is to make sure your videos have keyword-rich titles. In other words, your titles should contain the keywords or search terms people are likely to search for when looking for videos like yours.
For this to be highly effective, you must first understand your audience’s search intent. Viewer search intents include informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional. Matching your video title and content to your viewers’ intentions will make a huge difference in getting your video visible in search results.
So, for example, your video is about baking a cake. Including the phrase “How to Bake a Cake” will highly likely show up on searches of users who want to learn about baking. If it’s a product review, including the product name in the video title is also a must.
Although it sounds straightforward, many content creators miss this step which is why their videos are low on Google and YouTube search results.
Use Keyword-Rich Descriptions
In addition to using keyword-rich titles, a solid and optimized video description is also a significant ranking factor for YouTube SEO. Your descriptions should give viewers an idea of what your video is about, and they should include relevant keywords.
For example, if you have a video about how to bake a cake, your description might say, “In this video, I’ll show you how to bake a delicious and easy cake recipe. Be sure to watch till the end for the secret ingredient!”
It’s also important to note that YouTube reevaluates your video every time you update or make changes to any of your video elements – descriptions, title, subtitles, closed captions, etc.. This performance can be good or bad for your content, so you must do it right the first time.
According to YouTube, your most important keywords should be included at the beginning of your video descriptions. Moreover, your description should be not more than 200 words.
Suppose you’re unsure how to get started with a great YouTube video description. In that case, YouTube Creator Studio provides excellent resources and guides on how you can create a fully optimized description.
Include Keywords in Your Video Tags and Video File Name
After you’ve uploaded your video and included a title and description, the next step is to add relevant tags. Tags are essentially keywords that you can assign to your videos.
To find the correct tags for your video, consider the keywords or phrases people might use when searching for a video like yours. Once you have a few ideas, you can use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz to find more related keywords.
In addition to adding tags, you should include relevant keywords in your video file name. These tags will signal to YouTube that your video applies to those keywords ranked higher in the search results.
Optimize Your Thumbnail Image
Your thumbnail image is the first thing people see when your video comes up in the search results, so you want to ensure it’s enticing and relevant. Be sure to choose an image that represents your video well and includes at least one of your target keywords.
For example, if your video is about an easy cake recipe, you might want to use an image of the finished cake with the words “easy cake recipe” in the title.
Create Transcripts or Closed Captions
Another great way to optimize your videos for SEO is to create transcripts or closed captions. This optimization is especially important if your videos are in a foreign language or contain a lot of dialogue. You’re giving YouTube more text to work with by including transcripts or closed captions when determining the contents of the video.
Additionally, adding closed captions also provides excellent help to viewers with hearing impairments. They will also allow your video to show up in search results for people searching with the audio off. As a result, your videos will be more likely to appear in the search results.
To create transcripts or closed captions for your videos, you can use a tool like Rev. Rev is a transcription and captioning service that’s very easy to use and it’s also very affordable.
Choose the Appropriate Video Category
When uploading your videos, YouTube allows you to select a video category. Be sure to choose the most relevant category for your video so that YouTube can properly index it.
If you’re unsure which category to choose, you can always look at other videos in your niche and see how the category is identified. You can also use a keyword tool, like Google Keyword Planner or Moz, to find the related keywords and locate the categories.
Create High-Quality Videos That Provide Value
Ultimately, the best way to improve your YouTube ranking is to create high-quality videos that provide value to your viewers. Value can either be through providing useful information or entertainment.
If your videos are helpful and informative, people will want to watch them, share them, and even re-watch them, which will help encourage engagement and ultimately lead to higher rankings.
Besides quality content, your videos’ technical aspects should also be of high quality. These aspects mean having great audio and visuals. You should ensure that your videos can be watched or viewed in the highest definition possible.
If your videos look and sound professional, people will be likely to watch and share them. Poorly crafted videos are less likely to gain viewers’ traction as they can be less engaging.
Video SEO tips: Conclusion
Every YouTube content creator aims to gain more views on the platform. An optimization strategy is important to boost your YouTube channel ranking, including the 8 video SEO tips above.
By ensuring that your video is relevant and that all its elements are highly optimized, your videos can get more views and better engagement. And who knows – with a little effort, you might just be able to rank at the top of YouTube, putting you one step ahead of the competition.