Table of Contents
What is YouTube SEO?
YouTube SEO is a way to improve how channels and videos show up in search results. YouTube is the biggest place to watch videos online and is among the most popular search engines. So it’s important to know how to make your content work best for the platform.
YouTube optimization is all about how many people have watched your video and how well it ranks in a certain category. Data shows that brands have seen a 50% increase in viewing time every year for the past three years when they optimize for YouTube search trends.
How does YouTube SEO work?
Google bought YouTube. So, it uses the same intelligent search as the search engine and has the same goal: to give the user the best search experience.
When a user types a search term into YouTube, the site’s robots look through all the channels and videos to find the most relevant results.
And the algorithm considers several things to find the best results for each person.
Like on Google, a user’s search and browsing history are important for customizing the results page. But it’s important for people who post videos on YouTube to know that the algorithm also considers channel engagement and optimization when ranking the results.
For example, a video that correctly fills out the title, tags, and description fields tends to rank higher than one that doesn’t.
A YouTube channel that gets a lot of comments and likes is also in a better position than one that doesn’t get much interaction.
What is going on? Because the platform knows that these videos add more value to the user’s experience.
And Google’s algorithm knows that as well. Since the same company owns the search engine and YouTube, they work together.
So, when someone searches for something on Google, the search engine also shows a carousel of more relevant videos from YouTube and other sites.
So, the SEO changes you make for YouTube apply to searches within the platform and compete for that space in Google search.
The process of YouTube SEO can break up into three main components:
Keywords: Analyzing the search terms people use to find your topic.
Video content: Creating a video that provides the desired information to viewers.
Signals: If you provide the right information in the right places on YouTube, your videos will rank when people search for your keywords. It is similar to optimizing content for Google but using YouTube ranking factors instead.
It’s time to delve deeper into YouTube SEO techniques.
Rank YouTube videos with YouTube SEO.
The first rule of ranking content, whether a video or something else, is to make content people want. No matter how good your YouTube SEO is, if people don’t want to watch your videos, they won’t rank.
The first step to making great videos is to know how to make them well. Biteable is the easiest way to make a video in the world.
The second step is to find out what people want to know and how they look for that information.
YouTube SEO: Finding the right keywords
If you can believe it, search engines are the best tools for finding keywords. Specialized SEO tools can help, and we’ll talk about those later. But we think you should go straight to the source before you use SEO tools.
The best places to find keywords and keyword data are Google and YouTube, the two most popular search engines worldwide. They are also a good way to come up with ideas for videos.
You know how to use them already, too. Open Google or YouTube to get ready for the first step.
Step 1: Find keywords.
First, type a possible keyword into the search bar on Google or YouTube. You can start with a broad keyword from your niche or something you think might make an interesting video. In both cases, type slowly.
As you type, search suggestions will show up below your keywords. These come from what people have looked for in the past. Both Google and YouTube will let you do this. It will help you find words people use to look for the same information differently.
People sometimes use a little bit of a different language on YouTube than on Google.
Step 2: Focus on the keywords with the least competition (at first)
If you have two keywords that could lead to the same thing, making a video for the one with the least competition is best.
Do a Google search for each keyword version and see how many results there are. Since you’re making videos, click on the “Videos” tab to see only videos.
There is nothing wrong with focusing on keywords with much competition. But you’ll need a good video to top the list for a keyword with much competition. The best place to start is with keywords that have less competition.
Step 3: Dig up content ideas
Now you have a keyword to use as a starting point. But you also need to know what people are looking for when they search for that keyword. The term for this is “search intent.” Google can help you find the answers, however.
Look for the keyword you want to use. Then keep going down. People asking questions about the keyword are shown in a box next to the search results.
It will tell you what people want to know when they search for your keyword. It will help make videos that meet the needs of the person searching.
You could also use these questions as titles for videos. We’ll discuss that briefly when discussing how to improve YouTube videos.
In short, this three-step process will help you find keywords ready to be targeted and determine which content will get the most views.
Get some YouTube SEO tools if you want to further your keyword research.
YouTube SEO tools
One problem with using Google and YouTube to find keywords is that they don’t give you much information about how many people search for each keyword and which YouTube tags are relevant.
It is where SEO tools for YouTube come in. They give you even more numbers to help you figure out which keywords to target.
When you use YouTube SEO tools, the keyword search volume is the most important piece of information you’ll get. It will help you find keywords that are useful and get enough searches. Because focusing on a search term that no one looks for is, in a way, barking up the wrong tree.
Between 100 and 1,000 people search for the best keywords each month. There’s nothing wrong with a keyword that gets more than 1,000 searches a month. But you should think carefully about whether or not you want to target keywords that are searched less than 100 times per month. If you do, you should lower those keywords on your list of things to do.
At any rate, the Goldilocks Zone is between 100 and 1,000 searches per month. Start with the keywords that fit into this range.
You’ll need at least one SEO tool to find keyword search data. Right now, these are the best YouTube SEO tools available.
Google Keyword Planner
The first SEO tool ever made was Google Keyword Planner. Other SEO tools pull data from the Google Keyword Planner using the Google API and organise it for you.
Google Keyword Planner is different from those other tools because it is free and gives you access to all of Google’s keyword search data. At first, it can be hard to figure out how to use it. But it is the most widely used SEO tool (thanks to being free). Much content can help you figure out how to use the keyword planner.
You can use Ubersuggest as an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner without creating an account or signing in to that account. It provides you with the data on keyword searches that you require so that you can choose the most relevant keywords.
Given its focus on optimizing videos for YouTube, TubeBuddy is likely the most comprehensive YouTube SEO tool available.
You can skip the three-step procedure outlined above because TubeBuddy provides all the necessary information. TubeBuddy automates all of that work and consolidates all your data into a single dashboard. TubeBuddy is the best option if you want consolidated access to all your YouTube SEO information in one place.
VidIQ Vision for YouTube
VidIQ Vision is an add-on for your browser that works like TubeBuddy. It’s another YouTube SEO tool that gives specific search data information. The dashboard is the main difference between VidIQ Vision and TubeBuddy.
TubeBuddy is much more visual and gives you a more in-depth analysis. TubeBuddy puts numbers first and shows all the information in a way that makes sense for watching YouTube.
Both tools will tell you everything you need to know to make your YouTube videos as good as they can be. That’s the next place we’re going.
Simple YouTube SEO Tips To Rank Higher In Search
YouTube SEO is not like making a cake. Even if you follow all the rules, the algorithm of the platform—which is very complicated—will decide what results will show up for the user.
It uses a lot of different rules, criteria, and calculations to figure out where something ranks, including how easy it is to use.
But the more points you get with YouTube’s search algorithm, the more likely you will get to the top spots.
So, let’s look at some YouTube tips to help your channel and videos rank higher in search results.
Conduct keyword research first.
Keywords are an important part of SEO for both Google and YouTube. Through them, the platform can figure out what the video is about, index its content, and link it to a user’s search.
For this, when they upload the video file, they must fill in certain fields, like title, tags, and description, so that YouTube can collect this information and use it in the ranking.
Because of this, you need to know which keywords best describe your videos and could also bring more people to your channel.
Now, let’s look at some tips for doing good keyword research focusing on YouTube SEO. You can use those to fill in the fields after you’ve recorded videos and develop ideas for your channel’s content.
First, you can use a simple YouTube tool called “autocomplete” in the search bar.
It helps users find things based on the terms usually searched for the most on the network.
It can also help people who make videos. You can find new keyword ideas that are popular on the platform and use those to get more people to watch your videos.
The next step in keyword research is to look at the competition. Yes, even your rivals can help you.
To do this, you should go to the channels that are experts in your niche. If they have a good following and many views, they will likely know how to use keywords and good SEO practices on YouTube.
Then, look at their most popular videos to see what words they use. Go to the Videos tab on their channels and choose the option to sort by the most popular videos.
Use keywords in your video title.
Once you have your keyword, you can use various optimization techniques to boost your video’s position on YouTube.
Including the keyword in the video’s title is a quick and easy way to boost its visibility.
Four hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (!), so optimizing for a single keyword won’t help much.
The title of your video should be intriguing. Those who view it on YouTube need to be prompted to click on it, so it must be appealing.
Making a promise is an excellent strategy for this: Is there going to be any educational value for the audience? Have any plans to keep them occupied? Share the show’s description with your audience.
Optimize the video description
It would help if you optimized your video description in addition to your title.
Your title’s main job is getting people’s attention, but your description can be a little more detailed.
YouTube only shows the first 125 characters of your description, but it’s best to write about twice as much if you can. Try to write 250 words if you can. YouTube also suggests that you put the most important keywords at the beginning of the description of your video.
Of course, the algorithm isn’t the only thing that matters. Your audience will also read it, so keep attention in mind. It’s never a good idea to write only for robots.
When writing your video descriptions, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Don’t forget to use your target keyword(s) if you can.
Make sure that what you write is original. Don’t just copy and paste some text from your website or somewhere else.
Include the URL of your website to send people to it.
We can see a link to the creator’s website right away. Then there are a few long paragraphs about the video, starting with the title and the keyword (build an online business).
With this unique, well-written description, YouTube can figure out what your video is about and show it to the right people.
Include the right tags
After putting your keyword(s) in your title and description, you should also put them in the “tags” section.
Tags are only for YouTube, so what you put in them won’t be seen by your viewers. And, so you know, there’s much disagreement about how much weight these have in YouTube’s algorithm. The general opinion is “not much.” But this is so easy and takes so little time.
You can use as many different versions of your keywords and search terms as you like.
Using “Instagram Hacks” as an example, here are seven things you could do:
- Instagram Hacks
- Life Hacks
- Social Media Hacks
- Social Media
- Social Media Tips
You should know that they don’t have to be very specific.
Tube Buddy is an add-on for Chrome that works with YouTube.
Tracking keyword rank is one of many features. It lets you see how different tags rank in search results so you can use the best ones for SEO.
You could also use a program like VidIQ to find your competitors’ tags. As soon as people watch your competitors’ videos, your videos will appear in the “Up Next” section. It will draw attention away from your competitors and toward you.
Create an engaging script
You might want to skip over this part.
After all, scripts are stiff and awkward, and you want to seem natural and spontaneous, right?
A well-written, interesting script can help you come across as natural and spontaneous while also ensuring you don’t get off track and lose your audience.
A script can help you tighten up your language, cut out the “ums,” “ahs,” and “where was I?” and get your audience’s attention. It can also make your video a lot faster, so you can focus on making more content.
AdAge did a study in 2015, which in the world of video marketing is like a lifetime ago, and found that marketers have only 10 seconds to catch and keep their audience’s attention before they lose them.
Their study also found that 33% of your audience will leave if they aren’t interested at the end of the first 30 seconds. And don’t forget that it happened in 2015! It’s getting even harder.
So make sure your script has a short, snappy introduction that gets to the point quickly and tells people why they should keep watching. Think of it as a longer version of your title. Make a promise at the beginning that you will keep at the end.
Say your target keyword in your video. It is another easy tip. YouTube is getting better at being able to “listen” to your video and type out what it says. If you use your target keyword early and a few times, ideally in a natural way that makes sense to a human reader, your rankings may go up a little.
Start making longer videos.
Contrary to what most people think, longer videos do better on YouTube than shorter ones. If you type any word or phrase into YouTube, the top videos are usually pretty long:
Most people think that YouTube ranks videos based on how long each one has been watched. If you think about it, it makes sense: the longer you watch, the more interested you are, the more likely you are to watch more videos and the more likely you are to see the ads. It means that YouTube also does well from a business perspective.
The longer people watch your videos, the more likely it is that your rank will go up. It makes sense that YouTube likes longer videos that keep people’s attention for longer.
But that doesn’t mean you should try to make your videos last as long as possible. It means you should give complete answers to questions instead of splitting one video into five parts.
Your videos are long, detailed, and interesting enough to keep people watching. If you do that, YouTube will notice, and your rank will go up.
There’s a reason why every video on YouTube concludes with “If you liked this video, click the like button below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more content….” or a variant thereof.
It not only sends a positive signal to search engines like Google, but it also helps a creator grow their audience and reconnect with their existing one. Every one of those likes, comments, and channel subscriptions is a vote of confidence in what you’re putting out there. It is awesome, it says.
One of the simplest YouTube SEO strategies with the potential to have a major impact on your content’s performance is to encourage interaction.
Create an interesting video thumbnail
Before clicking on your video, a viewer sees only two things: the video title and thumbnail. And, because visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than text, thumbnails are crucial!
YouTube will automatically generate a thumbnail for your video, but it will be a random frame from the video.
Each thumbnail has been chosen to entice viewers. The presenters are looking directly into the camera, and the text on the screen reiterates the topic of the video. Contrasting illustrated elements in the thumbnail aid in capturing the viewer’s attention and imparting a sense of professionalism.
YouTube’s search engine results page (SERP) as a digital storefront: you’re selling your content, and searchers spend their time. You must distinguish yourself as the BEST, most PROFESSIONAL, and most COMPREHENSIVE content on the topic they’ve searched for.
It encourages users to click on the video, and (repeat after me) a high click-through rate will significantly improve your ranking performance because it gives YouTube’s algorithm another opportunity to recognize: Hey, this is the authoritative content on this topic.
Playlists are a great way to get more people to watch your channel because they play alone. So someone might watch five or six of your videos instead of just one!
Again, watch time is very important for YouTube SEO.
You must put together videos about the same thing to make a playlist. It also helps to get in touch with people who make content like yours (but aren’t your competitors) and ask them to add your videos to one of their playlists. The better it is, the more playlists your videos are on, and the better.
Add closed captions
Closed captions can add to YouTube videos to help deaf and hard of hearing viewers.
These captions also benefit your YouTube SEO because Google and YouTube both crawl them. Your videos can have automatic captions added by YouTube, but these are typically rife with mistakes.
You must edit the captions provided by YouTube or upload your own to ensure that your closed captions are indexed and optimized for YouTube.
Aim to create high-retention videos
Any marketer with much experience will tell you that dwell time is very important for SEO.
The longer a person stays on a page or website, the more valuable it looks to algorithms, which means it will rank higher.
This rule is similar to the one that is used on YouTube.
Audience retention is a metric that measures how much of your video a viewer watches before moving on to something else. It is very important for YouTube SEO.
That is also not just a theory. YouTube has said it is a major ranking factor, so you’ll want to keep your retention rates close to 100%.
You don’t need a pricey camera or perfect production skills to make good videos that people will remember.
Instead, you should focus on making great videos that are short, interesting, and have a lot to offer.
Your videos will be easier for people to understand if you break them into short chapters.
Keep your introductions short and jump right into the meat of your topic to get people’s attention immediately.
Use video hashtags to drive YouTube search results.
Youhashtags (#) are now used across social media platforms to help people find content that answers their questions. You can add hashtags to the titles and descriptions of your YouTube videos to help people find them when they search for those hashtags.
Tags are a big part of what makes search work because they make key trends stand out. When you add a hashtag to the description of a video, it will appear above the title of the video and become a link.
It’s also important to keep in mind where you put hashtags for videos here. If you put a hashtag in the title, hashtags in the description won’t show up in the title.
Raise your production value as much as possible
Good optimization is mostly about quality, whether you’re talking about YouTube SEO or not, so anything you can do to improve the production value of your content will give you a big boost.
Of course, good content will always win out over fancy production. Still, it’s important to remember that YouTube users like sleek, well-made videos.
And no, you don’t need an expensive video set-up to be successful here. All you need is a smartphone or device that can record video, which you probably already have.
Then add a few cheap upgrades, like a tripod and a cheap microphone that stands on its own. Doing those two things will help your videos look and sound more professional.
Also, you should pay close attention to your history. Choose or make one that won’t take the user’s attention away from the video.
Also, pay close attention to the light. Again, you don’t have to be able to buy expensive, high-end studio lighting. You only need a few nice, bright lights that you can focus on the subject of the video.
Try out a few different ways to make something until you find one that works well for you. Pay attention to what people say about your videos, and use what they say to help you improve in the future.
Keep a close eye on your analytics.
The last part of YouTube SEO is to look at how well you did. The only real way to tell if your YouTube SEO strategy works is to monitor your analytics closely.
It’s the best way to find out what works and what could be better about your videos.
YouTube is great because it has a great analytics function built right in.
Ready to put your YouTube SEO knowledge into action?
With millions of new users joining daily, YouTube is a crowded platform for content distribution. While the level of competition can be intimidating at times, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many opportunities to boost your YouTube SEO and increase the visibility of your channel and videos, ultimately leading to greater financial success for your enterprise.