Consumption of video content has been on a rise and capitalizing on the trend is very important to ensure your brand/ product gets the desired visibility and reach. YouTube is one platform that drives intent-based marketing as the users are specifically searching for videos based on their needs and interest at the time of search. That’s the reason why an effective YouTube SEO strategy becomes extremely important to ensure your videos top the search results so that they become more discoverable. Moreover, YouTube’s algorithm also suggests videos to users based on different criteria. So how do you ensure your video is appearing in the suggested list of videos? An effective SEO strategy is where the answer lies.
Once you have identified the keywords that users might search to find your video, ensure you rename the file you are uploading with one of the most searched keywords for that video. YouTube’s algorithm can read the file name along with all the code when the video is uploaded. For example, if the video is about Home Décor Tips, change the gibberish file name of the final-video to Home-décor-tips. This is one of the key tips for YouTube Video SEO.
The title of a YouTube video is what gives users the first impression of it. Make sure that the title grabs the attention of the user. The title should also be to-the-point and clear so that the users can understand what they can expect in the video. When it comes to keyword insertion, ensure that it naturally fuses into the title. If you try to stuff your keyword forcefully, there are chances that the video will not perform as expected in search results. The idea is to maintain the balance of clarity and conciseness (ideally up to 60 characters long) while fusing the keyword into the title. So, ensure to prioritize Video Titles in your YouTube SEO strategy.
Although YouTube lets you write long descriptions up to 1000 characters, it is not necessary to use all the space as the users are going to watch your video and not read the complete description. Moreover, only about 100 characters of the description will be shown to the user, while the rest of it will be shown once the viewer clicks on “show more”. Also, as the first 2 lines would be visible to the viewer, make sure that you are including all the necessary keywords, important links and CTAs in those two lines. You can also write a transcript for the video so that viewers can watch it without volume. There is a high chance that a video with a well-optimized description might show up in the suggested video listing.
Tags on YouTube, like most other social media platforms, are used to make videos more discoverable. The YouTube algorithm figures out the context and content of your video by scanning the tags on it. However, make sure that the tags are relevant to your videos based on the keywords and search patterns, or else the algorithm will detect that you are just stuffing the wrong keywords and push your video search rankings down further. You can also include long tail tags that the user might search to find your video.
Categorization of the video increases the chances of your videos appearing in different suggested playlists. You can choose the category of the video through the “Advanced Settings” option. This helps increase the reach of your video to a wider audience base. For choosing the right category, you will have to research what other content creators are doing within the same category. Is your video style, length, and rendition close to that of similar videos uploaded in the chosen category? You will have to dig deeper to find the right answer.
When you upload your videos, YouTube recommends some auto-generated thumbnails. It’s best to avoid using them and create a customized one in the 16:9 ratio under 2MB. The thumbnail of your video can attract the right kind of audience and increase video views considerably. Make sure to follow the YouTube guidelines so that your video thumbnails look proportional across all devices. To upload a customized thumbnail, you must also get your YouTube account verified.
Integrating your important keywords in closed captions and subtitles is another way to improve your search rankings. You can either choose to upload a text transcript that YouTube supports, or you can also opt for a timed subtitles file.
Cards give you an opportunity to redirect the viewers watching your video to other related videos on your channel. They appear either in the form of a white-coloured circular icon with an “I” in the middle or as a transparent box of text asking you to subscribe to the channel. YouTube allows you to add five cards in a single video and they come in six varieties namely: Donation cards, Fan funding, Link Cards, Poll Cards, and Playlist Cards
End Screens are like the concept of cards, but they appear at the end of the video. For End Screens too, YouTube allows you to try different formats and styles depending on the platform. However, it is important to note that YouTube will optimize the end screens in the best possible way and not stick to the End Screen format you have set for your video.
Apart from the usual tags that go with the video, you can also add hashtags to the video which are featured right above the title. These Hashtags further increase the discoverability factor of the video. Just make sure that you are not spamming the video with too many random hashtags. This can work against you and push your ranking down.
Group videos made on similar topics in a playlist that’s again optimized as per the relevant keywords. This will indicate to the YouTube algorithm what the video’s content is all about. Moreover, making a playlist can also help you increase your views on the videos, as users binge on one video after the other, which ultimately will improve your video search rankings.
The above-mentioned YouTube SEO tips can help in improving your search rankings to a great extent. We at Bigtrunk handle YouTube accounts for some of the leading names in the kids’ entertainment space. Our team of experts constantly look at ways and YouTube SEO tools to optimize these channels even further. To know how YouTube SEO can boost your views and search rankings, get in touch with us today!