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How to Optimize SEO For YouTube Videos

Published on July 02, 2019
by Anthony Tisara

People love watching videos, especially those on YouTube, the undisputed king of the medium. More than 30 million people watch YouTube videos every day. If they could only reach even a tiny fraction of that figure, video content creators and marketers would be on Cloud 9.

The problem is, getting that many eyeballs on your videos are a different thing altogether. Anyone can make a video, but getting people to watch them requires extra effort on your part. You need to optimize them on YouTube too.

YouTube is a search engine

Many people seem to forget that YouTube is one huge search engine too, which means you can optimize your video there just like you would with the content on your website. By optimizing SEO for your YouTube videos, you can boost their chances of getting found by users not only through Google but also within YouTube itself.

So how do you optimize your videos on YouTube?

Keyword research

Since keyword research is an essential component of optimizing websites, it follows that it’s equally important when optimizing videos on YouTube.

When you finally get your keywords, make sure that they’re used in the title, which will boost its visibility. Your meta and tags should also contain those keywords.

Speaking of meta and tags, the former should be short and sweet because most people who watch videos don’t really read descriptions anyway, while the latter, which helps associate your YouTube video with text, should always be relevant and be kept to a minimum.

Write an attention-grabbing title

A great headline makes people want to read an article. The same thing applies to videos. People will always be drawn to a compelling headline, even when the quality of the video content is average at best. You don’t want to be making excellent videos only to have no one watch them because of a ho-hum title.

Aside from making it intriguing, your title should be no more than 66 characters because short titles are so much easier for Google to display. As stated earlier, the title should also contain your focus keyword.

Make an appealing thumbnail

People also choose to watch videos based on the thumbnails you’ve set for them, which is why they should draw attention and interest too. In fact, thumbnails can be more effective than compelling titles when it comes to attracting that click.

While you can use frames from the actual video for your thumbnail, your best bet for great-looking thumbnails would be custom ones. They don’t even have to be taken from the video. You can have professional images taken, and you can add some fun graphics and text to grab attention. Your account has to be verified first by YouTube though before you can customize thumbnails.

Subtitles and closed captions

YouTube videos support closed captions so enable them if you want. You can also add your own subtitles if you want them to be more accurate.

Subtitles and closed captions aren’t just to make watching videos easier for the hard of hearing or those who watch them while in a noisy environment. They just happen to have a surprise SEO benefit: search engines actually crawl them!  According to Discovery Digital Networks, captioned videos saw their views increase by 7.32% overall. To enable closed captions and give your SEO an unexpected boost.

Get viewers to engage and comment

People usually abandon videos that look promising but end up being disappointing, and that affects their watch time or the number of time viewers spends on them, which is a crucial metric.

To keep your viewers’ attention for the entire length of your video, your video content must be relevant and of good quality. Adding a Call to Action or (CTA) to encourage viewers to like, subscribe, or comment can also drive engagement. You can also put up an end screen towards the last few seconds of your videos. Use it to promote your other videos or encourage them to visit your channels and websites.

Make awesome videos

Of course, none of your SEO efforts will matter if your video content is bad, to say the least.

For your YouTube video to be considered good, it must have eye-catching visuals, great sound quality, and most importantly, the content must be engaging and educational. Anything less than that, and viewers who got to your video because of your SEO efforts will leave and move on to the next videos, which will probably belong to your competitors.

Send your videos some links

Youtube also benefit from backlinks, you if you can share your video on multiple websites or have it be shared it will help index the video on Google Search. Something like this:

SEO for Youtube

Having your videos also show up on search engines will increase their view rate which will increase your youtube rankings. Another way to send traffic and increase relevancy for your videos across the web is to have other online websites link back to your video as a reference for their content. A simple text with an anchor tag to your video link. Just like ranking a webpage on Google Search... sending high-quality backlinks to your videos will dramatically increase their rankings on the Youtube Search engine. 

Videos are here to stay and if you are looking for a good option to diversify your website's content... Youtube videos are the way to go!

Category: SEO

Anthony Tisara

Anthony Tisara

Digital Marketer. He enjoys traveling with his family and organizing weekly trivia events with his friends.