This article will show how YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can skyrocket your viewership overnight, allowing you to make money with YouTube in no time at all.
If you are new to the game of YouTube marketing, let me break it down for you:
- You need to build up a list of hungry subscribers who love your content before they start watching your other videos
- Once they subscribe, they will receive notifications every time you publish a new video
- Therefore, you must keep them interested by producing videos that are “shareable” and relevant to your niche
- Once they think you have a quality product, they will share your content on various channels, including their own social
- Increasing your chances of going viral
One thing about YouTube is that it can be a very fickle place. The page ranks for any given search term change daily – making it critical to stay up to date with the latest trends.
So, how do you know what types of videos will lead to more organic views via YouTube SEO? In this article, I’ll break down some key factors that affect your video rankings and provide actionable tactics you can start implementing today.
Make sure you choose relevant keywords to help make your videos easier to find. The more popular the search term, the more traffic potential it has.
But… stay away from using broad terms like “video marketing” because they are too competitive, and chances are you won’t rank very high within them since there’s too much competition (unless, of course, that is what your business specializes in).
After identifying the focused keywords, use them in Titles, Descriptions and Thumbnails.
YouTube allows you to check your rankings for any search terms entered. Just enter a term into their search bar, then click on the Ranking option that appears underneath the search box when you hover over it.
The information provided within this tool is invaluable since it will tell you how difficult it will be to reach the number one status for those keywords.
You can use various Keyword research tools to help you identify the right set of target keywords, e.g.,
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Keyword Tool Dominator and more.
CHOOSE KEYWORDS WISELY
Keywords within YouTube search queries are based more on emotions and feelings rather than factual data like Google’s keyword planner tool would lead you to believe.
For instance, someone searching for a “great wedding dress” may mean that they want something that makes them feel beautiful rather than looking for an expensive gown that will make heads turn at the reception.
When publishing videos, keep this in mind and try to use words like “amazing” sparingly since they are overused on YouTube (trust me…you’ll know once you start checking out other channels).
CREATE AND POST MORE VIDEOS
If you really want to dominate YouTube for specific keywords, make sure you create multiple videos on similar topics. It’s better to have several targeted videos that rank for different variations of the same term than one video that ranks for one keyword.
- THE TITLE TAG
You must have a relevant title for your video. Your goal is to rank as highly as possible for the most searched terms in your niche. Consider using words like “review”, “test”, and “compare”. These are popular because they tend to be more conversational, and people feel they have more value – resulting in an increased click-through rate from YouTube’s search engine.
YouTube’s search algorithm operates similarly to Google’s, where it prefers more relevant terms to appear higher on the list.
The easiest way to think about this is like an eBay auction, where you’re outbidding your competition for specific keywords, so try to keep titles as concise and informative as possible without sounding too spammy. You can still get creative with them, though!
When using title tags keep these best practices in mind:
- Keep your titles interesting but also ensure that they include keywords to help your posts get found online.
- Try to use 60 characters or less to write the title and focus on keeping most target keywords upfront.
- Ensure your titles don’t show as cropped or cut off in things such as suggested videos, search results and mobile.
- THE DESCRIPTION
This is one of the most critical areas on your YouTube page! A good description will definitely help you rank higher, so make sure it contains a link back to either the homepage of your website or another specific landing page depending on the type of product or service that you’re selling.
Also, keep in mind that Google and other search engines can index your video’s description. It is where you should include the bulk of your SEO efforts since this will place your videos in front of a much larger audience than just YouTube users.
SCHEMATIC AND CONTENT
It’s essential that you use words or phrases that describe the content of the video. The importance of this should not be understated as YouTube uses your video description keywords to categorize your videos, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for
- BUILD YOUR NICHE
You want to make sure that your channel is about a specific niche, so if you start veering off the topic, it’s more likely YouTube will pick up on this, and you’ll see less traffic.
The more focused you can be with your content, the easier it will be for search engines to index it properly and the better your chances are at ranking higher within YouTube searches.
But do remember that selling a single product or service only works if people constantly search for it, so take a page out of Google’s book by diversifying your content and offering multiple options to your customers. Try not to diversify too much out of your niche or genre.
For example, you might have a YouTube account that specializes in fitness videos, then branch into healthy recipes, or maybe publish a how-to video about baking then upload a comedy skit afterwards for good measure.
This diversification will allow you to attract all sorts of viewers, making your channel more popular!
Using tags within the metadata will also help drive additional traffic to your page. These tags must describe both search terms and contextual phrases related to the content of your video.
Make sure you tag your videos properly because even though YouTube takes links into account when it comes to ranking, keywords still play an important role.
The more tags you use within the metadata, the better chance you can rank for different search terms and phrases.
When tagging your videos keep these best practices in mind:
- Try not to tag every single word within your description or title
- If you do use multiple words as tags, put them together all at once without any spaces between them (“don’t” becomes “don t”)
- Only use popular and relevant words as tags (i.e., don’t tag a video “video marketing secrets” with the word “funny”)
- THUMBNAILS MATTER
I’m tempted to make this entire section about image optimization (titles, descriptions, tags etc.) since they are all equally important when it comes to YouTube SEO, but thumbnails deserve special mention since they are displayed before users even click on your video.
Users will rarely watch anything that doesn’t have a decent thumbnail, so it’s essential to make sure you have a good one. A great example of a creative thumbnail that is also relevant to the content within the video would be anything from Jesse Cox or TotalBiscuit.
When using thumbnails for your videos keep these best practices in mind:
- Plan what and how the thumbnail will represent your video.
- Try to have a high-resolution thumbnail under 2MB size.
- Specs: 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9 ratio) as a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.
- Check if the thumbnail looks fine by zooming in and out
- Design thumbnails which are distinct from one another.
YouTube is a social network, so be sure to take advantage of the links offered in this section when you have them available. You can link to other videos and custom URLs like landing or product sales pages.
LINK TO YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe to your YouTube channel by including a link directly on your website and/or blog posts. It allows others to go straight from their browser over to YouTube without having to search for it!
Linking back to your other social network sites like Facebook and Twitter is also important. YouTube has followed Google’s lead by combining its social media aspects into one central location, much like Facebook did with Facebook Connect.
- REMAIN RELEVANT
To truly dominate YouTube SEO, you must consistently post new content. Make sure every piece is tagged correctly, has an accurate description, and is published at the optimal times. It will maximize your viewership and keep you fresh in the search engines’ eyes.
Many people don’t realize that YouTube is entirely different from Google because it doesn’t care about relevancy; it cares more about freshness. If you’re not adding new videos consistently, you’ll likely fall in views and rankings quickly. One way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by publishing multiple videos throughout the week instead of just one or two
- TIMING AND RELEVANCE
Make sure you post videos around the same time every day during peak activity hours in order to maximize viewership and make sure you stay relevant by staying up to date with industry trends.
- COLLABORATE WITH FELLOW YOUTUBERS
Depending on your channel’s size, you can also include links to other similar channels. It would help generate more conversations about your videos, influencing others to watch them.
Or even better to work with others to create unique collaborative content. It will provide multiple perspectives on a particular topic, allowing you to target multiple audiences at once. Plus, collaborating makes reaching larger audiences easier because you can tap into your friend’s subscribers.
- FEATURED VIDEOS
YouTube itself can feature your video if they feel it’s relevant to specific audiences or if your content is truly extraordinary. It gives your video more exposure since featured videos appear at the top of search results! Keep an eye out for emails from YouTube regarding this because you’ll want to make sure the video is live before it’s featured.
Posting your videos to other blogs on a consistent basis is another great way to get more views, subscribers, and traffic back to your YouTube channel. Remember that these are different from social media sites like Facebook since most people visiting are looking for additional information beyond just the video itself.
- LANDING PAGES
You can use YouTube’s annotations to include links that direct viewers to specific landing pages. If you want new users to sign up for your email list, consider creating a form within an annotation below one of your videos, so it appears as soon as they click on the video. It will capture many leads right from YouTube.
To be honest, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Well, YouTube is an excellent example of this. The more comments your videos get, the greater their chances are for ranking higher on YouTube and Google, resulting in more views!
Getting positive feedback from others and sharing it across all social media sites can help generate additional buzz around your brand, which may drive more traffic to your YouTube channel!
All postings on social media sites may not count as much as reviews, but it’s an added bonus for your YouTube SEO.
It takes time for changes to take effect on Google’s search engine truly, but YouTube’s algorithm is much more aggressive and changes instantly. To compete with other channels that are publishing videos on a daily or even hourly basis, you need to start advertising your channel as soon as possible!
Your best bet is going to be Google’s own AdWords program since they have the most competitive rates and an excellent interface for managing campaigns.
Don’t underestimate the power of public relations. Many PR firms specialize in viral campaigns and getting press coverage. Try to leverage that into free advertising and online buzz by having them mention your brand or product specifically when writing an article about something else entirely.
YouTube operates using signatures by allowing people to subscribe to your channel by clicking a button at the top right corner of your videos. You can create these signatures with any HTML or CSS, so it’s worth playing around with some designs since they will appear on every video you publish
- VIDEOS TO REPOST
Not every video you upload will be able to garner massive amounts of views overnight. It’s all about quality over quantity, so it’s important to get into the routine of reposting old content on your channel whenever possible.
Besides, nothing is worse than uploading a new video only to see that it has fewer views than your previous video did before you took it down!
It might be cliché, but it really does come down to this – if your content is so good that people can’t stop watching, you’ll inevitably receive positive play counts and eventually reach #1 status.
The bottom line is that YouTube has become just like any other search engine where people expect 100% relevant results. For your videos to rank well within their search engines, you need to be publishing content that is just as good if not better than the channels ahead of you!
Once your video has been uploaded and optimized for YouTube SEO, don’t just sit around and hope people find you. If your target audience actively uses Twitter or Facebook, then start building a following there and commenting on related videos/blogs etc.
To make it simpler, ‘Go where your customers are!’
Once you’ve created a successful promotion plan for your product launch, it needs to be taken down ASAP; otherwise, all those views will count toward next month’s rankings since they’re essentially free marketing at its finest. It can be done in several ways, including uploading bloopers of the video or something related, but that’s for another post.
Obviously, you don’t want to come right out and say your video is guaranteed to go viral since few videos achieve this. However, you can still set yourself up for success by releasing “teasers” of the product before it launches, so people get excited about it. If your teaser gets enough views on YouTube, this will help with SEO rankings when searching by keywords associated with your product launch.