YouTube SEO. Now that’s a topic that many business owners don’t know much about, and those that are aware don’t really pay much attention to.
But you should.
Recent YouTube statistics show us that more viewers find videos using the search tool, so you know you have a large audience that’s waiting to see your content.
The challenge is how to get them to see your video.
You have a lot of competition that is vying for your viewers’ attention, so you need to make sure that your YouTube video has everything it needs to be discoverable.
The more your videos are viewed, the better your channel ranks in search results.
This has all to do with YouTube SEO. By learning its basics, you can get your videos more views.
And if you are thinking, “that sounds like a complicated matter that will take up a lot of my time,” it won’t.
Here at HoopJumper, we’ve compiled a list of these YouTube SEO best practices to drive more views to your videos and channel.
Let’s get started.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #1. Use The YouTube Search Feature To Research For Keywords
Let’s talk about the most important practice, and quite frankly the easiest one to do – researching keywords.
The YouTube search bar is one of the best places to do this. Simply type a keyword or term into the search bar and you’ll see loads of keywords from actual viewers.
You’re not doing this research because you want to exactly copy what they’re using; instead, you’re trying to find out the most popular keywords in your niche so you can integrate them into your own set of keywords.
Additionally, the search results can also clue you in on what other potential topics there are that you have not yet been taking advantage of.
Let’s say you are a Realtor and you’re interested in making a video for home buyers in your state. Search for “homes in (insert your state name here)”, and you’ll see in the results the most common keywords that will show up that are related to what you were searching for.
From there, you can use those keywords, type them into the search bar, then find other results that show related keywords to the original topic you were looking for.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #2: Take Advantage Of Google And Other Keyword Research Tools
Google is the largest digital search engine in the world, so it makes sense to include this tool for your keyword research.
Google owns YouTube, so when videos are posted in YouTube, they also rank in Google results. Take note of what these sorts of videos do in terms of their titles and thumbnails.
You can also use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner. Although not related to video SEO per se, the added bonus of using Google is that you can uncover real-world search terms that people are actually using.
Ultimately, you are doing keyword research so you can figure out what your viewers are interested in. Including keywords and related terms throughout your content is a way to boost your rankings in search results, compared to videos that totally ignore YouTube SEO.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #3: Optimize Your Video Titles
A good, enticing title is one of the keys to making or breaking your video because this is one of the first things viewers see in the search results.
Thus, this is the best place to highlight your keywords.
Most experts in SEO tell us that ~75 characters for video titles is the average best number, so you need to make use of your keywords within this range.
Below are some examples of title formats that stick with our best practices of headline writing tips and allow you to seamlessly integrate your keyword ideas:
- Questions (“Why…” of “What is…”)
- Listicles (“Top 5…” or “5 Reasons Why…”)
- How-tos and tutorials (“How to…”)
- Comparisons (“Ranking the 5…” or “Best to Worst…”)
Although these aren’t the only types of titles you’re restricted to, they’re arguably the safest options for both piquing people’s curiosity and ease-of-use for keywords.
Important: Avoid writing clickbait headlines – audiences are increasingly familiar with and fatigued by these tactics, and doing such things will reduce trust in your content.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #4: Video Descriptions Should Include Keywords
Descriptions are another important area where you should be using your keywords.
This place is more flexible because you have 5,000 characters to work with, but even think about overstuffing this place with keywords – this will get you in trouble.
There are many ways to naturally put your keywords in the description area, you just need to know how to play with words so when you add keywords to your description, they’re not awkward to read.
Descriptions are crucial for funneling traffic from YouTube to your website, landing pages and social media channels – don’t let this section go to waste.
Here’s a combination of elements to include in your description:
- A brief summary of your video which integrates your primary keyword
- Links to other relevant, keyword-specific videos on your channel
- Timestamps on your video which integrate relevant search terms
- Links to your website, social channels or other promotions
YouTube SEO Best Practices #5: Use Attractive Video Thumbnails
Video thumbnails, while not directly related to SEO, are crucial for adding click scores to your videos because they generate interest.
People are visual creatures, so it’s no surprise that this is a true statement.
As such, here are some recommended practices of YouTube thumbnails for most channels:
- Use striking colors
- Apply bold text which highlights the video’s title (or a benefit)
- Include a person or some sort of action
Remember, thumbnails are important for establishing your brand identity, as well as giving your channel that air of professionalism that it needs.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #6: Don’t Forget Your Video Tags
Another way of boosting your rankings that your audiences may not be directly involved with is by putting keywords in your videos’ tags.
Tags are one of the main ways that the YouTube platform recognizes what your videos are all about (aside from the description and title), to help it place your videos in the right search results.
Tags are a subtle aspect of YouTube SEO that your audience more than likely will never see, but they can help improve your visibility and ranking.
This doesn’t mean though that you should go stuffing tons of tags in your videos.
Although YouTube themselves don’t specify how many tags are considered “optimal,” five or so seems to be fair game for most channels.
If you’re interested in example tags or want to see what tags your competitors are using, figuring both out is simple. Simple go to a video, view the page source (CTRL-U) and then search (CTRL-F) “keywords” to uncover the tags.
YouTube SEO Best Practices #7: Promote Your Videos Outside YouTube.
We’ve written many articles before expressing how crucial it is for businesses to thrive using social media.
This also applies to every form of marketing material that you have online.
Pointing your audiences to your YouTube videos means promoting them consistently across as many channels as possible. This will include:
- Embed videos on your website or blog sites
- Email broadcasts containing links to your videos
- Social media posts
Video content performs well on social media platforms, which is why businesses spend time and money to share their latest videos across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest.
Are you ready to put your YouTube SEO knowledge into action?
SEO isn’t a complicated topic, but it’s not easy enough to do either considering the amount of things you need to do as a business owner.
But you don’t have to worry about that.
HoopJumper helps busy professionals and business owners like you build your mega-brand using video to move to the next level.
What are you waiting for? Check out our Video packages today and start using SEO to boost your marketing efforts using video.