This is a complete guide to resultative SEO for YouTube videos. If you are a blogger, please refer to my other guide on SEO for beginners.
Before we step to YouTube SEO, let’s build a solid understanding about YouTube itself.
YouTube is more than just a video platform, by two main reasons.
A: YouTube belongs to Google, so it is part of the entire algorithm that Google applies when it ranks websites and pages.
B: It is also the biggest video platform on the web, and ‘that’ could lead us to a very proper conclusion: YouTube is a terrific source of organic traffic for your website.
To get more traffic from the search engines you need to perform good SEO strategies. You need high-quality links, you need a good on-site optimization, and amongst many other things, you need to be consistent. In the end, all your SEO optimization efforts will build up so you will be able to rank for your targeted keywords.
It works the same with YouTube, only with several slight differences. Well, in this post, we’re covering more than just the differences. Today we’ll explore the most effective strategies that’ll help your YouTube videos rank high in both YouTube’s recommendations & search results.
Use Proper Keywords for Video Ranking
Whenever you develop and then publish your content online, whether it’s on your site, on Facebook, or on YouTube, you need to consider using the proper keywords. Targeting and choosing keywords and key phrases for YouTube videos is a bit different than targeting keywords the text search engine. Obviously, the keywords must be relevant to the topic of discussion, and they should also be related to your brand’s value proposition.
To feature your YouTube video in Google’s search results, you should leverage the so-called “video keywords”. I’m talking about the keywords such as: “how to”, “tutorial”, “guide”, “review”, “step-by-step”. These keywords are very impactful for your YouTube SEO performance and you should use them frequently.
Develop Amazing Descriptions
The description of your YouTube video is pure content. And as you know, Google’s robots are eager to crawl more and more content, all in order to decide whether your video is worth ranking or not. Therefore, you should take full advantage of your Description boxes, and you should write long, relevant text that describes the information you present in the video.
Include Powerful Calls-To-Action (CTA)
When someone watches a video, they’re doing it because that video satisfies one of their needs (entertainment, information, etc.) or it solves one of their problems. It’s very important for you to understand the average behavior of the internet user, especially of the video consumer.
People watch videos – they sometimes share them, like them, and comment on them. However, most of them won’t interact. In fact, the majority won’t interact, so you have to give them a reason to interact. Simply by developing strong CTAs (calls-to-action), you can grow your number of YouTube subscribers, video likes, comments, and shares substantially.
So at the end of your videos, ensure that you kindly ask your audience to push your video further to their friends. Ask them to subscribe in case they haven’t and thank them for their time.
Send Targeted Traffic from Various Sources
Optimizing your YouTube channel and videos – is definitely essential to a steady growth in rankings. But, if you can bring extra traffic to your videos from sources other than YouTube or Google, your rankings will grow. The reason is pretty simple:
It’s all a number’s game. The more people have the chance to watch your videos the more high-retention views you’ll get. That’s a signal. Then, if more people consume your content, there’s a chance that more people will interact with it. Likes, comments, shares, it doesn’t matter as it all leads to the same thing, which is the ranking of your video.Sharon Hooper, part time SMM Manager at Careers Booster.
So, to bring steady and free traffic, you can take advantage of niche communities, forums, boards, groups. How can you get traffic from these sources? It’s pretty basic. Find questions that are highly related to your website’s niche and start providing valuable answers. Q&A platforms such as Yahoo Answers and Quora could be a start, but make sure that you don’t neglect the popular forums around your niche.
Leverage the Closed Captions (CC) Feature
The (CC) closed caption feature on YouTube is a terrific opportunity to improve both your YouTube rankings and your position in Google’s first SERP. Just like your video description, the closed captions feature grants you a lot of space to place your keywords and key phrases. Rest assured. Crawlers will go through your closed captions and will gather the necessary data.
This helps you how? Well, Google and respectively YouTube are consistently improving the experience of the end user by striving to provide the most relevant results to queries. Now – if your video is being described very well through the closed captions, YouTube will know when the essence of your content is valuable and relevant to a specific query, especially if it’s a long-tail query.
Publish Only Attractive, High-Quality Thumbnails
The quality of your thumbnails is directly proportional to the amount of attention you’ll draw toward your video. In many cases, people will choose the videos with the most interesting/attractive thumbnails. You can differentiate your videos from the rest, and you can also appeal to people’s senses and emotions. Use color psychology and apply it to your own context.
YouTube will auto-generate a thumbnail for you, but you shouldn’t count on that. According to a recent study, it has been proven that 90 percent of the best performing YouTube videos contain custom thumbnails. To make your thumbnails visible on all devices and screens, use only .jpg, .png, .gif, or .bmp smaller than 2MB.
Ranking a YouTube video becomes a piece of cake once you know what you’re doing. Even better, when you have a reputable YouTube channel which is followed by hundreds or even thousands of loyal subscribers, your reach will blow. You’ll get a lot of organic traffic just because you’ve reached a state where your brand’s name is already popular amongst a small audience. Test, measure, and optimize, and repeat.