How To Do SEO on YouTube – Guided Tutorial & Tips 2017
If you’re wondering how to do SEO on YouTube, then you are not alone. Many people just think that you throw up a video on YouTube and then magic happens and you get popular, but there is much more to it. There is a technical process that you must follow so that you can optimize your video for search engines. Not only can your video appear on YouTube, but it can also be displayed in Google’s search engine results too. This can bring you massive amounts of traffic to your video and website if you target the right keywords. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the World after Google, who also happens to own it. By ranking your video on both platforms, you can greatly increase your brand exposure and awareness for years to come.
How To Do SEO on YouTube – Getting Started
In this YouTube SEO guide, you will learn how to do YouTube SEO and the important factors that will have an influence over your rankings. The actual YouTube SEO optimization part is quite easy; it’s choosing the right keywords and arranging them that is the challenging part. Keywords are everything when it comes to search engine optimization, and they can make or break your traffic and conversions.
You can either target your keywords towards on YouTube by itself, you could find video keywords in Google to bring traffic to your video, or you could find an incredible keyword that will bring you traffic through Google and has a high CPC on YouTube. A good example of video keywords on Google are “How To” videos. These are popular because sometimes following detailed instructions on how to do something can be better represented visually rather than reading it through a plain text guide.
As you can see in the image above, there is a WikiHow article ranking in the first position, and it even has a featured snippet too. But, there are three videos below related to this search and two of them have colors which stand out and draw attention. If you performed this search, would you click on the WikiHow article or one of the videos? The visual content in this situation is far easier to digest because someone showing you how to do skateboard tricks on a video can be taught better this way.
If any of these three videos above wanted to rank for this keyword, they would have to follow this YouTube SEO tutorial below.
YouTube SEO Tips
As mentioned above, when you want to know how to do SEO on YouTube, you need to pay attention to your keywords. First, you need to find a good keyword to target. The best keywords to target for YouTube are longtail keywords rather than something broad or generic. This means that if your YouTube channel is about skateboarding, then targeting the keyword “skateboard tricks” is going to be too broad. Longtail versions of this keyword would be “skateboarding tricks for beginners” or “best skateboarding tricks 2017.” The word “best” and the year can also play a part in YouTube SEO as many people include those terms in their searches.
Think of what your video is about and then type related keywords into YouTubes built-in search function. Analyze your completion and look out for these points.
- Does the keyword you searched for appear in the videos title and description?
- How long is the video?
- How long is the description and how many times does it use the target keyword?
- Does the description include related keywords?
If the video is over 3-minutes in length and the keyword is included in the title and description then check how many views it has.
Do you think that the amount of views for this video is good? Is your video better than this one and can be more popular?
Be realistic with your thoughts. That first video in the screenshot above currently has almost 1.4 Million views. Now, the video was uploaded in 2008, but it’s going to be hard to compete with a video this popular unless you can optimize your video better than it and make your video length longer.
You can also see that given a number of views that this video has, the engagement rate of likes and dislikes is very low in addition to his subscribers. So just because a video has a lot of views does not mean it is popular among the viewers.
Once you have performed your keyword research and are set on the one you want to target, it’s time to start optimizing your video.
YouTube SEO Optimization
Now that you have decided that you want to know how to do SEO on YouTube let’s get down to the core elements that you must include in order to help your video have a better chance of ranking.
Save Your Videos File Name With Your Target Keyword
When you make your video, and you save it to your computer, be sure that when you save the video to your hard drive that you name your video as your target keyword.
The title is what you will name your video when you upload it to YouTube, so it is different to what you saved it has before on your computer. Put your keyword at the very beginning of the title and fill up the rest of the available space with something relevant but without making the title sound unnatural. You can even include some clickbait in there like this for example:
“Best Skateboarding Tricks 2017 – #9 Is Insane!”
Not only does this title include your keyword at the start, but it also implies that there are at least nine tricks to watch and it can greatly increase the chances of people watching your video for longer.
This is what people can read when they open your video to get an idea of what it’s about. More importantly, it’s what YouTube reads to get an idea of what your videos about. The description should include your target keyword at the beginning and be as long as it can. It doesn’t have to be right at the beginning because you can also include a backlink to your website or web page in the description to for SEO purposes and for people to click on. But within the first 25-words is the best area to include it.
The more text you have with related keywords and your target keyword, the better YouTube can view it favorably. I like to have a 300-word minimum for my video descriptions and remember that it has to make sense and be about the video. I also recommend in a 300-word description that you include your target keyword 3-4 times.
Tags are extra keywords that you can add to your video to help people in finding your content. Add a few related tags because some people do search them and it also adds more to your YouTube SEO optimization.
The length of your video has a direct influence over its ranking power. YouTube likes long and detailed videos that provide value to the viewer. You will barely see any videos under 3-minutes that rank unless the keyword is low competition. You will need to study your competition to see what the average length is for your chosen keywords but a 5-minute minimum is recommended.
The retention rate is how long a single viewer watches your video for. This is then taken into account with your total viewership and it has an effect on your rankings and SEO. If a video has a lot of views but a poor retention rate, then YouTube can think that it is poor quality and not look upon your video favorably.
The comments, subscribers, and shares that your videos get are vital to your YouTube SEO. This is what signals YouTube that your video is popular and you can outrank other videos that have been on top for years by having a better engagement rate.
The video thumbnail is the picture that you see next to the video in search results. I like to create my own custom thumbnail and also save it with my target keyword as the file name. The thumbnail doesn’t have a lot to do with YouTube SEO directly, but a good thumbnail entices people to click on your video which can then lead to views, subscribers, comments, shares, and a higher retention rate.
How To Do SEO on YouTube – In Conclusion
Follow the optimization tips in this article, and you could be sure to see an improvement with your video. These are the core basics that you should follow and are all known to influence your rankings in some way. We hope that you found this YouTube SEO guide very informative and that you can utilize it to increase your visibility on YouTube and get more popular. YouTube search engine optimization isn’t as hard as it may seem and it’s pretty easy to perform as you can see above. Don’t forget to share this article on Social Media if you know anyone that wants to know how to do SEO on YouTube.