YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide For Ranking YouTube Videos
- SEO, Video Marketing

YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide For Ranking YouTube Videos

There are a lot of video-sharing sites available, but YouTube is by far the biggest when it comes to viewers and traffic. YouTube has become the main destination for online video entertainment since its founding in 2005. The platform has over two billion users worldwide and billions of views daily.

Thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube daily, and hundreds of thousands of them can get millions of views. The fact that YouTube is so popular makes it a great place to promote businesses. So if you want to reach a wide audience, YouTube is worth considering.

What is YouTube SEO?

In a nutshell, YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your videos and channel to rank higher in YouTube search results. It’s not a single thing but a combination of several techniques that help you achieve your goals.

Optimized videos are much more likely to rank highly in Google’s search results, especially when competition exists for a particular keyword or topic. As a result, businesses can use it to generate more leads and sales, while individuals may find that it helps them attract more views and subscribers.

If you’re trying to rank higher in YouTube search results, there are two main things you need to focus on:

  1. Creating high-quality content
  2. Optimizing your videos

In this article, we’ll talk about the latter; how you can optimize your YouTube videos.

How To Optimize YouTube Videos?

Before hitting the “Upload” button, ensuring your video is as optimized as possible is important. This will help ensure that Google can crawl, index, and understand your content to give you the best chance at ranking for relevant keywords. Consider the following tips as part of your YouTube optimization strategy:

Do Keyword Research

The first step in keyword research is to find out what people are searching for when they look for videos like yours. You can find this information using Google’s Keyword Planner tool or free tools such as Wordtracker, Moz Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush.

For instance, if you are creating a video about how to cook pasta, then the keywords will be “pasta,” “cooking pasta,” and “how to cook pasta.”

If your business has specific keywords that it wants to rank for, then use those in your video title, description, and tags. But be careful not to overstuff them with keywords because it will make your page look spammy, and it won’t help you rank better anyway.

Write an Engaging Title

The title of your video is the most fundamental thing that will determine whether it gets discovered by viewers or not. Therefore, the title should be descriptive and compelling enough to get people’s attention.

Avoid using generic titles such as “How to” or “The Best” as much as possible because they will not attract many views. Instead, it would help if you came up with something unique that will appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are making a video about cooking pasta, you can use a title like: “5 Simple Ways To Cook Pasta Like Gordon Ramsey.”

Upload a Custom Thumbnail

In the early years of YouTube, you could upload a video that would automatically generate thumbnails for you. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Now when you upload a video, there are no thumbnails available for you automatically. To optimize your videos for search engines, you must create them yourself before uploading them to YouTube.

You can create custom thumbnails using any photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. There are also plenty of internet tools that allow you to do this for free; check out Canva.

Make sure your thumbnail reflects your video’s content as closely as possible. For example, if you’re uploading a vlog about a recent trip, don’t use a generic landscape photo from that location as your thumbnail. Instead, think of your thumbnail as an advertisement for your video. You want it to be eye-catching and enticing enough that people will click on it and watch the rest of your content.

Add Subtitles and Closed Captions

YouTube added subtitles and closed captions to videos in 2010, giving everyone the option to add them.

Subtitles and closed captions translate spoken words into text, making them easier to read than just listening. In addition, captions are available in many languages, making it possible for people to watch your videos even if the language you use differs from the one they speak.

Captions also benefit language learners, people with hearing loss, and others interested in reading along with the video.

Use playlists to boost watch time.

In a playlist, you can place multiple videos together in any order and add a title and description for each to help viewers find it. Doing this gives viewers a chance to see what other videos are in the playlist and browse through the titles until they find one that piques their interest.

Suppose you have several videos on different topics (or even if you have several similar videos). In that case, this can help keep people watching your content without them having to jump into new unrelated videos whenever they want another piece of content.

Interlink Your Videos Using Annotations and Cards

An annotation appears on top of your video and can be customized to include a link or call-to-action button, such as “subscribe,” “download this app,” “check out my website,” and more.

Cards are similar to annotations; they’re larger and allow for more information. The cards can feature a video thumbnail, a title, photo, caption, and link. The type of card you choose (image, video, or gallery) will depend on the type of content you’re sharing in your video.

A big benefit of using these interactive bits of text and media is that they allow one video to lead viewers through an entire series of videos without losing them or confusing them about what’s happening.

Take Away

There is so much noise around that it can be hard for your content to rise above the rest. While using great production values and embedding a call to action are both important pieces of this puzzle, there is one other very important part that can make or break your strategy: optimization.

In the end, optimizing your YouTube videos doesn’t take much time, energy, or effort. Between that and the multitude of benefits linked to a well-optimized video, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it.

YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide For Ranking YouTube Videos

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