YouTube works as its own search engine, meaning you can optimize content, just as you would on Google. Optimizing your videos will increase your rank, viewing time, and overall organic search results. Here are five helpful tips to optimize your videos for YouTube:
1. Insert Keywords Naturally Into Video Titles
One of the first things people browsing YouTube videos will see is the title of your video, and, unsurprisingly, this is one of the major factors on whether a viewer clicks on the link to watch. The same is true for YouTube itself, as it prioritizes how your video will be found and displayed in the search results. Therefore, inserting a keyword into the title is one of the first, most straightforward viewing optimization methods.
However, there are two critical factors to keep in mind: the video’s keywords must sound natural and match the video’s content. In fact, research suggests that using a keyword in the title just to have a keyword there does not result in increased viewership, nor does it keep people watching if the title doesn’t accurately describe the content. Understanding the best possible way to utilize keywords is important for YouTube search engine optimization (SEO).
2. Name Video Files With Keywords
Naming a video file with a relevant keyword is a simple thing to do but is often overlooked. When a video is named with a keyword, your viewer might not notice, but YouTube will and will take it into account as it ranks your video and decides when and to whom to recommend it.
3. Encourage Comments
A large factor as to how YouTube optimizes videos is how the audience interacts with them. Therefore, a strong indicator for what videos will be prioritized in search results is the number of comments viewers leave on the video. More comments mean more people will engage and reply. This leads to more shares and likes, ultimately promoting where it lands in the search results.
4. Front Load Video Descriptions
When creating content for YouTube, it is essential to remember that people are there to watch videos and not read content. The video description found under the video allows for about 100 characters to be displayed before it gets cut off. The user must click “show more” to see the video’s full description from that point. Therefore, it is vital to get the main keywords and even your call to action (CTA) within those first few sentences. Just as with the title, it is important to remember that all written content should sound as natural as possible. Simply forcing keywords into descriptions does not have much effect in terms of search optimization.
5. Upload A Custom Video Thumbnail
Along with the title, the video thumbnail is the first thing a viewer sees when deciding to watch the video or not. While YouTube can automatically create a thumbnail from a video, this is no guarantee that this automatically generated picture will capture the viewer’s attention in the most strategic way possible. Plus, a randomly chosen frame is not the best way to advertise the content within the video. Customizing a thumbnail is a better way to hook the reader and create a sense of intrigue that makes the viewer want to know more.
By following these five steps, you will be one step closer to YouTube SEO success.