Youtube is currently the second largest search engine in the world.
Adding to this, the growing importance and popularity of video marketing means that a strategy for Youtube as something essential and a impossible to ignore.
This brings us to video SEO – in a world that has more and more content, and where the competition is getting more and more ferocious, it is paramount to rank as high as possible on the search results page.
So, what are the 5 things you must do in order to rank high and have a strong Youtube video SEO strategy?
Tip #1: Keyword Research
Since Youtube is a search engine, you should conduct a keyword research to find what your audience is interested in. There are various ways you can do this:
YouTube Suggested Results
Start by typing on Youtube’s search bar the keyword you want to rank for. You will be presented with various suggestions related to that keyword. This way you will have information on what your audience is searching, and you can adapt your content to these keywords.
Yes, you can also use Google’s results for your keyword research!
There are certain types of searches, such as “How To” expressions for which Google presents Youtube video results. Search for keywords around what you want to rank for and check if there are video results. This is a great way of ranking in one more platform and getting more views!
After your find the right keywords for your strategy, use Google’s Keyword Planner to check their monthly searches volume, and analyze whether it is a good opportunity for you or not.
Keyword Research Tools
There are plenty of tools you can use to conduct your keyword research, and even certain tools that allow you to do keyword research specifically for Youtube.
Tip #2: Video Optimization Matters
Now that you have done your keyword research, you should optimize your content around it. Aside from… well, actually talking about those keywords on your video, there are other important factors
to account for in a good Youtube SEO strategy.
Title, Description, Tags, Thumbnail
Write a compelling title that includes your keyword, and make sure you are solving a problem or answering a question – this way your target audience will be more prone to watch your video in its entirety.
The description should be long enough that it shows the user what you are going to talk about in your video, and it encourage them to watch. Give as much information as you can and, once again, be sure to focus on keywords that are important to you.
Use relevant tags around the keywords you would like to rank for, as well as related ones. This way you will have a higher chance of having your video shown as a “related video” of other pieces of content on Youtube. You will also have more views, which is the goal, right?
As you might have noticed, you can not see the tags of a video. Don’t worry, though! There are tools for that, of course.
Finally, the thumbnail is the first image of your video that the user sees. It should be interesting, attractive and show exactly what you are going to talk about. This is a powerful way to increase click through rates.
Once you have a few videos related to a certain subject, you should create keyword-focused playlists. Gather different videos of a certain theme on one playlist. Once a user plays a video, the rest of them will be played after that one is over, which means you will have more views and a boost towards your SEO!
Transcript and Translations
Did you know that transcript and translations are crawlable? Can you imagine the potential here?
Youtube has automatic transcripts, but you should not rely too much on them. Edit it or create your own transcript, and time-stamp it.
Translations are a great way of not only having more people watching you video (more views!), but also a way of ranking for keywords in different languages.
Tip #3: User Engagement is Key
Engagement is essential if you want to rank high. Youtube perceives good engagement metrics as a signal that your content is relevant and popular.
What metrics should you consider?
Comments, views, likes, and subscribers are very important engagement metrics you should be working for. How can you boost them? Aside from having good and relevant content in order to have more and more views, well…ask people!
Ask users to like, comment and subscribe to your channel. Start a debate or add a Subscribe button at the end of each video.
There are several reports you can analyze to have intakes on your engagement metrics and optimize around it. Youtube Analytics is a great way to find areas for optimizing your video content.
Tip #4: Promote your Videos
More views equal better engagement metrics and a higher chance of ranking high on Youtube. To get more views, you should be promoting your videos. How can you do that?
There are various ways of promoting your content, and some of them include social shares. Share your video on you social platforms so they have more visibility.
Another way of doing this is sharing your videos on Q&A platforms such as Quora. Find questions to which your content could answer to and be relevant. Write a response to those questions and share a link of your video.
Leverage the network of YouTubers as much as possible. Get interviewed on other channels and participate in other people’s videos. Ask them to share your channel and your content as well – this is a great way of bringing more valuable users to your videos.
Tip #5: Content is Still King
Last but not the least – content. One of the absolutely most important factors for a good Youtube SEO strategy.
Optimization is important, but at the end of the day, relevant nor valuable to the user, your success will always be limited. So, do not forget to focus on bringing value to your audience and, not only will they watch you video, but they will come back for more.
A good Youtube SEO strategy is very important for your videos to succeed on this platform. There are a lot of different steps you should take in order to excel in video SEO.
It is definitely not an easy nor quick process, but it is the difference between ranking on the first results of a Youtube page, and being forgotten. Do this, and you will increase your visibility!
About the Expert
This article was written by Sofia Russo. Sofia is a senior PPC Manager at Codedesign. When Sofia’s not adjusting bids or studying SEO, you can find her playing Footsall, listening to Beyoncé, or making Star Wars puns.
Connect with Sofia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sofia-russo/.