With almost two billion monthly users YouTube is one of the top search engines in the world, which is one of the reasons why it’s such an attractive promotional tool for businesses.
If you take the time to optimize your videos and you produce quality video content on a regular basis, you can dramatically increase your chances of reaching a wide and targeted audience.
So, how exactly do you optimize your YouTube videos?
There are several important factors that count towards your search results ranking; some are completely in your control – like the keywords you use and how you use them – while with others, you don’t have as much power over them (like how many people subscribe immediately after viewing one of your videos).
Some of the most important video ranking factors include:
Your channel’s keywords: Use the right tags to make sure that YouTube knows what your channel is about.
Video headlines and descriptions: Research keywords to find out what your audience is looking for and use these keywords in your video headlines and your descriptions. (Quick tip: the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the headline, the better!)
Video tags: In addition to keywords, you need to add tags to your videos – research tags to find out which ones perform best.
Video transcript: Including a video transcript is a great way to make your video more scrapable by search bots. It’s also good for viewers: if they need to check the spelling of a word or can’t increase the volume to hear the video, they can still access the content.
Watch time: Your total video watch time (how many minutes/hours/etc. people watched your videos) also counts towards your ranking. The bigger the watch time, the better!
Thumbnail Image: The thumbnail image will be visible whenever your video is indexed, so this should be compelling and relevant.
Engagement: YouTube also looks at your channel’s engagement, including how many likes/dislikes you get, as well as how many comments and shares.
Subscriber numbers: This doesn’t just mean how many YouTube subscribers you have.
- YouTube keyword research tools to help you find the right long-tail keywords to target
- Tag explorer, for discovering popular tags for your channel and your videos Keyword rank tracking to easily track your videos’ ranking and success
- A/B testing for videos
- View and copy video tags
This last feature allows you to check videos and see what tags they used. This is very useful as you can check very popular videos that rank highly (and are relevant to your own niche/videos) and see which tags helped them get to this stage.
When you’re using your YouTube content on your other channels or on your website, make sure the video is the feature of the page for the best chance of ranking. Search crawlers won’t go searching for a video hidden low on a page, and Google will typically only index the first video.
Optimizing your video content is important for establishing your YouTube marketing strategy, and it can also help with content while you’re getting started. Keyword research is a great tool for finding video ideas. Before you create any new videos, take the time to research keywords, and create videos based on the keywords you want to target.