YouTube SEO- Basics and Best Practices
Search engines are an integral part of many places on the internet. When you enter a website, for instance, there is almost always a search feature there, which helps us locate internal content. Even social media sites contain the search feature which not only makes media easily accessible but also very attractive since it’s just so handy.
This is also the case with YouTube, which bestows its own search system so that users can easily access the channels and videos that they are looking for.
YouTube SEO is a strategy for optimizing channels and videos to enhance placement in search results. YouTube is the largest video platform on the internet and it is also considered to be one of the biggest search engines. Hence, it is crucial to know how to optimize your content for the platform.
YouTube has played an essential role in mutating videos into one of the main and most glorious content formats, equally for both consumption and Digital Marketing.
With such a multitude of videos on the platform, YouTube has had to organize all of the content in its search engine.
In order to have a good experience on the platform, users should be able to easily find videos and content of interest. As a result, the platform developed an algorithm capable of ranking the best content out of all others for each search.
Due to that, channels today face a challenge: whoever desires more visibility, must adopt various strategies to optimize the videos and its content so that they can rank in a better position.
These SEO strategies for YouTube are progressively being employed by brands. Essentially, who or what brand wouldn’t want to be at the top of the search results providing relative content for the largest video platform on the web?
How does YouTube SEO work?
Akin to any other search engine, YouTube video rankings are determined by a complex and regal algorithm, but one should not get caught up in trying to understand every single aspect.
Instead, what must be kept in mind is the ‘goal’ of any search engine: to provide searchers with the best quality content, which best complements what they’re looking for.
Notably, the YouTube search algorithm relies on two ‘groups’ of things:
1.‘Technical’ SEO signposts such as video transcripts, the title, description and tags, which enlightens the algorithm as to what your content’s about.
2.‘Human’ SEO signals that tell the algorithm as to whether the users who watch the YouTube content published by you consider it to be any good: that is stuff like watch time, click rates, retention and user engagement.
Whichever way you slice it, the eventual triumph of any YouTube channel relies on being able to make your content rank higher into those precious YouTube search results.
YouTube SEO: Top four best practices 2022
- You must always have a focus keyword:
The first of all great YouTube SEO tips is about keywords.
Regardless of whether you’ve already posted your videos to YouTube, or you haven’t even begun recording it yet, deciding on a relevant keyword to base your video around will marginally aid your YouTube SEO efforts.
Alike all search engines, YouTube functions by matching the users search terms with the most relevant and highest quality results available.
For your videos, it is easier if you select relevant keywords before you start. Herewith, you can make use of a keyword research tool to assist you in finding the most popular search terms to use that may help you rank higher as well as ideate content on your channel.
Popular keyword research tools include: Ahrefs, SEMrush, Keywords Everywhere, and KeywordTool.io.
- Optimising the video title:
After you’ve jotted down the keyword to use, you must use it to optimise your video in different ways in order to help enhance your YouTube ranking. One of the most uncomplicated ways to do this is to incorporate the keyword in the title of your video.
But, with more than 400 hours of videos being uploaded to YouTube every minute, a mere keyword by itself is not going to be enough to give you a marginal YouTube SEO boost.
The title of your video needs to be compelling. It needs to give out the ‘Click me!’ vibes to all YouTube users.
The most effective way to carry this out is to promise something: Are you going to help teach your viewers something? Will you be entertaining them? Or will you be displaying how your product or brand is something they need in their lives? You must let them know what they’re about to watch and how it might be useful to them.
Incorporating these promises in your video title, without exceeding YouTube’s maximum character limit is how you get those ‘clicking’ numbers up.
Addedly, if YouTube’s search algorithm picks up your video, you get a great boost in the YouTube search results. This is because YouTube’s automated algorithm notices that many users deem that your content is going to answer their question.
- Enhance the video description:
Along with optimising the video title, you must also optimise the description of your video for much better results.
Whilst your video title is mostly to catch the eye of prospective viewers; you can come out to be a little more in-depth with a great description.
YouTube only displays the first 125 characters of your description, but it is better to write around double that and targeting 250 words if possible. It is recommended that you put the most important keywords at the beginning of the description.
There are a couple of things you must keep in mind when writing a description:
- You must include your target keywords as much and as effectively as possible.
- Be sure that your text is unique and not some run down copy paste from a website somewhere.
- Incorporate the right tags:
Once you’re done inserting your keywords in the title and description, you must also include them in the ‘tags’ section.
Tags are solely for YouTube’s reference; hence your viewers won’t see what you include. Factually, it is heavily contested whether these tags actually carry much weight in YouTube’s algorithm but this task is so easily and quickly done that it remedies the debate.
You can add as many variations of your keywords as desired and they don’t need to be super-specific either.
You can take the assistance of the Chrome Extension for YouTube called Tube Buddy. Amongst many of its other features is keyword rank tracking, this allows you to look out for the search ranking of different tags so you can use the best ones for SEO.
YouTube is an extremely competitive place to share your content because there are millions of people visiting it on a daily basis. Whilst the competitiveness can surely be off-putting at times, you just need to keep in mind that there are still numerous ways for you to ascertain that your content ranks higher and also improve your YouTube SEO to make your channel and your videos increasingly lucrative for your business or brand.