You can feel it. You just know that you have what it takes to be the next YouTube superstar or create the next viral video sensation – but so far, you can only get your mom and your dog to watch your videos. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur launching a new company or product, and trying to figure out how to successfully incorporate video into your marketing strategy.
Just like with any type of web content, it doesn’t matter how great your videos are if no one can find them. That means it’s vital to take the time to properly SEO your YouTube videos and channel. Below are 10 YouTube video optimization tips to help get your videos found – and watched – by the right audiences.
YouTube Video Optimization 101
1. Choose a relevant keyword(s) for your video – See our post on How to Do Keyword Research Using Google Keyword Planner for an introduction to selecting targeted keywords for your content.
2. Include the keyword in your video title – This helps users to find your video in search results. It’s best to keep your video title to 60-70 characters in order for the full title to be visible in search results, and having your keyword near the beginning of your title will improve performance in search ranking.
3. Add video tags – Use both plural and singular tags for maximum effectiveness. Be sure your keyword is included in your list of tags as well. Put quotation marks around multi-word tags.
4. Assign tags to your channel, too – This helps people (and YouTube) understand what your channel is about and what sorts of topics you cover.
5. Add a description that includes your keyword toward the beginning – Search engines tend to show about 100 characters of this description in the results snippet, so you want your keyword to appear in that space. Here is more info on optimizing your video’s title and description.
6. Include your website link in the first line of the description – This way, your website is visible even without the viewer clicking to expand the “More Info” option.
7. Include a call to action in the video and in the description – This could be asking viewers to subscribe to your channel for more great content, directing them to a link on your website or encouraging them to connect with you on another social media platform.
8. Create playlists on your channel to sort videos by category – Encourages visitors to watch more of your videos and engage with your channel longer.
9. Cross promote – Link to your website and your other social channels in the video description as well as on your channel. And of course, share your video on your website and social networks to drive more traffic to it.
10. Transcribe videos – Upload the transcript as a .txt file within the “Subtitles and CC” section of the Video Manager. This creates the option for viewers to see captions with your video and helps to further improve your Google ranking. For more detailed instructions, read about transcripts in YouTube Help.
Follow these tips, and you’ll greatly increase the likelihood of your videos ranking in search results for viewers searching for your relevant keywords.
What video SEO tips would you add? Do you have questions about any of the info we’ve shared? Let us know in the comments below or – hey – check out our YouTube channel!
Note: Some content for this post was inspired by this fantastic article from Seer Interactive. Be sure to check it out for a very thorough and in-depth discussion of best practices for optimizing your videos. Here are more great resources for YouTube video optimization:
- Video SEO Guide – Optimization Best Practices (Forbes)
- YouTube’s step-by-step Optimization Playbook