YouTube is a platform where almost four million videos are uploaded a day (source). If you want to grow as a YouTuber, you need to figure out how to optimize your content so it’s much more visible than the vast competition.
Many articles talk about choosing a niche and studying your target demographics. Instead, this article will focus on how you can improve your SEO.
Let’s Discuss Keywords
First, let’s talk about keywords. These are the words that your target audience will likely search to find your video, says Wordstream. You must know what those keywords are, how competitive they can be, and how to insert them into your video.
You can go to several websites if you want to search for keywords. For example, you can pick the Free Keyword Tool from WordStream, the Google Keyword Planner, or search via Google or your preferred search engine.
When you find the primary keyword, insert it into your title. Your video title should be catchy, grab your audience’s attention, and have the right keywords.
If the keyword doesn’t seem to fit in the title, you can also place it in the description or the tags. While YouTube claims the tags don’t do much, it may help.
Another odd tip is to have the keyword in your video file before you upload it. Yes, this sounds odd, but it may help.
Making a Good Description
Next, let’s talk about that video description. The description enables you to write much more than the title. Many people use the description to explain what the video is about or give more information about their brand.
So, how should a description go? Generally, you want to put the most vital keywords or information within the first paragraph. The description lets you elaborate on your video, but don’t be too wordy. It should be 200 words or fewer.
Avoid making your description sound too keyword spammy, which may hurt its ranking. Instead, choose a couple of significant keywords to build your description. In the first paragraph, give people an idea of what you should expect from the video. Do not try to stuff your description with irrelevant information. Google does not like when you do this, and they may penalize you.
Your description can also contain information about your channel and give relevant links. You may tell your audience where they can go to buy your products or have a list of your other social media sites. With that said, don’t make it too spammy.
What About Hashtags?
You can also add hashtags to your title and description. While people on YouTube don’t search using hashtags as much as they do on other platforms, they are still quite valuable. Choose around five hashtags relevant to your video, then put them on there. Don’t go too crazy with them, but use the ones that fit your videos the best to ensure it fits in the appropriate place in the algorithm.
Categorize Your Videos Correctly
Another tip is to categorize your videos. When you upload your video, you can select from several categories. If you’re uploading a song, you can select “Music.” Got a funny cat video? That goes in “Pets & Animals.” Categorizing your video can ensure that people find it.
Thumbnails are just as essential to grab your attention as the title. YouTube will use a screenshot of a part of your video by default for the thumbnail. However, most people prefer a custom thumbnail. Think of it as the movie poster. You want a thumbnail that grabs people’s attention. It should be 1280 x 720 pixels and contain an eye-catching image or teaser of things to come. Look at your competition and see what thumbnails they make. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to have a captivating thumbnail image.
Another way to optimize your video for SEO is to add chapters, specifically if your video is long. You can break down your video into the introduction, the main points, and the conclusion. This helps a person who wants to reach a certain point in your videos. Alternatively, video chapters can be a good way for someone who lost their place in the video to find it again. YouTube, by default, does save the place of its users when they watch a long video. However, this feature can sometimes be unreliable. Adding chapters is one way that you can ensure your watchers have a way to get back to your video should YouTube’s feature fail.
Consider adding subtitles or captions to your video as well. Captions not only help people who are deaf or hard of hearing or someone whose first language isn’t yours but are good for SEO. You can turn on auto-captions as well. Auto-captions are much more accurate than they used to be, but some words may still be lost in translation. If the video is shorter, it’s best that you add your own.
Try, Try Again
YouTube is a platform that requires much trial and error. You may have a keyword-rich video with a banging thumbnail, but you’re still not getting the traction you deserve.
It may be back to the drawing board. You may not have made the keywords specific enough. On the other hand, they may be too specific. Or, you’re capitalizing on a trend that is yesterday’s news.
That’s okay. Many people do not get it right the first time. It’s essential to research further, refine your videos, and try again. If you’re having issues with mastering this and need some help, you can also visit the website to learn more.
So many people on YouTube upload their videos with vague titles, no keywords, and no optimization in mind. When you’re trying to grow on YouTube, knowing the basics of SEO practices can put you a leg up in the competition.
Now that you know try to do some keyword or audience research. By doing this, you can get to the top. Good luck.