If your YouTube channel is an integral part of your marketing strategy, these are the SEO tips that you need.
YouTube is a big deal! With over 1.5 billion users visiting this video platform every month, it’s no wonder that it’s become a key part of countless content strategies across the globe.
While posting creative and engaging video content will always be a major contributor to the success of your YouTube channel, if you truly want to see higher returns, the optimisation of your videos will also need to be a top priority.
With so many brands using content to grab the attention of your customers, optimisation is one of the few tactics that will better your chances of popping up first in front of your ideal target audience. Video is just like any other content, if you want search engines such as YouTube to push your video to the top of the results page, you’re going to need to optimise.
Factors that impact how well your videos rank
There are several factors that form part of YouTube’s algorithm that determine how well your videos rank, including:
- Number of subscribers – How many users are subscribed to your YouTube channel
- Watch time – How long people spend watching each of your videos
- Video length – How long each of your videos are
- Keyword relevance – Are your keywords actually relevant to your video content?
- Engagement rates – How often users are liking, disliking or commenting on your videos
These are the main areas that you want to focus on when optimising your videos and the below tips will ensure that you do just that.
Pro tips for optimising your YouTube videos & channel
- Create a compelling channel. The better your YouTube channel looks at first glance, the more likely it is that a user will want to explore it and subscribe. A creative banner image and an easily-recognisable profile picture go a long way in making your channel more appealing. You can also add a channel trailer that will automatically start playing once a user lands on your YouTube page to further entice them to stay. Creating playlists will help organise your videos and make it easier for users to find content that appeals to them.
- Written content matters. Since YouTube and Google bots can’t actually watch your videos, they rely on your video’s title, description and tags to understand what your video is about. This means that if you want your videos to rank well and draw more users to your channel, you need to create compelling and detailed video titles and descriptions that contain relevant keywords. Be sure that the keywords you’re using are actually relevant to your brand and more specifically, your video’s content. Tags give you the opportunity to use additional keywords that you can’t necessarily use in your copy to further optimise your videos. If you want to take things one step further, you can also add a video transcript to really showcase the value of your video content.
- Utilise end screens and cards. In the same way that you would use internal linking on your website, end screens and cards are a great way to keep people on your channel and engaged with your video content.
- Use a custom thumbnail. According to a report by The Creator Academy, 90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails. Your video thumbnails are the first thing a user will see on your channel before they hit play, so by uploading a custom thumbnail you increase the chances of a user clicking on and watching your videos. A simple SEO tactic but one that will help your videos to rank higher.
- Make your content worth the watch. Promotional videos don’t generally perform very well, which means that your video content should fall into one of two categories: Emotional or educational. Your viewers should either learn something new or have an emotional reaction to your video content if you want to keep them coming back for more. Videos that add value are also far more likely to be shared on social media, another positive search engine signal.
Cards are essentially interactive panels that appear while a video is playing and encourage further action. You can add up to 5 cards to a YouTube video and these are the options available to you:
- Poll Cards. Give viewers the option to vote on a particular subject
- Link Cards. Offer brands the option to link to their websites from their videos
- Channel Cards. Link to another YouTube channel that you feel your viewers would find interesting
- Donation Cards. Ask viewers for donations or feature a non-profit of your choice
- Video or Playlist Cards. Show viewers related playlists or videos that you feel they would find interesting
YouTube End Screens
End screens are buttons that appear at the end of videos, encouraging users to take further action. There are 4 types of end screens that you can add to your videos in order to grow your YouTube channel, including:
- Video or Playlist. Present viewers with a related video or playlist that you feel they would find valuable
- Encourage users to subscribe to your YouTube channel
- Direct viewers to another channel that you believe they would find valuable
- Drive users to your website
Once you’ve uploaded your latest video, don’t forget to promote it in order to drive more traffic and encourage as many views as possible. Use all of your social media platforms, your website and your newsletters to promote your latest video content.
You will also be able to track the performance of your videos using YouTube analytics. This data will help you understand what works and what doesn’t so that you can better optimise future video content and improve your video’s SEO rankings.
Is your brand new to YouTube or are you looking to enhance your current video content strategy?