YouTube SEO for Beginners: Best Strategies of Optimizing Your Videos for Higher Rankings
What You Need to Know About YouTube SEO
By TOI Team September 20, 2023 Update on : September 20, 2023
According to recent statistics, there are over 2.7 billion active users on YouTube as of 2023. A whopping 80 million people are signed up to YouTube’s Premium platform and you can expect the average user to utilize this platform at least once a month. With these numbers, it’s safe to say that YouTube is a social media giant and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
You are missing out if you are not using this platform for your business or personal brand. It levels the playing field and definitely ensures that everyone who has the know-how for YouTube content creation can have a slice of the proverbial pie.
But while it’s easy to create content and get it out there – getting people to view your content is a whole different story. You might need to boost YouTube views with the help of various effective strategies and techniques to increase the visibility and reach of your videos. And the tips from this article will be useful to you.
YouTube SEO can help viewers trickle in on your videos. But once you know what YouTube SEO to use, you can actually get the viewership you are looking for.
Of course, employing YouTube SEO is not a walk in the park. It’s not an overnight process so you might be wondering if it’s worth your while. Should you spend time using YouTube SEO or just cut to the chase and try other strategies?
The thing about YouTube SEO is that it helps build up your platform not just on the YouTube site but the entire internet as a whole. Search engine algorithms pick up YouTube rankings and take this as a key to determine how to rank your website. This is called inbound video marketing.
In the past, it only pertained to written content but with the advent of YouTube, video has become a crucial element to the marketing strategies.
In order to fully assimilate the benefits of YouTube SEO, you have to first understand how exactly it operates. You should know that YouTube is closely tied up to the algorithm of search engine giant, Google. If you use Google for your searches, you will most likely find YouTube recommendations as well.
The algorithm will pick up keywords from the title and the description of the video. It will also categorize or determine the content through metadata and discern if it’s worth putting on the front page of searches through the engagement the video is getting. If it is garnering a high number of views and there is a lot of engagement through comments and links, your videos will most likely rank high on Google as well.
Google also picks up on the watch time of your YouTube. So, if people actually watch your videos, Google will see this as a good sign that your content is an authority in the chosen niche or keyword.
It’s easy to feel lost when there’s a wealth of information out there. SEO, even if it’s narrowed down to YouTube’s SEO, is still very broad. This is why you should focus on the starting steps you should take first. Here are the ones you should do first:
Before you start creating your content, you should first have a clear idea of what your brand is about. You don’t want to be just another YouTube channel. You need to make sure that you have a brand image that is easy to identify as well so that your audience will easily remember you.
Know your niche and from there, narrow down your niche. If you want to be in the make-up niche, you might want to niche down some more – perhaps create content for affordable make-up or promote products with eco-friendly and sustainable make-up.
If you are promoting your own brand, keep up with the image and style you want to project. Don’t get lost in the sea of competition. You need to have your own voice.
It’s also important to have a keener understanding of who your target market is. Who do you want to reach? What kind of audience do you want to watch your content?
It’s important to know the behaviors of your target market so you have an idea of the scheduling part of your YouTube strategies. You know when to upload your videos in a way that you can get instant traction from viewers who are already there.
You should also have a clear idea of what they like to see. To do this, you might want to check out the videos of competitors. See what they are doing and what videos are getting a lot of attention. Take notes on the strategies that they are using to pique the attention of viewers.
It’s time to brainstorm your content. One of the things that can help propel your YouTube channel is to post content regularly. Post varied and useful content, which is why you need to come up with a content plan so you know what to produce and when to upload it.
Be realistic about your goals. It takes time to build that audience unless you want to get extra help through paid advertising. Consistency is key.
There is no shortcut to this. People are now more discerning about what they want to see. If the video quality is crappy and it doesn’t show a story that they want to listen to more, they will not stick around. Take the time to create your videos. That will speak for itself more than any kind of marketing you do for the videos.
Once you have your videos out, you should use the following YouTube SEO steps so that you can optimize your videos:
1. Know your target keywords and use them properly.
Much like Google’s algorithm, YouTube also operates using keywords. If someone types in something in the search box, YouTube’s algorithm will look for these keywords in the title and descriptions.
This is why you should take the time to research keywords. Find out what keywords to target. You can start with keywords with low competition but a relatively high search rate. Long-tail keywords can also be helpful if you want to niche down.
When using your keyword, try to incorporate it as naturally as you can in the video. Think of a catchy title where you can seamlessly insert that keyword there so that it doesn’t sound odd and forced. Use the same keywords when writing the description as well. Make the description short but it should still be able to describe what the video is all about.
Another way to use keywords is to use it for tags. The tags will also help the algorithm find the videos faster, making way for more efficient searches.
2. Know how to categorize your video.
YouTube enables the categorization of videos to make searches more accurate. If you know what category your videos fall into, it will be easier for the algorithm to pull up your videos in searches.
3. Upload an interesting thumbnail.
Content creators pay so much attention to the thumbnails they post because this is the first thing that viewers will see. Many don’t even read the title anymore and just look at the thumbnail. If you can incorporate some words in the thumbnail to get the attention of your audience, that would be helpful.
4. Change the filename of your video.
Don’t just upload the video directly to YouTube sporting a random, computer-generated filename. Make sure that the filename also has the keywords you are targeting. That’s how algorithms work. They also check the filenames to ensure accuracy in the searches.
You can change the filename to something that best describes the video or you can simply use the keyword you have in the title.
5. Longer videos are actually better.
One of the factors that can affect the visibility of videos on searches is the length of the videos. According to a study conducted by Briggsby, less than 2-minute videos don’t have a good position in the searches compared to videos that are more than 11 minutes long. Longer videos tend to be viewed as more credible. Besides, this just gives you more opportunities to include more helpful and useful content, right?
6. Engage with your audience.
In addition to the in-page SEO you are already doing, you also need to have good off-page SEO content. This usually pertains to link building but in the case of YouTube SEO, it focuses more on audience engagement. It’s not just good for the algorithm but it’s also a great way to build good rapport with your audience. You need to build a community so that viewers will keep on coming back to your page.
Engaging with your audience isn’t difficult at all but it can be time-consuming especially when your audience grows. However, you can give a “like” on some comments or pin up those that you like. You can also respond to the comments or even check out other people’s content. Share their videos as well on your other social media pages. These are very helpful in boosting your YouTube ranking.
7. Go outside YouTube to promote your video.
This is where other platforms can help. Create your social media pages and then share your links there. Another thing that you can do is to create a website where you can embed the video. This can help you go in detail about the content of the video. Utilize the algorithm of Google so that it will help boost your YouTube ranking.
Take advantage of forums as well. Check out queries on websites like Quora and find out if there are people looking for information from the video you created. You can drop the link there.
8. Call attention to your other videos.
At the end of your video, you can call attention to your other videos. You can also do the same in the middle of the video where it is appropriate. For instance, if you brought up a topic that you already discussed in a previous video, you can tell your audience that a more detailed video about it has already been uploaded. You can also provide a link for them in the description box.
9. Make a playlist.
Creating a playlist is another strategy you would want to try, especially if you are making a series for the same topic. If you can’t put all the information you want to offer in one video, divide it into bite-sized pieces and then make a playlist so that viewers can continuously watch them.
While you are at it, use the same strategies with titles and descriptions mentioned above. Include the keywords you are targeting.
You might also want to reach out to other content creators to see if you can create a video with them. Collaboration helps build communities. It doesn’t have to be very famous influencers. You can reach out to content creators who have built a solid following or those micro-influencers. These influencers are more likely to collaborate with new brands and creators on this platform.
Boosting your YouTube viewership doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not something that you can do at one time and call it a day. It requires daily effort so if you plan on getting into this platform, you have to be prepared to put in the hard work. Otherwise, you truly won’t get the results you are looking for. But if you stay consistent, you will find that YouTube is one of the most rewarding platforms out there that can truly propel you to popularity.Read more: YouTube SEO for Beginners: Best Strategies of Optimizing Your Videos for Higher Rankings