How To Optimize YouTube Videos: SEO Tips, Best Practices and More
Table of Contents
- What is YouTube Marketing?
- 11 YouTube Optimization Tips & Best Practices
- Benefits of Choosing YouTube For Marketing
Fun Fact: Did you know that – according to Statista – with over 2,291 million active users worldwide, YouTube is the second most popular social network as of October 2021 – second only to Facebook?
YouTube is even more popular than traditional television today, and contrary to belief, users are twice as likely to pay attention while watching YouTube than while watching television. With YouTube enjoying nearly 50% of the entire social media user share, the writing is clearly on the wall as to where the audience can be found.
Although not utilized optimally by many brands, YouTube offers many marketing opportunities. And, with over 500 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube every minute, it is very easy for marketing on YouTube to get lost. To maximize one’s marketing returns on YouTube, one must capitalize on as many marketing tactics as possible and thoroughly utilize SEO tactics for YouTube optimization.
With close to 70% of users using YouTube to make an informed purchase, brands should work toward influencing their customer’s buying journey. A good starting point is creating your brand’s own YouTube channel. However, with YouTube being the second largest search engine after Google itself, a more critical step is to optimize the channel itself to make it more search-friendly.
This blog addresses some excellent YouTube optimization and SEO tips and tricks for businesses and brands to optimize YouTube videos and their channels.
What is YouTube Marketing?
Businesses and brands promoting their products and services on YouTube are using YouTube marketing. Brands can do so in two primary ways. The most common practice is to upload video-related videos on their own YouTube business channel for reference and information about their target audience.
Companies and businesses can also run advertisements on YouTube to re-emphasize their brand image in their existing customers’ minds and introduce their products and services to newer customers.
11 YouTube Optimization Tips & Best Practices
After looking at the “what” and “why” of YouTube marketing, let’s also look at the “how.” Like Google, YouTube also ranks all the videos in its library according to the video’s title, keywords, descriptions, thumbnails, etc.
In addition, you have the YouTube recommendation algorithm that brands need to please to ensure that their videos are a part of what gets recommended. While this may sound complex and extremely difficult to execute, it is not.
For businesses and brands wondering how they can improve their YouTube Channel, here are 11 YouTube SEO tips and best practices.
1. Optimize the channel
All businesses create a business YouTube channel to interact with their target audience. Hence, brands must ensure their channel is optimized to stay search-friendly.
The first step is to ensure that their YouTube profile page is updated with descriptions, icons, and other details. Other YouTube optimization tips include links to the brand’s social sites and website on the YouTube banner space.
The second step is to organize all the channel’s videos into various playlists in chronological order for the audience’s convenience and help auto-play videos in the same order. This ensures the audience is hooked onto the channel and does not leave the page.
Another YouTube video SEO tip adopted by many successful brands is to add captions and translations wherever necessary. This helps videos stay relevant even to non-native and hearing-impaired audiences.
2. Use the keyword in the channel name.
No matter what search engine we speak about, keywords play a huge role in helping businesses generate traffic, eyeballs, and ultimately, business. Adding a keyword in the channel name itself helps in the organic discoverability of the channel.
3. Titles play a significant role.
With an overload of content available for consumers in this digital era, a catchy title could make or break a video’s performance. The title should be crafted such that it manages to grab the audience’s attention and encourages them to view the video.
Listicles such as “top ten” or “best-of,” etc., have usually worked for many in the past. Another recommended YouTube video SEO tip for titles is to keep them conversational or with relevant keywords and limit them to 40-70 characters for the best results.
4. Identify the ideal keywords for the video.
Like in Google and other search engines, keywords play a critical role in the success of videos on YouTube. Before publishing the video on your business YouTube channel, it is recommended to research, identify and list the video keyword.
Using the right keywords can ensure that the video is ranked higher by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which would continue to fetch viewership for a longer duration.
How does one identify these keywords? Using a short-tailed keyword (a broad topic the video might be related to) in YouTube Suggest and other similar YouTube SEO tools will help the business easily identify a long list of long-tailed keywords. Shortlist long-tail, frequently searched for, and reasonably priced keywords.
There are many other YouTube SEO tools available that brands can use toidentify the right keywords for their videos.
5. Thumbnails get your videos a thumbs-up.
One of the first things that the audience sees when they find a video on YouTube is the thumbnails. It is critical to choose the thumbnails wisely and ensure that they accurately represent the video content.
Some of the best YouTube experts even suggest thinking of the thumbnails before shooting the video. Hence, the business has several thumbnail options to select when uploading the actual video.
Remember to check for the quality of thumbnails across mobile devices and desktop monitors to ensure they look good on all types of screens. Thumbnails should be eye-catching and age-appropriate as per the target audience. Statistics also show that more than 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have used custom thumbnails.
6. Spend time writing the description
Contrary to what some businesses may believe, the description contributes to a video’s success on YouTube. So, spend some time thinking and writing the same.
YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters for writing a video description; however, only the first 300 characters show up below the video. The audience would need to click on the “show more” button to read the rest. Hence, making the first 300 characters describing the video catchy and relevant is critical.
Also, try adding at least one keyword within the first 300 characters. While it is good to use keywords, ensure that the content is not unnecessarily stuffed with keywords. Brands can also add links to their websites and other social pages in the description. And finally, if your video is quite long, add a table of contents with a timestamp for the audience’s convenience.
7. Add a clickable CTA to your video.
One of the advantages of being on various social media channels – YouTube included – is to engage with your audience. CTAs like cards, watermarks, bumper ads, and end screens ensure that you are constantly engaging with the audience and increasing their time on your channel.
Asking the audience to like, share, and subscribe helps the brand improve its followers. Not only does this help in reminding the audience to engage with the channel, but it also helps the channel with the YouTube recommendation algorithm.
8. Be consistent and scheduled uploads
Even though different social platforms serve another purpose for businesses, audiences have one common expectation from businesses across all channels – scheduled uploads. Looking at some of the channel analytics available on YouTube will allow any company to easily identify the best window for videos to be uploaded for maximum impact. As far as possible, businesses should stick to the schedule and regularly publish videos within the time frame identified.
9. Influencers can help reach a wider audience.
Working with YouTube influencers is another excellent strategy to increase your channel’s reach and acquire more audience and subscribers. Through these partnerships, brands can use the goodwill and reliability an influencer has already built to work in their favor.
While working with influencers, all the brand needs to do is allow the influencer to communicate about the brand, its product, or services in their own words and encourage their followers to view the brand’s YouTube page. This can be done through a paid partnership or a barter arrangement, whichever works for both parties.
10. Go the paid advertisement way with YouTube ads
Businesses that wish to expand their channel’s subscriber base can also look toward YouTube’s paid advertisements with four categories to choose from. Depending on the business’s needs, it can choose from any of the following paid advertisement options:
- Skippable in-stream ads
- Non-skippable in-stream ads
- Video discovery ads
- Non-video ads
YouTube advertisements are ideal for brands looking to promote a new product or an event and acquire newer customers and subscribers through brand promotions.
11. YouTube analytics is your best friend
Despite being one of the most popular communication media today, social media in general, and YouTube, in particular, are very dynamic. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Hence, businesses need to be flexible and adapt their YouTube marketing strategies as and when required.
YouTube analytics and other YouTube SEO tools help monitor the business channel’s performance. Based on the results and output derived from analytics, businesses can determine their future course of action to ascertain their business YouTube channel’s success.
Besides the actual analytics, another vital thing to watch is the audience’s comments as feedback. These comments can guide the business and the brand on what the audience is talking about and thus help generate content in the future to match the audience’s expectations.
Benefits of Choosin YouTube For Marketing
“Don’t push people to where you want to be; meet them where they are.” – Meghan Kearney Anderson, VP Marketing-Hubspot.
With 122 million daily active users and over 95% of the global Internet population watching YouTube, it is a no-brainer why businesses need a YouTube business channel. Some of the other reasons include,
- To tap into YouTube’s massive customer base of over 2 billion.
- Brands can also tap into the world’s second-largest search engine by mastering YouTube optimization tips.
- Businesses that optimize their YouTube SEO using YouTube SEO tools can also boost their Google and other search engine ranking.
- With YouTube, businesses can immortalize the content for life. They can always repurpose their old content to cater to their new and old audience. This also helps brands save on time, money, and other resources.
- With localized versions of YouTube in over 100 countries and 80 different languages, YouTube also helps brands cater to global audiences.
Whether or not the business YouTube channel is the primary mode of communication with the audience, it is critical to ensure that the channel and all the videos are optimized for the best results. YouTube optimization and maintenance are relatively easy as long as brands make the most of the various YouTube SEO tools and optimize and stay relevant to the audience.
- While YouTube is one of the most popular social sites today, a mere presence there does not guarantee success for a business.
- To make the business YouTube channel a success, companies need to consistently publish relevant content and follow a schedule to ensure engagement with the audience.
- Be it the video’s description or the actual video itself, the initial 300 characters and the first few seconds of the video are critical to hook the audience.
- YouTube is the second most used search engine. Like Google, keywords in the video, its title, and the description are critical.
- Like with any other business strategy, YouTube, too, needs to be monitored regularly, and businesses should be flexible to adapt depending upon the outcome analytics throw up.
Product reviews are the most viewed videos on YouTube.
Click on ‘YouTube Setting’ in the menu options that drop down when you click on your profile picture at the top right corner of the page. Next, click on ‘Advanced’ and click on ‘Make This Channel Public’.
YouTube algorithm is the recommendation software that, depending upon various parameters, determines what video YouTube recommends to its users next.
One can easily find the help button on the bottom of the left-hand side menu and at the bottom of any YouTube Page. YouTube support is also accessible on its support page.
– Go to your channel after signing into your YouTube account
– Click on ‘Create a new channel.’
– Name your channel by filling out the directions, including channel name, artwork, description, and click ‘Create’. Your new business YouTube channel is ready.