Businesses of all sizes are opting to create YouTube video content that can be easily shared between platforms, helping to display their message to a broad set of users without the need to read lengthy articles and mission statements. However, it's important to understand that YouTube, like Google, has a search engine optimization (SEO) function. In fact, just as you can optimize your website to get more clicks, you can optimize your videos on YouTube to ensure they are served for potential followers who search for products, services, or content like yours. By displaying relevance, your videos will be served at the top of the list for your most valuable audiences, no matter how many views you have.
It's a worthwhile endeavor for any marketer-over 70% of YouTube viewers have purchased from a brand after engaging with a video on YouTube. So how can you optimize your videos to get more traffic? Consider these tips.
1. Utilize Video File Name Keywords
Using keywords to optimize YouTube content is a bit different than doing so on Google. Search engines like Google can crawl through a blog article to see how relevant your content is; YouTube cannot watch your video to determine its relevance. This is why it's important to include keywords in the video file itself. For example, the YouTube algorithm can't interpret that your video holds marketing content, but it can easily read your file name and serve it to users searching for marketing-related keywords.
2. Focus On The Description
Similar to your video file name, you can use keyword-based SEO in the video description section. However, it's important to keep in mind that you only have 1,000 characters in your YouTube description box. Perform research to identify keywords that rank in your industry and include relevant keywords naturally in your video description.
3. Create Subtitles
Subtitles and closed captions are underrated when it comes to YouTube. Not only do closed captions provide an essential service to the Deaf community, but they also provide people in crowded or quiet areas the ability to watch your video without disrupting others. In fact, as many as 92% of people regularly view videos with the sound off, meaning that you're likely missing out if you fail to create subtitles and closed captioning. The text in these features can also function as SEO-ready keywords to help YouTube understand its content.
4. Mind Your Channel Tags
You can add meta tags to your channel, which can further help YouTube identify your channel's purpose and relevance. This tactic can help you appear in a YouTube search even if the video in question is not currently processed as a match for your major keywords. There are only 100 characters available here, so do your research and make the keywords count.
5. Fill Out the "About Us" Page
You may think that nobody reads your YouTube "About Us" pages, but you're incorrect. Even if active viewers don't visit the section for information about you, YouTube itself identifies keywords as indications of what your channel and videos are about. Using strong keywords throughout your description increases your chances of appearing for a relevant search.
6. Focus Your Watch Time
There's a common misconception that long videos don't get seen. In fact, the average YouTube video was around 11.8 minutes long in a recent year. However, it's important to focus the first 15 seconds to make sure you hook the audience. This might be with good graphics, a catchy introduction, or a strong statement about what the video entails, designed to encourage viewers to stick with your video longer. Views do count toward YouTube's SEO rankings, so getting people to stay and watch is of significant concern.
7. Use Video Cards
You can embed links called "video cards" into your videos to act in six distinct ways. They can:
● Ask people to donate to a nonprofit cause
● Present a poll for viewers to answer
● Link to other similar content on YouTube
● Take the user to a website away from YouTube
● Ask for funding for your videos
● Send them to an approved crowdfunding website
Using relevant video cards can increase interactions with your channel. Think of them like conversions on a website: the more people click, the more YouTube sees your page as relevant to the search terms entered and boosts you in its search rankings.
8. Go Live
Going live on social media platforms has gained popularity in recent years, and YouTube is no exception. Viewers love to see their favorite vloggers and influencers interact in real-time. If you're a business, conducting a live Q&A about the industry, your products and services, and more can net you more viewers than you might think and boost engagement in the process.
If you're comfortable working with YouTube, the above tips are a great start to video optimization. However, if you're not a skilled video content producer, keyword research expert, or SEO guru, you will likely benefit from seeking the services of a professional marketer. Look for a comprehensive team that can help your business create, optimize, and promote video content.