Search Engine Optimization for YouTube

by | August 29, 2018, 5:25

YouTube is a traffic source with almost no limits. If you take the time to learn how to optimize your videos for SEO, you will easily get more traffic than your competitors.

Simply follow the 5 easy steps described below and watch your views increase dramatically.

1. Optimize Around “Video Keywords”

Although ranking on YouTube is great, ranking videos in Google is even better. Although Google does sometimes rank YouTube videos higher than text articles, this only happens for certain keywords. These are called “Video Keywords,” as they often have video results on Google’s first page.

For example, a phrase that includes “cute cats” will likely have a few video results in the top spots. This makes sense because someone searching for “cute cats” probably wants to see videos rather than read a blog article. Someone searching for “headache” however, probably wants to read about treatments, so videos will not rank higher than articles. Google knows the difference between these scenarios and will adapt its search results accordingly.

2. Use Long Video Descriptions

Both YouTube and Google will look at the text surrounding a video to understand what it is about. The more they know about the video, the more confidently they can rank it for target keywords. Equally importantly, YouTube will also use keywords in the description to rank the video for long tail keywords.

3. Encourage Subscribing and Linking

YouTube’s algorithm does not use backlinks like Google does, but it does put a lot of weight on user experience signals instead. This means that if people enjoy watching a video and YouTube picks this up based on their actions, it will increase the ranking of the video in a YouTube search.

The two most important user experience signals that YouTube uses are liking and subscribing. When people like a video or subscribe after watching it, YouTube will put the video higher in the search results.

Both of these user experience signals can be increased easily. You simply have to ask! Give viewers a strong call to action that encourages them to subscribe or like the video at the end.

4. Link From Online Communities

Online communities such as LinkedIn groups and Quora are good places to pull traffic from. Although communities often don’t like someone dropping links to their content over and over, they are usually okay with people sharing helpful YouTube videos.

Simply find a question in the community that your video may help answer. You will provide value by suggesting that people watch the video for more information, while also garnering more views for your video.

5. Playlists

The last easy way to get more YouTube search traffic is to organize videos into playlists. If the playlists are keyword-rich, it gives YouTube more information about the video’s topic. As with the video description, more text-based content in your playlists will result in more views.