Trying to make an impact on YouTube is no small feat. YouTube SEO can be a challenge, since the web’s biggest video platform sees approximately 500 hours of content uploaded per minute. That’s a lot of competition.
So how do you stand out from the billions of creators? Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to connect to interested viewers and grow your channel.
Understanding Ranking and Algorithms
To gain subscribers, you need your content seen. The best way to do that is to have your videos show up near the top of relevant search results. That means understanding the ranking system and also the algorithms used to create it.
Basically, search engines try to deliver the most helpful results to internet users. They do this by matching a site or video’s keywords to users’ searches. This is where SEO — search engine optimization — comes in.
You control the keywords in your video or on its page. That means you have some influence over which search results your content shows up in. But which searches are the most beneficial and how do you choose the right keywords to reach them?
Using Google to Your Advantage
Fortunately, you don’t have to start blind. One of the quickest and most effective ways to find keywords is to open up Google and start typing. Google’s autocomplete offers suggestions based on what others are looking for. So try some phrases related to your content and see what populates. The suggestions are a great place to start for SEO since they’re already popular searches.
Learn From Existing Videos
While you’re at it, look at the top results listed when you search those popular suggestions. What do the thumbnails look like? How are the keywords used? Furthermore, what tags did these creators include? These videos are obviously doing something right, so take notes.
Placing Your Keywords Strategically
How you use your keywords is just as important as which words you select. With videos, there are several places you can use them to great effect. Just make sure you’re not over-stuffing — using keywords too much counts against you with algorithms, thereby defeating the point of SEO.
Include in Title and Description
Using keywords in the title and description are essential from a human as well as an algorithm perspective. You want to catch users’ eyes as they scroll down results, and keywords are a great way to do that.
Don’t be shy to write a beefy description. This is prime real estate for links, promotion and letting your personality shine through.
Say It Loud and Proud
Don’t limit keywords to text — great SEO means including them in your actual content. If you’ve chosen well, the keywords should feel natural to use in your video.
Upload a Transcript
This step may take some extra time if you improvise your videos, but it offers several payoffs:
- Accurate closed captions
- Providing viewers with alternative ways of interacting with your media
- Offers additional information containing SEO keywords for search engines
A transcript also makes closed-caption translation easier.
Like other social media platforms, YouTube allows you to add tags. This helps the algorithm group your post with similar content. For best results, pick a few videos you think appeal to your audience and check out their tags.
Not sure who your audience is? YouTube Studio is a free resource that lets you look at your metrics.
Keeping It Fresh
SEO may help you get viewers to your videos, but it’s certainly the content that keeps people watching. If you want to convert visitors into subscribers, you need to make something people want to watch.
Create Engaging Content
Your videos don’t need to be flashy or have sky-high production values. That’s the beauty of YouTube — your audience isn’t necessarily looking for polish, just entertainment. That said, you should make an effort to understand what your viewers like about your content. Read comments and review your analytics to see what brings people back.
Sell Your Video
A key component of social media marketing is to promote yourself across several platforms. Link your video on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reach new audiences. This is especially crucial during the first 48 hours, when the algorithm essentially establishes your ranking.
You also want to appeal to anyone scrolling through search results. Take the time to create an intriguing thumbnail that accurately represents the video’s content. Try to avoid clickbait. It may get people to click, but they can feel betrayed if the content isn’t what the thumbnail or title implied. That’s not a great way to build your subscriber count.
Boostability helps small businesses take full advantage of SEO. If you’re interested in boosting your online visibility, give us a call at (800) 261-1537 or visit our website.