YouTube is a Google product and the second largest search engine on the Internet. YouTube has billions of videos in the Google top, viewed every single day by billions of people from all over the globe. That is why marketing and uploading your own videos on this resource can make your content visible in Google and YouTube at the same time.
Creating a YouTube channel for your business or companies video content, you have a chance to present your service or product to the popular platform viewed by more than 900 millions of unique visitors every month. Today we will talk about ways to use and optimize your YouTube channel to make sure that your materials are being watched and shared.
Step #1: Keywords to use
SEO always starts with keyword research. The same is YouTube SEO. Your task is to find the most relevant keywords to your niche that have YouTube search results on the Google’s first page. They are known as video keywords. What is so special about video keywords? Well, Google places at least one video on the first page of search results in case if the keywords correspond to one of the following types:
How-to (“How to cook an omelet”);
Tutorials (“After Effects basic training”);
Reviews (“iPad Pro review”);
Funny videos (“Cute kittens and puppies”);
Sports and fitness (“Fat burning cardio training”).
In a word, having these super-related keywords in your arsenal will increase your chances to get your content on the first page of Google search. But what if your video uses keywords that don’t have any of such results in Google? In this case, you will get your traffic from users searching on YouTube only.
To get targeted traffic to your content from the Google page, you will have to optimize for your keywords.
There is one easy way to find video keywords. You have to search for them in your particular niche. Then type these keywords into the Google search and see whether they have any YouTube video results. Sounds easy, right? However, this is just a first step.
Once you have found your keywords, you have to find out if there is enough search volume for them. You don’t have to rack your brains and go after keywords that have massive search volumes, just make sure that chosen keywords gather at least 250-300 searches per month (use Google software like Keyword Planner to do that).
Why 250-300 searches? If a particular keyword gathers at least 250 searches in Google, then it gathers plenty of searches on YouTube, too. If your video is going to be ranked by Google, then you will get 250+ searches for it in YouTube. Obviously, this will bring you more traffic to your videos, and, as a result, to your website.
Step #2: Create a great promotional video
Quality is the most important YouTube ranking signal. That means that the more you put in your video content, the more you will get from it later. Some people hire professionals and rent a studio to shoot a promotional video, the others choose a less expensive method and create PowerPoint presentations or upload amateur video. In fact, creating a professional video will not cost you that much, but beginners can start with something less costly. Despite the method you find the best, your content will be valuable as long as it is interesting to watch.
Remember: if your video is boring and useless, you won’t get anything, even if your SEO is perfect. Why so? Because YouTube ranks videos ONLY considering how people react to it. While Google has numerous strategies to evaluate the quality of content, including back links and other signals, YouTube focuses on users’ experience.
Users experience metrics
Percentage of video people watch: more is better;
Subscribes: when someone subscribes to your channel after watching – this sends a signal to YouTube that your video is great;
Comments: when people comment your video, it means that they watch it and enjoy or at least want to express some feedback. Feedback means that your video provokes interest;
Shares: the more users share your video on Twitter or other social media, the better it is;
Favorites: if people add your video to favorites or “Watch Later” list, then they like it;
Thumbs up or Thumbs down: still your video touches someone’s feelings.
As you can see, your video gets more traffic in case if it sparks people’s reaction. This is the first thing to keep in mind when looking for boosting your SEO using YouTube. A great video will certainly bring you high retention and more traffic. Just do your best to make people watch, share, comment, like and do other things YouTube appreciates. You won’t get any SEO results without producing quality and useful content. Instead, a really good content will make the most of the work for you.
Step #3: Metadata
Metadata is another one detail to consider. In short, metadata is information you present about your video content to describe the subject and theme of the video. For YouTube, metadata makes the following:
These basic sections need to be optimized to let your video appear in Google and YouTube search first pages. Metadata helps to increase video visibility. However, as it has been said earlier, quality is crucial. Therefore, focus on the content first, and use metadata for better reach.
How to optimize metadata?
icon-arrow-right Use a correct title.
Create a clear and informative title that includes keywords or phrases people use to find a video. Try to find a perfect balance between writing a neutral title considering particular keywords to make your monthly traffic grow. Use YouTube’s Keyword Suggestion tool to do a keyword research.
For example, when you are offering some product or service, make sure that your video offers something specific and interesting. Let’s say, you are promoting your sneakers shop. If you choose a title “How to choose the best sneakers for jogging”, you will answer a question that your user may ask as well as offer something for sale.
The clue is that the title will attract someone who is looking for sneakers, but not for sneakers you offer. This is how you kill two birds with one stone: you illustrate the information useful for users and promote your own product motivating them to become your clients. A perfect combination of useful information + keywords + low-pressure advertising works.
Write a detailed description of what your video is about. Again, to optimize your video content, you should use the similar keywords you used in your title.
Important: Always include a link to your website at the beginning of a description. It may be a URL to a specific page or a home page. This will help your users to find your company’s website if they want to learn more.
After the link to your website, make sure to write a description using keywords. The most important keywords and phrases should be in the very beginning because lengthy descriptions get hidden behind the “read more” tab. The recommended length for a video description is at least 250 words.
icon-arrow-right Add tags. icon-Icons
Adding tags is a perfect way to make use of the keywords you need for your video. If the keywords are relevant to the content, but you cannot use them naturally in your metadata (title and description), add 10-20 tags per video, if you think that they can help users discover your content. Using the sneakers’ example, relevant phrases will include something like “how to choose sneakers”, “sneakers for tennis/jogging/cross training”, “2016 fashionable sneakers”, etc.
Video metadata is crucial for YouTube SEO
Why so? Because correct optimization of your title, description, and tags will make Google and YouTube search algorithm understand the theme and subject of your content. This will help your users get relevant searches and therefore learn about your service, visit your website, and therefore make YouTube “like” your video. Of course, this can help you boost traffic. And remember the previous advice about the quality content!
In a word, metadata can help relevant users find you and your videos and watch them. You can get those views, likes, subscriptions and shares only if you reach your target audience. The more views you get, the higher YouTube will rank you and, as a result, your video will hit the top, and the more and more users will see it in the search list.
Step #4: Make the most of the YouTube features
YouTube has one amazing feature you must use for better interaction with your viewers. This feature is called annotations. You can use them as a commentary or a call to action to help users do something like watching more, subscribing to your channel, adding a comment, pausing, or following your page on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
The best way you can use annotations for CTA’s and commentary is providing them without interfering the watching process. There are six types of annotations to communicate with your viewers and drive them to some action. Each of them has a different optimization purpose. Let’s take a closer look to them.
icon-Icons icon-angle-double-right Speech bubble.
A speech bubble is commonly used when there is a need to add some text not presented in the video but still important for your users. A speech bubble not only displays some text, but also you can add a link to your (or other) website, another YouTube video, channel, playlist, or subscription to your own channel.
icon-Icons icon-angle-double-right Note.
This annotation type is the most commonly used. It looks like a square with a text inside. They can include links to other web pages or YouTube pages just like speech bubbles. These annotations are mostly used to provide links to brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or website. You can use them similar to speech bubbles, considering the type of video content you present.
Notes are useful if you have series of videos and want your users to see all of them. This will help you improve the user experience and make use of the best optimization practices.
icon-Icons icon-angle-double-right Title.
This type of annotations suits for the branding purposes the best. With the help of titles and subtitles, you can cut your video in different sections and help your viewers learn more about your company, products, and offers. Simply, this works as the structuring of the content you present.
icon-Icons icon-angle-double-right Spotlight.
This one is similar to the note annotation that allows to include links with text and without it. If you want a particular video section to include links to other YouTube assets or an item in the video to act as a link to some other content – try placing a spotlight in that video section.
The only difference between a note and a spotlight is that you can produce your own “subscribe button”, “watch now button” or another image during the production of your video. Once you upload it to your YouTube channel, you have to place a spotlight over these images and add a link to the next step. This provides you with an opportunity to have custom CTAs and buttons, using YouTube linking features.
icon-Icons icon-angle-double-right Pause.
Use pause annotation if you want to freeze a video and emphasize a particular moment in it. If your video includes a moment that could be beneficial for users, but the video itself doesn’t allow focusing on it for long – pause is a feature to use.
For example, if you want to make sure that users have enough time to take down some information, like contacts or other important messages, you can include a brief pause.
Hopefully, these four steps of YouTube optimizing will come in handy. If you have any other interesting ideas about YouTube optimization – feel free to leave a comment below !