Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? Well, now you do! And while it isn’t a search engine in the standard sense (Google, Bing, Yahoo), it does still count. People visit YouTube every minute of every day to conduct searches like, “How do I French braid my hair?” and “What is Daylight Saving Time?” The big difference is that YouTube only returns video results. If you’re creating videos, you want to be on the first page of those results. Like traditional search engines, you do this through search engine optimization. As you would optimize your website for Google, you will also need to optimize your videos for YouTube, and we’re going to explain how.
YouTube Search Engine Optimization
For those of you not familiar with search engine optimization, it is the process of improving you presence online in order to get found and generate leads. SEO for your website typically involves content, keywords, and HTML, as well as additional functionality and usability features. Like your website, your YouTube videos can be optimized to turn up in both Google search results AND YouTube search results. Here are 7 tips for optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO:
- Identify Targeted Keywords
What is your video all about? What would users be typing into the search bar in order to find a video like yours? Determine what these targeted keywords are and then use them! You will want to incorporate these keywords in all of the written content pertaining to your video including the title, description, and tags.
- Create a Catchy Title Tag
The title of your video is one of the most important parts of the video. Like a blog, it is often your first and only chance to convince a viewer to hit the “play” button. You will want to create compelling titles that describe what the video is about AND include those important keywords.
- Develop a Detailed Description
While your title tag is very small, prime real estate, your description is much larger prime real estate. Use this section to describe what the video is about. Let your readers know what they are going to see in the video and don’t forget to use those important keywords. While you may only be able to fit one or two keywords in your title tag, you can fit much more in your description. Use this section to describe, engage, and optimize!
- Utilize the Tags
While YouTube focuses heavily on the title and description of your video when turning up search results, it also takes into account the tags you assign to it. Every time you upload a video you have the option to include a handful of tags pertaining to the topics covered in the video. Do not skip this part! Make sure the tags you use are relevant and you’ll be more likely to turn up when someone searches for that category.
- Incorporate Strong Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a statement that lets visitors know what sort of action you want them to take. Every video should include one CTA. Decide which CTA is most important to you from subscribing to the channel or liking the video to visiting your website or giving you a call. Whatever that CTA is, prominently display it in the description or even as a part of the video. This will remind viewers that you want them to take action, and the more subscribes/likes/comments you have, the better you will rank in search results.
- Link to Your Website
Assuming that your end goal is to drive traffic to your website, we highly recommend that you include a link to your website in the description of every video. By inserting a link to your website at the beginning, users can easily navigate to your webpage if they would like to. This is going to help your website SEO! See how your website and your YouTube channel can work together?
- Decrease Your Bounce Rate
Another factor that YouTube takes into account when indexing your YouTube videos, is the bounce rate. They want to know how well your videos are performing. Are visitors hitting play then immediately closing the window? If so, YouTube will assume that your title is misleading or your content isn’t what users expected. In this case, they will be less likely to return your video in search results. Sometimes, users are just impatient. When you don’t get to the point right away, they exit out of the video and look for a new one. You can fix this by skipping that repetitive intro. Instead, get to the point in the first 3 to 5 seconds! You can save your elevator speech for the end of the video and reserve the beginning for the good stuff.
Remember these SEO tips next time you are uploading a video to YouTube. If you want your video to get found, you have to optimize it for what you want it to get found for! If you need assistance with search engine optimization, social media, or YouTube SEO, contact Informatics Inc.