YouTube works as its own search engine, meaning you can optimize content just as you would on Google. Optimizing your videos will increase your rank, viewing time, and overall organic search. But is it difficult to optimize your YouTube content? Not exactly, but there are some SEO best practices you should follow to ensure you’re hitting the target on the mark. Here are five helpful tips to optimize your videos for YouTube:
1. Design Videos with Goals in Mind
Strategic and purposeful videos can actually usher leads right through your sales funnel and enhance your conversion rates. To do that, though, you have to align your videos’ concepts with specific goals right from the very start.
If you want to plan a purposeful video, you must first determine:
- Which emotions you’re trying to evoke (and why you’re trying to evoke them). For instance, you might try eliciting fear, excitement, or greed from your audience
- Which target buyer personas you’re trying to appeal to within your video content marketing campaign
- What actions you want your leads to take after they’ve finished consuming your content
When you take these considerations into account, you’re more likely to create a focused, actionable video that evokes emotions and appeals to your audience’s pain points.
2. Rename Your Video File Using a Target Keyword
Your file might be named anything (and, honestly, probably is labeled something random that won’t mean anything to YouTube’s web crawlers). Before you upload your file, make sure your video file has been renamed with a keyword-rich title. Sure, your viewers might not see the title, but that doesn’t mean YouTube isn’t paying attention. In fact, your target keywords that are found within your video files’ names help YouTube learn exactly what your video is about, so it knows who to recommend it to when people are searching for similar topics.
3. Find Untapped Video Keywords
When it comes to optimizing your content anywhere on the internet—including YouTube—keyword research is vital. If you choose the right keywords, you’ll skyrocket your content right to the top of YouTube. If you choose the wrong keywords, you’ll get buried in a never-ending sea of videos from all over the globe. Here’s how you kind tap into otherwise untapped video keywords:
- Create a list of “seed keywords. Seed keywords are phrases that describe very broad topics. For instance, if you’re in the digital marketing space, you might use seed keywords such as the following: social media, LinkedIn marketing, Facebook ads, Content marketing. You see, these are comprehensive topics that you can generate video content around. Know going into it, though, that you’re not going to optimize your videos around any of these terms because they’re highly competitive. Rather, seeding lends itself to the next step.
- Search your seed words on YouTube. When you pop these search terms into YouTube’s search, you’ll get dozens of longtail keywords, suggested by the search giant itself. YouTube Suggests will offer you a seemingly endless variety of longtail keywords you can use to create your content and target optimal phrases.
- Complete your YouTube competition analysis. Just like you would with Google, in YouTube, you’ll want to optimize your videos around keywords that get a lot of search traffic and aren’t super competitive. TubeBuddy is a browser extension that can help you with this process. This tool shows stats for each keyword you’re using right within the search results. This way, you know if it’s a keyword that’s too competitive or one that might work for your needs. And, you can know all of this information before you even actually begin to make your video!
4. Insert Your Keyword Naturally Into the Video Title
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, keywords are incredibly important to everything related to search engine optimization. When people search for videos, one of the first things they see is the title. This is often what determines whether they will continue searching or click to watch your video. Your videos’ titles need to be compelling, clear, and concise.
While keywords play a big part in your video titles, they also help the platform send people your way if the keywords match users’ intents. Although the connection between keyword-rich video titles and rankings isn’t always super strong, it’s a good idea to optimize your titles for keywords as long as they fit naturally into your title and tell viewers exactly what they’re about to be watching.
5. Build In Calls to Action
Have you ever reached the end of a product video, only to find it disappearing back into your screen like nothing ever happened? Don’t let that happen to you! CTAs aren’t only important in written content; you need them in video content, too. Use direct prompts from the videos’ hosts, series of YouTube annotations, or short links at the end of the videos that direct viewers to landing pages.