How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos

How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos

Video marketing is something you shouldn’t be ignoring for your business or larger marketing strategy. Your audience will engage more with video, and you have to remember that YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world behind Google.

YouTube is the number one purchase driver among social platforms, and the site has the best ROI for video content.

For people to find your videos on YouTube, however, they have to be optimized. The following is a guide to optimize each of your videos so they’re discovered and begin to drive traffic and conversions effectively.

Do Your Research

Begin by creating a brain dump list of all the potential keywords you might be interested in targeting on YouTube.

If you have no idea where to start, go to YouTube and utilize the Search Suggest feature. This will give you quite a few keywords right away. These keywords can be especially valuable as part of your marketing strategy because these are the phrases and terms people are typing in on the platform.

As you do with other types of SEO, you want to target low-competition keywords. An excellent way to determine how competitive a keyword is is to use Google and see how many results come up when you search the term specifically for YouTube videos.

Name Your File with a Keyword

What’s great about optimizing your videos for YouTube is that most of the tips are quick and easy, yet they can have a big impact. That’s true of this one—rename your video file with your target keyword.

First, you can identify your keywords just like you do for your blog posts and written content with tools, as we talked about above.

Then you should put your primary keyword in your video file before you ever upload it. YouTube can’t watch your video to see its relevance, so the algorithm depends on other factors to determine relevance. YouTube can read your file name and the code that comes with it.

Use the Keyword in Your Title

Your title should include your keyword, but make sure it’s natural. You also want a compelling, clear, concise title that’s going to compel people to click your video. You want to think about a title that’s going to match the intent of the person searching. Tell your viewers exactly what they’ll see, but keep it limited to 60 characters or less.

Optimize Your Description

When you’re writing a description, YouTube is going only to show the first few lines typically, unless someone clicks “show more.” Get your most important things at the top of your description, such as your calls-to-action or links you want your audience to click.

It can be a good idea to add a transcript of your video to the description, or you can use captions. You have to remember that a lot of people watch videos without sound.

When you’re optimizing your description, you’re giving YouTube more of an understanding of context. Try to include your keyword within the first 25 words, and make the description a minimum of 250 words. Aim to use your keyword anywhere from two to four times in the description. You want to let YouTube know what your content is about, but you don’t want it to come off like spam.

Factor In Audience Retention

The amount of your video that people watch is called Audience Retention, and it’s one of the most relevant ranking factors according to YouTube.

That means you want people to stay engaged with your video, so you need to include valuable, interesting information.

Similarly, longer videos tend to rank better than shorter ones, perhaps because of the audience engagement factor.

Using Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t the most critical part of optimizing a YouTube video, but they are helpful. Use related hashtags in your descriptions so that users who are searching with them can find you. Overall, using hashtags can make your videos more visible and drive searches by helping you highlight trends.

If you add a hashtag to your video description, it’s shown above your video title, and it’s hyperlinked.

Remember if you use hashtags in your video title, then the hashtags from your descriptions won’t be shown above the title of your video.

Make Sure Your Channel Is Optimized

Finally, along with optimizing your videos, you want to make sure you have an optimized channel. When your channel is optimized, you’ll get more subscribers. More subscribers can improve your rankings overall. Make sure to use keywords in your channel description.

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