What Is YouTube SEO?

youtube seo

As a business it might not seem immediately clear as to why you should be using YouTube and how YouTube video SEO plays into improving your businesses outreach. While you might not make video content as your primary business output, video content can be a great supplement to your product or service. Whether it be instructional videos, product previews, or event recaps any business can create relevant content for YouTube.

YouTube has consistently been the second most viewed website online, the first being Google. YouTube can offer you another place for people to find what you have to offer and considering it is owned by Google it can be easy to implement with Google search tactics.

YouTube offers a robust platform for organizations and individuals to provide video content with relative ease. Creating the videos themselves is a whole other task, one that depends on your videography skills and what you have at your disposal. Once you have a catalog of content it is a completely different process to make sure you reach the right audiences. 

Another benefit of utilizing YouTube for your video content is that you have options when it comes to displaying your videos. Whether it be reaching the vast, built-in, audience that YouTube has to offer or its easy to use sharing and embedding system in order to better flesh out your own website. The best bet is to do both.

Optimizing Your YouTube Channel For Search Results

When it comes to optimizing YouTube for search results the first place to start is by optimizing your YouTube channel. A YouTube channel is your account. It is a place that viewers can discover; a place that displays your videos, playlists, and detailing information. This is a central point for you to direct viewers when it comes to your presence on YouTube. That is why it is a good place to start when it comes to video optimization.

In order to edit your channel information head to the “settings” and look under “channel”. Here you will find a text box where you can add keywords. Paste your lists of keywords here. Now when a search query is made with one of these keywords your channel, and it’s videos will have a greater chance of being one of the results.

The other place to optimize your YouTube channel is in the channel description. Your channel description will show up in search results, below your channel name. This description acts similarly to a schema markup for a regular Google result. When writing your description it is important to offer viewers a concise description of your channel while also incorporating some of the keywords from your keyword list. This way YouTube’s algorithm will have more direct information it can draw from when pulling up results for a search.

youtube seo keywords

Optimizing YouTube Videos for Search Results

Once you have your YouTube channel setup it’s time to start optimizing your videos. Whether you already have videos uploaded or are just starting out it is important to have an idea of these optimization strategies in order to get as much out of each video as you can. 

While changes can be made at any time, YouTube does prefer recently uploaded or consistently viewed content when it comes to search results. Optimization can help the chances of these older videos but it might be beneficial to reupload these videos to give them a second chance. If you still have the original video files, reuploading can be a great chance to also improve the video quality or update branding if things have changed.

Optimizing videos happens at three different steps:

  • Choose an appealing and consistent thumbnail
  • Create an in intriguing title
  • Use keywords in the title, description, and keywords sections

Video thumbnails are the images used as a preview for a video. YouTube will automatically generate a thumbnail for any video uploaded but you are also given the option to choose and upload your own. While you can just choose a still from the video it is far more professional to provide a thumbnail that has a clean visual, that lets viewers know what the video will entail before they even click on it, even without reading the title. 

Adding graphics that better visualize the video’s concept can greatly improve the appeal of a video through the thumbnail. Using appealing, yet readable, colors to highlight certain elements can be a great way to draw interest. While not necessary, you can add text to the thumbnail to further detail what the video is about. Using a quote from the video or a simplified version of the title can help inform viewers about the video; this can be another great place for keywords. It is important to keep a balance of information and fascination.

Crafting the right title can sometimes be just as hard as making the video itself. It needs to be something that provides enough information to YouTube’s algorithm that it gets picked as a search result while also appealing to viewers. Finding the right balance between a jumble of keywords and a generic appeal can be a fine line but there are some ways to make this process easier.

There are many subcultures on YouTube. As many of us know, if we’ve searched for something chances are we’ve found a plethora of videos on the subject. In these different communities there are usually trends or commonalities in how things are worded. While copying someone else’s title isn’t the answer it is good to look at others for guidance and inspiration.

There are some general commonalities you might notice across YouTube video titles of any genre. Taking into account the subject of the video, things like “How to [insert subject] for beginners”, “[insert subject] vs. [competitive option] comparison”, or “[insert subject] tips – DIY” can work to offer a concise yet informative message. 

Having a clean and appropriate title is another important element. Make sure your title is properly capitalized, branding is consistent, and that the title doesn’t run too long. YouTube titles can be as long as 100 characters but they may get cut off in their display in search results after 60-70 characters. The words included in these titles will still be seen by search crawlers but a viewer might not get the full picture, so be mindful of what you write.

Finally we come back to keywords. High traffic keywords that fit the subject should definitely be in the title. Others might make their way into there as well if there’s room and it feels appropriate. An example of this would be putting your product name or business name after the engaging title.

While writing a description you should expand more on the contents of the video. Describe what happens and what viewers can expect. This doesn’t have to be an all encompassing description, you don’t want to spoil it, but it should offer viewers a good idea of what they can expect.

This can also be another place for you to inspire a call to action. Linking to a product page, social media account, or just asking for customer feedback in the comment section. The maximum length for a YouTube video description is 5,000 characters so there’s plenty of space to work with.

While the first half of your description should be unique to each video you can start to create a format for all descriptions. In the second half you can have general information that would pertain to any video you would post. This should be things like a description of your company, company related links, and a general call to action for audiences to inquire further.

youtube seo benefits

Now that we have thoroughly discussed keywords and YouTube SEO the keyword section should be an easy step. Paste your list of keywords into this section and make sure they are properly listed and individually accounted for. Keywords are not a publicly visible section so their visual appeal does not matter. They don’t have to be listed in a specific order, unless that organization is beneficial to you personally. 

There should be keywords relevant to the specific video you uploaded; frequently searched topics, collaborators who are featured in the video, and figures or subjects related to the subject. Alongside these topical keywords should also be keywords that fit your channel regardless of video subject. This would be your company, industry, and any other highly searched for topics related to the company. This way all of your videos can work to help promote your channel in a single search query; even if it is just the one relevant video that will be clicked on.

When it comes to video SEO and YouTube SEO there is a lot to cover. While we have given a broad overview of what can be accomplished, this is only the beginning of understanding video SEO. If you have further questions or would like to learn more about the services SEO Design Chicago can offer, please contact us and inquire further.

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