Anyone who already uses YouTube as a marketing channel knows how important this component is for a comprehensive marketing strategy. Even today, however, many people are still unaware that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and the third most visited website in the world and that it has enormous potential.
However, if you want to be successful on YouTube and ensure that your own videos appear at the top of the YouTube search results, you have to consider a few essential factors. Here you can find out everything about YouTube SEO and the measures to increase the visibility of your own YouTube channel and the associated video content. This way, you are guaranteed more subscribers and views!
What is YouTube SEO?
Every month almost 40 million Germans look for interesting and current videos on YouTube – and the trend is rising. In times of steadily increasing online video consumption, in which modern and contemporary companies are involved and maintain professional channels, it is only logical that YouTube SEO and in general video SEO as a special part of video marketing with search engine optimization (SEO) employed. In contrast to conventional websites and online shops, where SEO has been a sustainable concept for many years, YouTube SEO is a rather young branch of search engine optimization.
Billions of different videos are available on YouTube at any time. When a user searches for a particular video, for example on “assemble a computer yourself”, the search results are displayed with videos that may be of interest to the user. The relevance of the videos determines how well the video matches the search term and how far it is listed in the search results. However, YouTube does not decide by chance which videos from the almost infinite archive are most relevant, but rather certain parameters that are known and can be optimized and which we will discuss here.
7 tips for YouTube SEO
The most important question to ask yourself at the beginning is: What are my potential visitors looking for anyway?
This question can be answered with a detailed research of the relevant keywords. This involves the determination of content-related search terms that relate to a specific intention of the user, e.g. to receive information, to learn something or to be entertained. The goal should always be to drive traffic to your channel and videos with the use of meaningful and clear keywords.
To filter out the right keywords, there are dozens of tools on the Internet that serve their purpose for keyword research. One of the best-known tools we use is KeywordTool.io, which is particularly suitable for research because you have the option of selecting keywords and search volumes from YouTube.
The title of the video is the most important feature of YouTube SEO optimization and the first thing the user sees. Therefore, the appropriate keywords should be used here. As with the page title of a website, it is about letting the user know at first glance that the video has reached the goal of his search. The YouTube algorithm prefers an exact designation in the title when classifying the video by topic.
The title should encourage the visitor to click, but “click bait” should still be avoided, because YouTube also evaluates the interactions of the users with each video and those that make the user jump off after a short time are punished. A well-chosen title is therefore of the utmost importance, as it not only highlights what the video is about, but also has an impact on whether the video appears in the top search results and is clicked on.
When browsing YouTube videos, viewers usually first see a preview image of the individual videos. YouTube automatically generates three random thumbnails, one of which can be selected as a preview image. Nevertheless, it is advisable to invest some time in creating a suitable and meaningful thumbnail.
The thumbnail is a miniature image that visually reproduces the content of the video and is intended to arouse the interest of the user in clicking on the video. It should be explicit about the video content and not create misconceptions.
You should pay attention to the following points when creating a thumbnail:
-Visualize the content of the video precisely using texts and images
-Align the preview image to the target group
-Encourage users to click
-Create the desired atmosphere
Meta tags are another relevant point for successful YouTube SEO. By using meta tags appropriately and precisely, you can help YouTube display related videos and it is also an important criterion for ranking in search results.
Showing up in the related videos on the right is one factor that can extremely affect your video’s click-through rate. And since YouTube introduced the autoplay function, you may find yourself with your videos in a playlist automatically. It is important to note, however, not to simply assign a huge number of irrelevant meta tags, because this can potentially also have a negative effect on the ranking of the corresponding video.
The video description is located directly below the video and the title. This mostly underestimated function is limited to a maximum of 5000 characters, offers users more detailed information about the video and usually also contains links to the website of the creator or affiliate products. As with the title, keywords that match the content should also be used here, as the YouTube search algorithm analyzes the video description and thus determines the relevance of the video for the respective user. In this way, an optimized description can make a major contribution to improving the click rate.
The video description should include the following:
-Brief summary of the content of the video
-Links to your own website or other services and contact details as well as social media profiles
-Links to other videos on your own YouTube channel
It should also be noted that the complete description cannot be seen directly, but that some of it has to be opened. It is therefore advisable to place the most important information and links higher up in the video description so that they are directly visible to the user.
For several years now, YouTube has offered interactive speech recognition that automatically generates subtitles for your videos. On the one hand, this is a necessary function for people with auditory impairments and, on the other hand, manually created or revised subtitles are used by YouTube as a ranking factor, because they can help the YouTube algorithm to understand the content of the video.
The automatic subtitle feature works surprisingly well in the English language, but the German version is still a little buggy and content is often not transcribed correctly. So it is of course a good idea to have the subtitles created automatically first and then to correct them manually. It’s very easy: let the editor automatically create subtitles and then download the subtitle file. You can easily open this with a conventional text editor, revise it and then upload it again.
The last item on our list is the interactions with the video’s visitors. At the end of the video, thank the users and ask them to comment or share the video. A call to subscribe to the channel or to rate the video with a “Like” rating can also work wonders.
Another important factor at the end of the video is the display of a so-called end card. This can attract the viewer’s attention and prompt him to interact, for example to subscribe to the channel or to watch the next video. The number of video suggestions is limited to a maximum of three, but it is usually worthwhile to offer the visitor only one or two additional videos in order not to overwhelm them and to focus their attention on specific topics.