We all know that Google is the largest search engine in the world, but did you know they also own second? YouTube is the second most widely used search engine in the world, garnering over 1.5-billion users per month with over a billion hours of video uploaded every single day. To say that your SEO game plan needs to include YouTube is a massive understatement: it needs YouTube; especially if growing your audience is one of your brand’s top priorities. If you’re familiar with SEO best practices for your website, optimizing your brand’s YouTube channel and content is fairly similar with a few differences. Below are a few of our top methods for growing your audience via YouTube SEO best practices.
Go to YouTube and type the first keyword that pops into your mind when you think about your business (as simple as ‘auto mechanic’ if you own and operate a mechanic shop). You will notice suggested keywords appear in a drop-down list. Write these down, because this is actually what people are typing into YouTube!
Click on a few of these keywords and notice the top three-five videos appearing in the search results. Take a look at the keywords the video has been optimized for by viewing the page source of the video, CTRL+F and type, ‘keywords,’ to find the keywords meta tag, and jot down the keywords the video is ranking for. If this sounds confusing, this resource explains everything.
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Once you know which keywords are worth ranking for, it’s time to create videos that center around this keyword. As with traditional SEO, this YouTube SEO best practice involves inserting the keyword into the title, description, and even the closed captions. That last part is very important – especially if you want to rank for variants of a keyword. Write a script, be sure to include keywords you want to rank for in the video (as with traditional SEO, don’t stuff it with keywords), then create the closed captions.
YouTube will improve your video’s ranking if your video meets certain criteria: under four minutes, generates lots of comments, is added to ‘Watch Later’ lists, and users are subscribing after they watch your video. This measures the quality of your video; if your video falls in-line with at least some of these measurements, your rank will increase over time.
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Look, you can rank for the best keywords related to your niche while adhering to YouTube’s quality of standards, but if your channel doesn’t look professional people just aren’t going to engage – and your YouTube SEO is going to suffer. Create a banner and profile picture for your channel’s home page that’s simple yet high quality; attractive yet personable. They need to tell visitors exactly what your brand stands for, the types of videos they can expect, and set the tone for what’s to come. For example, if you have a YouTube channel dedicated to how-to’s about proper makeup applications, you wouldn’t want your banner and profile picture to be completely black and dreary; rather, you would want to use poppy, bright colours.
Moreover, create a trailer that describes your channel. Go into this exactly as you would if you were creating an elevator pitch for an investor because in a way, that’s exactly what you are doing. Make the trailer a few minutes long, make it fun, and ensure it doesn’t look amateurish.
Finally, create playlists. This is a good idea if some of your content isn’t all the same: some videos may be a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day operations, some may be how-to’s, others may just be random, fun videos. The tone and the goal of each video is different, so place them in their own playlist. This will give visitors the ability to easily browse only the videos they want to view without hunting them down in your channel.
At the end of the day, your YouTube SEO best practices are all about ensuring that your visitors want to view your channel. It’s about gaining an audience, keeping subscribers, and ensuring that people come back for more. It can be a huge undertaking though, so if you need a team of professionals that know how to turn any YouTube channel from looking bare and amateurish to professional and smart, give us a call. Our SEO services company in Windsor, ON can provide the solutions you need for businesses of all walks of life!
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