Top Tactics For Optimizing YouTube Videos
YouTube is the largest online video platform and the second largest search engine in the world. With more than 2 billion monthly viewers, it gets around a billion hours of total watch time every single day. It is an ever-growing sea of content and as a result, it is very easy for an uploaded video to get lost in the sea.
There is constant competition among channels. Which channel can gain the most amount of YouTube views and drive growth? Which channel leads in the number of real YouTube subscribers or gets many YouTube comments? These are only a handful of aspects that a YouTube channel’s presence is rated on.
Naturally, every content creator on this search engine wants to establish their channel for the long term and gain YouTube subscribers. However, this is easier said than done. This is majorly because of the vast competition on this platform. It is most definitely a challenge but it’s not impossible. YouTube optimization is one of the most important tricks that a channel can use to drive traffic towards its videos.
What is YouTube Video Optimization?
Like any other search engine, there are some SEO tricks for YouTube as well. Using these SEO methods to make your videos rank higher when related keywords are searched for, is known as YouTube video optimization. The aim of content optimization is to make the algorithm understand what kind of videos you are publishing. This ensures that the videos are shown to viewers who are interested in content similar to what you offer.
Why you Should Optimize YouTube Videos
Whether you’re a new creator or a well-established YouTube personality, you can always benefit by optimizing your YouTube videos. For new creators, it provides that necessary push they need to bring in more viewers. For established content creators, optimization helps them remain relevant and not lose subscribers.
Increased Brand Reach
Millions of viewers simultaneously view YouTube content every minute. With the growth of technology and fast internet accessible 24/7 through our smartphones, it has become easier to view new content. You want to use this to your advantage through optimization.
Rank Higher on the Search Engine
YouTube is a search engine where the user behavior and interest depends entirely on the videos that are recommended to them. With optimization, you can rank higher so that new viewers feel obligated to click on your video.
Stronger YouTube Presence
The authority your channel has on YouTube is directly proportional to the number of subscribers, likes, comments and watch time it manages to gather. As your watch time increases with optimization, the rate of growth will also skyrocket.
Greater Viewer Engagement
The keywords used in SEO help retain a viewer’s interest. This way, there’s a greater chance that the user will engage more with your video apart from simply watching it.
Expand Channel Traffic
When you videos are ranked high on the engine, it is a given that more viewers will see you videos. Many will grow curious and move one step forward to explore your channel.
Tips for Optimizing YouTube Videos
Here are some YouTube tips that will help you make the best use of video optimization.
Search Relevant and SEO-Friendly Keywords
Your first step should always be to formulate a list of potential keywords that are relevant to a particular video. These keywords are those words that apply to the video and have the greatest probability of leading new viewers to your video. Out of all the keywords in your list, you then have to choose the most relevant keywords and that have the highest search traffic. One way of choosing a keyword is to use the YouTube search bar to figure out what the users are typing in the most.
Add the Keyword Naturally in your Video Title
Your video title should contain the keyword. But it is very important that the keyword must appear natural and stuffing the title with keywords is a big no no. It is for this reason that ideal video titles usually contain 5 words or more. This allows you to seamlessly and subtely add the keyword into your video title without it appearing off-putting.
Say the Keyword
YouTube is great at transcribing videos. The platform uses this feature to more effectively identify your video niche and decide the target group that the video will be shown to. When you say the keywords in your video, YouTube will hear it and the algorithm will gain a better understanding of what your video is all about.
Take Note of the Type of Competitor Videos that Perform Well
It is always in a channel’s best interest to learn from the competition. It is okay to take ideas from the competitors. Find the channels that perform the best in your industry and sort out their videos. There’s a huge chance that the viewers interested in their content would like your content too. See the types of videos, titles and keywords that bring in the most views.
Write a Clever Video Description
The YouTube algorithm also uses descriptions to better identify a video. Don’t be afraid of writing thorough descriptions that contain the keywords too. A video description is also useful as it introduces your video to the audience. The maximum character limit for a description is 5000, but well-optimized 1000 character descriptions perform just as well.
Replace Video File Name with Targeted Keywords
Before uploading the video, make sure that you change the video file name to a name that contains its targeted keywords. Why is this important? YouTube might not necessarily view the content of your video but it will definitely read the title of the file you’re uploading. Obscure titles will not be understood by the platform but it will understand when you use keywords.
The use of tags to make your content rank higher is as significant as ever. YouTube gives the opportunity to attach simple words and phrases that define a video. These tags help the platform sort your video into a particular type. It also increases the discoverability of your video by the audience.
Work on the Thumbnail
YouTube is a visual platform and most of the audience reaction and interest is dominated by how easily the video caught their eye. The first impression of your video and whether a viewer will click on the video or not is decided by the thumbnail. Let your creative senses free and design an aesthetically pleasing thumbnail that would make you click if you were the viewer. Make sure that you don’t end up doing too much, like click baiting, as it could drive away the viewer.
Add Subtitles and Closed Captions
Apart from helping view the video more easily, subtitles and closed captions offer a major SEO boost. You can either upload your own captions or use automatic captioning. As long as the captions are accurate, your videos will greatly benefit from them.
Promote Audience Retention
A viewer might choose to click on your video but it doesn’t guarantee that they will watch it to the end. You want your audience to watch a video for as long as possible. The only way to do this is by delivering the engaging content that you promised.
Tracking your YouTube analytics is the most crucial part of channel growth. It offers an insight into the content that is well-received by the audience. You can use analytics to gain an understanding of viewer behavior and content preference.
Find Your Ideal Video Length
For SEO purposes, it is recommended that a YouTube video at least touches the 10-minute mark. Shorter videos also perform well on the platform but longer videos give an opportunity for increasing the watch time. If you’re delivering good content, there is no reason for you to cut the video length.
Create YouTube Playlists
Using the playlist feature shows related videos to the user. If they watched one video, chances are they might want to watch more videos by you. Make their work easier by offering a premade playlist.
Use YouTube Cards and End Screen
YouTube cards and end screen are often ignored by most creators, but their role in video optimization cannot be ignored. They provide link-worthy and related content to your viewers, so you can gain views by recommending related videos at the end of every video.
Offer Great Quality Content
It goes without saying that even when you use tricks to bring in viewers, your content is what will make them stay. Provide value through your content and your subscribers will appreciate it.
There’s an abundance of the methods you could use for gaining exposure on YouTube. But the key lies in using those methods judiciously to their maximum possible benefit. You learn this by experimenting and reviewing what works best for your channel. Every channel on YouTube has a basic viewer base whose needs and interests vary according to the content genre they’re viewing. It is important to be patient, use best practices and slowly but surely your channel will grow.
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