How to Optimize YouTube Channel and Videos for SEO
Most of us create videos, be it YouTube videos or otherwise, in the hope that they will ‘generate a ton of views.’ While this sentiment is well and good for the motivational edge, motivations can only take you so far. As we have seen in the chapter above, there are over 100 hours of video uploaded every day, which from a broader perspective hinders your YouTube stardom.
Fortunately, you can use the tips I shall give you to optimize your video and channel to make it totally SEO friendly. Before we move on to the optimization, it is important to point out the search engines at YouTube do not differ much from the ones Google uses to index the World Wide Web (they are both owned by the same company after all).
What does this mean to your YouTube domination or stardom? It means that while success on YouTube is what we are in search of, it means that we must first understand how YouTube ranks video.
How YouTube ranks videos
Video ranking on YouTube is not an exact science. In fact, even the most experienced YouTubers do not know this well guarded secret. Nonetheless, there is some consensus that YouTube uses these four factors. You should also note that these factors are not all that YouTube search engine depend or rely on to rank videos.
Here are the four factors.
- Video description
- Video Title
- Video ratings
- Video views
“Keyword research is your bread and butter in YouTube success”
To make this chapter easy to navigate, we shall separate the aspect of video optimization and channel optimization. Before we begin with the video and channel optimization, let me point out a very important fact. Like articles on the web, keyword research plays a very big part in video and channel optimization. Most YouTubers give a deaf ear to the fact that above all, YouTube is a search engine.
If you know anything about search engines, (and even if you do not) you should know that search engines rely on keywords to rank content. Therefore, you must pay proper attention to doing some keyword research before you hit the upload button on your channel. The keywords search will aid you when you are creating a video title description and all the other facts about optimization we shall look at. YouTube has a keyword tool you can use to your advantage. You can find it Youtube Ads.
Let us now look at video optimization.
Optimize YouTube Channel Using Video Titles
I cannot count on one hand the number of YouTube uploaders who use ambiguous title such as ‘mov01200’, or the same file name their camcorder assigned the file. Unless you intend to share the file with a close-knit circle of friends who pay no credence to the title of your video, then this is ok.
However, if your intention is YouTube stardom, this mistake is one you must avoid at all cost. Remember what I mentioned about keywords; the reason for doing keyword search is to help you create a compelling and appetizing title that speaks to the viewers and aptly describes the content in the video.
This not only makes the video SEO friendly, it also makes the video appealing to the viewers, who truth be told, depend on the title of video to know if it is worth their time. YouTube video titles are normally 70 characters and below.
Optimize YouTube Channel Using Video Descriptions
Your video description is the ideal place to tell viewers and search engines the content of the video. You should think of your video description as a marketing pitch. For example, if a YouTube user types in the word “poop”, the search will return a bunch of videos. How well you use the description part of your video is what determines if the user clicks through and watches your video or not.
On your video description, I would also urge you to employ the keywords we talked about earlier. On the other hand, you should keep the text short and seductive to the potential viewer taking into account that the description is 160 characters long.
Furthermore, if your intention is to attract viewers to click through to your hosted website, you should place a link to your website in the first line of your description. This is especially helpful to businesses looking to drive traffic to their websites.
Optimize YouTube Channel Using YouTube Categories
YouTube video categories also play an integral part of your video optimization. Your YouTube channel can belong to one of the following categories: Education, film and animation, comedy, entertainment, gaming, how-to and style, autos and vehicles, music, people and blogs, nonprofits and activism, music, and news and politics.
Before you hit the upload button, make sure that your video is in the correct category to make sure that it is visible to the multitude of people interested in that field.
Optimize YouTube Channel Using Utilize Captions
When you use captions on your video, you help Google and YouTube understand the content within the video. This also helps greatly in SEO ranking. According to Google, captions are also a very powerful way to make sure that disabled or non-native English speakers (or people who do not speak the language of your video) understand the content within the video.
How to optimize your channel
Your channel is your public face. As stated in the ‘how to create a killer channel,’ it is an extension of who you are and the type of style you want people to associate you with. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your YouTube channel. It is important to note that you should customize your channel as much as possible.
Complete your social profile and ‘about’ section
As a very active YouTuber, I have seen thousands of channels that leave their about sections blank. To show the importance of the about page, I should point out that your about page is the first page of your brand. You should use the same keywords technique to make the about page short and sweet, as well as keyword rich if possible.
The trick here is to strike a balance between being informative and keywords. To make your channel even more comprehensive and search engine friendly, you should link it to all your social networks, Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc. Additionally, each channel has the capability to carry up to 20 custom URLs and titles.
When you integrate all your social profiles into your YouTube channel, you give your brand (channel) the extra oomph it requires to stand out socially.
Use featured playlists and other channels
Are you wondering what are featured playlists? Featured playlists are a group of YouTube videos that you can compile as a channel administrator. How do they play a part in optimization? YouTube playlists are very effective when you want to group together some related music. The good thing about them is that the videos on your playlist do not have to be your personal uploads.
In fact, you can add any video on YouTube to a playlist. Additionally, when a user subscribes to a playlist, they will see the update in their subscription bar.
Your Next Action Step
Practice using SEO and keywords on your channel and videos to reap the benefits. Which benefits? The traffic that search engines will drive to your video and channel if it ticks all the right keyword boxes.