Learn how to upload and optimize your video for YouTube search engine optimization with these tips!
1. Find "video keywords".
Video keywords are words that, when searched in Google, tend to show video results on the first page. If you optimize for video keywords, not only will you rank higher on YouTube searches, but you'll also get targeted traffic to your video directly from Google's first page as well.
Google tends to show video results for words like "how-to", "review", "tutorial", "funny video", and anything fitness related.
Before deciding on a keyword for your video, search the word in Google and check to see if there are video results on the first page.
Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see how many searches your target keyword gets per month. If a keyword gets at least 300 average monthly searches, then it also gets a decent amount of searches within YouTube itself.
2. Include your keyword in the title.
For an SEO ranking boost, your keyword or keyword phrase should be as close to the front of your title as possible. The title of your video should be descriptive yet concise.
3. Write a detailed description.
Since search engines can't see the content of your video, they depend on the metadata to know what the video is about. YouTube gives you 500 characters to work with, so use them!
The first couple sentences of your description should include the following:
The link that you want to direct traffic to.
Your keyword and/or keyword phrase.
Aim to be informative and engaging within the first 100 characters, since this snippet is what will be shown on YouTube and Google searches.
For example, we put a short "teaser-like" description of the video at the beginning, and follow it with "A Vital Companies Production: www.vitalcompanies.com" to help boost our website's traffic.
Include links to your social media sites at the bottom. Make sure the links start with "https://"! You can add these to your "upload defaults" (Creator Studio > Channel > Upload defaults) to save time on future uploads.
4. Use the right tags.
The tags for your video should be relevant to what the video is about. Think about the video category, video content, shoot location, and names/titles of anyone in the video. A minimum of 6 to 8 tags per video is ideal.
Include the keyword phrase in the video tags and also slight variations of the phrase. For example, if our video is about the city of Columbus, Ohio, we'll use 3 keywords: "Columbus", "Ohio", and "Columbus Ohio".
Closed captions make your video accessible to deaf or hard of hearing viewers, or people just watching your video on a device with no sound. If your video contains a speech or interview, you should add closed captions. Not only will this help SEO, but it will positively impact user engagement, watch time, and viewership.
You can also increase your video's ranking by having your video captions or transcript translated and uploaded to translated subtitles. Transcribed videos rank higher since they allow access to information in multiple formats.
If you don't have a caption file or a transcript, you can also create subtitles and closed captions by typing them in as you watch the video. Click here for more information on how to add subtitles & closed captions to your video.
Bonus Tip: Customize your video's thumbnail!
The thumbnail is the face of your video, and YouTube doesn't always populate the most flattering image for it. Take the time to take a high-quality screenshot of one of the best parts of your video. Ideally, you want an image that visual represents your keyword phrase. The thumbnail should be 1280 x 720 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
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