YouTube has emerged as the second-largest search engine, second only to its parent organization, Google. It has constantly been growing at a rapid pace over the years, and the fact that every eight out of ten search results are YouTube videos, proves that well.
Even though every minute, more than 500 hours of videos get uploaded on YouTube, I always get asked, “How do I protect my video from getting lost in the ocean of pre-existing videos on YouTube?”
My constant answer to this query is that the best solution is optimizing videos for SERPs by leveraging the best video SEO practices. Of course, using a YouTube intro maker online can help in many ways, but you first must know the ways.
If you don’t know how using such an online tool would work, don’t worry, as I have got your back. I bet that with these tips, you can easily enhance your YouTube SEO strategy and shine in Google Search. So, let’s get started.
- Choose an Excellent Keyword
I always suggest choosing the right phrase or keyword for your YouTube video before anything else. Keywords are primarily used in metadata and video titles. For audio-based videos though, I use keywords in the transcripts and captions. That’s a win-win situation for you and your SEO.
I always ensure that my keywords and anchor text correlate with:
- Whatever explains or relates to the video appropriately
- Words and phrases viewers enter in search engines to explore and watch similar content
This is the reason why I undertake keyword research. Without it, you won’t find the right keywords and phrases that people look for when searching for similar video content. YouTube’s search suggestion is an excellent way to find the right keyword. Type a phrase or keyword relevant to your niche in YouTube’s search panel, and check out the suggestions offered by YouTube.
Now, do as I say:
Go to YouTube Studio under Traffic Sources -> Click on YouTube Search -> Access YouTube Report to find keywords.
To determine whether it’s the right or good keyword, check how many “about results” it produces. Typically, you’ll need to look for keyword variations with less competition but high search volume.
When I fail to get the right keyword, I move to tools like AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to get the best results. These tools helped me find other resources like cost per click, keyword volume, etc.
Once you determine the right keyword, add it to your video file’s name. It will let YouTube identify your video topic.
- Include Transcript on Your YouTube Video’s Description
The YouTube video description is one of the ideal ways to showcase your transcript on the platform. In the description field, you can adjust 5000 characters, which is typically sufficient to fit in a transcript for a 10-minute dialogue-rich video.
If you find the transcript not fitting, or you may want other details in the description like call-to-action, you can add a short and crisp version with a link to the complete version on another web page.
I know that some may argue that there’s no correlation between the keyword-optimized descriptions and their rankings, but it’s still helpful. I always use keyword-dense descriptions as it’s a healthy practice that helps in your video rank for associated terms and for emerging as a “suggested video.”
Also, you can boost your video engagement with transcripts as it makes the content easily scannable.
- Add Subtitles in Multiple Languages
I may not have to mention it, but still, you should know that videos with English captions get access to more viewers. Similarly, translations to multiple languages make your video more reachable, expand your audience base, and boost your YouTube SEO.
YouTube is a booming platform with a massive global reach. The US contributes to 16.4% of YouTube’s traffic, and more than 2 billion users around the world watch YouTube videos every month.
Subtitles in foreign languages will enable non-native English-speaking audiences to enjoy your videos. I always upload my videos with subtitles in multiple languages (German, Spanish and Hindi), and the results I get are incredible.
My translated caption files get indexed by the Search Engines, and my video gets added to search results in those languages.
I find it to be one of the best YouTube SEO strategies as there’s low competition when it comes to the ranking of non-English keywords.
- Use Keyword-Optimized Tags, Description, and Title
As mentioned before, once you get an excellent keyword, you must ensure the text related to the video is keyword-optimized. I always say that search engines are not a fan of keyword stuffing. Try to write for the normal human audience, not some robots, and you’ll be fine.
After selecting your keywords, use them naturally in the following places:
- Title: Although the video title can fit in 100 characters, I would suggest keeping it shortened to 60-70 characters. Use engaging language to lure the users into clicking. For instance, titles with “how-to,” “tips to,” and “advice” can help.
- Meta Description: Although it fits 5000 characters, I suggest shortening it to 120 characters to the maximum. When posting videos on YouTube for an eCommerce site, you must include a link to their product, given that over 50% of consumers are driven away by product videos.
- Tags: It can fit almost 500 characters, but it’s best to stick with 200-300 characters only. To ensure your video is an explicit match for long-tail keyword phrases, you should use double quotation marks to surround the phrases.
- Speak Out Your Target Keyword in the Video
If you miss out on saying the target keyword in the video, it will not show up on the caption or transcript. I recommend using a free youtube video maker to naturally and efficiently add your keyword in the video without overstuffing the video transcript.
If it helps, I would suggest you plan and prepare a script in advance. Also, try to add the keyword at the video’s starting point to make it appear early on in the transcript.
- Use an Engaging Thumbnail
Selecting the best video thumbnail picture ensures a significant difference in the video’s click-through rate. I recommend using a high-contrast, premium-quality image that comes with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Which works the best in facial close-ups!
You get to pick the frame to showcase the video thumbnail. YouTube will give you three screenshots to pick from, but I would suggest uploading your own image.
You can use a free youtube video maker to get ideas for images. Such online platforms offer thumbnail templates just for the introductory part of the YouTube videos. Remember that YouTube covers the video duration in the thumbnail’s lower corner.
Also, keep in mind that Google filters out some specific imagery automatically by using image recognition. Such imagery includes the YouTube logo. Typically, I would say to go for an image that is an excellent visual representation of your target keyword. It will take your presence in related results even more.
- Incorporate YouTube Cards
In my experience, YouTube cards motivate users to take the necessary actions while watching your video. After you set up the cards, they will appear on the video’s top right corner, enabling users to click on and discover more.
As YouTube focuses and believes in retaining people on its platform, YouTube cards are an excellent solution that boosts your SEO ranking. You can include only five cards in your video. I suggest incorporating multiple CTAs in your cards to monetize and/or optimize your video.
- Let Your Viewers Stick to your Video
Did you ever hit the play button on a YouTube video just to watch a short content and then realize after hours that you’ve only ended up binge-watching YouTube? If so, you’re the right customer for YouTube. The platform aims to keep viewers engaged in watching videos for a longer period.
The average duration of any YouTube session is 13.2 minutes. I know it may not impress some people out there, but remember that YouTube has somehow surpassed Netflix.
To ensure that viewers stick to videos, YouTube focuses more on certain factors. Besides getting concerned about whether users watched your video and hit the like button, you should also be concerned when your video is displayed in front of the users, but they choose to ignore it.
Getting used to the ever-changing YouTube algorithms can be challenging. You must stay updated with the latest technologies and learn new features like ways of using YouTube cards to your advantage.
However, the most crucial thing that matters is the quality of your video and whether the content is worth watching. Leverage the right tools, follow the tips listed above, and enhance your YouTube plan to rank top in the Google SERPs. After that, everything will be a smooth sail.
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