Nearly 15 years since its launch, YouTube continues to be one of the most popularly visited sites on the Internet. In fact, according to Alexa, YouTube is the second most popularly visited site, only behind Google. That’s why it’s important that your video content is search optimized for this platform to ensure you get the highest placement possible and make your videos as easy to find for your target audiences.
While best practices continue to evolve as YouTube continues to change features, we’ve collected current best practices for YouTube optimization that we recommend to our clients to make sure your incredible video content is found by those they want to reach. Take a look below and double-check that you have a plan for each of these important steps:
OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO LIKE IT’S A BLOG POST
Remember that YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the Internet and serves as a powerful search engine for millions of users every day. Just how you work to make content on your website search engine optimized, it’s critical that your videos on YouTube are easy to search for and find, too. Ensure that your video titles, description, and tags are carefully chosen with SEO in mind because it will raise your content’s search placement.
RESEARCH & USE KEYWORDS STRATEGICALLY
YouTube’s search feature can help you find out which terms and keywords are the most popularly searched terms related to your content. Begin searching for a video related to your content, and see what terms auto-populate in the search field. The most popularly searched items will appear first. Create a list of these most commonly used terms and work them into your content, description, title, and tags. Keyword research ensures you’re positioning your content in a way that will be findable by the most significant number of people.
ENSURE YOUR CONTENT IS VIEWABLE AND ENGAGING
Make sure your content is genuinely useful and engaging to viewers. Your videos will receive a higher rating – and subsequently, higher placement in YouTube search results – if your video is fully watched to the end. Keep your content to a concise length, and be connective and relevant to viewers to maximize watch time. And in the video itself, make sure that keywords are mentioned since closed captions also build into your SEO value.
YouTube operates like a social platform, which relies on user engagement to rank content. Adding mentions in your description, as well as in the video itself, will remind users to like your video, subscribe to your YouTube channel, and comment on your video to continue engaging. Create a community around your content, and you’ll see your search ranking improve and your captivated viewer count grow.
CROSS PROMOTE YOUR VIDEO USING A YOUTUBE LINK
Chances are, your video will show up in a number of places as you share it with your audiences. To help build the video’s search value, make sure you use the YouTube link elsewhere (like on social media, in email campaigns, on web pages, etc.).
ADD CLOSED CAPTIONS THAT INCLUDE TOP KEYWORDS AND OFFER TRANSLATIONS
It’s a common best practice to include closed captions with your uploads to ensure your content is accessible and consumable for all users. To make your captions work their hardest, ensure that popular keywords related to your topic are also included. This will help build your search ranking. Also, consider providing translated versions of your video and closed caption files to ensure viewers can view it in different languages.
UPLOAD A THUMBNAIL IMAGE
Last but not least, upload a customized thumbnail when you’re posting your video to YouTube. The thumbnail allows your content’s title to be viewed as users are browsing search results. This is your first opportunity to make your video stand out among similar videos, so make it count!
We’d love to hear about your next creative idea and determine the best way to bring your video idea to life. To start a discussion with our team of strategic, creative professionals, click here to schedule a discovery call with our team today.