Search optimization for YouTube has evolved substantially throughout the years. At present, the platform’s algorithm attempts to serve every viewer videos that they enjoy watching the most. Keeping up with the ever-changing demands of the algorithm can be a challenge without the right knowledge. In this blog, we are going to discuss how it works and provide you with useful YouTube SEO tips to optimize the rankings of your video content.
How does YouTube’s algorithm function?
According to a study published by Statista, more than 500 hours of video content was added to YouTube every minute on an average in 2020. To sort through all of that, YouTube’s search & discovery mechanisms pick the most useful & relevant outcomes for the search queries of users. After that, it follows the relevant audience by carefully observing things such as –
- What type of content are they watching?
- How much time do they spend watching videos?
- The videos they like & dislike
- Feedback from ‘Not Interested’
If you’re still relying upon advice and tips shared by experts back in 2015, it can be the main reason behind the poor performance of your videos on YouTube.
Discussed below are 7 brilliant tips that you can use for YouTube SEO in 2022:
1. Sync with YouTube search
Just like Google, YouTube search works hard to provide the most relevant outcomes as per keyword queries. A wide range of factors is taken into account to rank the videos, including their descriptions, titles & content. In addition to that, YouTube meticulously observes videos with the highest engagement and watch time, for any given query.
The best way to sync with YouTube search queries relevant to your business is by targeting appropriate search terms and keywords for video SEO. Using an effective keyword tool can help you determine the best keywords, as well as reach the target audience & ensure their long-term engagement.
2. Optimize for ‘Suggested Videos’
The ‘Suggested Videos’ section in YouTube is a customized collection of videos curated by the platform based on their search history & other activities. According to the studies of YouTube, visitors tend to check out videos more from recommendations appearing on their screen through Suggested Videos.
If you want to optimize your content for ‘Suggested Videos’, then try these simple tips and tricks –
- Make a video series that are connected to each other organically.
- Create dynamic call-to-actions for persuading viewers to click on another video within the same series.
- Try not to extend the endings of your videos, and keep them interesting to retain engagement.
- Utilize links, cards, end screens, and playlists for suggesting the next videos.
- Create videos based on popular formats such as lists or challenges.
3. Create suitable titles & thumbnails
Since these are the first things that viewers see when they come across a YouTube video, you have to make sure that they represent the content of your videos accurately. Misleading or inadequate titles and thumbnails can make people bounce off your content and even lead to limited discoverability.
Here are some tips to optimize your video titles for YouTube SEO ideally –
- Use keywords to write attention-grabbing titles.
- Make sure that they are not any longer than 60 characters, and place the most vital information in front.
- Save branding and episode numbers towards the end of the video.
As for thumbnails, these are the things you can do to keep them interesting –
- Even before a video is ready, start thinking of how its thumbnail should look like, so that you can create multiple options and pick the best one from among them.
- Create your thumbnails in high resolution, but ensure that the size does not exceed YouTube’s 2MB limit.
- The ideal specifications for a YouTube thumbnail are 1280×720 pixels, and accepted file formats are .PNG, .JPG, .BMP or .GIF.
- Once the thumbnail is ready, zoom in and out of it a few times to see how it looks.
4. Use descriptions & hashtags
Video descriptions are incredibly critical when it comes to helping viewers discover, learn and decide which videos they want to watch. Given below are some tips to follow when writing descriptions for YouTube SEO –
- Compose a unique description for every video to help it stand out from the rest and allow users to find it easily
- Reserve the first 3-4 sentences of your description for explaining your content using natural language & search-friendly keywords
- Utilize the remaining text to add other important information such as info about your channel, credits, social links, and so on.
- In the case of lengthier videos, add suitable timestamps in the description to let viewers jump to the most important parts.
YouTube currently has a new kind of search results page that appears when viewers are searching for videos using hashtags. Try these tips to optimize the hashtags of your YouTube videos –
- Don’t use any hashtag that is not related directly to your video
- YouTube will simply overlook all your hashtags if there are more than 15 of them stuffed in your description, so don’t saturate
- Trending content can benefit greatly from the usage of hashtags, by allowing viewers looking for content like yours to find you
5. Upload Shorts
Before we discuss how to prepare ‘Shorts’ for YouTube, let’s talk about why they are beneficial. Shorts are a great way to engage viewers on the go with short-form videos of up to 60 seconds in length. They can be easily found by users –
- In notifications
- On the homepage
- In subscriptions
- Featured on the channel page
You can also add the links to your YouTube Shorts in the descriptions of your videos.
Here are the best YouTube SEO practices that you can observe when creating Shorts –
- Try making the initial few seconds attractive to grab the attention of viewers, in addition to focusing on keeping the remaining content snappy.
- Incorporate a trending event, song, or moment to ensure that your content is relevant.
- Use authentic voice or a behind-the-scenes moment to make your Shorts relatable.
- Create content that entertains or educates your viewers
6. Add appropriate cards & end screens
Cards & end screens help encourage viewers to take action on your YouTube videos. They are powerful tools that help increase the watch time by leading viewers to other videos on your channel.
Use these tips to optimize your cards and end screens –
- Utilize cards for older videos to bring recent uploads into the limelight, or to advertise fundraising campaigns or merchandise.
- Use them along with scripted CTAs for linking other videos, associated websites, playlists, or for prompting the audience to purchase your merchandise or contribute towards your fundraiser.
- Add no more than 5 cards in any video
- Cards can also be used to cross-promote channels, along with credits to collaborators in the description.
- Try to advertise up to 4 different elements with the help of end screens
- Leave some space in the ending so that there is enough room for end screen elements
- Avoid using branding watermarks and card teasers in any end screen, since both are repressed
7. Optimize your uploads & create playlists
Last but not the least, a schedule for publishing videos on YouTube regularly can drive higher organic traffic to your channel. On top of that, using playlists to arrange those uploads can help viewers find that which they will enjoy watching more.
To optimize your video upload schedule for better YouTube SEO, follow these tips:
- Try to upload videos at specific weekly intervals or on set days.
- Keep your content flexible for accommodating timely topics or search trends.
- Don’t publish multiple videos at the same time. Instead, you can upload your content in advance and then schedule them to be published later.
- Let viewers know about upcoming content by building up their anticipation with info regarding the same in video descriptions, trailers, etc.
Thus, if you are looking for ways to improve the engagement on your YouTube channel, adopt the above-mentioned YouTube SEO tips to optimize your content effectively.