YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

Generating views on Youtube can lead to a profitable business. What may seem like a complicated science is one that relies on the basic rules of optimization. There’s a threshold of competition to get through on YouTube, so taking the right steps is important.

You want to avoid being penalized for your attempts at driving more page views. So let’s start with basic SEO – we can cover more ‘aggressive’ strategies in the future.

Subscribers and recurring views are key components in your YouTube channel getting traction. Traction leads to a wider audience. And viewers that find your video content are likely to build a long-term relationship with you when you demonstrate that you can give them even more answers.

The details matter, so don’t shy away from filling out your channel profile before we get started. You want to answer simple questions like who you are, what you stand for and what people can expect from your future submissions. This builds a sense of authenticity that will carry over to your videos.

Now let’s get started…

Video Keyword Research and Why it Matters

Optimizing your video content begins with keyword research. Popular YouTube channels have a way of appearing casual in their video topic selection. However, these topics – and the keywords driving them – are chosen intentionally, and they are based on a larger marketing framework.

Your optimization strategy should be focused on Youtube, but it shouldn’t end there. What search engines rank, regarding your content, should match with the strategy you’re leveraging for video.

Now Compile Your Ideas Together

Start your research by coming up with keyword ideas that you believe will influence how the viewer finds you. These online users are entering YouTube and other technology in search of ideas that they’ll find important. Someone looking for content on “elephant migrations” is unlikely to type in “hunting behaviors of brown bears.” Your keywords need to align to the content you create and the terms that people use to search for that content.

You can use YouTube for generating your ideas.

The dropdown window found at any YouTube search bar is what you use. Type in the ideas that you’ve generated so far. Look to see the list of suggestions that YouTube offers, for these words and terms are based on what people are actually using. Consider how close your keyword selections match up. You want to ensure that they align with your topics—without deviating or forcing you to use different terminology.

Finding Similar Material to Yours

By looking for content that’s similar to yours, you can verify what actually works in terms of SEO. Search engine optimization is a strategic skill, and the terms that seem obvious may not be as effective as what your competitors have already used. Look at these similar producers; notice how they use their keywords and how important some terms are to their channels.

Plagiarizing your competitors is not the objective here. You want to simply learn what’s working in the marketplace… and what isn’t.

The Classic Formula: Titles, Descriptions and Tags

YouTube search technology, like that which we find on Google, relies on the basic parameter of titles, descriptions and keyword tags. These inputs enable YouTube to better understand what your video content is and how it could match up with the terms that users are typing while they search.

Your title is the most important piece of the SEO puzzle. It will allow users to identify your content while enabling search engines to render it for them. Just be concise and clear. Using metaphors and fanciful jargon doesn’t work well in titles.

Some viewers will double check to see if what they’ve found is actually what they need. Congruency is also important for search technology. Rely on your core keywords as you describe what your video is about.

Tags are an additional step that search engines use in an attempt to be as thorough as possible. Take into account that others won’t go this far, so completing your strategy with tags enables you to get one step past your competitors.

Aiming for Less Competition

The terms you discover need to be leveraged in a strategic way. If you find that a big brand like Walmart is using the terms that you’re working to establish, then consider aiming for less competition. In essence, you want to bring something new to the genre that you’re covering, so seek topics or terms that are relevant but that have (comparatively) less competition. Not everything you research will be viable—based on your brand’s reputation when compared to market players.

Creating Excellent Video Content

All of the SEO tactics in the book won’t work if people fail to enjoy your video. Taking the right steps to create impressive content begins with developing your message. It’s easy to be inspired by a topic and then film it without doing much preparation. Take your time, fact check your ideas and – most importantly – make your message emotional.

Starting with a Script

Attention spans are short and we all have 25 hours worth of tasks every day. Your channel won’t succeed unless you and keep viewers engaged, and it’s never been harder to do so.

That’s where scripting comes in. Starting with a script not only helps you to manage the length of your video, it also keeps your content sharp and as engaging as possible. Here are some additional reasons for why it helps to begin with a script:

– Rendering Scripts as Text for YouTube SEO:
You can transcribe your videos to make it easier for the search engines to identify keywords and themes. This is faster and easier to do when you have a seed script on hand.

– The Story: A Beginning, Middle and End:
It’s easier to craft your content for impact when you can see it “on page”. It’s also easier to know where key sections are in the video, for linking purposes.

– Audience Retention for Video Content:
You’ll find it easier to manage the emotional retention of your audience once you can visually see the strong and weak points of your content.

Promoting Your Video Content and Engaging Your Audience

You might have heard that races are often won by the person who sticks around long enough. This is especially true when it comes to organic YouTube growth. Remain consistent. The work to be done doesn’t end when you hit publish.

On-Page SEO for Your Own Website:
Invest time into structuring your website in the same manner as you do your YouTube SEO content. This will create a larger impression regarding the keywords, themes and topics you use.

Be Proactive; Ask People to Subscribe:
The consistency of your efforts must include a continual call for subscribers. Some viewers simply need to know that this is important to you. Ask them to subscribe.

Blogs, Social Media and Q&A Sites:
Publish your video links where people can find them. This includes your own blog. Social media is full of people, and Q&A sites are where readers constantly seek out answers. Give them what they need and then a little bit more.