With the help of YouTube SEO, your content could appear in front of millions of potential customers, improving exposure and brand awareness. And here’s the best part—the expenses don’t have to make a dent in your marketing budget.
That’s why we wanted to help you understand the ins and outs of search engine optimization for the biggest online video platform. From SEO tips to practical examples, you’ll find everything in this article. So, let’s get started.
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Video content is growing in popularity, with YouTube leading the charge. After all, statistics show that YouTube’s user base in 2021 has grown to 2,24 billion active users. So by 2025, an estimated 2.5 billion people could be on YouTube, providing marketers and SEO specialists with plenty of opportunities.
Of course, YouTube’s popularity drives the need for understanding YouTube ranking factors to improve visibility. In other words, grasping the basics of SEO could open a world of possibilities for savvy marketers and content creators.
Nowadays, advertising on YouTube is a necessity, not a luxury. In 2020, YouTube generated $19.7 billion in advertising revenue, making it a significant player in Google’s marketing ecosystem. By investing time and effort in optimizing your content for YouTube, you could also reap the benefits of video.
As the name says, search engine optimization for YouTube is a set of methods and techniques for ranking as high as possible in SERPs. But, of course, like any other search engine, YouTube uses sophisticated algorithms to rank videos and provide users with an excellent experience.
Nonetheless, SEO should always focus on people, not robots and crawlers. The same goes for YouTube. Therefore, YouTube SEO tactics must have users in mind to help them find the answers to their queries.
In essence, search engine optimization for YouTube relates to a set of techniques that can improve your position on the results page and meet your business goals. Below, we’ll explain those SEO steps to provide you with tools to optimize your content in agreement with YouTube’s guidelines and best practices.
In 2020, as many as 87% of video marketers relied on YouTube for their advertising campaigns, expressing complete satisfaction with the results. In 2021, the percentage could jump to 89%, meaning that almost all video marketers use YouTube in their strategies. After all, YouTube is the second most visited site on the internet, right after its older brother—Google.
Thus, it’s clear that YouTube search ranking offers an excellent advertising channel for business owners and SEO specialists. Since the audience is already there, marketers only need to optimize the content to display it in front of potential customers.
Of course, this can be easier said than done, given that Google, YouTube, and other search engines frequently change the rules of the game. In that case, optimization is even more necessary because it adapts the content to the latest guidelines and ranking factors.
Despite the rise of social media channels, with their eye-catching Reels and Stories, most people in 2021 watch videos on YouTube. That’s another compelling incentive for marketers to jump on the bandwagon and implement the latest SEO practices to their YouTube posts.
So, how to go about it, and where to start with optimizing YouTube videos? Well, as we already mentioned, meeting the search intent is the crucial step of YouTube SEO. So, the trick is to provide users with answers and informative content. If you pull this off, conversions and sales will come as the cherry on the cake.
On top of that, you should never go into battle unarmed. That’s why experienced SEO specialists use various tools and apps, including accurate rank trackers such as SerpWatch. Also, learning how to measure ROI on SEO is a prerequisite for successful campaigns.
Whether you optimize text or video content, many steps in the process will stay the same. For instance, everything starts with keyword research. As soon as you formulate a topic, you can look for high-value keywords with tools like Ahrefs. Also, savvy marketers often use the YouTube auto-fill feature to look for suggestions and keyword ideas.
Videos should be consumer-facing and engaging, so the keywords must also be relevant to the content. Once the campaign gets underway, YouTube rank checkers will provide insights into how the keywords are performing and whether you should tweak any elements.
But, as a rule of thumb, the main keyword should go in the title, description, tags, and transcript. Still, this is only the beginning of the journey. Many more steps await those looking to create viral videos and optimize them according to the latest SEO guidelines.
For example, your YouTube posts will have little chance of attracting attention without impactful thumbnails. Standing out from the rest is a must in the digital marketing world, and attention-grabbing visuals could direct visitors toward your videos.
Speaking of visuals, we should also mention the so-called end screen. In a way, this element acts as a call-to-action, thus making it an essential step of YouTube search engine optimization.
Then again, it’s vital to remember that, according to search engine statistics, Google uses more than 200 ranking factors. With YouTube, the situation is similar, so marketers can’t rely only on thumbnails and end screens for high rankings. Instead, a comprehensive approach to SEO will result in organic traffic. In general, the metrics for success on YouTube include views, subscribers, likes, comments, and retention rate.
Almost every business owner gets impatient with SEO, primarily because this strategy requires much more time than PPC. In those cases, marketers and SEO specialists must use every trick in the book to improve rankings and showcase a positive ROI.
For example, adding accurate closed captions and mentioning the main keyword in the early stages of your video could improve rankings. Likewise, one of the most common YouTube SEO tips is to share the content through other channels, primarily social media.
As you probably know, social media platforms are perfect for improving visibility, and only a few shares can result in a massive reach. Plus, YouTube will mark your posts with “new” in the first two weeks after upload, monitoring the success of the content and the watch time. So, to rank fast, use this time window and maximize the chances of going viral.
In essence, increasing the ranking is the goal for any content creator on YouTube. Whether you have only one subscriber or an army of fans, everyone wants their videos to rank as high as possible. Luckily, the costs of SEO are relatively low, with many free tools and services that can help in the process without increasing the price.
Moreover, finding the best YouTube SEO software can be the winning ticket for increasing rankings on this video platform. Namely, tools like SerpWatch can track keyword performance and provide insights into many other elements of search engine optimization.
Specifically for YouTube, many marketers also opt for services like Google Trends and YouTube Analytics. Since they provide a ton of real-time data, these tools can help SEO specialists with monitoring videos, channels, and playlists.
As the most powerful search engine, Google attracts billions of visitors worldwide. On top of that, Google displays video results for many queries, sending viewers to YouTube directly from the first page.
Nevertheless, your YouTube video won’t magically appear on Google’s first page. Unless you optimize the content and follow SEO guidelines, even the most entertaining video could stay in the dark for years. By learning about YouTube SEO for beginners, the content might still get a chance to feature in the SERPs.
Of course, meeting specific criteria is a must. For instance, it’s essential to create videos with enough traffic potential. Likewise, adding timestamps, fixing the closed captions, and inserting an enticing thumbnail will get you closer to the goal. In addition, embedding the video on your website could yield great results and boost the number of views.
We already mentioned social media sharing as a viable option for drawing more attention to your video content. And, in most cases, this tactic will generate more views, likes, and even subscribers, while improving brand awareness and market reach.
Checking the Watch Time report is essential for any YouTube content creator because engagement metrics can speak volumes about the video’s overall quality. Then, you can choose from an array of YouTube SEO tools to tweak the details and boost the rankings.
For example, video marketing statistics show the importance of inserting the focus keyword in the video title. Also, a well-optimized YouTube post will include the keyword in the tags, description, and SRT file. Simultaneously, SEO specialists and marketers should never forget about the schema markup to allow the content to be a part of the rich snippets.
YouTube channel optimization can be just as crucial as optimization of a single YouTube video. After all, the channel acts like a social media profile—an account representing your business or brand.
Above all, your YouTube channel should be consistent and attention-worthy. In other words, the content should reflect what the account is about, depicting the core beliefs while also maintaining the quality of the posts.
But, of course, by applying the techniques of YouTube SEO, the channel should generate traffic in no time. Once the subscribers and viewers start rolling in, rank tracking apps like SerpWatch will help you keep things under control.
If you want to attract an audience, increase views, and build a customer base, search engine optimization of YouTube videos is a necessity. Like we said, SEO techniques cover various aspects of video content, but the common goal is to rank higher by creating amusing, informative, and engaging YouTube videos. So, use the methods described above to optimize your channels, videos, and playlists.