It goes without saying that video is one of the most powerful and engaging forms of content online. In fact, Ericsson forecasts that by 2024, the video will account for 74 percent of all internet traffic. That’s a staggering number, and it’s no wonder why businesses are clamoring to create more video content.
But simply posting videos to your YouTube channel isn’t enough. If you want to see real results—more views, engagement, and shares—you need to optimize them for SEO. Luckily, optimizing your videos for SEO is actually pretty easy once you know what to do. In this article, we’ll walk you through seven simple best practices that will help you get more views on your YouTube videos. Let’s get started!
7 YouTube SEO Best Practices to Rank Your Videos Higher
Here we go...
1. Create Keyword-rich Titles
Your video title is one of the first things potential viewers will see, so it’s important to make it count. A good rule of thumb is to include your target keyword in the title, but don’t stuff it in there just for the sake of keywords. Instead, focus on creating a title that’s both informative and interesting.
To get started on keyword research, try using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research potential keywords. Once you have a few options, run them by friends or colleagues to see which ones they think are most likely to result in a click.
What not to do
How to fix a broken iPhone screen
What you should do instead
How to replace a broken iPhone screen in under 10 minutes
The second title is specific, keyword-rich, and tells the viewer what they can expect from the YouTube content. It’s also much more likely to get clicked on than a generic, unoptimized title.
2. Write a Compelling Description
After your title, your video’s description is the next thing potential viewers will see. This is your chance to elaborate on what your video is about and why they should watch it. As with your title, be sure to include your target keyword in the description—but don’t go overboard. On average it’s advised to keep your keyword density around 2 percent.
Your video’s description should also be compelling and offer a preview of what viewers can expect from the video. If you have a longer YouTube video, you may want to consider including a transcript in the description so viewers can get a sense of what they’ll be watching.
3. Use Tags
Tags are like keywords for your video—they help YouTube (and potential viewers) understand what your video is about. To add tags to your video, simply go to the “Advanced Settings” tab and enter a few relevant keywords.
When choosing tags, be sure to focus on keywords that are relevant to your video’s content. Don’t stuff your tags with irrelevant keywords just for the sake of keywords—this will only hurt your search engine optimization.
4. Optimize Your Thumbnail
Your video thumbnail is like a mini-poster for your video—it should be eye-catching and offer a preview of what the video is about. Luckily, you have a lot of control over your thumbnail. When you upload a video to YouTube, you’ll be given the option to choose from three different thumbnails. If none of these options are quite right, you can also upload your own custom thumbnail.
When selecting or creating video thumbnails, be sure to use an image that’s high-quality and relevant to your video. You may also want to consider using a call-to-action (CTA) in your thumbnail, like “Watch now” or “Learn more.” This can help increase click-through rates and encourage viewers to watch your video.
5. Create Transcripts
As we mentioned earlier, including a transcript in your video description can be a great way to improve your YouTube rankings. That’s because transcripts make your content more accessible to viewers—and other search engines. If you have a longer video, consider transcribing it and adding the transcript to the description.
You can transcribe your video yourself or hire a transcription service to do it for you. Once you have your transcript, all you need to do is copy and paste it into the “Description” field when uploading your video.
6. Use Annotations
Annotations are little pieces of text that you can add to your videos. They’re usually used to provide viewers with additional information or links, but they can also be used to improve your video’s SEO.
To add annotations to your video, simply click on the “Annotations” tab and start adding text. You can also customize the color, position, and size of your annotations. When adding annotations, be sure to include links to relevant websites or landing pages. You should also avoid adding too many annotations, as this can be overwhelming for viewers and could hurt your SEO.
7. Promote Your Video
Once you've optimized your videos for SEO, it’s time to start promoting them. There are a number of ways to promote your ranking videos, but one of the best is to embed them on your website or blog. This helps increase views and engagement, which can also boost your video SEO.
You can also promote your optimized YouTube video through social media, email marketing, and paid advertising. These strategies can help increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website or YouTube channel. The best way to promote your videos is to use a combination of different strategies. This will give you the best chance of reaching your target audience and increasing your video views.
To sum it all up, here are the seven YouTube SEO best practices you should be following to increase your video views:
By following these YouTube SEO tips, you can help your videos rank higher in YouTube search results as well as Google search and get more views. Just remember to focus on creating quality content that’s engaging and relevant to your audience. If you do this, your videos will be successful—regardless of where they rank in search results.