Search Engine Optimisation is now a very commonly used term in today’s digital world. However, it’s typically only associated with ‘websites’ and ‘blogs’.
Did you know that by applying similar SEO principles on YouTube, you can dramatically increase visibility and rankings of your videos? In this latest ‘Get Wired’ blog, we make YouTube SEO easy, by providing 9 top tips to get you on your way to the big screen.
TAKE 1: Before You Shoot, Do Your Research
Do your research, and make sure you’re creating content people want to watch. You can do this in two simple ways. Firstly, go to YouTube, and start typing a keyword in the search box. As you type, suggested popular searches will appear. Secondly, take these newly discovered search terms, and pop them into Google AdWords Keyword Planner. If you don’t have an AdWords account, try using Ubersuggest . These tools will provide an array of additional keyword suggestions, along with how many times each term is searched per month.
TAKE 2: Discover & Track Your Video Rankings
There are a lot of tools out there (both free and paid), such as vidIQ, which help determine how your videos are currently ranking. And most importantly, you will also be able to easily track improvements after you roll out YouTube SEO.
TAKE 3: Content & Consistency Should Have Equal Lead Roles
Creating great content is an absolute given when it comes to YouTube. However, if you’re looking to build a strong and loyal subscriber base, make sure you produce and publish content on a regular schedule. If you commit to posting weekly at 9am, then make sure you fulfil this promise.
TAKE 4: Short Videos Will Get The Cut
Short punchy videos are great for advertising purposes but shouldn’t be used for organic video content. YouTube’s ultimate goal is to compete with traditional TV, and therefore content needs to be high-quality and long-form. Content that is at least five minutes long tends to perform better and rank higher.
TAKE 5: Create Playlists Like A Director
Use your keyword research intel and create playlists based on highly searched terms. If you are lacking in the content department for a particular topic, throw in another channel’s video content to keep your viewers watching.
TAKE 6: One Take Is All You Get, So Make It Count
YouTube’s algorithms are notoriously unforgiving. So, when you add new video content make sure you do all of your optimisations straight away. The first 48 hours after uploading is critical, so make it count.
TAKE 7: A Thumbnail On YouTube Is Like A Trailer on The Big Screen
The thumbnail image for your video will directly impact how many users click on your video, so make sure it’s as visually appealing as possible. Add a ‘custom thumbnail’ as opposed to an automatically generated one within the YouTube platform, and include both an image and text. Make your thumbnail as ‘click-worthy’ as possible.
TAKE 8: Scripting In A Title, Description & Tags
Optimising the video title, description and tags are important, in fact we’d say the most important component of video optimisation (apart from the content and thumbnail of course!).
The title of the video needs to not only incorporate highly searched keywords which you have already identified, but it also needs to be punchy, and grab the users attention. Also, try and keep the word limit down as much as you can. It wouldn’t hurt to also suss out what your competitors are doing, paying particular attention to the videos with a high number of views.
The video description is your chance to provide engaging and insightful wording around the contents of the video. You can also add links to other videos, or to your website, alongside strong call to actions. Make sure you put all the good stuff first, and check it appears above the fold, before the ‘show more’ link.
As for tags, this is the easy part. Simply add all the keywords identified in your research as tags.
TAKE 9: Wrap Up With Call To Actions
Make sure you include a call to action, especially to the end of all your videos. Ideally, this should be to either subscribe to your channel, or perhaps visit your website, or both. We find iCards, end-screens, and outro’s work best! The more actions users take when viewing your videos, the more attention your content and channel will gain in YouTube’s algorithm.
Words by Angela Hampton, Managing Director, The Wired Agency