Youtube SEO Course
According to SearchMetrics, YouTube is the #1 ranking site across all categories in the world. YouTube is also an extremely important site for search engine optimization (SEO).
Video content is created by millions of active users daily and streamed over trillions of minutes.
This article explains how to optimize your video content to rank highly on YouTube.
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What Is Video SEO?
Video SEO is a key component and benefit of having an optimized presence in general. Video content should be included in any website or business’ online marketing plan, because it’s one of the best ways to get attention from prospective customers, stakeholders, venture capitalists, etc.
In order for video analytics to become more detailed and sophisticated, you’d need better tracking technology built into shipment cameras and other video equipment.
Although YouTube is a social network, there’s an interesting correlation between search engine results and YouTube rankings.
In simpler terms, the better your videos are ranked on YouTube, the better they’ll rank in Google.
That’s because a large percentage of searchers click a video result over a text-based web page result.
Why? People place more trust in video content than written blogs or articles due to the amount of time it takes for something to be created and published online.
So although both should have similar SEO value, this isn’t always the case. For that reason, if you want your website or business to succeed long term, you need to optimize your videos for search engines through proper channel optimization, metadata, tags, descriptions, etc. How Search Engines View YouTube Videos
First, let’s cover the basics of how search engines view and index your videos. When a search engine like Google indexes a video on YouTube, it reads the title and description (meta-tags) and saves them with an initial code that sends any querying user to that exact page.
Anytime someone clicks on one of those links, the website is then indexed or recorded by that search engine as “alive.”
These things happen quickly as well; within as little as half a second after uploading your video to YouTube, Google will be able to start indexing it for certain keywords.
What you’ll want to do is include relevant keywords in titles, tags, descriptions, and anywhere else you can fit them.
Doing this not only provides a better experience for your audience, but it helps search engines return more relevant results when people perform specific searches. This is why you see certain YouTube video titles in Google’s suggested keywords field.
How Search Engines View YouTube Channels
A channel’s visibility to search engines is defined by the same characteristics as a single video: metadata, content quality, and popularity.
In other words, if you want to rank high on YouTube or Google with your channel name, you’ll need some good old-fashioned social media marketing efforts behind it through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
This means that there should be some sort of active community devoted to discussing your niche so that people will be more likely to click on your channel when they see it in the SERPs.
How Search Engines View YouTube Playlists
YouTube playlists are perceived by search engines similarly to channels, but there’s an added bonus: arranged content.
If you were to create a playlist of funny videos about dogs and another one for sad ones, each additional video would carry the “halo effect” from the previously watched video until a threshold is passed.
This allows users who watch dozens or hundreds of videos within a playlist to be exposed to several different pieces of related content without going directly into other channels or playlists.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, this also helps with SEO because Google can index several pieces of content from the same page simultaneously.
SEO Best Practices for YouTube Videos
The following are all best practices when it comes to optimizing videos that search engines can understand. Keep in mind that these take time, but following them will help increase the number of views you get from qualified users.
1) Video Titles
Use short and descriptive titles, especially if they include keywords about your topic or niche. If you’re doing a video on how to play the ukelele, don’t use “How to Play Ukulele” as your title; something like “Learn How To Play The Ukulele From A Professional!” works much better.
2) Video Tags
Make sure your tags are compatible with your video title and description so people searching for similar content will find yours. You can also use more targeted tags to get your video in front of the right audience, but don’t overdo it.
3) Video Description
Your video description should include relevant keywords for search engines, but only briefly because nobody is going to watch a 2000+ word video.
4) Video Playlists
If you have several videos about different topics or the same one from different angles (i.e., multiple people discussing a topic ), find ways to group them together so they’re easier for users to find and navigate through.
5) Channel Organization
This may seem unimportant for SEO purposes, but channel organization goes hand-in-hand with maximizing your content’s visibility and user experience.
Having a good channel page not only provides additional content for any viewers that sign on, but it tells Google about your brand and the personality you want to present.
6) Video Names
This is a weird one, but I’ve seen some videos rank higher than others because their titles are extremely specific (e.g., “How To Make Spaghetti Sauce” ranks above generic videos like “Cooking”).
While this might not be ideal for human users that prefer longer keywords over single-word descriptions, YouTube seems to favor more specificity.
If you’re making cooking videos, make them about various kinds of cooking; if you make music tutorial videos, try different instruments instead of just guitar or piano.
7) The Character Limit
Finally, this may not seem like an SEO factor at all but bear with me. As of December 2016, the character limit for YouTube titles and descriptions was raised to roughly 10 000 characters.
This is important because one of the main reasons why videos didn’t rank as well as they should have before was due to length.
The additional space allows for keywords without sacrificing the personability and engaging qualities that were once lost when users had to be so terse.