Youtube was founded in 2005 and it is the second largest search engine after Google and still growing rapidly. There is no doubt that both Google and YouTube are ruling the search industry. Here is a complete Guide for Youtube SEO to rank videos in 2019.
Why do optimization for Youtube?
Youtube as a search engine is specially built for videos. It has allowed users to rank their videos, take their content to millions of people and leave an impression in the audience mind that helps them increase users.
To share some statistics about how powerful Youtube is, there are over visitors to Youtube. Youtube has local versions in 91 countries and 80 different languages. More than 100 hours of video uploaded on this site every minute to engage people. If approached the right way, you can achieve high video rankings and high traffic to your websites without spending any money.
How to do YouTube SEO and what factors impact rankings of videos?
How do you get people to watch your video instead of the millions of others? The answer is straightforward – optimize your videos with SEO. Let’s look at important factors that impact YouTube SEO.
The video content has rapidly emerged as one of the top mediums of choice marketers in the past few years. If you consider some facts thenThere have been speculations in the tech market that more than 80% of Internet traffic will come from video by 2019 and around 73% of B2B companies that use video marketing as their primary marketing medium see significant ROI from it.
Before diving into the steps that you can use and rank your video for YouTube, let us check some of the most important ranking factors that YouTube uses. Major parameters which affect the YouTube SEO video rankings:
Video titles as per one study are slightly correlated with the YouTube rankings. A video title helps the user gain an idea about the subject of the video. This helps in searching through browsers as well.
Appealing headline and keyword are the two critical parts of any good title. Use 60-70 characters for your title. Then write a description of your video content. The first couple of lines play a significant role in your video ranking in the search engine.
Some tips for writing amazing video titles on YouTube: • Titles should be attention-grabbing. • Keep titles short and to the point. • Add the current year on your titles if you can.
Video description helps both users and search engines discover the exact content of the video and what they can expect from the video. However, as per some studies it is claimed that there is no correlation between a keyword rich video description and the ranking. So yes, from user perspective one should provide Video Description as this may increase the view time(users would not bound if they know what is there in the video clearly). Video. The Video description should contain your title and important and relevant keywords.
You should Summarize the whole content in relevant words as the description. A suitable description is always going to help you to boost your videos. Some point to Remember before writing the description of your video. • Your keyword should appear in the first 25 words. • Make the description at least 250 words • Include your keyword 2-4 times
Video length is one of the important factors that affect Video SEO. It is stronglywith the rankings. Longer the videos have a better chance at ranking well as compared to shorter videos.
In fact, if one searches for the content for any specific keyword, results typically show >3 minutes videos in the top ranks.
YouTube’s objective is to keep users engaged and on YouTube for as long as possible. A shorter videos causes discontinuity in viewing as compared to longer videos which provide continuous viewing, hence have the better chance of keeping users on YouTube.
Comments are an indication of engagement created by Video. Google has clearly outlined that its perspective of ranking is to give higher weightage to the content that helps solves a users problem. Comments are one such metric which indicates involvement created by Video and hence is taken as a ranking signal. Always try to encourage your viewers to comment on your videos.
Likes and dislikes:
As with comments, likes is also an indicator of engagement by viewers. Youtube likes Engaging videos and “likes” is an indicator of how engaging a video is. Again there is a higher correlation seen in the number of likes and its ranking.
The number of subscribers:
The number of subscribers to your channel is again seen as a sign of user engagement. If you see a good video it is likely that you will subscribe to the channel. The higher number of subscribers indicates that more and more people like your content, hence YouTube gives preference to such videos.
The best way to get more YouTube subscribers to ask people to subscribe. By Asking viewers to subscribe at the end of your videos significantly boost your monthly subscriber’s income. Having more subscribers on your channel by the end of the day is always a huge plus point for the overall growth of your YouTube channel.
A thumbnail is an image that you see in the videos in the search results or on the Youtube search results page. Thumbnail can be auto-created by Google as well. But generally, user-generated thumbnails outperform auto created thumbnails. The biggest impact thumbnails create is in attracting the audience basis what is depicted in thumbnails. A good and attractive thumbnail can drastically impact click-through rates.
Some tips for creating fantastic video thumbnail on YouTube:
- YouTube thumbnail has a resolution of 1280×720
- Upload your thumbnail in either.JPG or.PNG format.
- Keep your thumbnail size under 2MB.
Closed Captions and subtitles:
Captions in the video help people who are deaf understand what the video is about. Also, it helps people who cannot turn on the volume(eg in an office environment) to be able to view the videos. So these closed captions help increase your video views by expanding the audience base which can watch the video. Difference between Closed caption and subtitles is that a closed caption provides text on screen about the speech including the background noises such that a person who is deaf can also understand the video. Subtitles are an aid to a person who can hear the audio.
Closed caption helps search engines figure out the specific content of your videos which could be relevant to the keywords being searched.
Tags are one of the ways that YouTube gets the idea about your video. It is not strongly correlated with rankings. Which means that one YouTube can rank your video even without proper tags being in place
Before mentioning the SEO tags YouTube, follow below points. • Make your first tag as your target keyword • Include a few variations of that words or add some phrase • Then make some tags that are related to your video
• Use a branded tag so that your videos are shown in related videos. • Use your main title keywords as the video tag. • Use related keywords as a tag.
YouTube has spending more time on its platform and improves watch time. So watch time is one of the important signals that it uses for ranking videos.
Before watch time view count was the metric that Google used for ranking YouTube videos. This ensured that even with high bounce rates you could still get to rank videos. Today View count alone won’t help but it is still a ranking signal.
Channel keywords again help in Google identifying your Genre and the content that can be expected on your channel. They’re essentially one or two-word descriptions of your channel that gives users an at-a-glance idea of what your content is about.
How to do keyword research for youtube SEO
The content creation for YouTube must be done strategically. It means performing in-depth keyword research to figure out what audience is searching in and how much impact it is creating. Without right keywords, YouTube SEO is incomplete. Before you start ranking your YouTube videos, you need to find out which search terms you want to rank for. When searching for YouTube keywords, always make sure that you choose a search term that already has YouTube video results on the first page of Google.
A lot of SEOs out there usually underestimate the power of Google trends. The fantastic tool by Google carries a distinct YouTube search feature which hides under the web search option. This tool along with the Google Keyword Planner tool will help you to find the most profitable keywords.
After that, the next step is to find the video keyword. When you search something on Google, the results generally show websites in SERP. But for some specific keywords, we get videos along with sites in search results. These are the video keywords which also help to improve the ranking of your videos.
Video quality impacts user experience. Google’s focus on user experience ensures that for YouTube Videos also they rank higher quality videos better than lower quality videos. So in all likelihood, if you search on YouTube, the first few results would be HD quality videos.
How to promote your youtube video?
YouTube Videos can be promoted free of cost using some of the channels and techniques as mentioned below to generate organic traffic.
One of the best ways of promoting your YouTube Videos is to help their discovery organically through YouTube SEO. Consider all the ranking factors above and ensure that Title, Meta description, tags, etc are all in place.
Posting on Social Media Post-
This is one of the ways to promote your YouTube Video by sharing it on various social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. Sharing the content via your friends is one of the best ways to increase your organic reach for YouTube videos. If you have long videos that you want to promote you can also post their shorter versions/trailers etc on social media and platforms like IGTV etc. to increase your organic reach.
If you are a vlogger, it is recommended to have social media accounts for your YouTube channel and share it across different channels. This gives you an opportunity to create a community outside YouTube & get traffic from other popular social network channels. Also, it helps you in generating a brand value for your channel and get in touch with your audience. Some the social media accounts that you must create includes a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, and an Instagram profile.
Promote with other platforms-
If you are a full-time YouTuber, you should create a blog for your YouTube videos. These days, it’s straightforward to place YouTube videos onto a blog & you can create a blog on any free or paid platform. You can use WordPress to create the blog and use video specific WordPress theme. You can also take help from YouTube backlinks SEO by leaving your channel link on specific popular websites. Another essential thing to be noted here is that does Youtube help SEO for the blogs, then the answer is a definite yes. You can also use plugins like.
- To make your blog rank higher, you can use Yoast SEO WordPress.
- To automatically add a subscriber to channel tag after every video, you can use the YouTube Viral
- You may also want to put only short-form videos of your long content to attract people to the YouTube channel.
Comments and Responses-
You can post your videos in comments to other youtube creators to help people get the answer to the questions that they are posting on other video channels. You can also collaborate with these other Youtube creators to collaborate with them.
Include Contact Links-
Including your contact links in your youtube channel and in your videos will help viewers get connected with your website and other social media links. This will help in converting them to your youtube channel subscribers
Optimize your YouTube channel description-
You should keep your channel profile description as elaborate as possible. This will help in YouTube SEO and becomes handy in increasing traffic through optimization
Use of email marketing-
By pushing your email list, the latest video that is published, you can increase and promote your videos at no extra cost. Since your Youtube channel description and videos will have your contact links, eventually leading the audience to sign up to your email list or becoming channel subscribers.
One can use a different call to actions to Your email marketing on this list can amplify your traffic further
Advertise your YouTube channel–
One can use youtube advertising options that are available. Though these are paid promotions, it will help further amplify your youtube channel traffic and reach. You can target here basis the interest or do placement targetting.
Include a link to your YouTube channel in your email signature-
This tactic even though simple but is often missed out. Including your youtube channel in your email signature is one of the easiest ways to promote your YouTube traffic.
A playlist is a collection of videos on Youtube. The advantage of creating a playlist is the continuous playing of videos one after another. This helps retain viewers on your channel as long as the videos are engaging for them.
Create Q&A videos–
This is another way of promoting your Videos free of cost. You may invite questions from your viewers, your website and. various other channels and try addressing these questions in your video. This ensures higher engagement rates for your videos.
Use calls to action–
It is crucial to include a call-to-action message with your videos. Including a CTA indicates to your viewers exactly what you want them to do next when they finish watching a video or land on your profile page.
Annotations are little call-out boxes that pop up while the video is being played. This can be used to ask users to subscribe to your channel, join an email list, direct traffic to your website etc.
Use End cards/screens-
End cards are basically used towards the end of the video being played to indicate to users to go to the video being displayed in the end card. This end card helps to keep your audience to your channel and engaged. End screens typically last for five to twenty seconds. But for this to happen your video needs to be longer than 25 seconds.
How to ensure high audience retention for video?
Let’s first understand what is user retention?
What is audience retention for YouTube Video?
YouTube Audience retention is how much of each video your viewers watch. It is usually expressed as a percentage. Eg. if 50% of your users bounce after seeing half the video and 50% complete viewing the video then you have 75%(average of the two) as audience retention.
Retention rate is signal of how engaging your content is, so Google uses this as a ranking signal. Not let us look at how we can ensure high audience retention for your video.
Comparing your videos:
Compare your own videos to understand which one has better audience retention and why are they performing differently. It may have to do with how the content is structured or the presenter or the topic which was engaging. Comparing your own videos will throw in some interesting aspects of audience retention.
First few seconds are most important:
First few seconds of the video will tell the user whether they want to view further or not. So first 5-10 seconds of your video really got to make a good impression else viewers will bounce off. So whatever you want to say has to be focused on how to get them to watch the next 30 seconds of the video. If you miss here, lot of viewers will bounce as attention spans are low in today’s world.
Your content should be visually appealing and pleasant to listen to. If your video is dark, has poor lighting, sound, people will bounce for sure. It should be a treat to watch.
You got to keep the length short. Earlier we have mentioned that longer videos rank well. Our suggestion here is contradictory because longer videos have generally more people dropping off before completion. So you got to strike the right balance for video length. You keep it very short to improve audience retention rate, Google will not rank it well. You keep it longer with low audience retention will also impact rankings.
So you have to keep the video length balanced.
What metrics to watch for measuring user engagement and retention for youtube SEO?
Improvement can always be made if we know the progress of our work. Same goes with the YouTube channel. After performing all these above steps consistently, we require detailed analysis to understand how the videos are performing on the internet. These are the essential metrics through which you can measure the growth of your channel and gain user retention on the youtube channel.
Watch Time: Watch time is the total amount of minutes viewers have spent watching your video on YouTube.
Average percentage viewed: It is the percentage of each video the average viewer watched. It simply measures your videos ability to hold the attention of viewers.
Average view duration: Average view duration is the total watch time of your video divided by the total number of video plays, including the replays. It measures the ability of your video to engagement.
Audience retention: It shows you the percentage of viewers who watch and leave your video at every single moment of the video.
Re-watches: Re-watches is the number of time people rematch certain parts of your video. It helps to understand the interest of people.
- User Engagement: All the data related to comments, shares, likes, and dislike holds valuable information. If people are sharing some specific video, it shows that they trust and support your brand and showing more interest in your content.
Click through rate: Impression click-through rate measures your video’s ability to prompt people to watch your video after seeing it on their homepage or trending section. A high click-through rate means your video title is very compelling and people like your content.
Playlist Engagement: This parameter helps you to organize your videos in a digestible way. It helps your viewers readily consume videos about their favorite topics and prompts them to keep watching the videos, which racks up watch time for your channel.
Views per unique viewers: Views per unique views is the number of times the average viewers watched your video on YouTube. Video topics with a lot of views per minute could also be your most popular contents topics, and if you cover them more, you could produce more views, watch time and subscribers for your channel.
The growth of subscriber traffic sources: Subscribers are the most important asset for any YouTuber. They have made a public commitment to your brand, content, and value in the social media market. Subscribers also watch twice as much video than non-subscribers, so more subscribers you have, and the more watch time your video will collect.
What are the Free Tools to be used for Video SEO?
All these efforts when put consistently gives terrific output. Search Engine Land also recommends putting consistent efforts in the work that is being done on the YouTube channel. Moreover, there are various free YouTube SEO tools that are going to be an asset for you to rank your videos. Some of the tools are available for free. Here is the list of such tools:
If you want to improve SEO and engagement, you need to optimize your YouTube video thumbnail. Canva, a free graphic design tool lets you create attractive thumbnails for each of your channel videos.
Keyword Planner Tool
If you want your video to rank in the top searches of YouTube, you have to decide which keywords you want to rank for. By choosing search terms that show up YouTube searches, you can get your video to rank high not only in a YouTube search but the google search as well. Keyword Planner tool is a fantastic tool by Google because it lets you uncover keywords that will bump you up to first page rankings. It also identifies new, high traffic keywords so you can use them before your competitors and rank higher than them. You need to access the tool and search the keywords you want to check for. The entire list of keywords can be downloaded and used later on for the purpose.
Another essential part of SEO is understanding how to track and analyze your YouTube stats and video performance. Cyfe is one of the best YouTube SEO analysis tools and lets you easily monitor your overall channel’s performance, as well as performance metrics for each level. It enables you to check some metrics like views, traffic sources, audience retention, and engagement.
It is a chrome extension and is one of the most fantastic publisher tools for YouTubers. Available in the pro version, you can use Vidlq extension for free with all the basic features you need to check the SEO of your videos. This tool analyses your channel from the depth and provides YouTube SEO score for your videos. Also, it helps you to keep an eye on YouTube videos SEO rankings. To begin with, you need to connect it with your YouTube account.