YouTube transformed the way many used the web and consume content. As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users (source). But getting noticed on this channel takes much more than simply posting videos. In this video, I’ll share some YouTube SEO optimization best practices you can use to get your videos noticed!

Here is a quick outline to help you when optimizing your videos for YouTube Search.

Title: Your title needs to be compelling. Since this is the first thing your viewers will see, make sure it is something that they would click on. Don’t rush it. This could make or break your video!

  • Represent your content accurately.
  • Keywords first. Branding second.
  • Update titles as needed.

Descriptions: Since only the first few lines of your description will show up in search, make sure you put your best content first.

  • Accurately describe your videos.
  • Describe your channel and only link to other YouTube content.
  • Drive viewers to engage and subscribe.

Tags: Tags help label your video and connect it to larger topics. They help people find your content more easily by grouping it.

  • Use general and specific terms.
  • Include keywords.
  • List tags in order of relevance.
  • Accurately describe your videos.

youtube best practices

Video Transcript:

Hey, what’s up, and welcome to Hack My Growth. In this video, we’re going to be talking about basic SEO optimization tips that you can use to better optimize your videos for YouTube search. All right, let’s go.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, which means if you’re not on it, you’re missing out on engaging with a lot of people. Now, video can scare some people because not everybody wants to be in front of a camera, but you don’t always have to do videos like I do standing in front of a camera and teaching something. There’s a lot of ways that you can use video multimedia on YouTube to help improve your brand’s visibility.

Now, just posting a video on YouTube is not necessarily going to get you the views that you want. You have to make sure that your video is optimized for YouTube and optimized around its specific algorithm, which is used for ranking videos in video search. Let’s talk a little bit about what that means and what we need to do with the YouTube algorithm.

Unlike traditional search, YouTube’s algorithm places a lot of weight on the engagement of that specific type of media. YouTube wants people to engage with your video and stay on the YouTube platform, so Google will track people as they click on a website, and if that website has Google analytics, they can track user behavior and understand what people are doing once they get to your website. Now, YouTube wants people to stay on YouTube. When you’re optimizing your video, you want to make sure you’re optimizing for the experience on YouTube, that your channel is optimized for conversions, that your channel is optimized for growing your visibility and your reach online.

When we’re optimizing our videos, typically, this is what a YouTube video layout will look like. You have the video at the top. You have a title underneath, descriptions, then you have your tag box. Now, underneath that, obviously, there are descriptions. There are a lot of other things going on, but this is really what you can control and what you need to focus on as the user, as the business owner.

Similar to On-page SEO, the same principles apply. You need to do keyword research. You need to know how people are searching for the type of content you want to create on YouTube. Then you need to brainstorm about the content you’re going to create, and once you create it, you want to use that research that you’ve done, whether that be a, maybe an SEO, or you’ve gone to YouTube and do suggestive search, that works really, really great. Another tool that we like to use is a tool called TubeBuddy, which helps us understand a little bit of the search algorithm, the metrics around what people are searching for on YouTube, what do they search for as keywords, what are the suggested searches, things of that nature. There’s a lot of information you could pull from TubeBuddy, but also just straight from suggestive search inside of YouTube. Either one of those places is a great place to start for keyword research.

Once you start creating your content, you’ve uploaded it YouTube, now I need to optimize it. The first place we’re going to talk about is the title. Similar to On-page SEO, you want to optimize your titles in YouTube search. The first thing you want to do is be clear and consistent about what you’re talking about. For instance, this video is about YouTube SEO. I need to have that front and center in my title tag. Then, if you have branding, you can follow up with your branding term. Best practice on an SEO title for your page would be keywords first, branding in the end. The same thing applies to YouTube SEO. Clear, concise keywords in the front. It makes sense. Your title needs to make sense. It shouldn’t be keyword-stuffed because then it looks really, really lame, but make sure that you have your keyword in front and it’s a conversational title that grabs somebody’s attention. Then, at the end, if you want to add your branding, you absolutely can add it, but add it at the end. That’s where that’s going to come in.

The next step is looking at your description. Again, you want to give a description of what the video’s about. You can also talk a little bit about your channel. You could transcribe your video and maybe use the introduction to the transcription as your description for your video. That’s a really great way to get that involved, and make sure that you have a description that makes sense. Remember, people are going to look at the title. They may read the description to understand a little bit more about what your video is on, and it could compel them to watch or not to watch.

Another thing you want to do is add relevant terms like you would with a meta description. Think about that advertisement aspect of a meta description that calls somebody to action that allows them to engage with you.

A lot of people like to put links into their descriptions. While you can do that, and YouTube will direct somebody off, if they click that link and leave the video, that’s going to kill your watch time, and that’s going to hurt you from the YouTube algorithm side. It’s actually going to prevent your video from ranking higher because you’re having people leave the YouTube platform. If you’re going to put links in your video, put a link to your subscription if you have a subscribe link or maybe your channel link or related videos that have something to do with the video you’re talking about now, but keep people on the YouTube platform, keep them engaged in your content on YouTube, and you can do that using the description box. I wouldn’t suggest putting a lot of links to outside sites as that’s going to negatively impact your site’s visibility ranking based on YouTube algorithm.

The last thing that we can use in YouTube is tags. These are the tags at the bottom of a video that are searchable. You can click on them to see other videos that are related. Now, when you’re choosing tags, you don’t want to overdo it, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you have enough tags that it makes sense. You also want to use specific ones as well as general tags. I could do a general tag, “optimizing your video for YouTube search.” That’s very specific. I could do a general one, “YouTube SEO.” That’s a little bit broad. Think of it as long-tail or short-tail keywords. That’s the way we want to look at these tags. Make sure they’re descriptive. Make sure there are other videos in those tags. You’re not just creating random tags that don’t really help or don’t add value. You also want to make sure that you describe your content with your tag. Your tag should be descriptive, and as I said, they should have some keywords in them.

If you start following these best practices for YouTube SEO, you will begin to gain traction in search. Make sure you’re doing relevant keyword research and understanding what the landscape looks like, create great video content, share it with people, and then take some time to optimize it.

Now, there’s a lot of step-two and step-three things that we can do inside of YouTube to build our videos up even more, and we’ll get to that in a later video, but just getting started with YouTube search, this is a great place to start. Make sure you got the right title tags. Make sure you’re using keywords. Makes sure that your description is descriptive, you’re keeping people on YouTube by not putting outside links on your video, and using tags that better describe your content and can help you engage with people who are searching for content around that specific tag category.

If you have any questions, please comment below, and until next time, Happy Marketing.