The Ultimate Guide to YouTube SEO

So you have a nice channel header, tools installed, and your videos are amazingly awesome and uploaded regularly.

But No one is
watching your videos

As I always say , quality & story come first on YouTube. But what’s that you say? you have an amazing story and your video looks great and are edited well and you still aren’t getting views? What madness can this be.

Well you might be missing a huge piece of the puzzle: SEO stands for search engine optimization. You might not realize this but YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world next to Google. So if you are not properly optimizing your videos for search, you’re missing out on a huge. Long lasting source of views and subscribers.

SEO is half science and half artform, and can get fairly complicated, so most YouTubers don’t usually bother with it. But I’m going to let you in one a little secret: it’s actually not that complicated. This is great news because that means it’s a great area to gain a leg up on the competition.

We have been experimenting with YouTube SEO since we start working on channels and have learned a lot about what helps a video rank high and what hurts a video’s rank

Optimize the Thumbnail & Title

Your title should contain whatever search term you are hoping to rank for. With every video you make, you should be thinking about what search phrase you’d like this video to rank for. Users typically read the title first, then scan the thumbnail to get a better idea of what your video is about. A good thumbnail should support the title and make it feel more powerful.

Couple guideline to follow:

  • It should be easy to understand hat is happening in the thumbnail:
    when editing your thumbnail, make sure to zoom out to get a sense of what it will look like in search results. You might have a thumbnail that look great blown up.

  • If you decide to put text on the thumbnail, make sure it’s readable and doesn’t detract from the imagery. When you design your thumbnail with image with text, image must have a solid color area to put text on it or you need to put strip with solid color to put text on it.
    if you don’t have a graphic design experience, you can use other online design website like http://www.canva.com. it doesn’t need any experience.

  • Thumbnail with people in them usually do better :
    people like to get a sense of who the person is and what they can expect from them by looking at the thumbnail

Optimize Your Video Description

This one is actually very simple but often missed. Whatever phrase you are try to rank for, make sure you mention it or at least a slight variation of it within the first 25 words of your video description. And keep in mind that the earlier you mention it, the better.

You need to include your channel name in the first line of description & the purpose of this video. whatever you did that one it will work well because that video will be one of the top result if some search for by your channel name or video subject.

Optimize Video Tags

Many new YouTubers underestimate the power of tags. Tags seem to play key role in YouTube’s search rank algorithm, but be aware that the algorithm is also pretty smart. You can’t just add the tag “vlog” or “beauty” and expect to rank for that search term.

Instead, YouTube looks at the tag in conjunction with many other things including:

  • Title keywords
  • Description keywords
  • Watch time

Tags are just another piece of the puzzle, so don’t miss them. YouTube allow you to add upto 500 characters so make sure you add as many tags as possible

Tag Sorting

Many people believe that the order of your tags plays a role in how YouTube ranks your video. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I figure it can’t hurt to make sure your most powerful tags are first. We already mentioned apps like VIDIQ, TubeBuddy which help you easily sort your YOUTUBE tags by their rank and give you suggestions for tags to use that you might have missed.

Add Keywords to Your About Section

Most YOUTUBER’s know to fill out their about section, but I have suspicions that keywords in your about section actually play a role in your channel search rank. I don’t think it’s a huge part of the algorithm or anything. But it’s such an easy thing to add.

Finding the Best Search Keywords to Target

I’m already told you how to use YOUTUBE suggested search terms to find new keywords and phrases, but there are a few other tips :

If you are having a hard time using a suggested search results, try typing in your primary keyword followed by a, b, c, d, etc until you find something useful.

Looks at Other YouTuber’s Tags

By default, YOUTUBE doesn’t let you see the tags that are attached to a video. But never fear I have got a little trick that’s will let you see tags on any video. Just install an extension for google chrome named ( tags for YOUTUBE ) and you will see tags just below the video description.

You can also this functionality by installing VIDIQ, TubeBuddy . this is a great way to find ideas for your own videos. Check out videos in YOUTUBE’s top search result and take a peek at their tags to see what they are doing to rank so well.

Use Google Keyword Planner to Find New Keywords

Google’s Keyword Planner is a great way to find inspiration for new search terms. I usually just type in the main keyword I want to rank for, then the keyword tool suggests phrases that help me target a niche.

Include Keywords in Your Video File Title

This is another one that may or may not make a difference, but it’s so easy to do that I feel like it’s worth doing. Whatever title you settle on use the same title for the actual video file you upload to YOUTUBE.

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