There’s not a lot of point spending time producing quality videos that nobody watches, is there? In the last couple of years, more and more businesses have realised the benefits of using videos in their marketing mix and more and more have climbed on to the video marketing bandwagon. This increased popularity means you need to work harder to get your content ranked and viewed.
Getting a good ranking in the search engine’s universal search is getting very challenging, with barriers such as the authority of your website. However, getting your video indexed on the Video tab is much more achievable, so putting more of an emphasis on getting this right makes perfect sense!
Before you get started, you need to think like a search engine (challenging we know! 😉 ). This will help when optimizing because it is extremely important to remember to give search engines a helping hand when it comes to indexing your video content. This is because they are unable to crawl and index video content in the same way as text content.
It is important to keep in mind that you need to consider:-
After all, your video engagement will help your video rankings and if you keep your viewers interested then they are are more likely to follow your intended call to action. Here are 9 optimization tips to give your videos the chance of attaining a good ranking, getting viewed and keeping your audience engaged!
9 Simple YouTube SEO Tips To Help Get Your Videos Found
#1: Be Thorough With Your Keyword Research
You need to find both relevant individual and long-tail keywords that will drive traffic to your video. Keywords are crucial and need to be included in your video title and description and tags (explained later). After all, how can you expect your future customers to find your videos when searching without any keyword focus?
#2: First Impressions Matter, So Come Up With an Awesome Title
Your viewer is going to make a decision whether or not it is worth watching your video based on its title so make it engaging and count. You’ve worked hard to get your video well ranked so don’t spoil your first interaction with your viewer with a weak title. Ensure your title is brief and to the point and ensure you include your keyphrase at the begining of the title. So for example if your keyphrase is ‘organic coffee’ then a good option would be ‘Organic Coffee: My 7 Best Tips‘.
#3: Make Your Thumbnail Image Engaging
Your video thumbnail is more important than your title because it determines whether or not people will click. Think of it similarly to the cover of a book. It needs to be relevant, compelling and visually appealing. It’s worth taking the time to get it right and here a few ways to help your thumbnails standout from the crowd and get those clickthroughs!
Examples of Good YouTube Video Thumbnails
Examples of Poor YouTube Video Thumbnails
Note how these poor video thumbnail images suffer from lack of faces, hard to read text or lack of relevancy.
#4: Write a Long Video Description
Longer descriptions help videos rank better so take the time to craft an engaging description which includes your keywords. This should be at least 150 words in length and needs to be an outline of the video without giving too much away. After writing your description, ask yourself, “Would I click on this? Is it sufficiently interesting?”
Brief descriptions with affiliate links etc. will turn-off your potential viewers and lose you those clickthroughs you’ve worked so hard to get.
#5: Maximise Your Clickthrough Rate
YouTube displays three items for each video in its results, the title, thumbnail and a brief snippet from the description. This is your opportunity to shine through, so make it count by:-
Excellent Example from YouTube of Thumbnail, Title and Description
#6: Get Your Tags Right
Video tags are intended to help YouTube understand the content of your video and you do not need a lot of tags to do this effectively. Ensure the first tag is your target keyword and then include 1-3 variations of the main keyword. For example variations on ‘natural yogurt recipes’ could be ‘natural yogurt recipes for breakfast’ or ‘easy natural yogurt recipes’.
#7: Ensure You Always Include a Video Transcript
Including a video transcript/subtitles/closed captions when uploading your video is extremely important for a number of reasons. Firstly the search engine spiders can scrape information relevant to your video since there is additional text on the page. The more they can scan about your video, the better!
Another reason which many disregard, particularly relating to platforms such as Facebook, is that viewers who are scrolling through their feed may not have any volume enabled, so will not hear your audio and simply scroll past your video. A transcript gives you the opportunity to convey what your video is about, increasing the chance they will take the time to view it.
#8: Keep ’em Hooked!
Make sure you keep your viewer’s attention and hook them in the first 15 seconds of your video. Remember that a longer engagement will not only help your video ranking but it will also increase the likelihood of achieving your intended click through action.
#9: Get That User Interaction Happening
Looking for user interaction is a crucial step with your videos. At a certain stage in your videos ask people to like the video, by including something such as, “Enjoying this video? Give it a like :)” At the conclusion of your video also invite people to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
This is an example of an excellent YouTube end screen which encourages user interaction.