The Ultimate 2021 Youtube SEO Guide – Part 2
Just like a blog post on a website, there’s more to just publishing amazing cinematic videos and hoping for the best.
It would be best to optimise your cinematic masterpieces around keywords that people use on Google and YouTube alike.
1. Video Titles
When creating your video titles, you need to keep two things in mind.
- Make sure your target keyword is included
- Make sure you maximise your click-through rate (CTR).
2. Video Descriptions
Use up as much space as you can in your descriptions. More than 200 words is definitely recommended; this gives YouTube an indication of what your content is about and helps your content appear as a suggested video.
3. Video Tags
Way back when YouTube was a fledgeling company, tags held a lot of importance and were a direct contributor to ranking in terms of relevancy. Over the years, YouTube’s algorithm has matured, and while the tags aren’t as important, YouTube has still left them there.
Hence, having 5-8 tags per video, with your primary keyword included is a must-have.
Having clear audio has many benefits outside of SEO, but an added benefit is that YouTube generates its own close captions to understand what you’re saying.
So be sure to mention your primary keyword in your videos at least once or twice, and while YouTube does a good job at it, they’re not perfect, which brings me on to my next point.
Uploading a transcript can help YouTube understand your content exactly how you want it conveyed.
In most cases, this can even help your video show up in suggested videos more often.
6. Optimise for CTR
Many SEO professionals have noticed that YouTube uses CTR as a huge ranking factor. If you have viewers click on your video for a popular query, you’re likely to get a decent ranking boost.
So how exactly do we do that?
7. Write Captivating Titles
We touched on this earlier in the form of adding your target keyword in your title, but you also want to make it attractive enough for people to want to click on it.
While using clickbait titles may seem appealing to drive that CTR, it is generally not a good strategy to implement. While your CTR numbers might be high short term, your audience retention numbers will probably make YouTube sink your video down over time.
8. Make Attractive Thumbnails
Most YouTube giants know that a thumbnail can make or break a video. Make sure to create a thumbnail that outlines the content of your video in an attractive way.
9. Write Enticing Descriptions
YouTube displays about 100-125 characters of your description in its search results. Just like a meta description, your first 125 characters need to be compelling enough to make a viewer want to click on your video.
Brand is everything. Even if you make cinematic masterpieces, your channel’s authority plays a vital role in your video’s ranking positions. Generally speaking, a video published by a channel with a lot more authority will outperform a video uploaded by a new channel. So let’s explore ways we can build up our channel’s authority.
1. Branding & Messaging
Like I mentioned before, brand is everything. You need to be asking yourself – What sets your channel apart?
If you don’t have the answer to this, then new visitors will ponder why you exist when they can see the same or similar content on an established channel.
Staying consistent and on-brand will help your target audience ‘smash that subscribe button.
2. Channel Banner
This is basically a billboard about your channel, so be sure to utilise it to its maximum potential. Do some competitive research to find out exactly what your target niche is attracted to whilst staying on brand.
Depending on what your channel is about, make sure to add a graphic logo or if your channel is about you, make sure to add your likeness instead.
4. Channel Description
Your channel’s about page is also an important part of getting your brand message across.
If you’ve got a slogan, be sure to add it in there as well!
Playlists help your viewers understand the context of your channel. For example, if your channel is about SEO, you can have playlists for beginners, intermediate and advanced viewers accordingly.
This will help your target audience find similar content much easier on your channel. Another tip is to use long-tail keywords on your playlist titles so that you can rank for those keywords.
When it comes to subscribers, it’s hard to say if there’s a direct correlation to channels with more subscribers having more views when they publish a new video. Regardless, it’s always a good thing to have a lot of subscribers and an active audience to perform better on YouTube. So let’s explore a few ways to do exactly that.
7. Channel Trailer
Ever heard of an elevator pitch? This is exactly what that is. The trailer is the first thing someone sees when they visit your channel, and this is where you try and hook someone to subscribe.
Answering questions like:
- Who are you?
- Why should they care?
- What’s your USP?
- What’s in it for them?
It’s always best to keep these videos short, fun to watch, and doesn’t leave the viewer wondering what your channel is about.
8. Call To Action
Now we’ve already spoken about this, but we definitely want to drive this point home.
If someone has taken the time out of their day to watch your video all the way to the end, they’re more than likely to subscribe if asked to do so, and sometimes all they need is a little nudge.
Simply asking people to subscribe, like, or ‘ring that bell’ will be the simplest game-changer you never knew you needed.
9. Cross-Platform Linking
Your YouTube channel is one of many platforms that contribute to your digital signature.
Make sure to link out to your channel from your Instagram profile, Website, and any other appropriate platform you may deem viable.
Ranking Videos on Google
Just like keywords on other engines, YouTube has its own way of dealing with keywords on its platform.
While it’s recommended to create unique content and optimise for high search volume keywords, optimising your video around a keyword that doesn’t already have a video on Google will prove very hard to rank.
How to find keywords
The easiest way to cross-verify your keyword research is to actually search for your potential keyword on Google. If you see at least one video ranking on top, that’s really promising. If not, then you may want to consider a different keyword.
This is not to say that it won’t potentially be different in the future, but if you’re looking for quick results, you may want to consider alternatives.
Now that you’ve got your basics down, go ahead and start creating! And if you ever need a hand, feel free to reach out to our YouTube SEO team to help with all your needs.