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How to Optimize A Youtube Video For SEO

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YouTube has come a long way from just being an epicenter of funny videos. It’s currently the second largest search engine, processes more than 3 billion searches a month and 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute. Yet the platform is an untapped traffic source.

You’ve heard all about how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is for your website, but it shouldn’t stop there. As digital marketers, the team at Tuna Traffic is all about finding a variety of ways to drive traffic to our clients’ sites and appear in the top search results. With video marketing on the rise,we thought we’d share a few quick tips for optimizing your current or future YouTube videos that you can use today.

Use Keyword Research To Make Your Video Searchable

Step one, and the golden rule of SEO, is keyword research. Before you open up Google’s keyword research tool, there are a couple other places to search first. If you haven’t already noticed, Google makes room for video search results before webpage results for certain keywords. On average, these types of keywords have the best shot at being shown in the video results:

  • How-to’s
  • Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Fitness, sports, health-related videos
  • Funny videos (The world loves funny videos, what can we say?)

Search for videos in your niche to see what type of video results pop up and start gathering ideas. Once you’ve taken notes on what YouTube videos appear on the first page of Google, then it’s safe to use the Google keyword tool to find out the average monthly searches for those keywords. Aim for at least 200-300 average monthly searches for your keywords. This will make it more likely for your video to be found on both Google and YouTube.

For example, see the results below for the search term “funny cat videos”:

cat video - youtube seo

Optimize Your YouTube Video Content

Now that you’ve created a list of search friendly keywords, it’s time to use them to make your video SEO friendly so viewers can find your content. Start optimizing with these steps.

1. Optimize The Video Title. Keep things short and sweet and make sure to include the major keywords you want your video to rank for.  Take a look at this video Tuna Traffic optimized for a health and wellness blog, Oh Lardy!. We used ‘How To’ to let the readers know what type of video it was and followed with the niche keyword phrase ‘Essential Oil Inhaler’.

optimize video title - youtube seo

2. Don’t Forget Tags. In the grand scheme of things, tags won’t make or break your video, but that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten altogether. Use at least five relevant keywords that fit your brand and the content from your research and YouTube’s suggestions. These are the tags used for the same ‘How To Make an Essential Oil Inhaler’ video.

youtube tags - youtube seo

3. Write A Full Description. The description box is where keywords really come into play. Discuss the key points from the video, include any links to your website that were mentioned and, of course, utilize your relevant keywords. Don’t be afraid to get lengthy (300+ words) with your description as long as it’s providing value to the viewer. Here we added niche keywords people are actively searching for and included links back to the website and affiliate sites.

youtube video description - youtube seo

4. Add A Call-To-Action. Now that you’ve included any necessary links to your site in your video description, don’t miss out on the opportunity to use them in a Call-To-Action (CTA) in the video itself. Using YouTube’s annotations tool you can create a clickable link directly in the video capturing your viewer’s attention. Just remember to not be too distracting and keep the CTA around the outer edge of the video. In this case, this video is coupled with a blog post so we’ve created an CTA directing viewers back to Oh Lardy’s blog to read more. 

add a call to action - youtube seo

5. Organize Your Playlists. Even things as simple as your playlist titles are measured by YouTube’s algorithm. As with your video titles, keep things short and sweet, and as always, use relevant keywords. Organize your videos and add them to the appropriate playlists to make them easier to search for. Oh Lardy! Does quite a few videos about essential oils so we’ve categorized this in the appropriate playlist along with the others.

youtube playlist - youtube seo

Quality Is Key

Of course, there are other factors that come into play with optimization aside from the use of great keywords. Like all the other big players in the game (we’re looking at you Google and Facebook), YouTube has its own algorithm that affects how videos are found. Here are a few key factors aside from keyword relevance YouTube uses when ranking videos:

  • Watch time or how long visitors stick around to watch your video
  • Number of subscribers to your YouTube channel
  • Engagement. (IE: comments, likes and dislikes)
  • Video length

This criteria makes it that much more important to focus on the quality of your video content. The more the video keeps your viewer engaged, the higher the chance there is for them to keep watching, and hopefully want more of what you’ve got to offer.

Assuming you’re providing valuable content to your viewers, using YouTube SEO is an amazing way to empower your brand and reach millions of people without going to great lengths. If you want to get your video in front of the right people and grow your YouTube presence, these extra steps are worth taking.