YouTube is not just a popular social networking site, but also the second largest search engine on the Internet, with over 3 billion monthly queries. In 2019, 500 hours of video footage were uploaded to YouTube per minute — and that number is sure to rise.
YouTube boasts 2 billion monthly active users who watch over 1 billion hours of material every single day. When content comes in at that level, it’s easier to imagine each video as a single grain of sand on a beach, rather than a person shouting in the middle of a crowd. Because grains of sand on the beach are not individually identifiable, searchable, or able to be sorted and recorded, it isn’t a proper example. Videos on YouTube are.
That doesn’t mean that marketers should approach YouTube with the mindset of “if we build it, they will come.” Content creators and marketers that upload the video to YouTube may believe that the algorithm will organically select the most fascinating content and push it to the front page, where it will be rewarded with millions of views due to a combination of timing, luck, and merit.
However, given the enormous volume of content available on YouTube, it’s more beneficial for our purposes to think of YouTube as the world’s largest video library archive. The key to gaining more views on YouTube videos isn’t to be unique or outspoken enough to stand out from the crowd. Rather, the goal is to tag your work with a lot of specific identifying information so that it can be found in the catalog by viewers who are looking for videos like yours.
YouTube is a type of Internet Search Engine.
Does this sound a lot like the SEO strategies that help websites rank higher on Google? That’s because it’s the case. Because YouTube is a video search engine, videos can be customized to perform better by making them easier to find.
This article will explain how YouTube tags, catalogs, and suggests videos to its users, as well as how you may leverage those capabilities to help you set up your video for success. Of course, this assumes that increasing the number of views on your videos is part of your overall goal.
Many people use YouTube as a handy hosting platform for their video to embed on their own websites and social media feeds, and getting YouTube viewers isn’t a priority for them. That is an entirely legitimate manner of using the platform. We’ll look at ways to optimize video content to attract new viewers and broaden your audience, as well as the technical processes required to do so.
Work backward from the Audience you Wish to Reach.
To get more views on your YouTube videos, start by making it simple for those who are already interested to find you. You can only accomplish this effectively if you know who those folks are and why they would be interested in seeing what you share. Working backward from there, you can tag your video as likely to be relevant to them.
The advantage of publishing to mega-networks like YouTube is that you don’t have to cultivate an audience from scratch. However, given the vast volume of video content available, waiting for people to stumble across your content by chance is unlikely to result in more than a few views and a little return on your effort. You must design your content and publishing around the exact individuals you want to watch it and the marketing results you want to achieve for your video content to be worth the expense and effort of producing it.
A refresher on Youtube Analytics
Before delving deeper into YouTube keywords, it’s necessary to establish the many KPIs that we use to assess video success. Simply put, they’re the statistics on your video that tell you whether or not your video marketing strategy is working. They are as follows:
Watch Time: The total amount of time a viewer spends watching your material is measured by this KPI. YouTube prioritizes content and channels with longer watch times in its recommendations and search results. A short average watch time may indicate that your viewers are bored or that your video is too long to keep their attention.
Retention Rate: This is the percentage of viewers who stay to the end of the video as opposed to those who depart before it finishes. YouTube prioritizes videos with high retention rates, deeming them more likely to be relevant and promoting them to a larger audience.
Engagement: This refers to the actions that viewers take after seeing the video, like as leaving a remark, liking it, sharing it, subscribing to it, or bookmarking it for later. Because it informs you how many people are interested enough in your content to take further action, engagement is often the most crucial measure for marketers to track. Comments can give you a good idea of how your material affects your audience. Shares are a critical part of establishing a following since they indicate how much viewers respect your video and your business. Likes and dislikes can assist you in determining which content worked and which did not, as well as indicating to YouTube which content is likely to be of high quality when promoting videos to users’ feeds.
Thumbnails: On a results page or link, the thumbnail is an image of your video that shows beside the title. It gives viewers a sneak peek of the content you’re sharing so they can decide whether or not to watch it. A well-crafted thumbnail is simple to create and can have a significant impact on how many people opt to click and watch your video.
Title Keyword: The keywords you include in the title of your video tell YouTube what it’s about and help users find your content when they search for related terms or phrases.
Demographics: These figures show the several types of people who are seeing your material, broken down by gender, age, and location.
It’s critical to comprehend what these YouTube metrics are supposed to measure. They all play a role in your video ranks on YouTube and Google, so it’s a good idea to follow some fundamental best practices to keep these numbers in check, as we’ll go over below. It’s crucial, however, to keep your eye on the prize rather than the numbers. Good metrics should be utilized as indicators of progress rather than as a goal in and of themselves.
How YouTube videos are ranked by Google.
Not everyone who views a video on YouTube is logged in. Another major source of traffic for your YouTube videos is Google itself. This requires Google to understand your video’s content before it can show results. Ranking YouTube content by Google is done as follows:
- Exploring video and generating thumbnails to display to the user after crawling the video
- Use meta tags and page texts to tell users more about a video’s content.
- To determine relevance, the video sitemap or structured data are analyzed
- Finding more keywords by extracting audio
Keywords aren’t extracted just from the text associated with your video in the descriptions and tags. They can also be pulled from the audio itself. This is why inserting the appropriate keywords in your video script will aid in the video’s Google ranking.
It’s about relevancy, not quantity when choosing keywords.
This poses the question: what are the “correct” keywords in this case? A better question may be: what distinguishes a good keyword from a bad one? For a moment, let’s return to the “YouTube is like a big library archive” analogy. If merely creating a splash and being noticed were important, the optimal keywords would be those with the highest search traffic to draw in the most views. However, as previously said, YouTube is far too crowded to rely on viral transmission. When it comes to ranking videos, search engines don’t actually think in terms of “best and worst.” The goal of search engines is to figure out “what video is optimal for this particular viewer, in this exact situation?” It’s not a matter of quantity or popularity. It’s a matter of significance.
The simple goal of attracting a large number of viewers, regardless of who they are, is unlikely to be a successful marketing strategy. A smaller group of highly engaged fans is preferable for most campaigns than millions of lukewarm passive viewers. If you spend all of your time optimizing your content for Google’s bots, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic but little engagement. If you want to cultivate a strong following, you must create material for the people who will watch it, not simply the search engines who will rank it.
Identifying your target audience and their requirements
If you want to know what to say to them, you need to know who you’re attempting to reach with your YouTube material. The SEO optimization approach will be more goal-directed and particular if you first define your target audience.
The reasoning behind their video searches might help you identify and define your target demographic. Among the most popular motivations are:
I’d want to learn more: The user is interested in learning more about a specific topic that they’ve already identified. Tutorials, how-tos, and explainer videos are likely to pique their attention.
I’d want to: The viewer already has a specific action in mind, such as arranging a vacation or trying out a new pastime. They might watch videos like vlogs for inspiration or trip guides for actionable ideas, either aspirationally or proactively.
I’d like to purchase: The potential viewer is looking for information, such as reviews or comparisons, on a specific product they want to buy. They might browse for unboxing videos, influencer reviews, or product demonstrations.
Understanding your target demographic, their pain problems, and their purchasing motivations is crucial to determining which keywords will lead them to your YouTube videos. Viewers employ keywords to ask a search engine for a specific material, which is why we typically start with the purpose of the user and develop from there. Make a list of words or phrases that a viewer might use to describe what they’re looking for in your film. Consider the highlighted topic (such as “dogs,” “makeup,” or “golf swing”) as well as the format/genre (such as “tutorial,” “vlog,” “Let’s Play,” or “reacts”). List the related verbs, such as “purchase,” “play,” “learn,” “explain,” and “explore.”
Use an autocomplete tool or competitor surfing to start your keyword research
Playing around with a keyword tool The search function right on YouTube and Google is the simplest method to start the keyword research process. Trying out some different searches that your target audience is likely to do can provide you insight into what they’re looking for, what they’re interested in, and the precise terms or phrases they use when discussing it online.
In the search box, type one of your potential keywords. YouTube will suggest related popular searches as you type — this is a built-in autocomplete feature. This activity can also be done with the, which will scan the alphabet for the first letter of the following word in your search string.
Gauging the number of YouTube keyword searches
It’s also helpful to discover which of your keywords consumers use the most. You can compare prospective keywords in your list using the free Google Trends application’s “YouTube search” option to see which ones rank higher and appear in more searches. Keep in mind that a higher search volume usually indicates more competition for that certain word or phrase to rank for.
You can also compare the keywords your competitors are using to the ones on your list by keeping track of them. Find a few thousand subscribers on channels in your niche and sort through the content using the “Most Popular” option. Select the video with the most views and write down the keywords that appear in the title, tags, and description. This might show you which keywords are already saturated in your industry and have a lot of competition, or it can show you where there are gaps where you can give content.
Keywords can be added to your videos.
It’s time to put your high-value keywords to work once you’ve compiled a list. When you first submit your YouTube video, you can use keywords in the following places:
Video File Name: Before you even submit the video, you should start optimizing it for SEO. Include keywords in the file name of the video.
Video title: The title of the video should be short and snappy. Consider what you would like to click on. Avoid using video names that are longer than 70 characters because they will be cut off on the SERPs and thumbnails. When possible, place the keyword near the beginning of the title.
Description: Many content creators make the mistake of merely including a few phrases in their video descriptions. The greater the number of words in your description, the better. You have up to 5,000 characters for video descriptions on YouTube, so make the most of it. Include keywords that are appropriately placed, video information, an intriguing hook, and a clear call to action.
Transcript: Because it includes additional language used by the platform’s ranking system, the video transcript, or caption, is another opportunity to include keywords.
Tags: Include the top relevant keywords, the brand or channel name, and the more specialized keyword phrases when tagging your video. Keep all tags to a maximum of 127 characters.
The more the merrier, as long as they’re all pertinent and succinct. No one appreciates a bait-and-switch, and having a wide range of topics in your tags will tell YouTube that your video isn’t really relevant to anything.
If you remember nothing else from this article, keep in mind that a search engine like Google or YouTube has no idea what the term “best” implies. It can’t judge a video on its own merits, and it can’t rank videos as more or less deserving of attention.
Only the audience has the ability to make such value judgments. A search engine can only make relevancy judgments based on the terms we feed it, as opposed to the keywords entered by the user when conducting a search.