In the world of digital and online marketing, the name of the game is bringing users to your website and creating engaging content for those users.
With those two pieces of the puzzle, there is a good chance that you can convert those users into buying your products or services. Perhaps no site or platform better embodies these principles better than YouTube.
Video content becoming an increasingly popular way to attract and engage users and YouTube offers a unique opportunity for business owners to find customers and obtain market share. Every month, 2 billion users come to YouTube to engage with the site’s content. 2 billion. The makes YouTube the second most visited site on the internet behind Google.
What’s interesting about YouTube is that while most people view it as a website where you can upload and stream video content, the site really functions as a search engine. Just because YouTube’s search results only provide videos to the user, which differs from traditional search engines like Google, doesn’t make it any less of a search engine. And like other search engines, YouTube has standards in place for their videos which impact a publisher’s ability for their content to be found.
Ultimately, SEO for YouTube has a similar purpose to website SEO. The goal is to get users to find your content or business and ultimately convert those users into customers. The higher your content or website ranks in the search results, the more users you’re likely to attract. Here are some YouTube specific ranking factors to keep in mind when creating and uploading video content to YouTube.
Keep Channel Updated
One major ranking factor for YouTube SEO is having a completed and up to date channel. Your YouTube channel functions similarly to a Facebook profile page and website all in one. Not only does it give users an entry way to see who you or your business is, but it also allows them to dive as deep into all your available content in one space.
Having a well-constructed channel page with an updated profile avatar, banner image and channel description does wonders with engagement and a complete channel page will give you additional credibility with the site as well. Imagine yourself as a user of YouTube and searching for a specific type of video and you come across a channel that’s completely bare, with nothing that tells you anything about the poster other than a couple of videos. You’ll likely leave that channel and search for someone else that posts similar content and offers more of a gateway about who they are.
Engaging content is extremely important, but an engaging and updated channel has a ton of value as well. It’s important to stay updated with any trends and updates to YouTube’s site and overall user experience. If the profile layout changes, be sure to make the appropriate updates accordingly. If YouTube puts more emphasis on playlists within a profile page, work on a playlist construction strategy to highlight on your channel. There are a ton of user friendly and free tools that can help you create graphics for your page. Take advantage of them!
First impressions are everything. Make sure you’re making a great first impression with an updated channel!
Content drives everything online. Whether you have a blog on a website, post on social media or upload video content to YouTube, the same principles apply. Regardless of whether you focus more on daily or weekly content, consistency is everything.
A lot of it has to do with your user base sure. If users that follow your channel and engage with your content have a clear expectation on when you post, then it helps with your credibility. It also helps with your credibility in the eyes of YouTube. YouTube, like Google, is a search engine and search engines reward those that are active, committed and consistent over time.
There is something to be said about having more bites at the apple as well. In order to build up a following on YouTube, the more video content that you post, the more chances you have at users searching for, engaging and ultimately following your content & channel. If as a poster you lack consistency, then it’s harder to get in front of your target audience and build that following you’re after.
Just remember, you don’t have to post every day. Do what is sustainable for you and what you can commit to. Just make sure you’re consistent.
Titles & Descriptions
On a website, title tags and meta descriptions on your pages are extremely important. They impact what shows up for a user in search results and effectively act as a first impression to the website. For YouTube, they have a similar effect.
Because video content is different from a traditional blog post (in that they aren’t comprised of written words), a video’s title and description are really the only vehicles you have, to apply key search terms to your content.
This makes having a compelling title and description extremely important.
Even though video content isn’t made up of keywords, users on YouTube still search for what they’re looking forward with words. Based on what a user is looking for, YouTube will match that search as best they can with videos that best represent the user intent. So, making sure you are identifying those keywords and displaying them explicitly and early in the video’s title is important. You want to try and match as many user searches on your video’s subject matter as best you can.
The description of the video gives you a little more flexibility with your keywords and ultimately how to describe the video so it doesn’t have to be as explicit as the title, but you want to make sure you’re just as forthright with what your video is about. Doing so will help your content be seen.
A trick to understand what keywords make sense for your videos is to search for the keywords in question on Google. If your results are populated with weblinks, then it’s likely your keyword isn’t as conducive to videos. If your keyword populates your Google search with videos or links to YouTube, that’s the sign of a good video keyword! And it gives you a great starting point for making a strong title and description for your content.