These YouTube Video SEO Hacks Boost Sales and Rankings
Over 6 billion hours of video are viewed every month on YouTube. With more than 3 billion searches processed per month (more than Bing, AOL, Ask.com and Yahoo combined), when it comes to search, YouTube is second only to Google.
Whether you’re an experienced webmaster or a total SEO newbie, you need to be taking advantage of this powerful tool to drive more traffic to your site.
That said, we understand you may be used to website SEO, and the thought of trying to optimize a YouTube video could be intimidating. Experts agree: the main factors affecting YouTube ranking include video title, video description, the number of views, and the number of likes and dislikes.
Sound like a lot?
Well, we’ve put together the ultimate YouTube Video SEO hacks cheat sheet to help boost your sales and improve your rankings.
Keep reading for the inside scoop.
For the most part, all the SEO rules that apply to web page titles also hold true for YouTube video titles.
Here’s a simple run-down:
1. Research target keywords.
Use a keyword research tool to harvest popular keywords and phrases in your topic. If you’re not interested in investing in a high-end tool, there are plenty of keyword research tools available to anyone with an internet connection. (We recommend our keyword research tool, Keyword Playground.)
When choosing keywords to target, remember that YouTube is still a much smaller search engine than Google. That means you’re better off targeting high-search-volume keywords rather than obscure long-tail keyword phrases.
A good rule of thumb is to only target keywords with more than 300 searches per month.
2. Use your keyword as the first word in your title.
Like web pages, YouTube videos are more likely to rank if they have a strong keyword at the very beginning of their titles.
It’s a simple change, but it will make a significant difference in your YouTube video SEO. And, if you’re worried that putting the keyword at the beginning of your title won’t always make sense, remember that there’s usually a way to rephrase yourself so your title is clear.
For example, take the title “Why I Love My iPhone 6.” The keyword is “iPhone 6.” You really can’t move the keyword to the beginning without screwing up the meaning of the title. An easy alternative is to simply add a colon and rephrase your topic a bit e.g. “iPhone 6: Five Reasons Why I’m Obsessed.”
3. Include the word “video” in your title.
This is an easy (but effective!) hack to rank higher on SERPs. Google will always rank video results first in searches that include the word “video.” So, by adding this keyword to your title, you’re narrowing your pool of competition and increasing your odds of driving in traffic.
Video Description Box
Your video description can make or break your chances of getting ranked.
Here are the main guidelines to follow:
1. Write an informative, keyword-rich description that is at least 250 words long.
Your description should tell search engines exactly what your video is about. To that end, it’s important that your main keyword shows up somewhere within the first 25 words of your description. In total, you should try to include keywords at least 3 times total.
Finally, it’s best if your description is between 250 and 400 words — long enough to be substantial, but short enough not to bore your viewers.
2. Use your keyword in your tags.
Tags are how YouTube determines which videos to display in the sidebar of your video. So, if you include your target keywords in your video’s tags, you’ll be much more likely to get viewers from related videos.
On top of that, using targeted tags will help you rank on SERPs for your target keyword. It’s a win-win!
Use your main keyword for the first tag, and then use a keyword suggestion tool to generate variations for the rest of your tags.
3. Put your website link at the top of the description box.
Putting your link at the top of the description box will make it more likely that viewers click on it. That’s because doing so guarantees your site link will be visible to your audience, whether they click the “Show More” button or not.
Ultimately, including your link at the top of the description box will boost both your click-through rate (CTR) and your overall ranking.
Youtube Video Content
High-quality content will earn its own views and likes. However, there are other smart ways that you can further SEO your videos and start gaining more YouTube traffic.
1. Choose Google-friendly video topics.
Google is much more likely to display video results for searches that include the keyword phrases “how to” and “tutorial.” We’re not saying you should completely change your topic to accommodate these keywords. However, it’s a good idea to try to present your content in these formats where you can!
2. Include video elements that encourage viewer interactions.
To boost your YouTube ranking, you need to increase your likes and views. But, how can you engage your audience so much that they’ll bother clicking the subscribe button?
Here are some ideas:
- Ask a question at the end of the video. It can even be a simple one like, “How was your week?” or “What’d you think of this video?” Asking a question encourages viewers to comment and makes them more likely to subscribe to your channel.
- Add a subscribe button in your video annotation. You know those little notes that pop up in the middle of a video? They’re called annotations, and you should be displaying your subscribe button in them. (Bonus points if you time the annotation to appear right after you’ve said something especially clever, funny, or informative.)
- Put your own related videos at the end of this specific video. Get more views by creating a couple seconds of footage at the end that links back to your other videos. Try to make it look like the related videos section that YouTube displays at the end of every video.
3. Create high-quality thumbnails.
The quality of your thumbnail is often the only factor that determines whether a viewer clicks on your video or someone else’s. That’s why you need to make sure it’s as engaging as possible!
- Use a high-resolution image, preferably 1280 x 780 pixels. This will ensure your thumbnail and your preview image in embedded videos will both be crisp.
- Add your title into your thumbnail to help you stand out from the competition.
4. Last but not least, make sure you include your keyword(s) in your file name.
A lot of people forget to do this, but it’s definitely worth remembering! Including your keyword directly in your video file name will boost your chances of getting ranked on Google.
And that’s it!
Start increasing your sales, and ranking on the world’s second largest search engine.
Try these effective YouTube SEO hacks today!