What Is YouTube SEO?
YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world with 73% of US adults using the site regularly. To ensure your videos are able to be discovered on YouTube, optimizing them is key. YouTube SEO is the process of editing your video titles, descriptions, and more in order to rank highly on YouTube result pages.
How To Audit Your YouTube Channel
If you already have a YouTube channel, the best place to start is auditing your channel to identify opportunities. Use LXR Marketplace’s YouTube Channel Audit tool to quickly get a list of all of your videos and key metrics. After you enter your YouTube URL, the tool will display all of your videos by title, upload date, likes, dislikes, views, comments, keywords, and description. We also provide Google’s guidelines for character count and our own tips for YouTube SEO. Once you have the list of all your videos, you can quickly analyze what changes need to be made.
What Are The Factors Affecting YouTube SEO Metadata
- Your title should be a maximum of 60 characters.
- The most important (and most interesting!) information should be at the beginning of the title. Structure your title so the keywords you are optimizing for are right at the front. Save branding for the end of the title.
- Mention your main keyword twice.
- The maximum description length is 5,000 characters. Aim for about 250-300 words in your description.
- Like in your title, use your main keywords at the beginning of the description. Only the first few lines are readily visible, with the rest of the description under a “Show More” link, so maximize what you say in the first sentences. Explain what your video is about in a readable way, since this is what your viewers will see first.
- Use your main keyword three times and also make use of related keywords. You want your description to be searchable.
- Include a link to your website — either to a featured product or simply the homepage. Give readers a way to learn more or contact you.
- Add relevant hashtags to the end of your description in a list. You can include a maximum of 15 hashtags — over 15 and YouTube will ignore all of them. Consider hashtagging your main keywords and relevant trending topics.
- Tags are another place to add keywords. In addition to your main ones, consider adding more obscure keywords or common misspellings here. Your tags aren’t seen by your viewers, but they inform search.
- Video Length
- YouTube wants to maximize viewer engagement and satisfaction, so one of the most important ranking factors is video watch time, which measures how long a user spends watching a video. Use the first 15 seconds to hook your viewer with interesting information, then add relevant, factual content. The average length of a YouTube video on the most popular channels is 12 minutes long.
- Video Content
- Search bots scan video transcripts for keywords, so saying them in the video is just as important as including them in the description. Make sure you are using your main and secondary keywords as you speak.
- According to YouTube, 90% of the best-performing videos on the site have custom thumbnails. Thumbnails appear right next to your title and are the first thing a viewer sees. They act as a billboard for your video. Ensure you use a strong and vibrant image that accurately represents your message.
How To Perform Keyword Research For YouTube Optimization
Now that you know what parts of your video to optimize, your next step is finding the right keywords to target. You don’t need a specific YouTube Keyword Tool. One of the best ways to find keywords is simply to use the YouTube search bar. As you type, YouTube will automatically provide suggestions for completing your search. These suggestions are all popular searches that users make on YouTube, so you can be sure real people are looking for these things. You can check for suggestions in front of your keyword as well by starting your query with an asterisk. e.g. * youtube seo
Once you have a few keywords in mind, click on the first few videos in the searches. See what language they are using to rank highly. Make sure to take note of their top keywords and figure out how to best include them in your video’s metadata.
Use Google Trends to see what keywords are popular on YouTube. Trends lets you filter to explore YouTube search results. Compare some of the search terms you gathered from searching keywords on YouTube to see which are performing the best. Optimize around those top keywords.
Use YouTube Analytics to see what keywords users are currently using to find your videos. See if there are any that you haven’t included in your description or otherwise optimized for. If so, be sure to include them so as to maximize hits for that keyword.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve determined the best keywords to use, put them into action. Fill out your YouTube SEO metadata areas with primary and secondary keywords. Include them in your thumbnail, and make sure to speak to them in your video. Finally, and most importantly, ensure that you produce a quality video that your customers would genuinely want to see and engage with. The best way to earn engagements is with top-notch content!