Optimize Your Youtube Videos For Search

7 Tips to Optimize Your YouTube Videos For Search

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, with more than one billion users logging on every day.

So, if you are not optimizing your videos for this platform, you are missing out on a huge potential audience.

Luckily, it’s pretty simple to optimize your YouTube channel and start seeing results.

After you have created a great-looking video, use these 7 tips to help you optimize it so that it ranks higher in YouTube searches.

1) Use A Video Title That Is Unique And Relevant

Try to create a title that is catchy and will help people find your video.

Unique, maybe even strange, titles can help stand out in a crowded marketplace.

You should include your keywords in the title of the video and your description.

Assume you are making a tutorial on how to make an apple pie, then “apple” and “pie” would both be good keywords to include.

2) Edit Your File Name

The name of the video file can also help the algorithms identify what type of content it is.

For SEO purposes you would change the filename of a video to include your desired keyword.

For example, if your keyword is “apple pie,” then your file name should be how-to-make-apple-pie followed by the format that this video is in (such as MP4 or WMV).

To help do this, use an SEO keyword tool like SEMrush to help identify what type of keywords are most relevant for your content.

3) Have Clear Calls To Action In The Videos

All of your videos should have some kind of call-to-action.

They can be buried in the video, like asking viewers to subscribe or share your content on social media channels.

The call-to-action can also be at the end of a video with a CTA button that links out to related videos you have published.

This is an excellent way to get new visitors who may not know about your channel yet.

4) Use Smart Descriptions

Descriptions help viewers find videos.

A well-written description with the right keywords can boost views and watch time because they are an important factor in search engine ranking.

Some of the things you should consider with your descriptions include:

• Use natural-sounding language – don’t stuff your descriptions with keywords

• Put your most important keywords towards the beginning of your description.

• Identify 1–2 main words that describe your video and feature them prominently in both your description and title.

• Use tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner to identify the best keywords and their synonyms.

5) Use Cards and End Screens

YouTube cards are those little boxes with links that appear at the beginning of a video.

The content in these boxes can vary, but they usually include social media sharing buttons and related videos you have published on your channel.

End screens are similar to cards except they typically only show up once viewers reach the end of the video.

6) Add Subtitles and Closed Captions

YouTube automatically transcribes your videos and creates captions for them.

This is a great way to get more views because viewers who have hearing disabilities can watch it with subtitles or closed captioning on their screens.

You should also consider adding keywords in the descriptions of the video’s subtitle or closed caption file to help it rank higher in search

7) Use a Customized Thumbnail

YouTube automatically generates a thumbnail for your video and it is usually the first picture viewers will see when browsing through videos.

The thumbnail is pulled from a frame of the video, but you can upload your own customized thumbnail.

Some people use Photoshop to edit their thumbnails by cropping them or adding filters to help attract more viewers who are browsing YouTube’s homepage or uploading a still image.

Whatever method you choose, make sure that the image you use in this thumbnail includes keywords (you can do so by adding them into the filename of your photo) and captures attention with an eye-catching design or meme.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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