How to Increase Your YouTube Video SEO for More Views
Optimizing your YouTube videos for search is key to getting them found by your target audience. With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube offers massive reach potential.
But simply uploading videos is not enough. You need to use SEO best practices to improve their visibility in YouTube search and suggested videos.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to boost YouTube video SEO so your content gets discovered.
Optimize Video Title, Description and Tags
The title, description and tags you use can make a big difference in whether your content gets surfaced in YouTube search and recommended videos.
Optimize Your Video Title
Your title is the first thing viewers see when deciding whether to click your video. Follow these best practices:
- Include your core keyword phrase in the title near the beginning.
- Craft compelling titles that capture attention and convey key information.
- Limit the length to around 60 characters so the full title is visible.
- Use conversational language that feels natural, not stuffed with keywords.
Write a Detailed Video Description
The description gives you room for a summary of the video, relevant keywords and links.
- Place important keywords and phrases in the first 1-2 sentences – this part has greater weight.
- Write a natural overview of what viewers can expect from the video.
- Include links to related videos and resources on your site.
- Add a call to action for viewers to like, comment, share and subscribe.
Add Relevant Video Tags
Tags allow you to specify keywords and phrases that describe your video content.
- Research what search terms people use to find your type of content.
- Include a mix of main topics, specifics and long tail keyword phrases.
- Don’t keyword stuff – use tags naturally and pair generic and niche terms.
Enhance Your Video Content
Creating compelling, useful videos that engage viewers is equally important for SEO.
- Teach viewers something new and solve problems for your target audience.
- Naturally incorporate relevant keywords in your on-screen text and speech.
- Display stats and facts visually to reinforce key points.
- Add captions not just for accessibility but also so YouTube can index spoken words.
Optimizing the content itself in these ways can help boost rankings.
Get More Views, Likes and Comments
YouTube’s algorithm favors videos that are gaining traction and considers signals like:
- Number of views
- Audience retention
To build these engagement metrics:
- Promote your videos on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
- Add videos to relevant playlists to get discovered by viewers.
- Ask viewers to like, comment, subscribe and share at the end of your videos.
- Respond to comments to build community.
Giving viewers ways to interact with your videos can really help boost your YouTube SEO.
Optimize Video Metadata
Ensuring you fill out the available metadata for each video thoroughly is important.
- Enter an attractive custom thumbnail image that sums up the video.
- Select the appropriate category and tags for the video content.
- Provide a complete video description that uses keywords naturally.
- Add a transcript of spoken words for better indexing.
- Credit any music used with song and artist information.
Taking the time to fully optimize all the metadata gives YouTube more signals to understand what your video is about and appeal to the ideal audience.
Use YouTube Cards and End Screens
YouTube allows adding “cards” that pop up briefly during a video as well as end screens to help promote other videos and playlists.
Cards and end screens are valuable for:
- Linking to other relevant videos to keep viewers engaged.
- Promoting your popular uploads and playlists to encourage more views.
- Adding external website links to drive traffic.
This extra content and links also provides additional keywords and indicators around your videos to boost SEO.
Optimize Your YouTube Channel Keywords
In addition to individual video optimization, take time to optimize your overall YouTube channel.
- Choose a channel name with your important keyword or brand name.
- Fill out the channel description fully with keywords.
- Organize videos into playlists around specific topics using keyword phrases.
- Link to your website and social profiles.
This gives YouTube more context about your channel’s purpose to match you with searches.
Collaborate with Other YouTube Channels
Getting exposure on popular YouTube channels in your niche is an excellent strategy.
Ways to collaborate include:
- Guest posting on relevant channels to access a new audience.
- Co-marketing campaigns where you promote each other’s videos.
- Collaborating on a video project together.
- Sharing each other’s videos with your audience.
Collaborating gets your videos in front of interested viewers while building relationships with peers.
Having authoritative channels link to your content also sends trust signals.
Optimize Transcripts to Index Spoken Words
Adding a transcript that includes the spoken words from your video can greatly improve SEO. Benefits include:
- YouTube can better understand the topic when speeches and dialogue are indexed.
- Viewers can skim the transcript for relevant information.
- It improves accessibility for deaf/hard of hearing viewers.
Transcribing videos manually is time-consuming, so many creators use automated transcription services then edit for maximum accuracy.
Promote Your Videos Outside YouTube
While optimization is crucial, actively promoting your content is equally important. Share your videos:
- On your website and blog.
- Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Relevant online communities, forums and groups.
- To your email list and contacts.
Driving more external traffic to your videos can build credibility with YouTube’s algorithm in addition to direct views and engagement.
Analyze Your Performance with YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics provides a wealth of data to analyze how your videos are performing and identify opportunities for improvement.
Key metrics to track:
- Traffic sources – where views are coming from
- Audience retention – how much of videos viewers watch
- Impressions and CTR – how often your videos appear in results and get clicked
- Demographics – viewer age, gender and interests
- Top videos – your most popular uploads
Regularly monitoring this data will reveal insights to refine your approach. Experiment and see what content and optimization strategies perform best.
Be Patient and Persistent
Improving your YouTube SEO is an ongoing process.
It takes time and consistency to see results. But by continually optimizing your videos and promoting them in the right places, your rankings and viewership will improve over time.
Stick with best practices and analyze your data to keep refining based on what works.
With persistence, your YouTube channel can gain significant organic reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many tags should I use for a YouTube video?
YouTube allows up to 500 characters for tags, which is around 30-50 tags.
Focus on including a relevant mix of primary keywords, secondary terms, and long-tail phrases.
Avoid simply stuffing as many tags in as possible.
What is the ideal length for a YouTube video title?
YouTube displays about the first 60 characters of a title, so it’s ideal to keep your main title within 50-60 characters.
You can follow it with extra keywords in parentheses but the primary title should concisely communicate the topic.
What is the best format for YouTube video descriptions?
Open with an introductory sentence that uses your most important keywords.
Follow with a two to three sentence overview of the video.
Then include links, a call to action, and metadata like crediting music. Place critical keywords toward the beginning.
How important are custom thumbnails for YouTube SEO?
Very important! The thumbnail is the first thing that viewers see when choosing videos, so an eye-catching image that represents your content helps drive clicks.
Include attractive imagery, your brand, and text summarizing the topic.
How often should I publish videos on YouTube?
It’s ideal to maintain a consistent publishing schedule, such as posting 1-2 new videos per week.
This shows YouTube your channel is active and gives viewers a reason to subscribe for ongoing content.
Just ensure you only publish quality videos.
Optimizing your YouTube videos using SEO best practices takes effort but is one of the most effective ways to boost organic visibility and gain new viewers.
By implementing tactics like compelling titles and thumbnails, strategic keywords, collaborations and promotions, you can steadily improve your YouTube rankings over time.