YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google. Over 1.8 billion users log in to YouTube every month and they spend more than 1 billion hours watching videos on it every day. In fact, millions of videos are uploaded every day to this platform.
With so many videos being uploaded to YouTube every second, it is only natural that there’s tremendous competition on the platform. So, it’s not easy to secure good rankings and gain visibility.
However, YouTube not only works as an entertainment platform but also serves as a way for brands to advertise themselves.
You can spread the word about your brand and create brand awareness through this powerful medium. Additionally, you can generate leads and even get conversions through YouTube.
But for all of this to happen efficiently, you need to first get your videos in front of the right people.
For this, you need to work on YouTube optimization. This is a process of optimizing your videos to make sure that they rank higher and get more views.
Here are some YouTube optimization tips that can help you increase your views.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
One of the first and foremost YouTube optimization tips is keyword research. Just as in search engine optimization (SEO), you need to conduct keyword research for YouTube optimization as well. Use platforms such as KWFinder and Google Keyword Planner to look for keywords relevant to your brand.
If you don’t use the right keywords, your target audience will never be able to find your videos. So you need to put in some effort into finding relevant keywords.
These keywords are essentially the words that your target audience is likely to search for on YouTube.
Image via KWFinder
Once you’ve done the keyword research, you can incorporate these keywords into your video titles and descriptions. This will improve your chances of showing up in relevant searches and ranking higher for relevant keywords.
2. Optimize Your Channel
Think of your YouTube channel as your video repository. YouTube optimization also requires you to optimize your channel. You can do this using the keywords that you’ve found.
If you incorporate these keywords into your channel description, there is a higher chance of your videos appearing in top search results. This applies to searches made on both YouTube and Google.
Add your keywords wherever possible. However, make sure that you use them judiciously and don’t stuff your content with keywords. Do keep in mind that you’re writing for humans and not for search engines. While this might not seem like the most complex of YouTube optimization tips, it certainly is effective.
3. Optimize Your Videos
No list of YouTube optimization tips is complete without the mention of video optimization.
The most important factor based on which people are going to watch your videos are the quality of your videos and their content. You need to ensure that every single video that you upload is of the highest quality.
A high-quality video has good chances of being liked by viewers. Ensure that you put enough effort into shooting and then post-processing the videos.
You can also add annotations to your videos. This can make them more interactive and allow you to include clear calls-to-action for your viewers. For further YouTube optimization, you can add subtitles to your videos. Subtitles count as textual content and can help you in getting your videos to rank higher.
4. Add a Good Thumbnail
One of the more underrated YouTube optimization tips is the importance of adding a good thumbnail.
Your video thumbnails are the only thing that searchers will see along with your video titles and description snippets. It is also the only visual aspect of the video that shows up in searches. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your thumbnails are of the highest quality possible.
They need to be attractive, engaging, relevant and inform searchers what they can expect to see in the videos. Thumbnails are a great way to catch the attention of your viewers. You need them to be impactful to lure searchers to click on them and then watch your video.
You might have a great video but if you don’t have a high-quality thumbnail, it won’t get the desired response. It is also a good idea to bring in a human element into the thumbnail. This might attract more viewers.
For example, Moz takes out enough time to take engaging photos that will serve as thumbnails for their videos. They do this for every video in the series – Whiteboard Friday.
Image via YouTube
Remember, your titles might be attractive. However, if your thumbnails are not good enough, people might not open your videos.
For instance, if you search on Google with “how to jog,” you’ll find a few videos that have made it to the top. You’ll be able to see the thumbnails and the titles for all the videos.
Image via Google
Use this YouTube optimization tip and see the results for yourself.
In these, only the third video has a clear thumbnail that shows you exactly what to expect in the video. The other two have poor quality thumbnails and aren’t able to convey the exact intention of the video to you.
5. Optimize Video Titles
This YouTube optimization tip adds on to the previous point of optimizing your videos and emphasizes that video titles also need to be optimized.
Your video titles need to be as engaging and catchy as possible because people will decide to view your videos based on that. It is also necessary to use your focus keyword once in your titles. You must also consider which part of the titles will be visible to people when they search.
Keeping that in mind, it is a good idea to keep your titles about 100 characters in length. This will be enough to make them unique and attractive. At the same time, they will also be visible completely in search results without being cut off.
The titles should only contain information about your videos. Some factors to keep in mind while creating a title are:
- Name of the location, if it is a destination video
- The target keyword
- All important entities and names
Compelling titles can help you create more excitement in the minds of viewers. When done properly, this YouTube optimization technique can help you get more video views.
OnePlus, for instance, creates videos about destinations to promote their smartphones. They ensure that the location and the name of the brand are both mentioned in the titles. The titles are short and catchy too.
Image via YouTube
6. Optimize Video Descriptions
This is another one of the useful YouTube optimization tips. The content of your videos matter a lot. However, the descriptions of the videos are important too. You must make sure that you add a good description for every video you upload. Make sure that you use the keywords that you’ve identified in the descriptions too.
Descriptions need to be relevant to the video and will help viewers understand the content of your videos better. Additionally, search engines cannot crawl videos. Hence, the description is the one large chunk of text that they can crawl through. So a well-written description can help you rank higher in searches.
YouTube allows you to add up to 5000 characters in the descriptions of videos. The more relevant content you have in the descriptions, the better it’ll be for search engines to understand the video.
This is why it is important to make your descriptions long as well. While it’s not necessary to hit the 5000 character mark, it might be a good idea to write at least 2000 characters. This will give you enough space to insert your keywords and describe the video thoroughly too.
In the description, the first 150 characters are critical. These are the characters that appear before the “more” tag on YouTube. The first 150 characters need to be enticing enough for viewers to want to click and read more.
It is also a good practice to add tags to your videos. Tags are words that signify the relevance of your video to a certain topic. Adding 5-7 tags to every video can get them to show up along with other similar videos. This way, you might be able to get more views from audiences in the same niche.
Sephora, for example, ensures that their video descriptions include the target keywords. In this case, it is “pore minimizing.” They’ve also shared enough links to their website to help people shop for relevant products.
This is a useful YouTube optimization tip that you should start following now.
7. Encourage Viewers to Engage
Your prime goal of YouTube marketing should be to generate more views and engagement. For this, you must encourage your viewers to interact with your videos.
A great way of doing this is to ask them to like, share, and subscribe to your channel. These factors serve as a testimony to the quality of your videos.
When more people engage with your videos, they might start to rank higher than others in search results. Engagement is the key to get higher views and rankings.
Another good idea would be to comment on other videos in your own niche. These comments would not only give you visibility but may even help establish yourself as an expert in the niche. This can help you get more visitors to your channel and videos as well. This is one of the lesser-known YouTube optimization tips, but is very effective.
8. Use Playlists
Playlists on YouTube allow you to group similar videos on your channel into a single category. Not only do playlists help you organize your videos better but also work well for YouTube optimization. This is one of the most important YouTube optimization tips that you should follow.
The first step to achieve this is to group the videos together. When they are grouped, they may drive more traffic to and from each other. Viewers might watch videos on the same topic and this can increase your views.
To further optimize your playlists, you must craft titles which are keyword focused. The titles should be catchy, short, and descriptive so that it catches the attention of your audience.
Just like videos and channels, descriptions are allowed in playlists as well. You can add up to 5000 characters. This description should contain information about the playlist and you need to incorporate keywords into them as well. Doing this can increase your chances of getting your playlist to rank higher in searches.
Playlists also help you get more views due to the fact that they rank in both Google and YouTube searches. Additionally, videos in a playlist play one after the other.
This makes it easier for you to get views on multiple videos of the playlist from a single viewer. Playlists are, therefore, one of the best YouTube optimization tips to drive more video views and engagement.
These YouTube optimization tips can get your videos to rank higher and get more views. Incorporating keywords into your video titles and descriptions helps them rank higher. Similarly, optimizing your channel descriptions can help you get more traffic on your YouTube channel.
Grouping your videos into playlists can help you get more views on multiple videos due to their relevance to each other. Finally, using high-quality and engaging thumbnails is critical to get people to click on your videos and watch them.
These are some of the most effective YouTube optimization tips that should start leveraging right now. Using these YouTube optimization tips you will definitely see the results on the performance of your YouTube channel.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.