YouTube is the second largest search engine? While creating engaging content is a must, it’s not the only factor for success. There are several things you can do to optimize your videos to rank highly on both YouTube and in Google search results.
The first step to becoming a YouTube marketing pro is creating and optimizing your video’s metadata. Simply put, metadata gives viewers information about your video, which includes your video title, description, tags, category, thumbnail, subtitles, and closed captions.
Providing the right information in your video’s metadata ensures that it is properly indexed by YouTube and appears when people are searching for videos like yours. Be succinct and straightforward when filling out your metadata — your content could be removed if you try to promote it with unrelated keywords. Check out the video below to learn more about optimizing your video for search.
Just like with on-page SEO, it’s important to optimize your video’s title and description. Titles are what people first read when scrolling through a list of videos, so make sure yours is clear and compelling — it should make searchers curious about your content or make obvious that your video will help them solve a problem.
Do some keyword research to better understand what viewers are searching for. Include the most important information and keywords in the beginning of your title. Lastly, keep titles to around 60 characters to keep text from being cut off in results pages.
YouTube will only show the first two to three lines (about 100 characters) of your video’s description. To read beyond that, viewers will need to click “Show more” to see the rest. For that reason, always include important links or CTAs in the beginning of your description and write the copy so it drives views and engagement.
Below this, include the video transcript. Video transcripts can greatly improve your SEO because your video is usually full of keywords. Add a default channel description that includes links to your social channels, video credits, and video-specific time stamps. You can also include #hashtags in your video titles and descriptions — just be sure to use them sparingly.
Next, highlight your main keywords in your tags. Tags associate your video with similar videos, which broadens its reach. When tagging videos, tag your most important keywords first and try to include a good mix of more common keywords and long-tail keywords.
After you upload a video, YouTube will allow you to choose a video category under “Advanced settings.” Video categories group your video with related content on the platform.
YouTube allows you to sort your video into one of the following categories: Film & Animation, Autos & Vehicles, Music, Pets & Animals, Sports, Travel & Events, Gaming, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, Howto & Style, Educations, Science & Technology, and Nonprofits & Activism.