YouTube SEO Tips
We’re all familiar with YouTube and if you’re not, you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade. YouTube is the most powerful video site and one of the most powerful websites in the world by many standards. With all of this power comes great responsibility. The responsibility for us as an SEO agency is to provide insight and guidance on how to best optimize and rank your videos so you can have the greatest amount of success possible in your YouTube journey (which will hopefully never end!). With all of this being said, we have some great tips on YouTube SEO for you to start your successful YouTube journey on the best foot forward:
- Length Matters
- Quality Over Quantity
- Engaging Titles and Descriptions
- Custom Thumbnails
- Variety of Content
- Researching Your Demographic(s)
- Being Yourself
- Do YouTube to Feed Your Creative Side, Not Your Financial Side
- However, Be Sure to Enable Monetization
Quality content in the eyes of YouTube is often associated with the length of the content you’re uploading. This rationale is most likely associated with the fact that lengthier content often runs parallel with a greater amount of time for ads to show and this will in turn allow YouTube/Google/Alphabet to generate additional revenue and companies to potentially generate a greater amount of sales. Sorry to say, but if you’re uploading content to YouTube, you’re channel is an advertising vehicle for everything from allergy pills to fidget spinners to someone’s “get-rich-course” and it’s just something you’ll have to learn to deal with and on the bright side, you’ll have a nice check from AdSense every month. 🙂 Below you’ll see the top 3 results for the YouTube search query: “YouTube SEO”. You’ll notice the timestamps of the top 3 search results are all above 10 minutes in length. A large majority of search queries present lengthier videos due to the rationale mentioned above.
Quality Over Quantity
Several YouTubers believe if they just upload every single day, they’ll see success, fame, and fortune. While this may be true for individuals who have a great formula going for their YouTube channel already, this is not the case for the other 95% of people who are just uploading to upload. If you focus on providing great content, solving a problem for someone, of just being outright entertaining to your audience through a well thought out, quality video; you’ll find your viewers will grow exponentially through organic methods. These organic methods can consist of everything from social sharing to word-of-mouth marketing to better ASD (average session durations) on your videos, which is a huge signal to YouTube you’re doing something right and they will reward you as such. So instead of wasting your time uploading a vlog, tutorial, clickbait, and morning routine video all on the same day; sit down and develop a strategy which you believe will resonate with your viewers and potentially bring in new viewers as well. Below is an example of Tom Scott, a British YouTuber who exemplifies the “quality over quantity” principle. His channel has 384 uploads over roughly 7 years, has 800,000+ subscribers, and has amassed over 138,000,000 views in it’s lifetime. There are some YouTubers who upload daily and have not even come close to these metrics. This again reinforces how quality videos always surpass a large quantity of videos.
Engaging Titles and Descriptions
We have all seen the horrible, outright insane click-bait titles and several YouTubers claim they work so well and generate a much higher CTR (click-through-rate) and yes, this is true, but the real problem with this method is it attracts a certain demographic who will ultimately grow tired of your channel in a year or two: “tweens”. Yes, tweens. Unless you want your channel to have the shelf-life of a fidget spinner or kendama, drop the click-bait title and focus on an actual engaging title which will not just attract anyone and everyone with a pulse. You’ll want to use titles to draw users whom will convert into customers if you’re selling something, and most YouTubers are in fact selling something. Instead of: “YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS YouTube Growth Trick!…(Gone WRONG in DA H00D Edition!)” try something more along the lines of: “A Fantastic Way to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 5 Steps”. Yes, it’s not as eye-catching or TMZ-like, but you’ll soon realize, as stated above, quality supersedes quantity in the world of YouTube and you want your viewers to be QUALITY viewers, not just a large quantity of viewers. Below you’ll see some of the worst clickbait titles.
Nobody wants to just see a boring, old screenshot of whatever it is your video is about. Put some effort into actually designing and/or photographing a great looking, relevant, custom thumbnail and you’ll see your CTR (click-through-rate) increase quite a bit. Here are some examples of channels with enticing, attractive, and engaging thumbnails:
Variety of Content
Having a large variety of content, yet still within your niche, will engage users and keep them coming back for more. Only doing the same things throughout every video can be formulaic and may provide a consistent stream of income for the short-term, but in the long-term you AND your viewers will become burnt-out and bored with the process and result. As with anything in life, it’s important to diversify and not have all of your eggs in one basket in case something goes south. Mix things up, step out of your comfort zone, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find something in life you eventually become even more passionate about! Below is an example of the Munchies YouTube channel (a extension of VICE Media) and how they are mainly centered around food culture, yet they have a large variety of content to appeal to many different sub-demographics of the foodie persona.
Researching Your Demographic(s)
In YouTube, just as in Google, there are so many demographics to become familiar with and you’re able to see some of the intricacies of these demographics in your viewer insights, but it’s still important to do your own research and actively engage with your audience. Understanding what your audience enjoys watching, how they enjoy viewing it, and why they enjoy viewing it can have a load of positive growth upon your channel. SocialBlade is a great tool to analyze your future growth potential, your users, and your potential profits from your YouTube channel.
When you act as yourself and not some “YouTube Persona”, you’re ensuring you’ll be able to naturally and effectively deliver content and not encounter the dreaded burnout phase after playing a character for several months or years. There have been many discussions on the over-the-top personas YouTube seems to be breeding these past few years, especially in the vlog community. This over-the-top persona usually only appeals to the aforementioned “tween” category. This whole in-your-face, screaming at everything with overzealous joy, and performing for an audience who will forget you ever existed at the drop of a hat is not a good business practice and will eventually lead to your YouTube channel losing subscribers and becoming unprofitable. Take all of this into consideration and stay true to yourself; advice which can be applied to all areas of life, not just YouTube.
Do YouTube to Feed Your Creative Side, Not Your Financial Side
The term “YouTube Creator” is designated by YouTube itself and is a popular designation amongst the video-sharing community. This is why it’s vital to be creative and create for the sake of creating. If you’re only in it for the money, your true colors will show very quickly and you’ll have an audience who is not truly engaged and not comprised of true fans. There are a number of videos discussing the “1,000 True Fans” theory which encompasses the principle of having 1,000 true fans who will migrate to any and all of your different streams of content, websites, companies, etc… as long as you are associated with it. This is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll always be able to focus on your creative side and produce amazing content without having to worry about how you’ll be able to pay the bills. Take this 1,000 true fan theory and run with it!
However, Be Sure to Enable Monetization
When you monetize your YouTube channel’s videos, you give YouTube the green-light to place ads on your videos and this will allow YouTube to generate further amounts of revenue. It’s only logical they’ll favor videos which provide them a greater amount of revenue and enabling monetization can only help your rankings and provide you with an additional source of income.
YouTube SEO, Overall
YouTube SEO mirrors the principles of your standard SEO strategy. As long as you stick with the standard techniques of your current SEO strategy and sprinkle in the above tips, you should start to see some fantastic results. If you’re still struggling with your YouTube SEO strategy and prefer to have an in-depth consultation on how to best improve your channel, fill out the form below or give us a call at: 512-645-2810 and we’ll be sure to respond within 24 hours. Looking forward to hearing from you soon! 🙂