YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

As a YouTuber, knowing how to is crucial for your success on the platform. And one of the most effective ways to do so is by ensuring that your  get to a large percentage of your target audience, or maybe all of them depending on your goals.

With the growing number of creators in your space and numerous videos being uploaded daily, your videos could get lost in the massive content library. Having your video content discovered on YouTube requires more than just uploading it and including just any hashtags and descriptions. You need to adopt various techniques to get your videos to rank.

In this post, we’ll show you how to use the YouTube algorithm system to your advantage and allow users to access your content more easily.

Research Your Topic

Being a niched creator is one way to build a loyal audience base, but thoroughly researching topics they’ll find interesting is the best way to keep them glued to your page. Doing your topic research is similar to doing keyword research when writing, it’ll help create a structure for your video, description, hashtags, and other features that optimizes your content.

Use Keywords in Your Video Title

Optimizing your video content also requires that you include keywords naturally in the video title. These keywords are usually what most users search for when looking for your content or similar ones. With the right keywords, YouTube will automatically make your videos discoverable as soon as these words or pretty similar alternatives are typed in the search bar.

Keeping your video title precise will improve user experience as well. Your target audience can easily detect what your video is about and judge how resourceful it would be, just by looking at the title. Try keeping your titles within 70 characters, too, so a part of it doesn’t get cut out when it appears in search results.

Include Keywords in Your Video File

YouTube will rank your video with a simple trick of including the keyword in your video file name before uploading it. It looks pretty easy and ineffective, but it’s one of the major ranking factors for content on this video platform.

Optimize Your Video Description

Your video description plays a huge role in how well your content will be optimized on YouTube. Include your primary keywords in the first few sentences, and keep it shorter than 200 words. YouTube evaluates your description with these factors; they rank your videos accordingly when you meet these criteria.

More importantly, ensure that your video description is meaningful to your audience. Add any other information you wish to let them know or a guide through the video that’ll prompt them to watch it.

When writing your video description, avoid using fluff words to fill up the word count, describe your video with one or two words (include in your title too), and sound as natural and relatable as possible. To promote your content on other platforms or get them to subscribe, add a call to action and links to your other pages

Use Hashtags

Hashtags help you join a YouTube community filled with your target audience. It also gets your content discovered in search results when people search for specific hashtags, especially when there’s a current or ongoing trend.

Add hashtags to your video description, they help increase the visibility of your content.

Find the Ideal Video Length

Your video may not rank because it is too long or too short. Depending on the type of content you’re putting out, your videos should be a couple of minutes shorter or longer than others.

Studies have shown, that the average YouTube video is about 11 minutes long, and videos that are 7 to 15 minutes long tend to perform better than longer or shorter videos. Besides, videos that fall within this range are good for retention; short videos don’t convey enough information and longer ones may get boring pretty quickly.

Regardless, you can make your videos longer when necessary. The average video length may not be ideal for broad topics that require a lot of details to educate users, especially when uploading how-to content.

Choose Video Category

Get your video into a playlist of similar content by selecting a category for your video during upload. This will help boost your visibility on the platform, especially when users used the advanced search settings when looking for a video.

Generally, selecting a category for your video will help the algorithmic system of this platform improve user experience by bringing your content to them. It is a win-win situation on both ends.

Add Video Chapters

For lengthy videos, how-tos, or video listicles, adding chapters helps viewers navigate through easily. They can skip to the part of the video that seems more relevant to them or identify where they wish to continue when rewatching a video. With the highlighted subtopics, users can preview videos and watch in sections for a better experience.

Create Custom Thumbnails

Thumbnails are one of the features of your content that attracts your audience. With the thumbnail, they can easily see the face behind the channel, and video title, and do a quick judgment as to whether your video will be worth their time or not. As the saying goes, a picture says more than a thousand words.

Add Subtitles and Closed Captions

Subtitles and closed captions tend to the needs of various viewers. Subtitles provide captions for viewers who want the video transcribed in the language of their choice (the language they understand best) and closed captions are more accurate for viewers who can’t hear the audio but understand the language it’s being spoken in.

While the subtitles may sometimes be inaccurate because they are automatically generated, close captions provide a more precise transcription because you put them there yourself. Adding your transcript to the video help boost your visibility on the platform and other search engines.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing your videos for YouTube search is incomplete without providing resourceful and entertaining content. Upload only high-quality videos, trigger a call to action in between your videos, and ensure that they get answers to their questions. This way, they can like and rewatch your videos, which prompts YouTube to automatically share your content with other interested viewers. On the contrary, you may use some paid service to and Videos to reach a larger audience.

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