Could YouTube Be The Missing Piece To Your Success?
Professional bloggers get video. We get that video is a critical part of content marketing. Videos encourage engagement and help drive traffic to a site unlike anything else.
And if you’re talking about video, you’re talking YouTube. YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos.
Oh The Power of YouTube!
Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world and roughly 100 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to YouTube Statistics.
Although achieving a high number of views may seem impracticable with that many uploads per minute, it’s within your reach if you have the right plan for optimizing it.
Creating awesome content is the foundation of inbound marketing, but for your content to be useful to your audience, search engines must find it.
Here are 7 steps to follow when optimizing your YouTube video for SEO.
Optimize YouTube Videos In 7 Steps
1. Create Awesome Content
Creating great content is the first step to successfully optimizing your video and a good way to obtain a substantial amount of views. The secret to getting your video noticed is to create awesome, appealing content that is related to your market.
Three components to think about when making your video content. Is it:
“How To Cut Open A Pomegranate In 1 Minute” is a great example of a video that includes all three components.
- Engaging –The video is close-up and personal, keeping the viewer engaged by making them feel as if they are actually there in the kitchen.
- Entertaining–Being able to visually see the steps in motion is fun to watch, giving the viewers a hands-on experience that makes them want to keep watching.
- Informative – Along with the voice and actions guiding the viewer, there are also instructions written on the bottom of the page to go with each step.
2. Make It Easy To Find Your Video
Metadata helps YouTube index your content and is essential to building views from search and suggested videos. To optimize your Metadata be sure to use strong titles, descriptions and tags.
- Titles—YouTube video titles are limited to 66 characters long or less and should include descriptive and relevant keywords. Here is an example: “How to Start a Garden in 5 Easy Steps.”
- Descriptions—A video’s description helps audiences understand what your content is about. The description can be 2-3 sentences that accurately describing your video with relevant key words. It is also good to include a link in your description to drive more traffic back to your website. For example: “Learn how to transform a small backyard into a highly productive, self-watering, sustainable vegetable garden that doesn’t have any chemicals or pesticides. You are 5 steps away from growing healthy food right in your backyard.”
- Tags—Tagging allows YouTube to surface your video to new audiences and is a major factor to make it more discoverable. It is good to include include 5-7 unique tags that portray important video topics and names. Here are some examples of tag words: soil preparation, broccoli, gardening plan, herbs, organic, etc.
Below you will see an example of how we optimized our Metadata for our Tuna Traffic #IceBucketChallenge video.
3. Attract Viewers With Your Thumbnail
Thumbnails can be viewed as the cover photo for your video. Thumbnails are made to attract viewers to your content and compel them to click through to watch. This is why it is important to create high quality, custom thumbnails that accurately represent the content of your video.
When shooting your video, it’s good to be aware of what shots will make great images for your thumbnails. Here are some visual guidelines you can use:
- Close-ups of faces or products with good composition.
- Looks great on all sizes of devices and is visually compelling.
- Clear, in focus, with a hi-resolution (1280px × 720px, 16:9 ratio).
- Accurately represents the content and is well framed.
How to set a custom thumbnail after you have uploaded a video:
- In edit mode, click ‘Custom Thumbnail’ to the right of your video.
Below you will see an example of how thumbnails appear at the end of a video.
4. Utilize The Power Of Annotations
Annotations are unique to YouTube. They can drive more viewers to your content, increase community actions on your videos and attract new subscribers.
Most annotations are self-explanatory and can be combined with a clever call-to-action. Below is an example of an annotation used by Tuna Traffic on one of their videos.
To create an annotation:
1. Click Video Manager under the video you want to add an annotation to.
2. Click the down arrow next to ‘edit’ and select ‘Annotations.’
3. Then click ‘Add Annotation’ and choose the one you want for your video.
4. A list of annotations will pop up and you can choose one that will best benefit your video.
For longer videos, you can use annotations to provide links with specific topics throughout to help promote the topic of the video along with your channel. The links are only clickable to videos inside of YouTube, making it a great way to get your viewers to watch more of your material. To add links to your annotations, check the ‘Link’ box located at the bottom of the editing options for your annotation.
After the ‘Link’ box is checked, options will appear below allowing you to insert the link you want and choose where you want it to appear in your video. Also, it is important to always have ‘Open link in new window’ checked so it won’t take the viewer off your page.
5. Speak In Googles Language
Closed captions and transcripts will help expand your audience and take your YouTube video to the next level. They open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing or those who speak other languages.
Captions and transcripts can help your video get found in YouTube and Google search results since they both provide search engines with the exact content of your video.
This will help boost your video SEO efforts tremendously since search engines can easily read captions and transcripts. That is why it is essential to add captions and/or transcripts after you upload your video to YouTube or your website.
Steps for adding closed captions:
1. Click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button
2. Select Subtitles and CC
3. Click the Add Subtitles or CC button
4. Then select how you want to add closed captions to this video.
- When you add CC by ‘Upload a File’ it will contain both the text and time codes for when each subtitle and closed caption line of text should be displayed.
- When you add CC by ‘Transcribe and set timings’ it will allow you to automatically align the timings of a transcript for your video.
- When you add CC by the last option, ‘Create new subtitles or CC’ it will allow you to create new subtitles or CC from scratch.
5. If you choose the last option, ‘Create new subtitles or CC’, a box will appear where you can enter your text and then click the ‘+’ to add it.
6. After you have finalized all your captions they will show up in your video.
6. Kickoff Popularity With Subscribers
Popularity is key in YouTube Video SEO because it indicates better quality and more interesting videos.
Videos that generate a big spike in views in recent days will get preferred placement, getting added to lists like “most viewed” that will in turn attract even more views.
YouTube prioritizes videos by volume for the Front-Page Feature through Watch Time. What matters for Watch Time is how long a viewer stays to watch your video. YouTube switched over to Watch Time after the buying of fake views became a common practice.
Along with getting a lot of views, the popularity of your video is also determined by how many “thumbs up” and comments it receives. It is important to have a large number of subscribers to represent a stable base for your YouTube channel. Your subscribers are ultimately your biggest fans and they are the people who will most likely interact with your videos.
That being said, build your YouTube subscriber base. Once you have a stable subscriber list you can also boost your videos popularity by sharing links to your newly published YouTube videos in social media or embed the video on your blog to generate more views.
7. Monetize Your Videos
There are several different type of ads you can choose to appear with your videos. Ads can appear before or during your videos, while your content is playing, and/or as a text or video companion right next to your content.
- TrueView ads allow the users to go directly to your content after 5 seconds.
- Display ads appear to the right of your video.
- Overlay ads appear as a transparent overlay on the lower portion of your video.
The revenue you can make on YouTube Ads varies depending on the type of ads that you choose. For example, a TrueView ad would usually have a higher RPM, compared to a banner ad, since the ad is being played before your video. You can choose the type of ad formats you want for your video when you enable it for monetization.
Here are the steps:
1. Next to the video you want to monetize, click the “Edit” button.
2. In the “Monetization” tab of the video editor, click the “Monetize my video” check box and select the ad formats you want to enable for your video.
3. Then click the ‘Save changes” button in the lower right hand corner.
Once you have enabled your video for monetization it will go through a standard review process before ads begin to appear. During this process you may be asked to submit information proving you own all necessary commercial rights to the content in your video. After your video is approved you will start earning money from the ads.
Video Optimized And Ready To Take Over YouTube
Now that you have a learned the 7 steps to optimizing your videos, go test it out! Practice makes perfect and the more you do it, the better you will get.
Do you have tips to optimize YouTube videos? Let us know. We would love to hear from you.