YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet, second only to Google itself. Many people people use YouTube for video marketing, to promote their own websites or to develop a career as a YouTuber.
Whatever the reason, your marketing efforts won’t mean much if nobody watches your videos. Today we’re going to have a look at how to use SEO on your videos for better rankings and more views.
How to Write Video Titles
Video titles are very important but there is a balance that you need to keep in mind. Some people leave out keywords in their titles completely and just focus on clickbait. Others don’t worry about a thrilling title at all and just stuff it with keywords. I think there can be a happy medium here. Videos with keywords in their titles tend to rank better but those with an appealing title may receive more clicks.
You also need to remember that titles which are too long will be truncated. The official YouTube limit for video titles is 100 characters but anything over 70 characters will be truncated in most listings. Try to keep your titles under 70 characters if you can. Include a keyword while still making the title as appealing to click on as possible.
Video File Names
The file name of a video is also important for SEO purposes but I’m surprised how many people neglect to change the file name to something appropriate. This applies to images that you upload to your website as well as video file names.
If your rendering software creates a generic name such as vid001.mp4 as your file name then make sure you change it to the main keyword you’re targeting. It’s ok to add numbers or additional info to the file name such as ‘mainkeyword-ep1’. Just make sure the main keyword is there.
Video descriptions are one of the main ways that YouTube determines what your video is about. Not only will it show up in some of the video listings but will be used by Google for video ranking purposes.
Only a certain amount of the description can be seen by viewers unless they click the “show more” link but you still need a good amoun of quality content here to propel your video up the rankings. It’s highly recommended to have at least 300 words of content in the description describing what your video is about. You can also include a call to action and link to your website which I highly recommend.
Make sure you include your main keyword near the beginning of the description and also some other related keywords throughout the text. At the very least this will lift your video up the YouTube and Google rankings a few notches.
Make Use of Video Tags
In the past people used to put their tags in the description. This is no longer allowed by YouTube but you do have a ‘Tags’ section where you can include your keywords and related words.
Make good use of this as you never know where your viewers will come from. You have enough room here for around 12 to 15 keywords or phrases so make sure you flesh it out as this gives YouTube and indication of where your video should be shown.
The Snowball Effect
It may seem unfair but smaller, lesser known YouTubers, will have a harder time ranking their videos than bigger YouTubers. The reason for this is that it takes a certain amount of views for YouTube to access how well your videos do. If you have a base of at least a few thousand subscribers who watch your videos as you post them, then this will act as a starting point for YouTube to begin listing your video in the search results.
What does that mean for small YouTubers? All this means is that it will take a little bit more work to get started. The great thing about it is that once you start having some success, further success will come more easily. Build up your subscriber base and as you do you’ll get more video views and YouTube will begin to rank your videos higher.