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So you have a beautifully executed video. Now what? It’s time to share it to YouTube, the internet’s biggest and most popular video sharing site. But before you hit upload, there are a few things you ought to consider in order to make sure your video is found and watched by the viewers you want to attract.
What follows are some easy ways to boost your SEO through optimizing your video on YouTube.
Optimizing your video content is similar to optimizing written content – you need to pay attention to the keywords. This means identifying which words you want your video to rank for when people search YouTube or a search engine for content.
Once you have your main keyword identified, the first place you ought to place it is in the video file name itself. Why? Because YouTube can’t specifically identify how relevant your video content is to your keyword. It can, however, read your video’s file name as well as all the code that comes with it when uploaded.
With this in mind, you ought to name your video file something relevant to your desired keyword – whether it be long tail or short tail. For example, if you want to rank for “dog training tips” you might call your file “dog-training-tips” followed by your preferred video file type.
When someone searches for videos, one of the very first things they’re drawn to is the video title. The title often determines whether or not a potential viewer will click on your content. This means your title must be clear, concise, and compelling.
Though your chosen keyword does play a major part in your video title, it’s essential that your title matches what your potential viewers are searching for as well. You can’t just stuff a bunch of keywords in your title and expect your viewers to click through. Your title needs to appeal to humans as well as the search algorithm.
At the end of the day, you should include your main keyword in your title but do so as naturally as possible. Don’t sacrifice readability for the sake of SEO.
YouTube video descriptions have an official character limit of 1000 characters. While it’s generally okay to utilize all of this space, you must remember that people likely arrived on your page to watch a video rather than read an essay.
In the case you do go with a longer description, you should be mindful that YouTube only displays the first two to three lines of text. This means only about 100 characters. Beyond that, people have to click “show more” to view the whole description. For this reason, it’s recommended you front-load the description with your most important information such as CTAs or crucial links.
While there’s been no definitive evidence to suggest that keywords play a role in descriptions, you should still be optimizing your video descriptions nonetheless. A keyword-optimized description will help you show up in the suggested videos sidebar which is a major source of views for a lot of channels.
Tags serve a dual purpose: they let viewers know what your video’s about but they also help YouTube contextualize your content as well. YouTube uses video tags to understand the context and content of your video, so you have to choose your tags wisely.
Through tags, YouTube determines how to associate your videos with similar content which can exponentially broaden your video’s reach.
This isn’t to say you should spam your tags with trending topics. Using irrelevant tags is unlikely to get you more views because your content doesn’t match the tag you use. In fact, Google and other search engines can even penalize you for using irrelevant tags.
When choosing your tags, you should lead with your most crucial keywords. You should also include a mix of common and more long-tail keywords. This ensures you’re covering all your SEO bases.
Categorizing a video is possible through YouTube’s “advanced settings”. Properly categorizing your video is another way YouTube determines how to group your content with other videos. This can result in your videos being published to different playlists or being recommended through similar channels.
Putting your video in the correct category takes a little bit of investigation. You should go through a comprehensive process to determine which category your video belongs in. It can help to think about what works well in each category.
You should ask questions such as:
● Who are the most popular creators within the category? What are they known for?
● Who is watching the channels in a particular category? Do they have things in common?
● Do the videos within a specific category share qualities such as length, production value, or format?
Your thumbnail is the first thing your potential viewers will see when scrolling through their list of video results. Along with your title, your thumbnail sends a clear signal to the potential viewer as to the video’s content. Because of this, your thumbnail can greatly influence how many clicks and views your video gets.
While it is possible to choose one of the thumbnail options that YouTube auto-generates, it’s recommended that you upload a custom thumbnail. Most of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.
Your image ought to be 1280x720 pixels and should be saved at 2MB or smaller. Your thumbnail can be a jpeg, gif, bmp, or png file. By following these guidelines, you ensure your thumbnail image will appear correctly across multiple viewing platforms.
It’s important to note that your YouTube channel must be verified if you want to upload a custom thumbnail image.
YouTube is a great way to reach your target audience with your video content but it requires a bit of skill to ensure your content is found by the right people. Now you know a few easy ways you can boost your video’s SEO and increase your content’s reach.
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