Ever notice that sometimes when you search for something on Google, YouTube videos are among the top results?
Google doesn’t display just any random YouTube video in these search results. Videos must rank high on YouTube for that particular search term to appear in related Google searches. This makes a YouTube SEO strategy vital to your overall SEO strategy. Below is everything you need to know to leverage YouTube for SEO.
The Power of YouTube in Your SEO Strategy
Online video consumption is increasing, with people spending an average of 17 hours per week watching videos online. Most of this video-watching activity occurs on the largest online video-sharing site–YouTube, which boasts more than 2.5 billion active users. ClearVoice’s study on Millennials’ Social Habits found that YouTube is the second most preferred app for watching videos after Facebook.
This makes it a powerful platform for businesses to reach their target audience and drive website traffic. People regularly visit the site to find videos on how to fix things, learn something new, solve a problem, or simply be entertained.
If your videos are successful, it can greatly benefit your SEO. YouTube videos rank in Google search results, just like regular web pages. As Google owns YouTube, the Google algorithm naturally prioritizes videos from YouTube in relevant search results. So when you create high-quality YouTube videos and optimize them for search, there’s a good chance they will appear prominently on the results page for related Google searches.
Steps to Incorporate YouTube into Your SEO Strategy
Let’s break down the vital steps to start using YouTube for SEO.
Step 1: Keyword Research for YouTube
Use keyword research tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest. Keep in mind that there may be slight variations in the terms people use to search on Google and the terms they use within YouTube. So enrich your keyword research with data from dedicated YouTube SEO tools such as TubeBuddy.
Step 2: Optimizing Video Titles and Descriptions
Search engines look through your YouTube video titles and descriptions to make sense of the content and rank it in relevant searches. For example, using the keyword “fitness regime” would let the search engine know that the video is, in fact, related to fitness regimes. So an essential step is to incorporate your target keywords as naturally as possible, just as you would in a regular conversation. Ensure your titles and descriptions are clear and concise so users and search engines easily understand what the video is all about.
Step 3: Leveraging YouTube Video Tags
Another way to improve your SEO for YouTube is by adding relevant tags that would allow YouTube to get an even better idea of what your video is about. This would help the algorithm to understand when it should display your video to users looking for something similar.
You can use YouTube tags to add additional keywords to your videos, but make sure not to go overboard. Some experts recommend keeping the number of tags between 31 and 40. Of course, all the tags you use should be highly relevant to the content, which means you shouldn’t add them just for the sake of it.
Step 4: Encouraging User Engagement
User engagement is a key ranking factor in YouTube SEO. When people enjoy your content or find it valuable, they’re ideally going to like, comment, and share it. As such, this type of engagement serves as a signal to YouTube that your content is valuable to those viewers. This makes the algorithm is more likely to display your videos to people who are searching for something similar.
The more people watch, like, comment, and share your videos, the higher your videos will rank in search results. This makes it crucial to encourage viewers to engage with your videos by liking them, leaving comments, and sharing them with others.
Step 5: Measuring and Analyzing the Success of Your YouTube SEO Strategy
Keep track of how your YouTube contributes to your overall SEO strategy to see what works and what doesn’t to fine-tune your efforts. Looking at your video views and engagement rates is the first step to understanding the impact of your strategy. An increase in these numbers is a sign that you’re on the right track.
Another essential step is to look at your YouTube referral traffic or the traffic coming from YouTube to your website. An increase in this number indicates that your YouTube SEO strategy is paying off. This means that more people are discovering your videos in search and are eventually landing on your site from those videos.
Optimizing YouTube Content for Better SEO Results
In addition to optimizing your titles, descriptions, and tags, improve your YouTube SEO strategy by optimizing your content. This means creating relevant, high-quality videos, building an active YouTube channel, and incorporating CTAs in your videos.
Creating High-Quality Videos
Be honest—which would you enjoy more?
- A mobile-recorded video that keeps shaking and going out of focus, and you can barely make out what they’re saying
- A studio-recorded video that’s clear and precise, with crisp audio and coordinating captions to boot
If you’re like most people, you’re likely to stick around for the second video and possibly even engage with it. That’s the power of high-quality videos.
When creating your videos, use good lighting, sound, and editing. The same goes for videos that incorporate animation and graphics. The content of the videos should add value to your viewers’ lives by providing credible and helpful information or outstanding entertainment.
Building an Active Youtube Channel
The more active your YouTube channel, the more likely it ranks higher in search results. When you publish content regularly, you more effectively give your viewers what they want by pushing out videos that address their biggest needs and concerns while keeping up with the latest trends.
Consistency is vital, so create a content calendar and follow a set publishing schedule and upload new videos regularly. This shows Google that your channel is active and keeps your audience engaged with fresh content. Remember that it’s not enough to simply publish content. You have to interact with your viewers in the comments section and build an engaged community of viewers.
Incorporating CTA in Your Videos
Sometimes, a gentle nudge is all you need to get more people to engage with your videos or even check out your other videos. So make sure to include a call to action (CTA) encouraging people to like your video, hit the subscribe button, and watch related videos from your channel. This effective strategy drives more engagements, which contributes to better SEO results overtime.
Case Studies: Successful YouTube SEO Strategies
Many marketers have used YouTube to achieve massive SEO wins. Here are two examples:
Case Study #1: Neil Patel
Neil Patel is a digital marketing expert who has used YouTube and blogging to build his brand and grow his business. He regularly uploads informative YouTube videos on topics related to digital marketing and provides valuable tips and tricks. His YouTube channel currently boasts 1.16 million subscribers and over 55 million views. As a result of his solid YouTube SEO strategy, his website sees the biggest social media traffic from YouTube (38.69%).
Case Study #2: KalariLab
KalariLab is an online martial arts school that was struggling with low conversion rates despite influencer marketing and paid ads. They began ramping up their YouTube SEO strategy with competitor keyword research. After a calculated video SEO approach combined with off-platform promotions, the channel went from 2,000 views a year to 2,400+ views a day in just over one month.
Leveraging YouTube for SEO Success
YouTube is a robust platform that can help businesses reach their target audience, drive traffic to their website, and improve their overall digital marketing performance. To maximize YouTube’s impact on your SEO strategy, you need to produce high-quality content at scale.