YouTube is the second best search engine and has millions of visitors. Here are some quick tips to SEO optimize your videos for YouTube.
1. Keywords and description
As a first step, find out keywords which are relevant for your video. These should be Video Keywords meaning keywords which when entered in Google Search, render videos in the first SERP (Search Engine Result Page) e.g. ‘How to’, ‘tutorial’, ‘funny’ etc. This would brought traffic from not just from YouTube but from Google search as well.
As of now YouTube cannot ‘listen’ or ‘view’ the videos to decide its ranking. It relies profoundly on the description of the video to understand its topic. Use targeted keywords in the title and in the description of the video. Provide an elaborative description; as long as 800 words; where keywords are used repeatedly. Include timeline of the video which informs which topic is appears when in the video. This again increases occurrences of keywords. If possible, include keywords in the name of the video.
YouTube asks for tags for the video while uploading it. Provide 5-6 highly relevant tags instead of too many less relevant ones. It is recommended to use keywords decided in the earlier step as tags.
3. User actions
YouTube gives importance to how users react to the video. Do they watch it for significant duration; aka ‘Watch Time’; do they ‘Like’ it, do they subscribe for the channel or do they share it. ‘Subscriptions’ have an upper hand over ‘Likes’. Also, ‘Watch Time’ is preferred instead of link visit to calculate ‘Views’. Promote likes and subscriptions at the end of each video. Share your videos on social and professional websites. This helps in gathering more viewers.
4. Transcripts and annotations
YouTube allows uploading transcript file for the video. They are converted into captions for the video. Transcripts help Google understand what is in the video and helps in SEO ranking.
Include annotations to engage users for longer time. Annotations can also be used to link other videos. However, create them in unobtrusive way.
Multiple videos can be organized in a playlist. A keyword-rich playlist increases chances of viewers watching the video.