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7 Tips to Drive YouTube SEO

In the blog post here, we previously discussed how video content can often be an overlooked SEO opportunity for many websites. To further support the importance of YouTube videos, a 2022 study found that Youtube.com is the second most-visited site in Singapore after Google. So how can a digital marketer achieve success on this platform? Here are 7 tips for you to drive SEO value out of your content:  

Conduct Keyword Research

Most of YouTube SEO is similar to search engine optimization,  it’s all about relevance and showing up for the micro-moments — understanding exactly what your audience is searching for. What value will they get out of clicking your video?

To get an idea of what people are interested in, type your keyword into YouTube’s search bar and it will suggest popular related keywords. These keywords will come in handy when you craft your video title. 

Next, improve the number of views you receive by optimising your video to also rank on Google, the most popular search engine. As a guide, Google tends to display results for these types of keywords:

  • “How to”:  How to make Dalgona coffee
  • Reviews: AirPods review
  • Tutorials: Draw winged eyeliner
  • Fitness/sports-related: pilates
  • Funny videos: cute animals

If there are video results on Google, use Google Keyword Planner to determine target keywords that have high search volume, to drive high-quality traffic to your video and ultimately your website.

Create Consistent, Quality Long-Form Content

Another ranking factor that Google and YouTube have in common is content length. Google favours content-rich sites, while YouTube prefers longer videos (5 minutes or more) over shorter ones. Videos that are at least 5 minutes long tend to perform better and as well as have a higher chance of ranking on Google searches.

Besides rankings and views, the content that you create also plays a part in building a subscriber base and forming long-term relationships with viewers. Consistency is key — deliver quality content regularly to retain your audience. 

Optimise Video Titles & Descriptions

The video title is one of the first things that drive a click, so it should be clear and compelling. As a good practice, ensure that there are at least 5 words in the title, and include your target keyword here.

The video description helps Google and YouTube understand the context of your video so you can rank better. It also helps if the description is at least 250 words (remember to include your target keywords here without being spammy!). 

Bonus tip: Don’t stop at a text description, expand the information in the video with links/call-to-actions to your website and other desired channels to help drive traffic there. Include the “http” or https” in your link to ensure it is clickable for the user.

Upload A (Custom) Thumbnail 

Besides the title, an attractive thumbnail image in high-resolution attracts clicks. For optimum results, use a custom thumbnail image (you’ll need to be YouTube-verified to use this feature) that is captivating. While you can use fun graphics and text, research has shown that 30% more people press play on videos with custom human thumbnails than those without

Tag Your Video

Tags help to let viewers know what your video is about.  While they are only visible in the source code, the primary reason is that tags help YouTube and Google understand what the video is about. This allows YouTube to associate your video with similar videos and broaden your content’s reach. 

Tag your video with popular, relevant keywords. Use the exact target keyword and variations of its words and phrases. Here’s another tip. Check out the tags your competitors are using to get some ideas! 

Categorise Your Video

Categorising your video under YouTube’s advanced settings is another way to group your content with similar videos on YouTube so it shows up in different playlists and gains more eyeballs by viewers who identify with your audience. 

To determine which category your video belongs in, consider if audiences of similar channels have any characteristics in common, or whether videos in a similar category have the same length, format or production value. 

Add Cards & End Screens 

You may have seen cards appear on the top right of the screen while watching a video. Did you wonder what they are for? These can be used to promote your brand via a link, specific video, playlist or channel. Cards are designed to complement your video and enhance the viewer’s experience with relevant information.

End screens appear towards the end of the video and offer more visual details. They are the call-to-actions, used to promote other videos, encourage people to subscribe, and much more. However, it is worth noting that your designated end screen may not always be shown as YouTube tests end screens based on factors such as performance, devices and context, to optimise viewer experience. 

Find your guide on more information about cards and end screens from YouTube. 

In conclusion, after all the heavy optimisation work, you should find out how your videos are now performing with YouTube Analytics. Combined with Google Analytics, these will provide insights that can help you continuously tweak and improve your strategy. 

Want to increase the SEO value of your YouTube videos? Reach out to us.