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YouTube SEO: 3 Steps to Optimize Your YouTube Channel

There is no question about the influence that YouTube has had on internet users over the past decade. From laughing babies to training tutorials, the possibilities of YouTube videos available to the world are endless. Yet with more than 100 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it becomes much more difficult to actually generate views and popularity than simply pressing upload.

Becoming an online sensation takes strategic planning and effectively utilizing YouTube SEO strategies. By applying the following 3 steps to a YouTube channel, one can be well on their way to internet virality.

Optimize Your YouTube Channel

Getting a name and brand out to the public in an efficient and easily understandable manner is the first step to generating popularity. Start the YouTube SEO optimization by creating a video trailer about your brand that conveys the company’s purpose and goal. In doing this, viewers are able to quickly gain a sense of who the company is and what they are doing.

Next, take the time to clean up and optimize the About section. The beginning of your channel description will appear most frequently in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s), so make sure to use relevant keywords upfront. In addition, add links to social media pages or contact information such as Facebook, Twitter, email addresses, etc., to maximize your brand’s resources.

Optimize Your YouTube Videos

Once the YouTube channel is established, the next focus should be optimizing each individual video. To do so, properly optimize the metadata using efficient video titles, descriptions and tags in order to make the pages more easily discoverable. Keep video titles short and sweet (under 66 characters) and directly related to the overall purpose of the video. Be sure to create a 500-800 word description that will give a unique overview of the footage. Video tags should be added to properly represent the video using keywords that most effectively describe the key topics and characters. Titles, descriptions and tags should all include relevant keywords. To ensure that your keyword choices are the best option for the video, use tools such as Google Trends to check what keywords have the most relevance.

Lastly, thumbnails are the first visual that viewers come across when searching for videos, making them a crucial component in optimizing YouTube videos. Choose thumbnails that reinforce the video title in order to create a cohesive experience. To ensure high quality and relevant thumbnails, incorporate the following YouTube SEO suggestions to the video thumbnails:

  • Clear and in-focus
  • Bright with high-contrast
  • Close-up of faces
  • Good composition
  • Looks great in both large and small sizes

Engage with Your Viewers

The internet, and YouTube especially, has created a space that allows people to interact with one another in a way like never before. This ability to engage audiences is a key reason that YouTube has gained the popularity and success that it has over the span of its existence. Creators have the ability to speak to their audience and incorporate thoughts and ideas into their work. Actively engaging with viewers keeps creators informed about what people are interested in and ultimately benefit their brand exponentially.  Lastly, since YouTube’s ranking algorithm takes into consideration view time of the video, it is crucial to work towards keeping people interested in the channel. In order to draw viewers to your channel and keep them coming back, we recommend implementing these engagement tips to your YouTube channel:

  • Consistently create new content
  • Respond to comments in a timely manner
  • Include annotations in videos (background information, links to related sites, links to “Subscribe”)
  • Create playlist’s to increase “watch time”

YouTube has more than 1 billion unique users and over 6 billion hours of video viewed each month.  Take advantage of this audience by optimizing your YouTube channel and videos, which will help the videos rank higher in search engine results pages.  Generating visitors and viewers to your channel can be a daunting task. Applying the YouTube SEO tips above will increase pay off dividends in time.