In this post I’m going to provide you with some easy to follow tips for improving your YouTube SEO. I’m going to describe what changes you can and should be making to rank your YouTube videos for maximum traffic, views, subscribers, and interaction. Before you go any further, download this YouTube SEO cheatsheet. It goes into much more depth and contains a lot of tips that I haven’t covered here.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, and Google owns YouTube. Video marketing is HUGE and is growing bigger but if you want your videos to be found among the millions that exist they need to be optimised for searches. Just as we have to fine tune our websites for SEO purposes, we also have to ensure our videos are checked and tweaked to exploit every chance of being found and viewed. YouTube SEO then is simply the processes of optimising videos so that they have the best possible chance of being found. Found, not just in the search results but also in the list of suggested videos that YouTube shows you when you’ve viewed another video.
There isn’t room in this post to go into a description of keywords and phrases. I’m going to assume you’ve found your chosen keyword. However, if you want a tool that helps you with keyword research then try Long Tail Pro. I use it every week and have foundsome rich pickings using it. Anyway, I presume you know to which search terms you want your video to appear in the search results. For the purpose of this post let’s assume you’ve made one about horse riding for beginners. Perhaps you’ve chosen the title ‘Horse Riding Tips For Beginners‘ because that’s a keyword phrase that your target keyword phrase. You get the general idea. So your keyword phrase should be used three times:
So you’ve named your video by using your keyword first followed by other key terms to a maximum of 100 characters. Next, add the description. You have 5,000 characters for this so use as much as you can. Repeat the keyword title and then give a full and accurate description. Treat this description with the same diligence and attention to detail as you would any blog post or article. Proofread it for any spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors. Be sure to include any links to your author or business sites but don’t over do the links. Remember that Google looks for content that is relevant, useful, and original.
Once your description is complete add the relevant tags. Don’t be tempted to add tags that are not relevant to your content. You aren’t going to attract more traffic by adding irrelevant tags. Also, by effectively spamming your tag area you risk having your account suspended if you use this and other underhand techniques. You have a total of 500 characters to fill up in the tag section so use it wisely.
End Screens are often overlooked by those in a rush to simply upload their videos and hope for the best. End screens are those small hyperlinked images that appear near the end of a video, about 20 seconds from the end. You can add several of these if you wish. The options are:
An approved website is one that Google/YouTube have identified as belonging to you. This might have been verified through Google Webmasters site. If you need any help with that, post a comment below. Cards are those little icons that appear throughout the videos in my channel. Look at the white circle containing an ‘i’ in the top right hand corner of the videos. Click that and you’ll see the cards I’ve added to this video. There may be one or several linking to approved websites. Like End Screens they could also link to playlists, videos, subscription links, or channels. So, to summarise so far, you’ve added nice long title, a full description, relevant tags, end screens, and cards.
– Add the video to a playlist. – Share it on social media – Encourage others to share it – Respond promptly to comments – Encourage interaction in the comments – Be responsive and friendly, even to negative criticism – Share your video in relevant forums, Facebook pages, Google+ communities When sharing in forums etc respect the rules and don’t argue if your video is deleted. The site’s owners have their rules and it’s best to abide by them.
Finally, don’t forget YouTube’s own free tuition on developing a channel. It takes a while to work through each lesson but there is much to be learned from it.
Twitter hashtag hours are an example of simple idea that is both useful and free to use. Simply send your tweet in a sixty minute window each week to reach businesses and individuals in a given area. It’s a great way to network and make new contacts.
As the idea has caught on it has spawned hundreds of new hashtags. Each one seeks to act as a focal point for a particular geographic area or a niche interest.
Some accounts have been duplicated while others have fallen into disuse. As with all things in cyberspace it’s a good idea to check the data for integrity every now and then.
The list below is for the weekly area or county hashtag hours in the UK. I compiled this list from another I found online but it quickly became apparent that the list I was about to use was out of date. It contained duplicate entries and other errors so I have checked each hashtag against the Twitter account the manages it.
Times are UK local time. If you spot any errors or find any other regional hashtags please let me know in the comments below and I’ll update the list.
There are hashtag hours for all kinds of interests. For example, if horses are your thing there is #EquineHour every Sunday 8-9pm,
#HorseHour every Monday at 8-9pm, #EquestrianHour to connect with horse lovers & equestrian businesses worldwide every Wednesday 8-9pm, and #RiderHour every Thursday 8-9pm
If your topic of interest is covered then there’s nothing to stop you from opening a Twitter account and starting a new hour of your own.