YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and the second most popular social media platform after Facebook. But you cannot accomplish preset video marketing goals in 2021 only by uploading new videos to YouTube regularly. In addition to uploading unique and engaging video clips, you must keep in place a YouTube search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get more views, likes, and shares. Unlike a website SEO strategy, your YouTube SEO strategy must focus on boosting the visibility and ranking of the video clip in the initial 24 hours.
According to the most recent YouTube statistics posted on Oberlo.in, “500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute worldwide (Tubefilter, 2019). That’s 30,000 hours of video uploaded every hour. And 720,000 hours of video uploaded every day to YouTube.”
Like Google, YouTube aims to deliver the most relevant search results to the searchers. Hence, it considers a slew of factors or signals while ranking a video clip on the search results. The ranking factors considered by Google can be broadly divided into two categories – relevance and performance. YouTube determines the relevance of your video clip according to the search query based on its title, description, and content.
At the same time, it also considers the performance of your video clip based on how much time the searcher spends on watching the video clip and how much of the video the searcher watches. While looking for YouTube SEO tips and tricks for 2021, you must consider relevance as well as performance metrics. Also, you need to ensure that YouTube SEO techniques used by you do not violate the latest guidelines of Google and YouTube.
Include Primary Keyword in Video Title
Before comparing the search results, searchers understand the nature and content of the video based on its title. That is why; YouTube uses video title as a key metric to determine the relevance of the video clip for search queries. Your YouTube SEO strategy must focus on optimizing the video title for both search engines and social media. Instead of forming random titles, you must include the primary keyword in the video title. However, you need to ensure that both human searchers and search crawlers can understand the video title clearly.
Include Keywords in Video Description
The video search engine gathers information about a video clip by reading its textual description. While uploading a video clip, you have the option to describe the content in 250 words. The restriction makes it essential for you to keep the video description precise and accurate. At the same time, you must optimize the video description for search engines by including both primary and secondary keywords. You must include the primary keyword at least three times while ensuring the keyword appears in the first 30 words. Also, you must include 4 to 5 secondary keywords in the video title.
Include Keywords in Video Tags
As descriptive keywords, tags add context to your videos. While searching for videos, searchers refer to the video tags to understand the nature and context of the video clips. You have the option to add a large number of tags to your video while uploading it to YouTube. But you can use tags as an efficient YouTube SEO technique by adding both primary and secondary keywords. The seasoned digital marketers add the primary keyword to the video tags at least once. But they optimize the video for search engines by including 8 to 10 secondary keywords in the tags. The secondary keywords increase the chances of your video clip appearing in the related video sidebar.
Include Social Media Links in Video Description
Unlike Google, YouTube does not consider the number and quality of backlinks while ranking videos on search results. But you have the option to include social media links in the video’s description. The social media link will help searchers to gather additional information about your business or organization. Also, you can leverage the option to generate high-quality backlinks to your website.
Add Videos to Playlists
When you upload videos regularly, it becomes essential to help viewers or searchers to see all videos related to a particular topic. You must create playlists by adding similar or related videos. For instance, you must add the videos related to SEO by creating a dedicated playlist. The playlist will help you to get more views for multiple video clips. Also, the videos included in the playlist will rank higher on YouTube search results based on the secondary keywords included in the video descriptions.
Change the Auto-Generated Thumbnail
The searchers and viewers can gather information about your video clip quickly by seeing the thumbnail as a quick snapshot of the video. While uploading a video, YouTube automatically generates the thumbnail. Also, the video search engine allows you to change and customize the auto-generated thumbnail. You cannot directly increase a video’s search engine visibility by using a customized thumbnail image. But the customized thumbnail will help you to make the videos more clickable.
Focus on Video Length and Outline
The massive popularity of short-form video apps makes many marketers post short videos on YouTube. But several studies suggest that longer videos appear higher on YouTube search results than shorter videos.
According to Backlinko.com, “Longer videos significantly outperform shorter videos. The average length of a first page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.”
However, you also need to work on the outline of the longer video clips to keep the viewers interested and engaged. The video outline will persuade viewers to spend more time on your YouTube channel.
Make Viewers Engage with Your Video
YouTube has not revealed if it uses comments as a key ranking signal. But several studies suggest that YouTube uses comments as one of the key factors to assess relevance and engagement.
According to Backlinko.com, “The more comments a video has, the higher it tends to rank. Considering YouTube’s emphasis on user engagement, this result isn’t a big surprise.”
Hence, your YouTube SEO strategy must boost engagements by requesting viewers to like, subscribe, and post comments. While creating videos, you must create opportunities to get comments and start discussions by asking questions. However, it is also important to engage with the viewers by replying to their comments proactively.
Focus on Branding the YouTube Channels
While exploring YouTube SEO tips, you must focus on providing your YouTube channels with both identity and credibility. You must implement a branding strategy for creating high quality and niche content. Before creating a video, you must ask a slew of questions to know what makes similar videos go viral. At the same time, you must make the YouTube channel stand out in the crowd by creating a logo, adding profile pictures, and linking it to your social media profiles. You can even build a strong brand by connecting YouTube videos to your blogs.
Request Viewers to Subscribe Using Cards
You can use cards to deliver a variety of preformatted notifications to viewers as they watch your video clip. YouTube allows you to use a variety of cards – video cards, link cards, channel cards, and playlist cards. The smarter digital marketers leverage cards to deliver scripted and clickable call-to-action. You can use the card to increase watch time by recommending the viewer to watch another video uploaded by you. Also, you can design cards to request the viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
Extend Watch Time Using End Screen
While looking for YouTube SEO tips, you must leverage the end screen option to extend the watch time on your YouTube channel. The end screen option will display relevant video clips to the viewer when the current video is about to end. You can include an end screen to promote up to five video clips on your YouTube channel. When you recommend and suggest videos to the viewer, she will continue watching videos without switching to another YouTube channel. You can further keep the viewers engaged using a variety of end screen templates for YouTube.
Leverage YouTube Analytics
You must remember that YouTube SEO is an ongoing and long-term process. Your YouTube SEO strategy must focus on boosting the visibility of both new and old videos on search results. You can easily monitor and evaluate the performance of YouTube promotional campaigns using YouTube Analytics. The YouTube analytics solutions help you to know the increase in video views, an increase in the number of subscribers, which video clips are getting more views, and which video clips did not meet expectations. The actionable insights gained using YouTube Analytics help you to create better videos and optimize them for video search engines.
While evaluating YouTube SEO tips and tricks for 2021, you must remember that Google updated YouTube search algorithm frequently. Every YouTube search algorithm change will impact the visibility of your video clip immediately. That is why; you need to monitor, evaluate, and finetune the YouTube SEO strategy regularly to get more views, likes, and shares. You also need to keep an eye on the important SEO trends to keep yourself updated.