YouTube has become the second most visited website in existence. There are 1.9 billion logged-in user visits on YouTube every month. Here’s another statistic for you – Cisco predicts that video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2021. If that doesn’t convince you of the importance of utilizing video, I really don’t know what would.
Alright, it’s important. What next?
A good first step is to do some YouTube keyword research. This is completely different than text-based blog keyword research. Rather than relying heavily on search engines, you get most of your views from YouTube suggesting your videos to users. They’re also entirely different platforms. For instance, the amount of people searching for “cute pandas” will be significantly greater in YouTube rather than in Google.
Start with using YouTube suggests, similar to Google suggests. Type a keyword into the search field and get a list of suggestions. If this sounds too simple to be of any good – it isn’t. This technique will tell you the exact keywords people actually search for.
Another free and easy to do method to finding keywords is to visit your competition’s most popular videos on the subject. See what keywords they use in their title, video tags, and description. TubeBuddy is a free extension for Google Chrome that will show you the exact tags of your competitors. Not only that, it will also rank each keyword by how popular it is in YouTube search.
If your YouTube account isn’t brand new, YouTube Analytics can be a goldmine for keyword research. Head on over to your YouTube dashboard, click “Analytics” and then “Traffic Sources” where you will see all the keywords you rank for. Once you know what keywords have previously ranked well for you, you can focus an existing video around that keyword or create an entirely new video for it.
The Importance of Audience Retention
To rank as high as you can on YouTube, audience retention is key. Google has backlinks and other signals to determine the ranking of content, but YouTube must rely on audience retention. One of the first questions you may be asking yourself is, what is the ideal length for my video? The answer may surprise you – longer is actually better.
The longer someone stays on your video, the more likely YouTube will rank your video higher in the search results. A longer video equals more time being spent watching it, bettering your audience retention rate.
Just because it’s long, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In fact it can’t be. It only takes most viewers 15 seconds before they decide if they want to keep watching your video. You can discover when your audience leaves or stays by checking out your “relative audience retention” in YouTube analytics and see where you can improve and what you’re doing right.
YouTube uses CTR as a major factor in determining your ranking. The more clicks the better. Your title is one of the first things people will see, so be sure to make it as unique and relevant as you can. Include your target word, but focus on making your title compelling over including a bunch of keywords. Your title should be at least 5 words long.
Make sure your thumbnail for your video looks professional and eye-catching. You also want an attention grabbing description. YouTube displays the first 125 characters of your description in search results. Be sure to include your keyword in the first 25 words and to make the description at least 250 words.
Promoting your Video
The amount of ways you can market your YouTube videos is pretty amazing. Here are some of the most successful methods:
- Announce new videos in your email newsletters
- Share your videos on social media, link your channel to your social media accounts
- Incorporate videos into your blog posts
- Share your videos on sites such as Quora
And lastly, remember to provide links to your next video, your channel, and ask them to subscribe at the end of every video!
YouTube can prove to be a valuable resource to nearly any type of business. It just takes a little strategy and a lot of practice. If you need help improving your YouTube SEO score, reach out to the us over here at Seattle Web Search! Please leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts concerning YouTube and SEO.
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