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How to optimize videos for YouTube

How to optimize videos for YouTube

With a rise in the kind of content being published, the race for getting better rankings is becoming increasingly relentless. What used to be limited to just Google Search Results has trickled down into other platforms like YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, and more. As content guidelines are being updated, so is the type of content being published. 

And with the newest genre of “influencers” out there, working on YouTube has become one of the biggest things. So, how do you make sure that your videos end up in front of the right eyeballs? Well, the answer is simple; YouTube optimization or YouTube SEO, as they call it. Like Google, there are some tips and tricks of the trade that you can use for YouTube optimization.

In the article

1. Search for the right keywords

Like any SEO optimization, YouTube needs the right keywords in the right places. So, if you already have a topic finalized, make sure to use the various keyword research tools to help you decide the right target keywords as per your audience’s interests. And if you are already well acquainted with your space, the right keywords you want to target are already in your mind.

2. Use the correct keywords in your title

To make sure your video always shows up in search results, you have to use the right keywords in the video title. Ensuring that the title makes sense while using the target keyword is the best way to go. One way to rank better and higher is to use keywords with lower competition than some generic ones.

3. Optimize your video description

The next step is to make sure your video description is relevant. You can keep an entire script, the transcript, or just a brief intro about your video. If you are making a video listicle, you can even write the requisite points into the video description.

4. Analyze your competition

Not admitting that there is competition on YouTube is like acknowledging that cows don’t give milk. To make sure that your video does better, you have to outrank and outperform your competitors. Analyzing their videos, descriptions, dialogue delivery, presentation, and all the other details will only help you fine-tune your content after preliminary scripting. Understanding which videos of your competitors are the top performers and why they are the top performers is where you determine the “Why does it rank?”. So, like any startup, analyzing your competitors is one of the critical things to make sure of doing.

5. Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic

Hashtagging or simply tagging a video has become a phenomenon of its own. Some of them have gone on to create revolutions of their own. It categorizes and indexes your video and allows it to show up only for relevant queries. Searching the exact keywords or tags will make the search narrower, and it might increase the chances of your YouTube video coming higher up the rankings. So, tagging will increase your chances of accessing new audiences.

6. Categorize your video

When you are starting with YouTube, the Creator Academy allows you to understand the various ways videos are categorized. This could fall into the length, the topic, the competition, and many other directions.

7. Upload a custom thumbnail image

Previously, the thumbnail on a YouTube search result used to be one of the scenes from the actual video. However, as content creation has evolved, the overall bar for creativity has been set high. So now, you can design a custom thumbnail for every video, and YouTube will show that banner every time someone searches. So, to make sure your users can understand what you want them to remember, use a custom-designed thumbnail image.

A step further, a pattern has also emerged where the custom thumbnail uses four specific colors to stand out to the user. They are called BOGY (Blue, Orange, Green, and Yellow). This is because it stands out from the conventional Black, White, and Red color scheme of YouTube. Hence, it instantly pops out to the user and manages to garner their attention. Whether they click can subconsciously be decided by the choice of standing out or blending in.

8. Use an SRT file to add subtitles & closed captions

Sometimes, your potential audience does not speak your tongue. A video can generate 48% in terms of overall intended action. So, adding captions or subtitles makes your video relevant to audiences that do not understand your vocal delivery. If you manage to do a product demonstration video, you are already on track for 57% more conversion. But add subtitles to the mix, and you automatically become more relevant for the video to get the intended action. It will also result in a 40% increase in the watching time of your YouTube Video.

9. Add cards and end screens to increase viewership

It is often said that the devil is in the details. With YouTube, that cannot be truer. Because small things like adding cards or end screens to videos automatically improve the likelihood of a subscription. The term used is called “YouTube Rabbit Hole”. Adding relevant cards and end screens allows you to expand your video’s possibility of succeeding in YouTube search results. There are several types of cards:

  • Video or playlist: A way of starting the rabbit hole or increase your views
  • Channel: Promote your own channel, an associate channel, or someone else’s channel
  • Donation: Encourage viewers to donate to a cause via a non-profit or an NGO
  • Poll: Engage viewers by giving them a chance to decide on what they can get to see
  • Link: Add a link to a website on your YouTube videos

10. Optimize for Google Search

YouTube, being a Google product, allows your video to get noticed in Google Search. So, while optimizing for YouTube, using an alternate approach to search on Google should be done. Some of the most critical factors, include:

  • Content relevance
  • Well placed and definitive keywords
  • Questions around the topic are being answered
  • The loading time on the requisite device is optimal
  • Images add value to the content
  • Usage of infographics, animations, and relatable graphics
  • The length of the content is relevant – not too long, and not too short

So, while you may not be able to change the user interface of YouTube, you can still make sure that the content in the video adheres to the norms that the people of your industry will appreciate.

Is YouTube optimization a real thing?

With the way Google is rolling out updates for most of its products, it is only natural that YouTube will get the same treatment. Hence, the need for optimization arises. So, Yes! YouTube Optimization is a big thing, and if you use it properly you could reach the top.

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Written by Bhavik Soni

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