There are 4.9 billion videos viewed on YouTube every day. Shockingly, YouTube is somehow still an often forgotten platform for business marketing. But, considering YouTube is the second highest ranking website when it comes to the number of visits it gets (with Google of course being the most visited), I would say it would probably be a good idea to integrate video marketing into your current strategy, if you haven’t already done so.
YouTube, just like Google, is a search engine, which means SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, principles can and should be applied to your video marketing efforts in order to increase your video’s rankings on the site.
Stick around and we will teach you how you can optimize your past, present, and future content in order to increase your ranking and gain more views.
HOW TO GAIN AND TRACK VIEWERS
Find Your Keywords
As we just mentioned, YouTube is a search engine, which means you must make sure to treat it as such. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is get an idea of how your target audience is searching and what keywords, in particular, they are using in their search. Also ask yourself what other combinations or variations of the keywords might the audience use?
Start by going to YouTube and typing a keyword that relates to your content in the search bar. As with Google, suggested searches will pop up as you continue to type. Use this to gain a better understanding of what the most popular terms and phrases are and the complimentary keywords that are used with it.
For even more assistance, try using Ubersuggest in your keyword research. This tool allows you to find alternative keywords, which you can filter by Web, YouTube, Shopping, etc. The results generate more keyword suggestions, along with the term’s volume data, cost-per-click data, seasonality, and more.
Another useful tool that you should take advantage of is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to compare keywords to one another in order to see which ones are searched more frequently. As with Ubersuggest, you can also filter your results to, specifically, a YouTube search option in order to compile data strictly from that search engine. If you haven’t added Google Trends to your digital marketing canon, we’re going to start today. It is an incredibly helpful resource that allows you to see what’s trending in the online world.
Track and Analyze Your YouTube Videos
If you track your Google rankings – which I cross my fingers you do – then you should also track your YouTube rankings. Creating and uploading your content without tracking its results would be like making a lasagna, putting it in the oven, forgetting it, and then letting it go up in flames – a lot of effort gone to waste and nothing to gain from it.
There are several resources out there, both paid and free, that can help you to improve the rankings and the overall SEO of your videos. Tracking your YouTube rankings will allow you to analyze and resolve any flaws in your strategy and, in turn, work to improve your search ranking to gain more views.
YouTube Analytics is a service that YouTube provides to aid you in analyzing your video’s performance and find out more about who is watching. It provides data such as demographics, traffic sources, watch time, what percentage of the viewers are subscribers, and much more. It can even show which video caused a viewer to subscribe.
You can also sync the information gathered by YouTube Analytics with Google Analytics in order to access even more features. There are also third-party analytic tools available that can dive even deeper into your video’s performance metrics.
The Two C’s: Content & Consistency
So many “YouTubers” have made quite a living simply from posting videos on the site. But here’s how they got there: content and consistency. They’ve cracked the code as to what type of content their viewers want to see and they post that content on a consistent basis. You can, and should, take that same approach and apply it to your business’s strategy.
Oftentimes, consistency tends to take a backseat to content. Obviously high quality content is imperative. We get that. Content gains the audience’s attention. But consistency is what draws the audience in and keeps them there. Consistency allows you to stay present in the viewer’s mind. We’re not aiming for a “one hit wonder viral video”. You want to build a subscriber base and forge long-term relationships with those subscribers.
Short is Not Always Sweet
Some may say that viewers will only watch videos that are one to two minutes long. Don’t listen to them. Yes, while videos should not drag on and on and on and on… – okay I think you’ve got the point now – videos should not always be short and sweet either. But, YouTube tends to prefer the longer videos over shorter ones.
YouTube likes videos that are not only of high quality, but are also longer in length. A big reason behind this, of course, is revenue. The longer the video, the more ads they can run. More ads equal more money in the bank for YouTube. Longer videos also mean viewers are on the site for a longer period of time. What this means is that quality videos that run at least five minutes tend to perform better and have a higher chance of ranking in Google searches.
Create Your Playlists
Frequently, YouTube playlists are created based around categories, products, genres, etc. However, you may also find it useful to categorize your content into playlists based around your keyword research findings.
For example, if you have posted a video titled “How to Refinish Your Floor“, you may find it beneficial to create a playlist called “DIY Home Improvement” and locate that video there. So, if anyone searches for “DIY Home Improvement” in the YouTube search engine, your playlist will show up with all the related videos you’ve placed under that category.
The Importance of 48 Hours
YouTube’s algorithm begins to analyze your video immediately after it’s published. They want to get a clear picture of what your video is all about, which means you need to do all you can to ensure your content is viewed as “worthy”. This is why the first 48 hours after the video is published are crucial for its success. For this reason, it is incredibly important that you’ve optimized your video in every way before it is posted. What does it mean to optimize your video? Hold tight. We’re about to cover that in our next section.
Changes, of course, can be made to previous uploads in order to improve them. However, it is much more difficult for those previous uploads to regain traction against those that were optimized to their fullest extent from the get-go.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEOS TO WORK FOR YOU
Your title is what’s going to draw in the viewer’s attention. For this reason, it has got to be exciting and concise. A title that is too wordy will cause the audience to lose interest. They want to know what the video is about and they want to understand that in an instant.
The keyword search you’ve already done will, again, come in handy when coming up with a title. Put your main keyword in the title and try to aim for about 5 words total. Look at what your competitors have titled their videos and use that information to come up with an even better title for yourself!
Along with the title, the thumbnail mage is one of the first things the viewer will see and judge the quality of the video upon. The thumbnail could actually be considered to be even more important than the title. Even if you’ve done an A+ job of applying all of the SEO principles to your video, if your thumbnail is unattractive, a user will not click on it.
Here are some ways in which you can make your thumbnail image more appealing:
- • Add a title and graphics
- • Use professional photos
- • Make sure it is well-lit
- • Incorporate bright colors
- • Use all text
- • Have an unprofessional, grainy image
- • Use colors that clash
As far as what you shouldn’t do in your thumbnail image:
Description, Calls to Action, and Links
The description gives you a chance to further explain and elaborate as to what your video is about and provide specific details, such as what products are shown in the video.
It is important to note that the essential information you want the viewers to see, such as the link to your website, is “above the fold” or simply before the “Show More” expansion prompt.
You should also place a call to action in your description. This is where you should add links to your website, other videos on your channel, your social media accounts, and encourage the viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel. At the end of your video, encourage the viewer to subscribe. You can even add visual clues to show the audience where and how to subscribe. Cards and end screens are a great way to incorporate this!
This brings us to other useful features you should seriously consider adding to your videos: cards and end screens. Cards are notifications that appear within the video to promote your brand or other videos in your channel. End screens are similar in that they also allow you to create links to other videos and promotions, but are placed at the end of the video. You can promote up to four elements at the end screen. For even more information on these features, check out YouTube’s Creator Academy.
Did you know YouTube gives you the ability to provide time-stamped foreign language translations of your video? A lot of people probably haven’t realized that. However, providing foreign language translations is a fantastic way to globalize your content and reach out to a wider audience. Once you upload a translated transcription of the video’s audio, the viewer can follow along through the use of closed captioning, or subtitles.
Tags are the keywords and phrases that you can “attach” to your video so that users who search for those words and phrases are able to find your video. For example, if the video is about hiking in Colorado, you should tag your video with “hiking”, “Colorado”, “hiking in Colorado”, “hiking trails in Colorado”, etc. Now, anytime someone types those words or phrases into YouTube’s search bar, your video will be pulled up. Don’t worry, the tags you’ve placed on the video are not visible to the viewers.
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you already have a YouTube presence but have not fully optimized your previous uploads, now is the time to do it. Go back and make edits to your descriptions, tags, playlists, etc. If you are brand-new to the YouTube game, hopefully now you should feel more confident in starting your channel off on the right foot.
US Logo has a fantastic video department that can film, create, and edit your videos in a way that will help your business to stand out against the competition. Why don’t you check out some of our recent video productions that we have done for our amazing customers here.
So, if you find you want to up your game and guarantee you are providing your audience with the best quality video content, give US Logo a visit at www.uslogo.net.