YouTube SEO does it even exist?

It is not only the largest video platform in the world, but is also the second largest search engine in the world. Therefore, the question is justified whether videos can also be optimized for this search engine to gain more reach.

Of course, you can optimize your videos for YouTube search to get more visibility on the platform. We will show you what to look out for and what is important in search engine optimization for YouTube.

Our Best Practices for YouTube SEO

  • Add manual subtitles to your videos. Because this way the algorithm can read the content and rank it better. Therefore, let relevant keywords already flow in here. Moreover, it also ensures improved engagement rates as it makes your video accessible to more groups.

  • Add chapter markers to your video. Especially if you cover more layers of a topic, these are extremely helpful for viewers. They also make it easier to rewind to specific points of interest.

  • Another important factor is the thumbnail. So you should make this as appealing as possible so that users will click on it. However, avoid clickbait, because it’s not appreciated.

  • Include keywords in the relevant places. Keywords should be used in video file name, video title, video description, subtitle transcript as well as in the tags. You can also place relevant keywords in the channel description.

  • Increase engagement with your videos by engaging viewers as they go along and making as many users aware of them as possible through social media shares. Also, always interact under your videos to keep engagement high.

  • Create videos at regular intervals. Because the timeliness of videos is also an important factor for the YouTube algorithm.

  • Optimizing old videos is of limited help due to the nature of YouTube’s algorithm. So, rather with new uploads, make sure to follow the best practices for YouTube SEO.

The YouTube ranking factors

Although it is said that YouTube is a search engine and therefore SEO is in question, this is not completely true. This is because the factors that play into visibility and reach on YouTube are different than for Google and Co. and there is little overlap.

Important ranking factors for being suggested to as many users as possible on YouTube and gaining more visibility are as follows:

  • Engagement factors: These include the number of video views, playback time, likes and shares.
  • Video Frequency & Channel Maintenance: How regularly you upload videos and how well your YouTube channel is optimized.
  • The video: Of course, your video itself is the most important ranking factor. Therefore, both the title, description, file name and tags should be optimized for YouTube search and a transcription of the video content should be added. The thumbnail is just as important as its quality, of course.

Increase engagement & interaction for successful videos

Engagement and interaction are the most important metrics for you to be successful with your YouTube videos. To increase this, you need to keep engaging your viewers throughout the video.

Ask them to comment on something specific, add a subscription, or like the video. Here, it is also important that you respond and react to the comments. Because users are happy to have channels that interact with them and are active. Building a strong community is therefore one of the best YouTube SEO actions you can take.

Another important point is to actively invite users to interact by sharing it on your social media profiles or additionally via your newsletter. Outside of your social media profiles, you can share your YouTube video on Reddit and Quora for even more reach.

Another option is to embed your videos in matching or dedicated blog posts to make it accessible to even more users.

YouTube channel optimization for better visibility

Maintaining your YouTube channel includes frequent and currently published YouTube videos. However, that doesn’t mean you have to publish some every day for them to perform successfully. How often you should post videos depends on your audience and the topics you cover, among other things.

To do this, take a cue from successful YouTubers in your topic area and pull in your own data to determine how often you ideally share new videos. Besides regular video uploads, your YouTube channel also counts as an important factor for YouTube ranking. Because there you can give more details about the topics of your content. This further helps to showcase why your YouTube videos are relevant to users.

Here’s what an optimized YouTube channel needs:

  • An apt channel name. As a business, you should always use your company name or brand name so that you are recognizable.
  • Channel trailer that briefly introduces you and the topics you cover.
  • Playlists with clearly assigned topics. In the naming, you can also include apt keywords to generate more reach. Likewise, you can also link to third-party content, in your created playlists, in order to
  • Channel description with appropriate and meaningful keywords.
  • Linked social media profiles in the social bar. This way, interested viewers will directly find more of your content.
YouTube SEO Playlists erstellen

The most important factor for YouTube SEO is the video

As with SEO for Google, the actual content is what matters on YouTube. Therefore, you should invest in the production of your YouTube videos. In addition to a good idea and the appropriate equipment, this also includes good video editing.

If you’re not a professional yourself or have one on your team, it makes perfect sense to outsource video production. However, the best-produced video won’t help if the content doesn’t keep viewers coming back to your channel and fully consuming your content.

So if your videos are not running well, you should rethink the format and try new video formats. Because
YouTube SEO
can only be successful if you
produce good content
that interests the viewers.

Beyond quality and content, you still have a few ways to optimize your videos for more reach on the platform. For example, a good thumbnail helps to attract attention & interest from users. Chapter markers and manually added subtitles also help reach more users. As your video becomes more accessible to more viewers and more usable.

In addition, it’s also important to find the appropriate length for your video formats so that viewers don’t drop out prematurely. To do this, use the analytics of your videos and identify what length is ideal. Also survey your audience to find out what video length they prefer. In general, it’s helpful to get feedback from your audience to shape your content according to their needs and wants.

Find the right keywords for YouTube

First, you can start with a normal keyword research via Google Keyword Planner. Once you have compiled a list, the next step is to check the SERPs. If you get mostly video results for a search, users want to see video content for that keyword. That is, it is excellent for YouTube SEO.

You can shorten the whole process by using tools like Semrush for keyword research. Because they tell you directly how the search results are composed.

In addition, you can use the suggestion option on YouTube to find even more potential keywords that you haven’t discovered before. Of course, there are now also keyword tools that specialize in the video platform.

YouTube SEO Keywords

Once you have found the right keywords, you need to place them in the important places. This starts with the filename of your video. Because this is also taken into account by the YouTube algorithm.

Also, don’t forget to include your focus keyword in the title as well as keywords in the description and tags.

Place the keywords in the right places

in the video title:
Briggsby’s 2018 data shows that YouTube’s algorithm is just as good at understanding broad-match as exact-match keywords. Therefore, such titles still rank well on YouTube. Nevertheless, the data also shows that the use of exact match keywords can be just as successful.

Our tip: Make sure that there are appropriate keywords in the title. However, don’t be tempted to keyword stuff in the title to cover both exact and broad match.

Because long titles often perform worse. So when writing your video title, make sure to describe the content with keywords as briefly and accurately as possible.

in the video description:
Also, when it comes to video description, you should avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. So are descriptions that are too long. Focus on the essential content of your video and sprinkle in secondary keywords in meaningful places.

A good length for the video description is between 200 and 350 words. For keyword density, the text should still have a natural reading flow.

In addition to the video content description, add links to your social media profiles as well as your website. In addition, you should link to one or two other videos of interest as well as include a CTA that invites you to subscribe.

in the video tags:

The video tags affect not only the search results, but also the suggested videos. Therefore, it is equally important to place the keywords here. However, you should avoid using exact-match keywords in the tags.

KPIs for monitoring the success of YouTube SEO measures

The success of your YouTube SEO measures can also be measured using KPIs. The platform itself already gives you detailed data on performance. This means you don’t necessarily still need to collect your own data like you do with traditional SEO.

If you call up the analytics of one of your videos, you will directly receive information about how well this video performs in comparison to your other videos on your channel. Impressions and video views are a good first indicator of the success of your YouTube videos.

Even more important, however, is the Watch Time. You can find these in your channel dashboard under
Analytics → Watch Time
Watch Time.
It indicates how much of your video is watched on average.

This will also help you determine which video length resonates best with your viewers and when most are dropping out. Under the Analytics Dashboard, you can also view data on the Viewer engagement which is also an important KPI for successful YouTube videos. Among them, in addition to the number of subscribers, you will also find the number of returning viewers, which gives you a good indication of the loyalty of your viewers.

In addition, you receive data on reach and access sources, which can provide indications of possible optimization potential.

Conclusion on the topic of YouTube SEO

To take full advantage of YouTube’s potential, it’s important to familiarize yourself with YouTube SEO best practices and follow them when creating your videos. This includes using relevant and meaningful titles and descriptions, integrating relevant keywords, using playlists, and adding chapter markers.

Posting new videos regularly and interacting with the community can also help users find and watch your videos more often.

Keep in mind that YouTube SEO is not just about your videos being found by users, but also about them actually being watched and shared by users. To do this, it is crucial that your content is of high quality and that it engages and excites users.

Video content and thus YouTube continue to gain more and more relevance. Therefore, there is also an opportunity for your company to establish itself there in your subject area and thus gain new customers via the video platform. By following YouTube SEO best practices and producing high-quality content, you can take full advantage of YouTube’s potential.

So, in addition to YouTube Ads, it can definitely be worthwhile to invest in your own video production and build a corporate YouTube channel.

Über den Autor

SEO Team Lead at UnitedAds | + posts

Felicitas Bürger arbeitet seit Oktober 2021 bei der UnitedAds GmbH. In ihrer aktuellen Position als SEO Team Lead koordiniert sie das SEO Team und ist für die Entwicklung ganzheitlicher SEO Strategien für Kunden verantwortlich. Seit 2020 befasst sie sich intensiv mit den Themen Suchmaschinenoptimierung und digitalem Marketing.

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