Many of you are likely aware of how SEO functions in improving the performance of your websites or blog posts, but SEO is just as important when creating video content. Whether you’re looking to improve your ranking on search engines such as Google or on YouTube, there are a number of methods through which you can improve your video content’s performance, and you will find that it isn’t too different from optimizing your written web content.
Understand the YouTube Algorithm
As Forbes states, the qualities by which YouTube ranks its videos include:
- How many times the video has been viewed
- How long the video has been viewed each time
- How many positive rankings (in YouTube’s case, “likes”) the video has
- How many comments the video has
- How often the video appears in a playlist
- How many subscribers the poster has
- How often the video is embedded on other media
Another quality to keep in mind is video length. YouTube analytics have shown that longer videos consistently out-perform and outrank shorter videos on YouTube and on search engines, so a video that is at least five minutes long will be optimal.
Many of the qualities that YouTube’s algorithm favors center around getting views and positive feedback, so it’s important to understand how to attract your target audience. If you have applied SEO practices to blog content in the past, you are likely familiar with keywords, titles, tags, and descriptions.
When selecting keywords, if you are planning to optimize your video for search engines (not just YouTube), it is important that you use keywords that have video results on Google or other search engines. From there, in order to cater to search engine algorithms, you need to include your keyword in your title and description in a natural way that sounds catchy while avoiding “keyword-stuffing”, which is what happens when you try to force a keyword into a context that sounds unnatural or forced. For this reason, it is best to have a title that is at least five words in length, as it will give you more room to include your keyword. Because you have more room in your description than your title, your description gives you the opportunity to include your keyword multiple times. A good length for a description is about 250 words, though longer is always better.
Make it Easy to Share
As mentioned previously, likes, comments, shares, and embeds are all qualities that improve a video’s performance, so it is important that you make your video easy to share. It is recommended that you allow viewers to embed and share your video on their page, and work on making your content shareable to reach a wider audience.
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