7 Highly Effective Ways to Improve Your SEO for YouTube in 2023
Marketers are facing increasing challenges in capturing the attention of their target audience. With the average human attention span hovering around 8 seconds, it’s no wonder that long-form articles and blogs are becoming less popular. As a result, video content has taken over the internet, and this trend is set to continue in the coming years.
According to Elite Content Marketer, 66% of users prefer watching a short video to learn about a new product or service, while only 18% would turn to blog posts or articles for the same purpose . Given that video content is 1200% more successful than other forms of content, it’s not surprising that most marketers are using videos for marketing purposes worldwide .
YouTube, with its user base of 2.6 billion, has become one of the largest tech platforms in the world . As a result, brands and businesses are creating video content to engage with their customers and build awareness. This presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to grow their sales and brand recognition.
To take advantage of this opportunity, brands should focus on SEO for YouTube videos. By optimizing their videos for search engines, they can increase their visibility and attract more views. This can lead to increased sales and a better return on investment.
In this article, we will explore why brands should prioritize SEO for YouTube videos and how they can use this medium to improve their business outcomes.
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How is SEO for YouTube videos different from regular SEO?
When it comes to SEO, most people immediately think of Google, and for good reason – it’s the world’s most powerful search engine. However, there are several other noteworthy search engines that are widely accepted in various parts of the world. In addition to Google, search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu have their own unique features and user bases.
One search engine that has become a household name worldwide is YouTube – the difference being that it is a video search engine. Although there are differences between SEO for YouTube and traditional SEO, we’ll focus on the most significant ones.
Compared to traditional SEO, SEO for YouTube is faster. YouTube channels and videos can be ranked more quickly than traditional websites on Google. However, this doesn’t mean that YouTube SEO is easy – it still requires effort and YouTube video optimization.
Both YouTube and Google consider authority, but the way they determine it is different. YouTube’s authority changes on a monthly basis, while Google’s primarily depends on link-building and takes time to see major changes in authority.
Finally, ranking factors on YouTube and Google are also different. While backlinks are a significant factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, engagement is more important for YouTube. Factors such as likes, shares, comments, and watch time all play a critical role in how well a video performs on YouTube.
Understanding these differences is critical for creating an effective SEO strategy that considers both Google and YouTube. By optimizing for both platforms, businesses can reach a wider audience and improve their online presence.
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Winning YouTube video optimization techniques
Now that we have a good understanding of the major differences between traditional SEO and SEO for YouTube videos, it’s time to explore the most effective YouTube video optimization techniques.
1. Find the right keywords to improve SEO for your YouTube videos
As the level of competition grows, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to differentiate themselves in order to stand out on the increasingly crowded search engine results pages (SERPs). Thorough keyword research is a crucial component of digital marketing and can make a significant impact on the success of your YouTube account. It’s important to avoid targeting extremely competitive terms, as ranking highly for those keywords is often difficult. Instead, aim for high volume, low competition keywords with a low keyword difficulty score to rank better and gain visibility.
To find the right keywords, you can use a variety of tools including Google Keyword Planner, WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, Semrush, or Moz. Additionally, conducting a simple Google search can reveal valuable insights through “people also ask”, related searches, and search suggestions.
By utilizing these tools, businesses can find the best keywords to target and effectively optimize their content for YouTube and thereby increasing their visibility and driving traffic to their YouTube channel.
2. Pay attention to your video’s description
While it’s easy to assume that a video’s description doesn’t have much impact on YouTube, the truth is quite the opposite. Although the video is always the star of the show, neglecting its description can hurt your YouTube channel’s SEO score. A well-crafted and optimized video description that includes relevant keywords and phrases can boost your content’s visibility in organic search results, thanks to Google’s site crawlers.
So, how do you optimize your YouTube video descriptions? Start by ensuring that they’re concise, engaging, and relevant, and make sure to include all relevant keywords and phrases. You can use Google Analytics to identify the keywords your target audience is searching for and plan your strategy accordingly. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the short, keyword-based descriptions often seen in YouTube’s sidebar can play a significant role in user engagement, according to Brian Dean of Backlinko. By paying attention to these factors, you can improve the visibility and engagement of your YouTube videos.
3. Categorize your video
In the crowded world of YouTube content, ranking highly can be a challenge, especially for popular keywords and phrases. However, by categorizing your videos, you can significantly improve your YouTube SEO and make it easier for users to find your content.
Adding your material to relevant categories on the YouTube site can reduce competition and increase visibility in your search category. While finding the right category can be challenging due to the wide variety of options, including comedy, music videos, and how-tos, categorizing your content is an essential step in boosting your SEO.
It’s important to note that while categorizing your videos can reduce competition in some areas, it doesn’t eliminate fierce competition altogether. For example, an analysis of the top 100 YouTube searches showed that music was the most popular category within YouTube’s broad user base. To maximize your chances of engagement and visibility, consider exploring niche areas and lower-ranking groups. This approach can help you stand out from the competition and improve your chances of success on the platform.
4. Hashtags are important
Hashtags have become an important feature of social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. And the good news is that they really work! In fact, adding hashtags to your YouTube content description is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your channel.
By including hashtags, you can help to organize the search process for your viewers, making it easier for them to find the content they’re looking for. Furthermore, hashtags can enhance the visibility of trending topics and provide valuable insights into what types of content are popular at the moment. Plus, hashtags serve as a direct link to related content, making it easier for your viewers to find your other videos if they’re interested in a particular niche.
Overall, hashtags are a valuable tool for increasing your YouTube channel’s visibility and engagement. By using them strategically, you can improve your content’s discoverability and help your viewers find exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Focus on creating custom thumbnails
In the digital age, audiences are increasingly drawn to visually appealing content, whether it’s blog posts with eye-catching infographics and images or videos with stunning visual elements. The more visually appealing your content is, the more likely it is to generate clicks and engagement, which is critical for ranking well on YouTube.
One effective strategy for optimizing your YouTube videos is to create a custom thumbnail that stands out from the thumbnails used by other channels that produce similar content. To make your thumbnail stand out, consider using bright colours, adding infographics, or incorporating text that grabs users’ attention. These tactics can help you boost engagement and improve your YouTube SEO by giving your channel a more professional and authoritative look. So don’t overlook this crucial aspect of YouTube video optimization – it could make all the difference in helping you achieve your goals on the platform.
6. Details on your end screen matter
While many marketers focus on optimizing their content titles and descriptions, they often overlook the fact that a video’s end screen can also have a significant impact on SEO.
The final screen of your video should include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that encourages viewers to engage with your content. By creating an end screen that combines animation, link cards, and persuasive text phrases, you can entice your audience to either continue watching your other videos or visit your website.
7. Timestamp long videos
Google takes longer to crawl larger videos when establishing its ranking position. However, adding timestamps or chapters to your video footage can provide an additional opportunity to include relevant keywords in your description, while also enabling Google to efficiently crawl your content.
This can help improve the visibility of your video in search results, as well as provide a better user experience by allowing viewers to quickly navigate to specific sections of your video. Therefore, it’s a good practice to include timestamps or chapters in your video descriptions to help both your audience and search engines better understand your content.
This article has touched upon a few reasons why SEO for Youtube Videos is important and how you can optimize your videos and YouTube channel. While there are a few overlapping elements between SEO for Google and SEO for YouTube, there are a few minor differences worth noting. The strategies mentioned here can help your rank better in the long run.
Apart from these tactics, there are a few other YouTube video optimization strategies you could consider including using YouTube tags, replying to comments on your videos, creating a content calendar, and more.
If you are wondering how our enterprise SEO services can help your YouTube channel rank better, get in touch with our team today.
To know more about our Enterprise SEO services, Schedule a demo
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  (2022) “Top Video Marketing Statistics 2023” ExplainNinja [online] Available from: https://explain.ninja/blog/20-video-marketing-statistics-2020/ [accessed February 23]
 (2023) “YouTube – Statistics & Facts” Statista [online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/topics/2019/youtube/#topicOverview [accessed February 23]