In recent years, Youtube has become an extremely powerful tool for marketers to extend the reach of their brands. With new and improved ways to optimize, you can reach a much larger audience by properly utilizing the platform. So, how exactly does YouTube SEO work, and what is involved in optimizing your YouTube channel for search? Below are some helpful tips and tools to help you get the ball rolling!

YouTube SEO Tips | How to Optimize YouTube Videos for SEO in 2023

Title Your Video FILES With a Target Keyword:

You’ll use an SEO Tool to determine keywords you want your video to concentrate on, just as you would when optimizing written content. With a target keyword in mind, the first step is to add it into your video file name — before you even upload the footage to YouTube. Why? Because once uploaded, there are limited places on your video’s viewing page where you can safely include this keyword without jeopardizing your ranking. And although YouTube cannot watch your video like we do to determine its relevance to our chosen keywords, they¬†can read video file names and all their corresponding code attached.

With that in mind, replace the auto-generated “.mov” file name with your desired keyword. If your keyword is “weight lifting tips,” for example, your video’s file name should be “weight-lifting-tips” followed by your preferred video file type.

Add Your Keyword to the Video Title:

When we look for videos, one of the first things that catch our attention is the title. That’s generally what influences whether or not you’ll click to see your clip, therefore the title should not only be interesting but also clear and simple. Although your keyword plays a significant role in your video title, it also helps if the title closely matches what the viewer is searching for. According to research, videos with an exact keyword match in the title have only a slight advantage over those that don’t.

While including your target keyword in your title may help you rank for it, the link between keyword-rich video titles and rankings isn’t always a strong one. Nonetheless, while this term may not be ideal for a title, it’s a good idea to optimize it so long as it fits naturally into an enticing title that informs viewers exactly what they’re about to see. Finally, make sure to keep your title fairly short, limiting it to 60 characters to help keep it from getting cut off in results pages.

Tag Video With Popular, but Relevant Keywords:

It’s recommended to use tags to let viewers know what your video is about. But you’re not just informing your viewers; you’re also informing YouTube itself. The platform uses tags to understand the content and context of your video. By doing this, YouTube will be able to match your video with others like it, broadening the range of people who might see it. Keep in mind that the tags you use are important though. If you choose an irrelevant tag just because you think it’ll get more views, Google may penalize¬†you for it.

And similar to your description, lead with the most important keywords, including a good mix of those that are common and more long-tail (as in, those that answer a question like “how do I?”).

Optimize your video description:

Although Google says you can use up to 1,000 characters in your YouTube video description, keep in mind that people usually come to the site to watch videos instead of reading long chunks of text. You may choose to write a longer description if you’d like but bear in mind that YouTube only shows the first two or three lines of text, which is about 100 characters. After that, people must click “show more” to view the entire description. That’s why we recommend starting off with the most important information, such as CTAs or vital links, and front-loading the description.

Adding a transcript to your video can be beneficial for those who have to watch it without volume. However, research has found that there is no correlation between descriptions optimized for certain keywords and the rankings for those terms. That said, an optimized description helps you show up in the suggested videos sidebar, which is a significant source of views for most channels.

Categorize Your YouTube Videos:

YouTube offers an “Advanced settings” tab where you can categorize your videos. Categorizing your video allows YouTube to group it with similar content, therefore granting it exposure to more viewers who would be interested in watching it. This increases the chance of your video being put into different playlists and gaining popularity.

Use Custom Thumbnails:

The video thumbnail is the first image that visitors see when browsing a list of video results. That thumbnail, along with the video’s title, sends a signal to the viewer about the video’s content, which may influence how many clicks and views your video receives.

While you may always choose one of the auto-generated thumbnail options from YouTube, we strongly recommend creating your own. According to research, custom thumbnails are in 90% of the top-performing videos on YouTube. It’s recommended to use images that are 1280×720 pixels — representing a 16:9 ratio — that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files. If you follow those parameters, it can help to ensure that your thumbnail appears with equally high quality on all viewing platforms.

Use an SRT File to add subtitles & closed captions:

Subtitles and closed captions improve YouTube search optimization by making your keywords more visible. You can upload a transcript or subtitles file, or directly enter the text that will auto-sync with the video. Adding subtitles follows a similar process, however, you can limit the amount of text you want to be displayed. For either, go to your video manager then click on “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Find the video you want to add subtitles or closed captioning to and click the drop-down arrow next to the edit button. Then, choose “Subtitles/CC.” At that point, you’ll be able to choose how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.

Looking for YouTube SEO or other SEO Services From an Experienced & Professional NJ SEO Company?

TJB WebMedia is one of the top ranked SEO company in New Jersey. We understand that voice search SEO plays a vital role in growing your small business. That’s why we focus on developing customized campaigns either on their own or as part of a comprehensive SEO strategy. We specialize in creating SEO optimized posts for any type of organization. The bottom line is whatever your need, we have the talent and staff to make it happen. We also specialize in comprehensive NJ SEO and NJ web design.

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