A CMO’s Guide to YouTube SEO in Less Than 5 Minutes
This article is part of a series where we summarize SEO topics in less than five minutes.
- YouTube as a Marketing Channel
- YouTube SEO in a nutshell
- FAQ: How can I optimize my YouTube marketing strategy to boost visibility and rank in Google search results?
Most popular social networks worldwide as of April 2020, per Statista
It’s safe to say that YouTube is a marketing channel worth exploring, but for more reasons than just being found on YouTube. Google also integrates YouTube videos into its search results. Quite often, actually.
As you can see with this snapshot of the SERP Features Monitor, videos show up more than most other features on the search results page:
And you can bet that those videos will be YouTube videos. Google owns YouTube, and videos from the platform tend to find favor in the search results.
This data is five years old now but shows that even back then, YouTube videos accounted for more than 80% of videos displayed in the search results.
Of course, videos show up more for some queries than others. Searches for how-to instructions, tutorials and reviews can often trigger videos as part of the search results. If your website contains this type of content, then YouTube SEO is especially important.
In some cases, these videos will claim a featured snippet at the top of the page, aka “Position 0” — like this one on how to tie a shoe:
In 2018, Google began showing video carousels for desktop searches. With a video carousel, searchers are presented with a video box that prompts them to scroll horizontally in order to view all the results.
You’ll first see the top three video results without having to scroll. This is like the top three organic blue links on a page — the coveted positions.
You may think that ranking well within the YouTube platform means that you will automatically rank well in the Google search results for the same query. Not so. In fact, there has been a lot of research on this, which you can view here and here.
So how do you increase the chances of your YouTube videos showing up for a Google search?
It starts with understanding that you should research and optimize a YouTube video as well as you would a webpage. Here are some basic steps:
1. Target the queries that most often show video results and then make videos for them.
The success of your video marketing first relies on your targeted keywords. In a conversation a few years back at PubCon, Google’s Gary Illyes suggested that if you see video results for a target query, you should consider making your own video for it. Do thorough research to identify keywords and trends.
2. Use optimization techniques that signal to the search engine that the video is relevant to the search.
YouTube SEO includes things like:
- Using your targeted keyword(s) in your video file name
- Optimizing the video’s title with targeted keywords
- Creating a detailed video description and optimizing it with targeted keywords
- Using the “tags” feature in YouTube to categorize the video with targeted keywords in it
If you’re not making videos for YouTube as part of your marketing strategy, you’re certainly missing out on the chance to be found on YouTube. But perhaps more importantly, you’re missing out on another chance to rank in the Google search results.
FAQ: How can I optimize my YouTube marketing strategy to boost visibility and rank in Google search results?
YouTube has become a powerful tool for marketers aiming to expand their online presence and reach a wider audience. However, with millions of videos vying for attention, it’s crucial to employ a strategic approach that not only enhances your visibility on YouTube itself but also secures a coveted spot in Google search results. These six tactics can help you build your YouTube marketing strategy:
- Content is King:
Your YouTube marketing strategy should begin by producing engaging, high-quality content. Make an effort to understand the needs, wants, and interests of your target audience before creating engaging video ads for YouTube. Craft videos that resonate with your viewers and provide value.
- SEO Optimization:
Keyword research is pivotal. Identify relevant keywords and phrases that potential viewers might use to find content similar to yours. Integrate these keywords naturally into your video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve your video’s search ranking.
- Compelling Thumbnails:
Design eye-catching thumbnails that entice viewers to click on your video. A visually appealing thumbnail can significantly boost click-through rates, increasing your video’s visibility.
- Video Length and Engagement:
Strike a balance between video length and engagement. Longer videos should be engaging throughout, while shorter ones should quickly capture the viewer’s attention. Encourage likes, comments, and shares to boost engagement, as this can signal video quality to YouTube’s algorithm.
- Consistency Matters:
Consistency is key to building a loyal subscriber base. Stick to a regular uploading schedule, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. This helps establish trust with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.
- Leverage Analytics:
Utilize YouTube’s analytics tools to gain insights into your audience’s behavior. Monitor metrics such as watch time, audience retention, and traffic sources. Adjust your strategy based on this data to continually improve your content.