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How do you Optimize YouTube Videos for Top Rankings?

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YouTube is the top online video platform globally, and it currently dominates Google’s video results. That makes ranking YouTube videos an essential part of any marketing plan that involves videos for instruction, promotion, or other purposes.

However, ranking a video is not as simple as merely uploading it to the site and waiting. If you want your video to appear for any search results, you need to do a little more work.

The following tips will help to ensure that any video you create has a chance at being a top result.

  1. Take advantage of opportunities to add keywords.
  2. Add categories and tags.
  3. Use your own thumbnail rather than letting Google choose one.
  4. Add subtitles and closed captions.
  5. Promote your video.

For each of these tips, you’ll learn a little about why it matters and how to do it right. Let’s start with the importance of using keywords.

Take advantage of opportunities to add keywords

Keywords will always matter in SEO. While stuffing them into content is no longer helpful, they are still needed to help algorithms understand what your content is about. Like Google, Youtube has algorithms that are used to judge the relevance of videos to particular searches.

You need to provide as much assistance as possible by adding keywords to your videos.

How to do it

First, you need to choose keywords. If you have professional keyword research ready from your other marketing efforts, you can use those.

If you don’t have any research ready for use, the next best thing you can do is search for other videos covering the same topic. Perform several searches and list the terms that are being used by the most-watched videos.

You should apply the keywords in all of the following places:

  • The file name for the video
  • The title
  • The description

This will help both YouTube and Google deliver your video to people who are searching for related topics.

Add categories and tags

Youtube offers you some additional ways to clarify what a video is about and who might find it useful.

The “categories” feature allows you to identify your video (or channel) with one of a series of listed categories. Some examples of massively popular categories are:

  • Comedy
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Film
  • Gaming
  • How-to
  • Music
  • News

The “tags” feature allows you to add a series of tags. Unlike categories, tags are highly specific. For example, if you made a video about SEO, you might include tags like:

  • #search engine optimization
  • #keyword research
  • #SEO tutorial
  • #SEO advice
  • #SEO tips

How to do it

Both categories and tags are available as options when you create your video. You can easily set either of them before you finish the upload. If your video is already uploaded, you can follow this process to change the category in the options.

You can you this process to change tags when logged in to YouTube Studio.

Use your own thumbnail rather than letting YouTube choose one.

Your thumbnail can play a role in how well your video performs. That means that it can also affect how effectively you’re able to rank. The thumbnail you choose needs to be compelling to people who may be scrolling through a long list.

It has to stand out, and it should also communicate the tone and topic of the video at a glance.

How to do it

You can review the thumbnail for your video at any time by simply clicking on your videos and browsing to the one that you want to review. The same image that you see for your video is the one seen by other viewers.

If you don’t think that it’s interesting enough, you can follow this process to set your own custom thumbnail.

Add subtitles and closed captions

Subtitles and closed captions can make your videos perform significantly better. There are several reasons why.

  1. Subtitles and captions can be detected and used: Subtitles can be scanned by search engine algorithms. In that way, they represent another opportunity for you to add detectable keywords to your videos.
  2. They increase the audience that can use your content: Many people require subtitles and captions to use video content. When you add these options ahead of time, you increase the total audience for your videos.

How to do it

You can find instructions to add CC to your videos here. You have the option of creating captions as the video goes on or adding a separate file that lines up with the length of the video. Also, check Famoid’s Youtube SEO guide.

YouTube provides a feature to translate speech into text automatically. However, this feature may have problems with accuracy. If you choose to automate the CC, make sure you go through and make corrections when you’re done.

Promote your video

If you want any video to succeed, you need to promote it. The more views your video has, the more seriously YouTube and Google will take it. You can help create some of those views yourself by ensuring that your video reaches as many interesting people as possible

How to do it

The best way to promote your video is to take advantage of your existing resources. If you have social media pages, you can post the videos there. If you have an active mailing list, you can send out the link and explain how it helps people.

Make YouTube a Worthwhile Part of Your Marketing Plan

Using these tips, you can make YouTube pay off as a permanent part of your marketing plan. The videos you make will rank properly, so you can recoup the expenses that went into making them.

Just remember to use keywords properly, add categories and tags, use an appropriate thumbnail, add subtitles, and promote your video. When that’s done, you’ll be able to produce videos that can draw a valuable amount of traffic.


Famoid Blog – 2021

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