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5 Best Practices for Improving YouTube SEO

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YouTube is currently one of the fastest-growing social platforms in the world. Video content has been steadily growing over the last few years and has only become more significant in the face of COVID-19. That being said, it’s important to understand YouTube SEO and how to make the most out of it. There are a lot of different strategies for maximizing your effectiveness on YouTube, but we’ve chosen to highlight five. Here’s our advice for making your videos stand out in the crowd.

Insert Your Keyword Into the Title

The title of your YouTube video is arguably the most important element of your video. When you search for a video, the title is what you look at first. This is usually the deciding factor in whether or not a viewer will watch your video. You need to add at least one keyword to your title in order to give your content an advantage. This is a great way to optimize your title. Remember that titles are essential for YouTube SEO.

Categorize Your Video

Once you upload a video, you can categorize it under “advanced settings”. By choosing a category, you are also grouping it with similar content. This means it will wind up in different playlists and can be exposed to more viewers. When choosing a category, you should consider what is best by answering questions like:

  • Who are the top creators within the category?
  • What are the audience members of that category like?
  • Do the other videos share similar qualities with your own?

Answering these questions will be very important when you make your decision.

Upload a Custom Thumbnail Image

The thumbnail image is the first visual element people will see. The thumbnail tells the viewer what the video will be about, so it can impact the number of views your video gets. While you can always pick one of the provided options, we recommend uploading a custom thumbnail to make your video pop! It’s important to note that you cannot upload a custom thumbnail unless your account is verified. To do that, visit this link and follow the instructions. Custom thumbnails will do wonders for your YouTube SEO.

Add Subtitles and Closed Captions

Subtitles and closed captions can boost your SEO by highlighting the keywords mentioned throughout your video. There are a couple ways to add subtitles to your video. You can choose to utilize the automatic captions that YouTube provides. This will save you a lot of time but be fairly inaccurate. Another option is to manually type your own captions along with the video. This is very time consuming but far more accurate. Finally, you could upload a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file. To add any type of subtitle, navigate to the video manager, then click on video manager. Select videos to find the one you want and click the drop-down menu. This is where you’ll find “subtitles/CC”. You can select how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.

Add Cards and End Screens

YouTube cards are pre-formatted notifications that you can optimize to promote your brand and other videos on your channel. You can add up to five cards to a single video but there are six total card types:

  1. Channel cards that direct viewers to another channel
  2. Donation cards to encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations
  3. Fan funding to ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content
  4. Link cards, which direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform
  5. Poll cards, which pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response
  6. Video or playlist cards, which link to other YouTube content of this kind

End screens display similar information, but they don’t display until the video is over. They offer a more visual experience for your viewers. There are a number of detailed instructions for adding end screens. Google outlines the details for end screen optimization at this link.

YouTube SEO is an essential element for effective marketing. YouTube is one of the most influential social channels available to businesses today. Your videos can have a powerful impact on your target audience if they are optimized to do so. We know how important marketing is and we want to help. If you would like to partner with our team of experts at Creative Sizzle, visit our website or give us a call at 847-255-5555. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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