Did you know that YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine?
So not only should your business definitely be sharing videos on YouTube, but it’s important to make sure your YouTube videos actually get seen by your target audience.
But SEO strategies are fundamentally different on YouTube, compared to other search engines like Google.
Today, we’re gonna cover the essential best practices for YouTube SEO, that will help the overall video marketing strategy for your brand.
What makes optimizing for YouTube different from optimizing for Google?
First off, YouTube is way harder to measure because it features an infinite scroll layout.
This alone makes it very difficult to track where your videos are ranking for certain keywords, and this also makes it harder to predict how your videos will rank.
Secondly, there are currently no SEO tools that can track YouTube rankings. YouTube’s ranking patterns are so unpredictable, and videos can start/stop ranking at different places for various different keywords.
The lack of resources and the contrasting user intent behind watching YouTube videos makes optimizing for YouTube far different than optimizing for Google.
What are the key ranking factors for YouTube?
The good news is that, unlike Google, YouTube has documented its ranking factors.
There are three categories that YouTube looks into when ranking videos on its platform:
Relevance refers to the video content itself, as well as the metadata attributed to the uploaded video, including the title, description, tags, and subtitles/CC.
Engagement refers to how audiences behave and react to seeing your video. Metrics such as click-through-rate and watch-time are critical because YouTube wants to know if people are even clicking on your video to begin with, as well as if your viewers are watching the entirety of the video.
Quality is quite difficult to measure, but there could be references based on your overall web presence to see if you are an authoritative source within your niche.
What’s the most important metric, though?
Well, we would argue that engagement is the key for ranking on YouTube because high engagement will get your video more eyeballs from others that haven’t stumbled across your channel.
Also, if you watch a YouTuber’s video thoroughly, chances are that you’ll come across their other videos too, as well as new ones popping up on your homepage.
Best practices for enticing engagement on YouTube
The single, best way to increase engagement on your YouTube videos is to create high-quality videos that people actually want to consume.
It sounds simple because… for the most part, it is.
Too many people actually focus on the relevancy of their videos, rather than the quality of the video itself.
Having a highly relevant video that isn’t engaging will perform worse than a highly engaging video that may not have been optimized well enough for relevancy.
If you’re struggling with the quality of your video content, use a video editing service to make your content more engaging, or hire a video marketing consultant to help you strategize your video content.
Can you utilize Google SEO practices for YouTube SEO?
Traditional SEO comprises on-page, off-page, and technical SEO but YouTube works in a slightly different way.
You won’t find any technical SEO issues on YouTube, because YouTube as a platform will index all videos that are set to public.
The on-page elements of YouTube videos will take into account the relevancy aspect that was mentioned previously – your titles, tags, etc.
However, the grey area where there is a lot of controversies is about off-page SEO – authority and backlinks.
YouTube simply favors engagement as the key metric for ranking, because highly engaged audiences are more likely to return to YouTube and watch more videos – which is precisely how YouTube makes the majority of its money.
However, if you want to flip the switch and utilize an engaging YouTube video to improve your SEO on Google, you can embed videos onto relevant web pages to increase your website’s engagement metrics.
Final thoughts and the future of YouTube SEO
Google and YouTube evolve in different ways, but the most similar aspect between them is that they both want to display the best, most relevant content to their users.
When taking this into consideration, it makes perfect sense that the best content will win.
Now, this may be harder to gauge on YouTube, since newer channels with better videos won’t initially have the same results as a more established channel with comparatively lower quality videos.
This means you should remain consistent in creating videos. Aim to create on a regular schedule, whether that’s once a week or once a month.
HOT TIP: EditMate’s Annual Packages can help you create videos on a regular schedule.
Like Google, YouTube is a long-term game that focuses on building a sustainable audience group that will consume all of your content and help you grow.
For YouTube success, the focus is and will continue to be engagement.
Taking the time to create videos that people find either educational, entertaining, or inspiring, will help you as a video content creator stand out from the rest.
It will broaden your reach AND make your journey more rewarding.