Every minute, videos of over 100 hours are uploaded on YouTube to tap the limitless potential of the most crowded digital platform. For any content creator, standing out against the tidal wave of daily content is a perpetual battle. Considering the flood of content to compete with, the obvious question that arises is, “how do you get the people to watch your video in particular”?
To answer this, it is imperative to understand, how this massive website, that YouTube is, sort the content uploaded on it. The giant search engines, YouTube and Google, cannot watch or listen to a video, at least not yet, YouTube has allowed every video to add specific metadata in the form of ‘Titles’, ‘Descriptions’ and ‘Tags’ to ensure indexing and discoverability. Not surprisingly, the text surrounding the video helps YouTube to understand the video. The more YouTube understands a video, the more are the chances of YouTube ranking it in the search results, targeted through ‘keywords’ used in the metadata. It is with these ‘Keywords’ included in a metadata that the YouTube funnels the content and helps the content to stick out.
YouTube’s algorithm takes multiple signals into account to rank a video in YouTube search results. Apart from ‘keywords’; audience retention, likes, dislikes, subscribers, comments, etc also are taken into account. However, the user engagement is the next step of optimization, primary and pivotal being tagging the video with relevant keywords.
The content that includes ‘keyword enriched’ titles, descriptions and tags, gets enhanced and has better ranking, eventually attracting more hits.
Let’s Understand ‘Keywords’ Better
Keywords are essentially single words or phrases that people use to look for desired results on search engines. It is keywords that direct them to a web content that represents or resonates these string of words. Strategic use of these keywords, help the content to communicate with search engines and humans alike, giving both, an idea about what the content is all about and is it relevant to what they want.
Choosing Relevant Keywords
- The first step in choosing relevant keywords is to figure out what the video/content is all about
- Thinking of words that users would type to find a particular content
- Self-reference your video with brand-specific terms
- Use ‘YouTube Auto Suggest’ to get appropriate, relevant and precise keywords
- Find the keywords that are best-ranked on videos of similar topic
- Make a list of the genre specific keywords based on your content
Optimizing Video Title
- Create a catchy title using keywords that explicitly defines your video
- Keep it straightforward to be indexed properly
- Include the brand name in the last
Optimizing Video Description
- Write as detailed description as possible
- Keep the first two lines keyword enriched
- Add subscription link of your channel
- Advertise your videos, playlists or your website, by sharing the respective links
Optimizing Video Tags
- Include a mix of video specific and generic tags based on your keywords research
- Omit ‘Articles’, ‘Prepositions’ and ‘Conjunctions’
- Spell check
- Avoid spacing to use the character limit to the fullest
Other Optimization Tips
- Organize videos in ‘Playlists’
- Add Keyword-rich ‘Playlist Title’ and ‘Description’ to give YouTube further information about your videos
- Add descriptive ‘Channel Description’ with relevant keywords, suggesting the type of content
- Add ‘Channel keywords’ to ensure discoverability
Obviously, there’s a lot of hard work that goes into writing a perfect metadata, but that doesn’t mean it will make the process unachievable. All you need to do is to keep a healthy routine of following the basics and eventually you can discover more and more ways to make your metadata highly effective and discoverable. Optimization is a continuous process, but lastly the efforts pay off!