Your new video is ready and published on your YouTube account, but the number of views remains unimpressive. What to do? In just 5 easy steps, learn how to optimize your video on YouTube and get more views in a short amount of time.No desire to read? Listen to our blogcast:
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Video is by far the most popular way to consume online content, and the majority of users want even more videos in 2019.
Survey of over 3,000 users: Video at #1 (Source: Hubspot).
Moving images are by no means popular with only younger target groups. "Generation X" (born 1965-1980) alone watches over 1.5 billion videos every day. Across all age groups, the average viewer consumes over an hour of video every day (and that is just on his or her mobile devices).
Google has recognized this trend. The search engine is increasingly playing out videos in the results list, which is actually dominated by text (and occasionally a few pictures). This also applies to search queries where no video was explicitly searched for.
Because YouTube, the world's largest video platform, is a subsidiary of Google, video results are included in the results list via a YouTube link.
For you, this means two things:
This article is dedicated to the optimization of a single YouTube video.
Thorough keyword research is the foundation of YouTube optimization (YouTube SEO). The aim is to identify the most important keywords for your target group (and thus for the search algorithm) so your video can be found.
To help make the following tips as clear as possible, let’s say that your video is about a delicious tomato soup recipe using fresh tomatoes.
Your first goal is to identify 1 main keyword and 1-3 secondary keywords.
"However, "keyword" does not mean that it should be just one word. In this example, your main keyword could be "tomato soup recipe.” Secondary keywords go even further into detail, for example, "tomato soup recipe fresh" or "healthy soup to cook yourself.”
The more specific your response is to a potential internet search, the greater your chance is of generating reach, while attracting the attention of your targeted audience to your video, which increases the odds of getting more YouTube views.
There are ways to determine your keywords. The easiest way is Google. Use the Google Suggest function to find out which terms are most frequently searched for in combination with your core topic.
Simply go to Google.com and type in a term (e.g. "tomato soup") without pressing the Enter key:
The Google Suggest feature: Automated suggestions to complete the search.
Google now lists up to 10 specific search combinations. These are sorted according to importance (=search volume) in descending order. To determine your secondary keywords, enter more terms and have the third or fourth word of a search query suggested to you.
In addition to Google Suggest, there are numerous free and paid tools for keyword research. Keyword.io, for example, automatically lists dozens of Google Suggest results. In addition to identifying keywords, SEMRUSH can offer analysis of competitors and online visibility.
Finally, identify the relevant search queries for your video and formulate your main and secondary keywords from them. Using our example of a tomato soup recipe, this could look something like this
Be sure to use tools, such as Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends, to check the actual search volume for the keywords you select. Even the best keywords won’t produce views if no one is looking for them.
Once the right keywords have been selected, place them in the following places
What is what? Thumbnail, Title, Description in the result list.
In addition to the sole use of keywords, there are, of course, other aspects to consider.
YouTube works very much like Google in terms of ranking logic. The more people click on a certain result in a list of multiple search results, the stronger the signal to the algorithm to display this result higher up next time because it seems to provide a good answer to the user's question.
This “click-through rate” can be positively influenced not only by the preview image but also by a good title.
We have already learned that a perfect YouTube title should contain your main keyword. You should also note the following tips for creating a YouTube title with a high click rate:
For our tomato soup example, a very good title could read something like "Make Fresh Tomato Soup Yourself in 5 minutes - Healthy & Delicious.”
Other examples of click-optimized YouTube titles:
First, we want to divide the description into two sections:
Extended YouTube description: Here is a video explaining the US elections.
Place the most important information about your video in the first lines of your description. In addition to the main keyword (which will be highlighted in bold if you search for it), give the best reason why someone should watch your video.
Keywords in the descriptive text: Displayed in bold, as here in the example. (Source: Backlinko)
If your YouTube description contains your keyword, it will be highlighted in a corresponding search query, increasing the click rate and the number of views.
You can also use the tips mentioned for the perfect YouTube Title- making the first lines of your description so interesting that searchers are encouraged to click on it.
Depending on the topic and objective of your YouTube video, it is also a good idea to integrate a call to action with a corresponding HTML link.
For example, would you like your viewers not only to watch your video, but also to visit your website afterwards? Then the beginning of your description could be something like this:
"We'll show you how to make an incredibly delicious tomato soup yourself. The complete recipe can be found here.”
For the rest of your description, use the full number of characters provided by YouTube (5,000 characters or about 650 words) to integrate your main keyword 3-5 times and your secondary keywords 2-3 times each.
Also, divide your description into meaningful, organized sections that you can clearly separate from each other with paragraphs or characters.
Here are further components that you can integrate into your YouTube description:
Info, call-to-action, social media links: Example of an optimal YouTube description.
Create an individual template for your perfect YouTube description (e.g. in Excel or Google Sheets) with placeholders. You can later apply this template to almost any of your YouTube videos.
Pay attention to the uniqueness of your YouTube description. Similar to Google, YouTube also recognizes so-called "duplicate content" (even if it plays a subordinate role here than on Google).
90% of the most successful videos on YouTube have a custom thumbnail. "Custom" in this case means that you aren’t simply using a still image from your uploaded video, but uploading a separate image file to serve as the preview image for your video.
With image & text: powerful individual thumbnails.
You should definitely use this method because it’s the only way to place a thumbnail that is tuned to an optimal click rate and generates more YouTube views.
Here are the most important tips on how to create the perfect YouTube thumbnail:
Alternatively, you can create a preview image that is not based on images from your video.
YouTube thumbnail of Backlinko: Here with individually created background.
Your individual thumbnail can be created according to this principle with one of the common image editing programs (e.g. Adobe Photoshop or GIMP). You can also find numerous free tools online that make thumbnail creation much easier, such as Adobe Spark.
Easily create high-quality YouTube thumbnails: Adobe Spark makes it possible.
Add your thumbnail to your YouTube video with just a few, easy clicks:
If the option for an individual thumbnail is not displayed, the official confirmation of your YouTube account is still pending. You can find out how to do this here.
Tags are additional keywords that you can add to your video. The search algorithms look at them in a similar way to Title and Description and should describe the topic your video is about.
The following terms should definitely be integrated into your YouTube tags:
In addition, you can fill your tag list as you wish by integrating terms from your previously formulated description..
Remember, quality before quantity. Only use tags that match the content of your video! So-called "tag spamming" will be recognized by YouTube (and also by Google) and will be rated negatively.
The basic optimization of your YouTube video is completed at this point.
If you have applied the above 5 steps and followed the corresponding tips exactly, you now only have to do one thing- wait.
Similar to classic search engine optimization, YouTube-SEO also has the following rule: if you don't plunge into current topics with your video content, the effect of your optimization can take a few days, weeks, or months, provided you’ve used optimal keywords.
The better and more conscientiously you have implemented the individual optimization steps, the more lasting the positive effects will be.
In order to speed up the process and generate even more views on YouTube in a shorter amount of time, please note the following information: