If you happen to be conducting search function in a web/mobile application, you are interacting with a search engine. Youtube is a search engine for videos.
How do you optimize your channels and content on Youtube?

Step 1: Find Video Keywords

Like anything in SEO, the YouTube SEO process starts with keyword research.Your goal is to find keywords that have YouTube results on the first page of Google.

These are called, “Video Keywords”.

Unlike normal search results with 10 webpage results, with Video Keywords, Google reserves a good chunk of the first page for video results:



In general, Google tends to use video results for these types of keywords:
1. How-to keywords (“how to shave a cat”)
2. Reviews (“Bluehost review”)
3. Tutorials (“Setting up WordPress”)
4. Anything fitness or sports related (“Cardio kickboxing”)
5. Funny videos (“Cute animals”)

Why is this important?Well, let’s say you optimize your video around a keyword that doesn’t have any video results in Google.

In that case, you’ll ONLY get traffic from people searching on YouTube. But if you optimize for Video Keywords, you’ll also get targeted traffic to your video directly from Google’s first page.

How to Find Video KeywordsThe easiest way to find video keywords is to search for keywords in your niche.



Then see if any of the keywords you searched for have YouTube video results, like the above image.

Simple, right?

The example above shows opportunities for you because amidst all the other “how to apply mascara videos on Youtube, only one shows up so far. Just think how would you search for information on Youtube or Google for the video that you are about to make.

If you don’t find videos in the searches that you conduct on Google, head back to Youtube to see if there are content created on the topic and learn what’s the engagement of those content.

Exploring existing content on Youtube would uncover valuable insights before you commit to producing a video. More to be explained on this in the later parts of this document. Search results differs because of video keywords:





The rationale behind this difference is intention and relevance of search. When you search for How-to’s, it is more likely that you are looking for guides and there is nothing better than videos to show you how it’s done.

This falls back to the primary goal of search engines: To provide most relevant content to users.

Step 2: Start making your (AWESOME) video

Like anything in business, the more you put into your video, the more you’ll get out of it. Mobile phones today comes with great camera to start with. If required, engage friends who are videographers to share their insights on how to produce videos that’s engaging. 


I’m emphasizing quality so much because user engagement is THE most important YouTube ranking signal. If your video stinks, it won’t rank…no matter how optimized it is for SEO.

Unlike Google — which can use backlinks and other signals to evaluate the quality of a piece of content — YouTube has no such luxury.

They judge your video’s quality based on how people interact with it.

The User Experience Metrics That YouTube UsesHere’s what YouTube uses to determine the quality of your video:
1. Video retention: The percentage of your video people tend to watch (the more, the better).
2. Comments: If people comment, they probably enjoyed the video (or at least watched it).



3. Subscribes after watching: If someone subscribes to your channel after watching your video that sends a HUGE signal that you have an amazing video.



4. Shares: How many people share your video on social media sites like Twitter and Google+.
5.Favorites: The number of people that favorite your video or add it to their “Watch Later” playlist:



6. Thumbs up/Thumbs down: Self explanatory

If you want to see how your videos are performing, you can see user experience data in your YouTube Analytics.

If you make a top-notch video you’re MUCH more likely to get high-retention views, likes, comments and all the things that YouTube likes to see in a video.

What is the optimal length of Youtube videos?Searching online for answers to this question will give you a range between 3 to 7 minutes. However, there are not definite length that acts as the silver bullet. Video length is dependent on the type of content you are publishing to engage and share with your audience. I personally have seen half an hour and longer videos getting good engagement numbers as well. It’s all about what you are delivering.

OK so you’ve created your compelling video. Nice work :DNow it’s time to optimize your video and upload it to YouTube.

Step #3: Upload Your Video With YouTube SEO in MindHere’s how to extract the most SEO value from your video.




Video Filename
When you’re done with the video make sure that you use the keyword in the video’s filename.For example, if you wanted to rank for the keyword “weight loss tips”, you’d want to name your video weight_loss_tips_video.mp4.

Video Title

The title of your video should be at most 75 characters long. That way, you can include your full keyword without keyword-stuffing. Include keyword phrases as close to the front of your title as possible, since front-loaded titles tend to rank well in search.

Description

Your videos description is VERY important.

Remember the example of “how to apply Mascara” earlier? You might be asking why despite having myriad of videos relevant to it on Youtube, Google only shows one.

Because Google and YouTube can’t “listen” to videos, they rely on your text description to determine your video’s content.
YouTube gives creators 5000 characters to use in this field, but the first couple of sentences are hugely important because they will be pulled through and used as meta-data (along with the title and thumbnail) for the following:
1. Google Universal Search Snippets ~100 Characters
2. YouTube Search Results ~ 125 Characters
3. YouTube API
4. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media
5. Here are the basic guidelines for the description:
6. Put your link at the very top of the video (this maximizes CTR to your site)
7. Include your keyword in the first 25 words
8. Make the description at least 250-words
9. Include your keyword 3-4 times

This SEO-optimized description helps tell Google and YouTube what your video is about without being spammy.

Tags
Tags aren’t super-important…but they help.Just include a few keywords to help YouTube and Google learn what your video is about.

Targeted tags not only help you rank for your target keyword……but get you to you show up more often as a related video in the sidebar area of YouTube. When the video someone’s watching has a similar tag as your video– boom!– you’re added to the sidebar.Once you’re done, hit “Save Changes” and your video will go live!

Step #4: Get Video Views
We talked a lot about user experience signals so far…which are REALLY important.But in order for your video to rank for competitive keywords, it needs to get A LOT of views.
More views=higher rankings. But there’s one catch…the views need to be real.
YouTube has caught onto fake views. That’s why I don’t recommend using a services to pump up your view count.
And as we already discussed, long-retention views are worth their weight in gold. Here are some strategies you can use to get targeted views to your video:
1. Mention Your Video on Quora and Other Q&A Sites
- Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and other Q&A sites are some of the most popular sites on the web (Quora rocks a top 500 Alexa ranking).
- If you try to go in there and plaster links all over the place, you’re going to get banned in a flash.
- Because you’re posting your video in a place where people are desperate for information on a given topic, the views you’ll get are extremely high-retention.
- Just search for a question on your video’s topic and add a link to your video. Or better yet, embed it into your answer

2. Embed your video in your blog
- Whenever you write a blog post (on your site or as a guest post for another site), think to yourself:
- “Where can I embed a YouTube video into this post?”

3. Share your video on your social media channels

4. Link To Your Video In Your Email Signature
- People that email you (like your mom) generally like you.
- And if you’re like me, you get A TON of emails.
- So when you add a link to your latest video in your email signature, that means you get high-retention views like they’re going out of style.

Additional Resources:
Youtube Creator Awards
https://www.youtube.com/yt/creators/rewards.html?noapp=1

Youtube Creator Academy
This is a resource pool of educational materials prepared by Youtube on video creation topics to how to better manage your audience
https://creatoracademy.withgoogle.com/page/education



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