How to Double Your Website Traffic with YouTube Video SEO

Before we start with YouTube video SEO and why you should use it, we need to make some things clear.

In recent years, video content has grown and it is expected to flourish even more. In fact, nowadays videos appear in 23% of mobile results and 22% of desktop results. By 2021, video content will account for over 80% of all internet traffic.

If you take a step back, it is pretty clear that 2018 is the year to invest in video.

Think about it. You work hard at creating a website with high-quality and reliable content. For what reason? Simple: to rank on the first page of Google. Yet, your content does not rank in YouTube – the second largest search engine.

Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Viewers can find thousands of videos on almost any topic of their choosing. So, to maximize your reach, consider turning it into videos and publishing them on YouTube. This video-sharing platform has an active global user base of over 1 billion. It is a massive market that is worth investing in.

Optimizing and leveraging your content

Video SEO means optimizing videos to rank higher on search results. With it, your videos can reach and educate your target audience. But, SEO on YouTube is not the same as regular SEO on Google. YouTube is aware of all the indicators of good content.

With this in mind, how can you optimize your brand’s SEO and content strategy with YouTube videos? How can you double your website traffic with YouTube and video SEO?

  • Come up with relevant video topics

    You can come up with interesting and relevant video topics in several different ways. For instance, you can take your existing content and turn it into videos. You can also analyze the topics your competitors are covering and imitate that;

  • Keep viewers watching videos and engaged

    YouTube looks at various factors when it comes to determining the quality of a video. The most important ones being watch time and engagement. So, simply put – the longer you keep viewers watching videos and engaged, the better. Focus on creating a good headline, description, and thumbnail. Also, consider using bold colours on your video thumbnail to make it pop. At the end of the video, ask viewers to like, comment, share, and subscribe.

  • Optimize for keywords

    There is not much of an association between keywords and rankings within YouTube. Still, this does not mean that you should not optimize for keywords. After all, keywords matter to understand what your video is about and its message. Keywords should be on your video’s upload filename, title, and description. If you need recommendations, consider using the recommendations function in YouTube. By typing a keyword into YouTube's search box, you can note the suggestions that appear in the drop-down menu. These suggestions are based on frequent searches.

  • Maximize your video tags

    YouTube’s Suggested Videos show up on the right sidebar and this is where you want your videos to show up. To get there, you need to maximize your video tags. Video tags are words or phrases used to sort and rank videos on YouTube. You can use browser plugins, such as vidIQ, which will suggest relevant tags from other popular videos.

  • Keep videos the right length

    Do not try to do too much in one single video. According to recent research, 75% of individuals will watch a 2-minute video to the end. And, only 60% will watch a 5-minute video to the end. As the length grows, you lose viewers and rankings on YouTube. Remember that YouTube’s ranking algorithm is also based on how many viewers finished watching your video.

  • Promote your videos

    A few ways to promote your videos after publishing them include: social media, paid traffic, email list, and embedding them in your website. You can even add an end screen in each video to promote other videos on your channel.

A YouTube video on display, with the navigation bar visible.

Why video description and SEO go hand in hand

When it comes to videos, descriptions are the main ‘selling point’. You do not want to give the video away, but you want to be clear on what viewers will learn. The best length to help YouTube understand the content and context of your video is around 150 words. If YouTube does not understand your video’s description, the platform won't rank it in the results.

In fact, YouTube’s algorithm puts greater significance on keywords in the first 2-3 sentences of the description. So, the platform recommends putting the important keywords at the start of the description. It is also important that your description is 100% unique for each video that you post. According to YouTube, a unique description helps a video to stand out and to be more easily found.

Keep in mind that your video’s description is not solely intended for YouTube’s algorithm. A lot of viewers read descriptions to decide whether to continue watching a video. That being said, it should not sound forced, but rather it should get viewers excited to watch the video. You should also use 25-50 words (out of those 150) to guide viewers to a related piece of content on your website. Most important, never try to sell anything in the description. This is bad for SEO and makes your channel look spammy. Only descriptions that are optimized can lead to higher rankings in YouTube search.

Once you have turned your content into videos, organize them through playlists. Moreover, be consistent and create a regular release schedule. Also, involve your audience in your videos, interact with them, and encourage feedback.

The Wrap Up

How do you get viewers to watch your video instead of the millions of others on YouTube? The answer: video SEO. SEO remains a central focus on driving website traffic. It is largely influenced by content and vice versa. If you optimize your video right, you can engage viewers and boost your search ranking. Simple as that.