Believe it or not, YouTube is the second-most-used search engine in the world, after Google. It can be a hugely valuable channel for both B2B and B2C brands to reach and educate audiences, as well as a place to build a community. Youtube SEO is a little different from standard SEO so to help you out I’ve pulled together five tips for your YouTube SEO strategy.

1. Write a keyword-optimized title 

When it comes to the title of your video, Youtube advises that instead of stuffing your title with keywords you should “use natural language that happens to contain keywords”. In other words, write for humans, not robots.

To discover which keywords are most popular, start typing something related to your video into the YouTube search box. Then, you’ll see a list of suggestions. You can now use these suggestions to build out a keyword-optimized video title that explains what your video is about. Aim to keep the length of your title to around 60 characters, this way you’ll avoid cutting off important information.

2. Have your tags work harder

Tags are another great way of improving your video’s ranking in YouTube search. You’ll want to use a mix of both specific and general tags as well as the keywords from your title (and always add tags in order of importance).

Something else worth noting is that you can use your longtail keywords as video tags on YouTube, there’s a 270-character limit which the search engine encourages users to make full use of.

3. Create a custom thumbnail

According to YouTube, 90% of the best-performing videos on the platform have custom thumbnails. Make sure you create a custom thumbnail for all of your videos to give them the best chance. These static images act like a billboard, helping viewers to decide if they want to watch your video.

The best thumbnails offer a sneak peek of what viewers can expect to see in your video, but steer clear of making them ‘clickbaity’.

A good tip to bear in mind is to think about your thumbnail BEFORE you shoot your content so that you can capture several options.

4. Use YouTube playlists

A great way of keeping your brand visible is to create playlists. By grouping together a set of videos, you can then dictate the order in which your fans view your content. Keyword-rich playlists help to improve your SEO and increase your search traffic.

Playlists can appear in YouTube search results and also in suggested videos. Aside from your own content, you can include videos from other channels that you admire, which is pretty awesome.

Think about grouping your videos by theme or current event. Or why not try creating a playlist that consists of your most popular videos to help make it easier for viewers to find your best performing content.

Remember, a great playlist is a way of keeping your fans watching for longer.

5. Add a transcript in the video description

As well as a keyword-rich explanation of your video in the description section, this is also a great place to include your transcript. The description field allows up to 5,000 characters, that’s roughly enough room to fit a dialogue for a ten-minute video. Seeing as your transcript is likely to contain keywords optimized for your topic it makes sense to use it to contribute towards your YouTube SEO, right?

You can also use hashtags in your description, but just remember a little goes a long way. Unfortunately, if you use more than 15 hashtags, YouTube will then ignore all the hashtags you’ve used.

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