Many people say that content is king and I agree to a large degree. To get the best results on YouTube specifically though, you really need to understand YouTube Video Optimization.
I believe, and you can quote me on this,
“an average video with great metadata will always out-perform a great video with average metadata” Tweet this
My advice is to have both great content AND great metadata, and this resource will show you how to make sure you have the best possible Metadata.
YouTube video optimization is a two-fold process:
1) You should be proactive and implement these tips for all of your new videos. They are all strategies that I’ve tried and tested on thousands of YouTube uploads. They really work and I have seen the results for myself.
2) Apply these strategies retrospectively to videos that have already been published – it’s never too late to improve an existing video! A few small tweaks to your back-catalogue can have a major impact on your overall view count.
I’ve listed all of the best YouTube video optimization techniques below, and although implementing just one or two will have a positive effect you should build all of the following into your YouTube channel management strategy.
Make sure to bookmark this page so that you can work through each guide and move forward without missing a lesson. As I say they’re all important.
YouTube Video Optimization – A 7 Step Guide
1) Watch Time
Watch Time is YouTube’s way of putting content back on its throne.
It weeds out bad videos that use misleading metadata (something that I would never advocate) and rewards videos and channels whose content actually gets watched all the way through.
Check out my guide on Watch Time below:
Closely related to Watch Time is session time
2) Session Time
Session Time optimization is the hardest of all my recommendations to measure but is no less important.
Like Watch Time, Session Time affects the rank and surfacing of individual videos as well as on a channel-wide level, so needs to be taken very seriously.
This is very rarely spoken about but I’ve made a guide for you that will have you keeping session times in the forefront of your YouTube video optimization strategy:
The next three recommendations are what I like to call The Three T’s and should be the very minimum effort you put into your optimization efforts, or at least a good place to start.
There’s a reason that sites like BuzzFeed and Mail Online have such amazing traffic numbers and guess what, it’s not because of their world class content.
It’s their titles.
This is the feature that really sells your video to viewers. Make no mistake, you’re now a sales person whether you like it or not.
Make it sexy, make it peak curiosity and make it irresistible for browsers.
Check out my guide below on creating titles that attract clicks:
The second benefit to optimizing your YouTube video titles is that they play a huge role both in indinvidual video SEO and overall YouTube channel SEO.
They should be consistent and keyword-rich and if you follow my formula in the guide below you’ll be building relationships between your videos that will get you appearing more in the Suggested Videos sidebar:
These should be keyword-rich, consistent, trend-friendly and by taking the 10 steps in my guide you’ll be able to do this across all of your videos. This will boost your search rankings and appearances in Suggested Videos.
A picture is worth a thousand words as the old adage goes and they can be worth thousands of views too if you know how to choose or create optimal YouTube Thumbnails.
You can work tirelessly to get your videos to appear higher in search results and be served as a Suggested Video but if your thumbnail isn’t easy on the eye then no-one will click on it.
Check out the below and start making thumbnails that people can’t help but click on:
The descriptions on your YouTube videos are underused and certainly undervalued.
Apart from the fact that you can fill it with lovely links to your own websites and social profiles they also allow for the placement of video SEO friendly keywords.
This one is nice and simple to implement and can pay off with great improvement in ranking and views:
7) Channel Page
In all honesty this is probably the lowest priority of all of my optimization suggestions. If you have an opportunity to convert just a few extra browsers into subscribers (and then into paying customers) it’s definitely worth making time for though.
My final piece of advice is to stay squeaky clean in terms of Metadata and stay on YouTube and Google’s good side. No short-term gain can beat the long-term success that optimized and accurate metadata bring.
You should be spending just as much time optimizing your content for YouTube and video SEO as you do creating videos, if not more. After all, what point is Epic content if no one is watching it?
Start by building these tactics into your everyday channel management processes and before you know it you’ll be optimizing your content without even thinking about it.
Don’t just take my word for it when it comes to these strategies. Implement them and track them in your analytics, paying close attention to your traffic sources, Search and Suggested specifically.