We live in an era in the digital age where overstimulation and mass production of videos leave individuals struggling to establish and maintain audiences through YouTube. In fact, as of May of last year, (2019), the rate of video uploads to YouTube was approximately 500 hours of content per second. Putting that into context, the latest movie by Martin Scrosese, The Irishman, is about 3 and a half hours long, meaning 142.86 copies of the Irishman are being uploaded every second, 8,571.43 a minute, 514,285.71 an hour. When it comes to being discovered or having your content become viral, it is only getting harder as more and more individuals and corporations flock to YouTube as a means of income and distribution.
However, as time progresses, we also learn of techniques and methods that can allow us to increase the likelihood that a piece of content will be caught by a site crawler and distributed more effectively to reach larger audiences. What I’m talking about is generally referred to as Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. For those who may not be aware of what exactly SEO is, it’s the process and development of online strategies to improve a website or a piece of contents’ ranking in search engines with Google more often than not, being the main focus. Those who are aware of the practice might be wondering to themselves, “what does ranking in Google have to do with growing content organically on video platforms?”
YouTube, like other Google owned properties, factors several similar variables into its algorithm’s search ranking the only difference being that it is also factoring it in for YouTube recommendations too. In other words, there are two opportunities to rank and capitalize on properly optimizing your videos and content. While these are a few key tricks of the trade, we want to share these with you to help users everywhere create the best content that reaches the most users possible. Now, without further ado, here are 8 tips that can help you reach a larger audience with your videos.
1) Provide your own captions for your video.
While it might seem convenient to utilize the automatic captions that are integrated into YouTube’s video player, using them can actually hurt your viewership both from a user experience, but also a quality ranking perspective. Google typically, for both itself and YouTube, penalizes gibberish resulting in lower page rankings, meaning the humorous mistakes automated captions make are actually harming your video’s quality. This can also come off as unprofessional to the average viewer and harm the viewing experience of users who rely on it to understand the main theme of the video.
2) Place a transcript of your captions in the video summary.
It’s not enough just to have the captions correct within the video, though, as a lot of the context and understanding YouTube assigns to a video is actually pulled from the metadata and video details like titles and summaries. This is another place where users and crawlers are both mutually benefiting, meaning you’ll be benefiting from it in the long run too. Make sure your description is thoroughly optimized with keywords and a well written summary that can flow into your transcript naturally to ensure users and crawlers cannot get confused.
3) Make sure you have thoroughly researched keywords for the title and description.
One of the biggest benefits of creating content in the modern era is that we can utilize patterns and trends in user behavior and search history for an outline of how content can and should be developed. When creating new text-based content, we typically look to approach it from the idea of filling a gap that users are already seeking a solution in. We do this by utilizing tools that analyze search queries and then performing our own analysis on the results to identify trends. In the same manner, we can write the text based portions of a video that are crawled, (like the title and the summary), to include specific keywords and terminology that will attribute videos to searches users are presently partaking in.
4) Take advantage of the advanced settings YouTube offers with categorizations and keyword tags.
YouTube wants to maintain its place as the go-to spot for video content and to do so, it must find ways where they can cater to the viewers and audience a little bit. One of the biggest ways they do so is through their advanced settings fields you can apply to your videos and livestreams that allow you to tag your content with categorical keywords that will, ideally, showcase your content more often to users who have shown a pattern and affinity for similar videos.
5) Schedule and time promotions to intertwine with social media naturally.
This advice doesn’t speak directly towards the SEO benefits you can see right away, but works to build a better user experience for your viewers and show Google’s crawlers the social accounts that are affiliated with the videos. It also helps build routine and continuity from a personal standpoint which will allow you to get used to the idea of considering all of these search engine opportunities and timing your videos effectively.
6) If publishing your videos back to your site, embed them into the page so Google can recognize the video is connected to the page and borrow insights.
This tip benefits you more if you have a personal blog or website where you also post content, text, or others too, besides YouTube. When it comes to establishing authority, Google analyzes a lot of different variables with one of them being the linking quality and positioning of content. What this means for a video creator who might also have a blog is that they can develop greater authority and associate keywords and content in the video better by hosting a version of the video in your blog through embedding. Not to mention, it provides users another opportunity to be exposed to your content and the more chances the better.
7) Pay attention to the smaller details like the name of your video file.
While being a smaller variable that is not as significant, it is a small tweak you can begin incorporating early and quickly to supplement the other keyword optimizations being done in the more significant areas of the video.
8) Create playlists for similar topics or types of videos that can usually be seen together.
This is another no brainer but from an ease of use and user experience perspective, (depending on your type of content), playlists can be vital for people attempting to find or decide that they want to view your content. We recommend grouping your alike videos into playlists that people can watch in succession upon finding your content.
Now we know that’s a lot of information, but when it comes to optimizing your content to reach the largest audience in the most effective way, it does take some considerable time and thought. These tips, for that matter, are useful and important for creating content yourself that will be easily recognized and considered by Google analytically, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t just about the data itself. The content you put out, the personality and heart you put into it, and the connections and competition you have with other content creators will all affect and adjust how well your videos perform. And, even beyond that, Google is constantly updating their algorithm for their services, so it’s important to pay attention to trends and modern practices and continually optimize your content to boot.
Written by David Ericson