If you’re trying to grow your YouTube channel, you’ve probably heard about the importance of Search Engine Optimization – or SEO, for short. Producing great content is key to expanding your YouTube reach, but SEO is just as vital to get your videos to show up when people are searching for content.
Here’s how you can use keywords to increase your videos’ chances of appearing in search results on both Google and YouTube.
1. Target a keyword.
This step used to be easier when Google’s Keyword Planner was more accessible. You now need to have a Google Adwords account to use this tool.
There are a handful of ways to find good keywords without the tool. You can look at the autofill entries in Google or YouTube’s search bars, you can use Google Trends to track keyword interest, or you can try any number of the free keyword tools available on the Internet.
If you want to get serious about SEO, though, you should definitely consider getting a Google Adwords account and accessing the Keyword Planner tool. Google will try to charge you for this privilege by forcing you to set up an advertising campaign, but certain people have found success creating a campaign and pausing its release before they could be charged any money.
Once you’ve done this, you can use this video to help navigate the service and see what keywords are being searched for often.
2. Use the keyword in the file name and the video title.
When you are saving the video on your computer, make sure to change the file name to include the keyword you are targeting. This data will help get the video recognized by search engines.
The file name does not need to be interesting or eye-catching. For your video title, though, you should include the keyword (which could be a whole phrase) and spice it up to create an interesting title.
This is a fantastic video that provides some further SEO tips for YouTube titles.
3. Sprinkle the keyword throughout the video description.
You want to practically hit search engines over the head with your keyword.
Use it in a variety of ways throughout your video description, and end the description by simply listing a bunch of variations on the keyword or key phrase. It might look a little weird to someone reading your description, but your search engine rankings will thank you.
Try to think of as many possible variations on your keyword so that you can get your video to pop up in many different search terms. If someone is searching for a topic related to the keyword you are targeting, then your video should have the requisite keyword data to compete for a top spot in the search results.
This video should answer some of your questions regarding stuffing your keywords into the description. You do need to switch up the way you’re using it.
4. Use those keyword variations as tags.
You’ve already repeatedly included the keyword and its many variations in your description, so it should be easy to simply copy those keyword variations and use them as tags for your video.
It’s a little unclear how important YouTube tags are in 2016 in terms of SEO, but Google still asks for you to tag your video, so you might as well take advantage.
It’s very simple to just copy your keyword variations into your tags, and this video will show you more on how to write SEO-friendly tags.
5. Make sure the keyword appears in the video’s YouTube captions.
It’s possible you’ve never thought about your video’s captioning. You should because it’s another way to stuff your video with search-friendly data.
If you are targeting a certain keyword, you will most certainly be using that keyword in your video. You should try to say it at the beginning and end of your video so you can easily find it in the automatic transcript generated by YouTube.
The more keyword data you can provide to Google, the better. Editing your captions not only ensures that your keywords are being transcribed correctly, but it also prompts Google to actually index your captions.
Don’t worry too much about editing the entire transcript . Just make sure your keyword shows up accurately at the beginning and end of the video.
The end of this video will show you how to edit your video’s captions easily.
SEO is one of the most crucial aspects of growing your YouTube following. Stuffing keywords throughout all of your video’s data will increase the chances that potential viewers and subscribers stumble across your content.
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Matt Cummings grew up in the Bay Area and now attends UCLA. He enjoys sports, music and comedy.