Incorporating keywords on your channel helps YouTube understand what kind of content you create and how to deliver that content to the right target audience. By optimizing your page with carefully thought out keywords, YouTube rewards you by showing your videos to a potential audience through search results and suggested videos. This article is broken down into 2 parts, first on how to effectively choose the right keywords and second on effective placement of chosen keywords to help you rank higher on YouTube search.
I. Keyword Planning – How to find the right keywords
a. Check Out the Competition
Perform competitive research on creators within your niche. Find a channel with a similar number of subscribers and content category. View their most popular videos and see what keywords they incorporated in their title, description and video tags. If you find something that resonates with you, add it to your keywords list.
b. Learn From Your Channel’s YouTube Analytics
In YouTube Studio, head over to the analytics tab and click on reach. From here you can see exactly what keywords people are typing in the search bar to find your videos. This provides you with words and phrases you can further optimize on your page by including them in other key areas of your channel.
c. Make Use of YouTube Autocomplete
When you begin typing in the search bar on YouTube, you will notice YouTube automatically populates suggested keywords to fill in the rest of your search. This is YouTube feeding you information about what is trending in searches. This is where you can get your long tail keyword phrases. These longer phrases are more specific, meaning less competition for you.
II. Keyword Placement – Where to place your keywords
This is where long-tail-keywords are beneficial. These are longer, more specific phrases used for more niche searches. Shorter keyword phrases have likely been taken over and covered by bigger channels. Use your title as an opportunity to directly separate yourself from the competition and use a keyword phrase that directly communicates the content in your video.
b. Video Descriptions
Shorter keywords and more specifically, your focus keyword, thrive in the video description. Your focus keyword is the term you want your video to be searched for the most. This is your best ranking keyword chosen for a specific video. YouTube recommends placing this keyword early on in your description so it’s easier to find when crawling your page. For example, if you have a video describing how to effectively use SEO on your YouTube Channel, “YouTube SEO” should appear within the first sentence of your description.
When you get to adding keywords to the tags section, you might think, the more the merrier. Don’t fall for this temptation. YouTube prioritizes quality over quantity and recommends using 10-20 strong keywords. The most relevant and popular keywords should be first followed by more specific ones, such as long tail keywords.
When optimizing your channel with keywords, always tailor them to your specific niche and search result goals. Keyword optimization is a careful balance of using what’s popular while also remaining true to your audience and your unique content. By finding that perfect equilibrium between the two, you will attract a larger audience and gain popularity through search.
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Laura Wadley likes spending time outside when she can, listening to true crime podcasts and learning new yoga poses.