Youtube Optimization: Optimizing YouTube for Better Search Rankings

In this article, we will show the significance of YouTube search, which can be broken down into two aspects. The first is how YouTube optimization works and why it is essential. The second is how to increase views and traffic for your videos.

Arcane Marketing, receives frequent inquiries about these topics, so we will cover some basics to assist you. To begin, there are a few crucial statistics about this platform that explain why optimizing for YouTube is important, and we will outline them for you.

What you might already know and suspect is the power that video has on your SEO strategy and brand recognition. But, before reading too far below, you should watch Nathan Hawkes, the President of Arcane Marketing, talk about the importance of what utilizing YouTube videos can do for your SEO strategy. 

Youtube Videos SEO Statistics

First and foremost, it is worth noting that it is roughly 52x more simple (in effort) to have a video rank for a targeted keyword in the Google search engine compared to a website page. If you conduct a Google search, you may have noticed that a few videos usually appear at the top of the search results before the website results, typically ranging from one to three or five videos. Therefore, keep in mind (*hint*  *hint*) that it is easier to rank a video for a challenging or competitive keyword than it is for a webpage on your website.

Secondly, this may seem self-evident, but it’s worth mentioning that Google has owned YouTube since 2006. It’s important to keep in mind that YouTube alone receives approximately 4.5% of all daily searches. This percentage is not insignificant and is actually greater than the other search engines DuckDuckGo and Yahoo.

To put it into perspective, there are an average of 125 million searches conducted on YouTube each day. It’s worth noting that these figures only include searches performed on youtube.com and not searches performed on google.com, which are in the billions.

Additionally, 70% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices, and 70% of all YouTube content is consumed on these devices.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that YouTube is the leading platform for business decision-makers to make informed choices and feel influenced by what they see.

Regardless of the type of business you operate, or organization you represent, most decision-makers, whether big or small, consider YouTube to be the most influential factor. With 2.6 billion active users, YouTube is neck and neck with Facebook as the most popular social media platform, closely followed by Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

While it’s unclear what defines an “active user,” these statistics are impressive. However, Facebook, or Meta as it is now known, seems to be on the decline or holding steady, and it’s unclear whether they are currently growing at the end of 2023.

How The YouTube Algorithm Works

YouTube has a complex algorithm that determines how your videos will appear in YouTube rankings. It takes into account a number of different factors to determine which videos are most relevant and engaging for each individual user.

Here are some of the key factors that the YouTube algorithm considers:

  1. Watch time: This refers to the amount of time that users spend watching your videos. The more watch time your videos have, the more likely they are to be recommended to other users.

  2. Relevance: The algorithm takes into account how relevant your video is to a user’s search query or viewing history. If your video is highly relevant to a user’s interests, it is more likely to be recommended.

  3. Engagement: The algorithm also looks at how engaged viewers are with your videos, including things like likes, comments, shares, and subscriptions. The more engagement your videos have, the more likely they are to be recommended to other users.

  4. Video metadata: This includes things like titles, descriptions, and tags, which help the algorithm understand what your video is about and who it is relevant to.

  5. Quality: The algorithm also considers factors like video resolution, audio quality, and production value, as well as the overall quality of your channel. However, we want to point out that the single most important quality factor with a video, for both YouTube’s concern, as well as your captive audience, is audio. This is because people often listen to YouTube videos without actually watching it all the time. It’s a common practice for Podcasters to post their video on YouTube while they post the audio portion on many other places. 

It’s important to note that the YouTube algorithm is constantly evolving, and YouTube may make changes to the algorithm at any time in order to improve the user experience. Therefore, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices for optimizing your videos for the algorithm.

YouTube SEO Tips: How To Optimize Videos & Drive Traffic

People Watching Video Clips on Youtube

Based on the above mentioned data suggests that YouTube is indeed growing. It’s possible that YouTube will soon surpass Meta as the most popular social media platform. Now, let’s talk about youtube SEO tips that focus on specific steps you can take to improve your video’s search visibility.

Although there are many other tactics that can make a difference, we will highlight a few quick and easy tips that you can implement on your own when uploading your video or optimizing your website.

Rename your video file using a target keyword

When uploading your video to YouTube, the name of the file you use matters. It should contain your key phrases or keywords. Just like how you would add alt text to an image on your webpage, consider using a file name with two or three words separated by a hyphen.

Add transcripts automatically

When uploading the video, select the option to add transcripts, which can be very helpful. This is actually helpful with making sure that YouTube can understand what you’re saying or doing in your video. The more YouTube can understand about your content, the better it is for you!

Make sure to mark your video is not intended for kids’

It’s surprising how many times this is overlooked, and many people don’t realize they have two options: mark the video as safe for kids or mark it as not intended for kids. Despite the negative connotation, it’s important to choose the correct option which is typically to make “not safe for kids”. Trust us, this opens that door for people to more easily and openly find your video. Again, it might appear to be a negative connotation to mark “not safe” but, that’s not the case here. 

It is vital to mark your video as not safe for kids, as marking it safe for kids will limit its audience to children only. If you want your video to show up in YouTube’s Kids section, then you can mark it as such. On the other hand, choosing not for kids will make it available to everyone on YouTube.

Create a custom video thumbnail

Ensure that your video’s cover thumbnail is visually appealing and captivating. While YouTube provides several options based on scenes from your video, it is recommended to create your own thumbnail that includes attention-grabbing elements like text or vibrant colors. It’s worth noting that Google can detect when you use a separate thumbnail, so it’s not just for users but also for YouTube’s algorithm to prioritize your video.

Insert your keyword naturally in the video title and description

Make sure to include your keywords in both the title and description. There are no limits to how long the description can be, so you could make it long like 500 words or 1,500 words, if you wanted to. Of course, not everyone will read the entire description, but using your keywords or phrases in your video descriptions can be helpful. Using them naturally in the title is also important – make sure it accurately reflects the content of your video and highlights its benefits or advantages.

Keep in mind that adding your keyword in the video description can be beneficial, but it’s important to avoid over-optimization.

Add but limit your hashtags to increase your reach

It’s important to limit the number of hashtags used to tag your video. Based on our agency’s experience in YouTube optimization over the past eight years, we’ve found that using no more than 5 hashtags is ideal.

Using too many hashtags can dilute the video’s value and confuse the signals sent to YouTube and Google about what the video is really about. In the past, the rule was to use up to eight hashtags, but there is evidence supporting that this is also too many.

Transcribe your videos and make them a blog post (yes, just like this one that you’re reading now!)

It is also important to ensure that your webpage is highly relevant to the video. This means that the content surrounding the video should directly correlate or be highly relevant to it. One tip for achieving this is to transcribe the video and use it as the content on the page.

While this may not be the answer 100% of the time, it is a strategy that often works well and can make for a great blog post. By doing this, you send good signals to YouTube about the relevance of your content.

Utilize schema markup properly

Utilize proper schema markup on your webpage, which is a strategy that many people may not know about. Arcane Marketing emphasizes a simple, yet important, rule of thumb: schema, all the things. Basic schema is better than nothing, but won’t help you compete in youtube search for your video.

It’s vital to use video schema around your video, so be sure to wrap it in schema. Another tip is to embed the most important video near the top of the page. Keep in mind that Google will only prioritize one video per page, so if you have multiple videos, it’s best to separate them into different pages.

Embed the most significant video at the top of the page

It’s important to note that Google usually prioritizes only one video per page. So, if you have multiple videos that you want to add to the same page, it’s better to choose one that’s the most important and place it at the top (yup, just like you already see on this page).

The video that is placed at the top or comes first in the webpage code receives priority. To optimize traffic from YouTube, it is advisable to limit the videos to one per page, placing it near the top. The higher up it is, the more importance Google gives to it and the stronger its impact.

Focus the webpage around your video and its content

To maximize the impact of your video, don’t just randomly insert it on the webpage in the hope that it will attract attention. While it’s better than having no video at all, it’s not worth the effort if it doesn’t have a significant impact. Therefore, it’s essential to focus the webpage or the content around the video. Design the page layout and content in such a way that the video becomes the main attraction or at least one of the most prominent features on the page.

Avoid embedding the same video in multiple locations

We have observed instances where individuals use the same video on their blog posts, service pages, and other places on the internet. This approach can result in the video competing with itself, diminishing its impact. It is preferable to ensure that the video is placed in a single location, such as your website or a place where you have greater control. This will give you greater control over the video’s distribution and attention.

Additional YouTube SEO Strategies Worth Doing

Man Holding A tablet with Youtube Play Button

Encourage engagement

YouTube values engagement on videos so encourages viewers to like, comment, and subscribe. This can help increase watch time and signal to YouTube that your video is valuable and relevant. How you do that is up to you. Our advice? Be creative. Be smooth.

Share your video on social media and other platforms

Sharing your video on social media and other platforms can help increase views, engagement, and backlinks to your video, which can all contribute to better SEO. Right now, one of the very best places to share your videos is TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, and LinkedIn. It works.

Video length makes a difference

The length of a YouTube video can have an impact on its SEO optimization. YouTube rewards longer videos that keep viewers engaged and on the platform for longer periods of time. However, the length of a video should still be appropriate to its content and purpose. If a video is too long or contains irrelevant information, it may have the opposite effect and drive viewers away, decreasing watch time and hurting its SEO ranking.

Take advantage of end screens and YouTube cards

End screens and YouTube cards are great tools to take advantage of when optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO. End screens allow you to promote other videos or playlists on your channel, as well as encourage viewers to subscribe or visit your website. YouTube cards, on the other hand, allow you to add interactive elements to your video, such as links to related videos, merchandise, or crowdfunding campaigns.

Keeping a close eye on your analytics is crucial for YouTube SEO optimization

By analyzing your video metrics, you can see how your audience engages with your content and identify areas that need improvement. You can track the number of views, watch time, engagement rate, audience retention, and other metrics to gain insights into how your videos are performing. These metrics can help you optimize youtube videos, titles, tags, descriptions, and other elements of your video strategy. You can also use analytics to identify your target audience and create more targeted content to increase engagement and retention.

Build Links to Your YouTube Channel, Not Just Your Videos

Building links to your YouTube channel can help you establish your channel as an authority in your niche, improve your rankings, grow your audience, and diversify your traffic sources. This can all lead to greater success on YouTube. In the long run, you will gain more authority each and every time you post a video to your channel. This is typically a solid and fairly well vetted strategy that you won’t hear about in other places. 

Don’t forget to do your keyword research

Keyword research is an essential part of YouTube SEO optimization, as it helps you understand your audience’s search behavior, optimize your content for search, and ultimately increase your visibility, reach, and ranking on youtube search results. Make sure you use your keywords in (as aforementioned) the hashtags, details, file name, and descriptions. 

Final Thoughts

YouTube is one of the most overlooked strategies for SEO and generating traffic. Even though, after many years of Google informing organizations about the power of videos, still many brands don’t take advantage of it like they should. If you’re reading this, consider this your call-to-action. There are some massive gains to be made from traffic, branding, and money – all from YouTube. 

Optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO involves a combination of strategic keyword usage, engaging video content, and smart promotion. By implementing these tips, you can improve your chances of ranking videos higher on YouTube and reaching a larger audience.

If you want to succeed, start to create and optimize your youtube videos now! Don’t wait! If you don’t have any idea how and where to begin, Arcane Marketing can help! Contact us today and we will take care of your YouTube optimization.

Youtube Optimization
Marketably Logo
Arcane Marketing Logo

Marketably Has Merged With Arcane Marketing!

You can still expect the same high-quality services you came to know and love at Marketably, but now with an expanded offering of additional marketing services and additional resources!

SSP Logo
Arcane Marketing Logo

Strategic Social Partners Has Merged With Arcane Marketing!

You can still expect the same high-quality services you came to know and love at Strategic Social Partners, but now with an expanded offering of additional marketing services and additional resources!

Gravity Logo Small
Arcane Marketing Logo

Gravity Pictures Has Merged With Arcane Marketing!

You can still expect the same high-quality services you came to know and love at Gravity Pictures, but now with an expanded offering of additional marketing services and additional resources!