Basically, YouTube works as a search engine just like its big sister Google. It is now the second-largest search engine in the world, follows an algorithm, and evaluates various criteria in order to assign relevance to the search results. Parallels to Google are easy to draw, including how to do SEO to rank on it.
At the same time, there are also significant differences in the ranking of the two search channels: unlike Google search results, YouTube allows the searcher to give very direct feedback on the content viewed. These interactions also have an impact on the ranking, but can only be influenced to a limited extent.
1. File names
Everything starts before uploading the video. Because already the title of the file gives Google or YouTube the first hint on the content of the video and represents quasi the first keywords.
So it’s best to check the title before uploading the video because it shouldn’t be “MyVideo.mp4”.
The file name in this context is similar to the alt text of an image. When uploading, the filename is read out and tells YouTube for the first time what can be seen in the video.
2. The correct order for SEO titles
The design of the title also plays a role for YouTube. It assumes that with the title we first provide the searcher with all important information. Accordingly, the algorithm expects the first words to be the most decisive for the uploaded video. The title should therefore always reflect the content of the video first.
A short example: If Amelie uploads an instructional video about the correct construction of a combustion engine, the title should be “Correctly assemble combustion engines – with Amelie” and not “Amelie shows it – Correctly assemble a combustion engine”.
3. Use subtitles for keywords
Nowadays machines can read different content better and better. This makes written words for machines mean something and content is understood by them.
If a transcript or subtitle is added to a video by uploading a file, the video platform can recognize and evaluate certain signal words (e.g. via frequency). This gives the platform another possibility to understand the contents of the video and to assign it to the right search queries.
Playlists are especially well suited to keep the user within our channel. This is an attempt to increase the channel’s watch time and to signal that the channel has particularly high relevance in connection with such search queries. According to a leading SEO agency in Denver, playlists can be extremely powerful on channels that provide interesting content with a cliff-hanger like endings.
Clustering the videos by topic and combining them into a playlist also has another advantage: the playlist also appears in YouTube’s search results and thus offers the additional option of transmitting keywords to the system.
5. How to tag correctly
The most obvious signals are definitely video tags. Here, too, you can optimize a lot. For example, YouTube prefers keyword combinations. So it makes sense to combine them in addition to the actual tags – if useful.
An example: The tags “Beatles; Acoustic; Cover; live” are added to “Wonderwall acoustic cover played live”.
Various sources recommend a number of about 15 keywords. However, the quality and not the quantity should be in the foreground.
Tip 1: There are different tools and possibilities for researching similar keywords and their volumes. Among others, the AdWords keyword planner or Ubersuggest can be used for this. In addition, it makes sense to look at the search trends for keywords on YouTube or Google via Google Trends. This can also be used to identify the seasonal nature of certain topics.
Tip 2: Especially niche topics with longtail keywords often have more potential than you think. Even if the average search queries per month are comparatively low, the competitive situation for such topics is usually also lower. This usually results in a lower supply of search results, which increases the chances of appearing on the search results page with a matching search query.
In addition to these tips & tricks, there are, of course, many other things you can do to promote your own video content. However, points such as video quality, frequency or subscriber structure are very time-consuming undertakings. Here it is necessary, if necessary with an experienced partner, to develop suitable strategies for content production and distribution.