Getting more views is the goal of many YouTube channel owners, especially beginners. There are many YouTube channel owners who work hard and make useful meaningful videos, and then they are shocked when they find that all this effort was for 100 or 200 views at most.
All this happens because many channel owners do not rely on YouTube SEO, which represents a set of steps that make the YouTube platform work in order to increase the views of your videos with a very simple effort.
If this is your first time hearing this term or not, I want you to know that this comprehensive guide on YouTube SEO will not be like any other resource you have seen before.
Because in this guide you will learn about:
What is SEO in general, and what is YouTube SEO in particular, in a simplified and practical way.
How the YouTube search engine works, and how it filters videos to users.
The most important factors that YouTube depends on in evaluating videos.
Step by step how you can properly apply YouTube SEO to your videos and your channel in general.
The most important YouTube SEO tools that you should rely on.
Practical tips to increase your YouTube channel views.
That's why I advise you to read the full guide, because you will find a lot of information and tricks between the lines, which will make you get the most out of YouTube SEO.
What is SEO in general and what is YouTube SEO in particular?
First: What is SEO in general?
Since you are looking for YouTube SEO, you certainly know that the word (SEO) is an abbreviation for (Search Engine Optimization), which means search engine optimization .
But what many do not know; That SEO is not only linked to the Google search engine, SEO is linked to any search engine… Let me explain to you what I mean.
SEO is: adjusting your content so that it is ready to appear in the first results when searching using certain keywords .
Each search engine depends on several factors in order to search its database, and based on these factors, it arranges the results in order to give the user the best possible results that suit him.
Let me give you some examples:
When searching on Google Maps: the results are arranged according to your geographical location, customer rating, opening times, and other factors.
When searching on online stores: the results are arranged according to product descriptions, product images, seller ratings, and other factors.
When searching on YouTube: Sort by video title, video description, content, video interaction, and other factors.
That is why if you own a commercial or service store (restaurant - maintenance services), and you know how Google Maps SEO works (or as it is called local SEO ), you will be able to get more clients.
And if you sell anything on any online store (Jumia - Amazon), and you master its SEO, you will be able to achieve more sales.
The same applies to YouTube, the more you master YouTube SEO, the more views you get from searches, and thus your profit rate from YouTube increases.
Second: What is YouTube SEO?
YouTube SEO is the process of adjusting and optimizing your YouTube channel's videos so that they are on top of search results for keywords related to the video that your audience is interested in.
For example, if your channel talks about cooking, technology or economic information, you will have to know the keywords that YouTube visitors use in these areas, in order to create content around it and then adjust and improve this content until it tops the first results.
This is briefly what you will learn how to do step by step in this complete guide on YouTube SEO, but before that you should learn some information about how YouTube itself works.
Read also: How to Earn from YouTube (Your Free Comprehensive Guide)
In short: How does YouTube filter videos?
As I mentioned earlier, each search engine depends on several factors in ranking the results, so let's delve into some of the most important of these factors for the YouTube search engine.
1. Watch Time
Watching time is: the average of the minutes in which the video was watched, and its percentage of the total video time (for example, if the video time is 10 minutes and on average only 4 minutes of the video are watched... then the watch time is 4 minutes and it is 40%).
The more time you watch a particular video compared to other videos on the same topic... YouTube's algorithms will filter that video more than others.
2. Click Rate (CTR)
Click Through Rate: The percentage of clicks a video gets out of the total number of impressions it gets.
For example, if YouTube's algorithms filter a specific video on the home page of 100 users, and only 30 of them click on the video to watch it, then the click rate for this video will be 30%.
Another example: If 1,000 people per day search for the keyword in one of your videos, and your video ranks in the 10th result, and your video gets a high click rate, this will give YouTube a sign to move the video to a higher rank.
3. Engagement with the video
Interaction with any YouTube video is determined by: the number of likes versus dislikes, the number of comments on the video, and the number of new subscribers who have subscribed to the channel through the video page.
Of course, the higher the interaction rate on a particular video, the more YouTube's algorithms filter that video than others.
4. Video Title
The title of the video is the most important thing that YouTube algorithms rely on to understand the content it is talking about, in order to recommend it to users who are interested in the same topic.
Also, the title of the video is of great importance to the owner of any YouTube channel, because it is the first thing a YouTube user looks at until he decides whether to click on the video to watch it or not.
The address here works in more than one direction, including:
The closeness of the link between the title of the video and the keyword used in the search (a video with a title that fully applies to the keyword has a greater share of appearing in the first results.
How closely the video title relates to the video content (the more accurately the title of the video expresses the content of the video, the more likely it is to appear in the first results).
5. Video Description
The description of the video is of great importance in making YouTube's algorithms understand the content of the video; Especially if this content is in any language other than English.
Later we'll talk about why this is, and also how to adjust the description of your videos.
6. Meta tags
Meta tags are: the words or phrases that YouTube allows you to put on each video, in order to make it better understand the content of your video.
You can consider these tags as the headers of the topics that you will talk about in your video, as in many cases you cannot put all the small topics that you will talk about in the title.
That is why this feature has been added to the owners of YouTube channels next to the video mode; To help YouTube's algorithms understand the content of the videos.
And to be honest with you, there is a lot of information from YouTube experts; Meta tags are no longer important in filtering YouTube videos.
Although we will cover it in some detail in this guide, because it is still found in the official YouTube explanations .
Read also: How to increase YouTube views for free
How do YouTube's algorithms understand and rate any video?
YouTube relies on many algorithms: each algorithm has a specific role to play until a final rating comes out for each video, on the basis of which this video is recommended to users.
Note: An algorithm in computer science is a set of specific code that is executed on a computer in order to perform a particular task.
When any YouTube channel publishes a new video, the following happens:
Some YouTube algorithms understand the content of the video itself, by reviewing its file as well as analyzing the title and description.
Some other algorithms filter this video to a specific number of followers of this channel, in order to make an initial evaluation of the video based on the factors we mentioned earlier, such as click rate and watch time.
There are some other algorithms responsible for knowing each user's viewing patterns, in order to filter videos that fit the topics and people they follow on YouTube.
Based on this data, all videos on the YouTube platform are evaluated in order to filter videos in different places, such as:
Home Page: The videos that you find in front of you when you open YouTube, whether on the desktop or the mobile application.
Suggested Videos: Videos that are recommended to you along with any video you watch on YouTube.
Search results pages on YouTube or regular Google search.
This was, in short, what you should know about how YouTube works, and how it filters videos in order to make users stay as long as possible on YouTube to watch ads so that YouTube earns more.
Youtube SEO in 7 Easy Steps for Great Results
Based on all of the above, you should know that whenever:
Understand your audience better and know what topics they want to see.
You get the audience to interact with your content.
YouTube made it easier to understand your videos.
This will make YouTube's algorithms work for you, filtering your videos more.
Now it's time to move on to the practical steps that you have to follow in order to take advantage of these algorithms - especially those based on search - to get more views.
1. Search for keywords in the right way
Keywords are the main key that will make you get the most out of YouTube SEO, because they represent the topics and issues your audience is looking for.
Another important thing is knowing the keyword search rate. For example, a keyword that is searched 1500 times per month will be more important to you than a keyword that is searched only 200 times per month.
In order to search for keywords, you should use the following methods:
1. Keywords suggested by YouTube:
If you go to the search box and type any word, you will find a list of search terms suggested by YouTube. These words represent the most searched words according to the topic header you typed in the search box, as shown in the image below.
Tip: If you insert an underscore (_) before the word you start with, you'll find many different suggestions and keywords that you might not find in the usual way.
Example of keyword research on YouTube search engine
2. Use YouTube SEO Tools:
There are several tools that give you great insight into YouTube keyword searches, such as the free Ahrefs tool , which you can also find below. This wonderful tool will enable you to discover many keywords with an indication of the search volume for each word, so that you can choose the most important among them according to the topics that interest your channel.
Example of YouTube SEO keyword research on ahrefs
3. YouTube Analytics Keywords:
When you enter YouTube Studio, and click on any video, you will be able to see the sources of views you got. One of these sources is search, and here you will find YouTube telling you the keywords that were searched, that brought views to your videos, and you may find new keywords that you did not use before.
Now that you have a list of many keywords that you can make videos about, let me now tell you how to do it according to the rules of YouTube SEO.
Note: We will soon be launching a comprehensive guide on YouTube Analytics, which is the most important tool for any channel owner, so stay tuned so you don't miss out.
2. Keep in mind your watch time as you make your videos
When you make any video, you have to keep in mind the time of watching, there are simple, quick topics that do not need a long time, and there are other topics that need more detail.
That is why you have to look at the search results for the keyword that you will rely on in your video, and look at the time of each video, especially in the first results, and try to make the time of your videos similar to those videos.
Remember that watch time is the most important factor that YouTube relies on in evaluating videos, so you have to pay attention to the first 15 seconds of the video to convince the viewer to watch the entire video.
3. Set the video around the keyword before uploading it to YouTube
This step is not taken by many YouTube channel owners, despite its importance. All you have to do is the following:
Put the keyword in the name of your video file before you upload it to YouTube, so don't choose a random name for the video file.
Mention your target keyword throughout the video, especially in the first minute.
With this, you have set the video around the keyword that you want to top the search results for,
because you have given YouTube strong and easy indicators that make it easy to identify the content.
4. Set the video around the keyword after uploading it to YouTube
After uploading the video to YouTube, you must do the following steps:
1. Optimize video title
You should put the keyword in the title of the video, in addition to making the title itself attractive, attractive and curious, so that the user will click on the video and watch it.
2. Optimize video description
When you are preparing your videos, you may make a text or script for the video, so why not put this text in the description of the video?! You can also summarize this text if it is rather large with the headlines, which should contain the keyword you are targeting.
3. Use meta tags
Meta tags represent the keywords your video is targeting, so try to include some similar, or also searched for, keywords in the same topic as your video. You can use some free tools that help you find out the meta tags of any video like Keywords Everywhere or Youtube Buddy. If you click on any of the above links, you will know how to take advantage of these simple and free tools.
4. Download Video Transcript
This step is very important, and it helps your video to top the search results on YouTube, as well as on the Google search engine.
You can download the video text file or you can write the text of the video yourself through the settings, you can use this guide from YouTube to learn the steps, and do not worry, it is simpler than you think.
5. Thumbnail file name
One of the most important steps that many people don't know is the importance of putting keywords in the Thumbnail file name. For this, do not use an automatic thumbnail from the video, but rather upload a good special image that will prompt visitors to click on the video to watch it. Soon we will be preparing a comprehensive and detailed guide explaining how to create attractive thumbnails that increase click rate, and thus increase views.
5. Exploit Playlists
One of the most important characteristics of YouTube channels that many Arab channel owners do not take advantage of are playlists, especially when you collect videos that target a specific topic in one list.
Set each playlist around a major keyword that has a large search volume (eg Egyptian cuisine in the case of cooking channels).
Playlists appear in search lists, and this is a great opportunity for you to be at the top of search results for great keywords, especially if you cover the topic from several aspects.
6. Look for opportunities to get backlinks to your videos
Backlinks are a good indicator for YouTube of the quality of your videos, and thus make it put the video in the first results, whether on the YouTube search engine or on the Google search engine itself.
You can ask the owners of different sites to put your videos in their content, especially if the video serves visitors to the site, or you can put your videos in your personal blog, this also helps greatly.
That's why make sure to get backlinks to your main videos on the keywords that are most important to you.
Read also: How to create a free Blogger blog (steps explained with pictures)
7. Adjust your channel to increase the number of followers
YouTube depends on the brand and its strength, or as we call it in the world of YouTube SEO, the authority. The more your channel leads the search results for several keywords, and also brings new followers, the more YouTube is keen on your new videos to top the search results because it has become trusting your channel.
There are several things that can help you achieve this, including:
Putting a good cover image for your channel stating the main goal of the channel, which helps convert visitors into followers.
Posting in a specific and continuous manner (I recommend publishing twice a week for educational channels, and 3 or more times for entertainment channels).
Covering the most important keywords in your channel's niche.
In every video, be sure to ask your followers to follow your channel.
Remember that YouTube wants users to stay on YouTube as long as possible, so it will promote any channel or video that helps it achieve that goal.
Important Youtube SEO Tips
In addition to what I learned about YouTube SEO; Here are some practical tips that will help you on your journey towards increasing your views and improving your channel in general.
1. Search by incognito browser
When you search for keywords, I advise you to use the incognito browser, so that the results you find are not affected by your personal account, which YouTube relies on in the recent time to improve the experience of users.
2. The necessity of improving old videos
Go to your old videos and edit them according to what you learned in this guide (Title Optimization - Thumbnail - Video Description - Meta tags) and more.
Do not underestimate this advice, believe me, you will be surprised by the results that your old videos will achieve. I recently did the same experiment on one of the Arab channels, and the views of one of the videos increased from 2000 to 70,000 views only by adjusting the title and description.
3. The importance of content
The content is everything, it is it who makes the visitor watch the entire video and then decide to follow your channel... That's why invest in your content, and develop it constantly until you satisfy the viewer by all possible means.
That is why I want you to plan your videos well, and to follow the most famous channels in your field in order to be inspired by some ideas and methods that make the viewer watch the entire video.
You can also learn from the owners of the YouTube channels that you follow personally, by asking yourself what makes you follow them and not others!
4. Breaking the rules and experimenting
One of the most important rules for SEO in general, and YouTube SEO in particular, is the rule of continuous testing… meaning trying everything in a different way until you get the best results.
If you look closely at the most popular and successful channels on YouTube, you will find that the style of writing titles and making thumbnails is constantly changing.
This is because the owner of the channel is constantly experimenting with many methods, in order to get the most benefit, and this is what the YouTube employees themselves advise.
That's why when you find any new video that you publish does not achieve results... Edit the video title and thumbnail and look at the results... When you find that one of your videos has achieved exceptional results, follow the same method in your next videos.
Always try and try and break the rules if you want... as long as you follow the results and improve your management of the YouTube channel.
In the end, I wish you success in your journey with YouTube SEO, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave it to us in the comments.
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