The first thing people see when they search for a specific video is the video’s thumbnail. It is essentially what they use to judge the video; whether or not they would like it. Essentially, it is judging a book by its cover. However, the thumbnail doesn’t have to be the single thing that carries your video in a list of search results. Like more or less all other online content, proper use of search engine optimization is key to posting a video on YouTube.
This applies to the video’s title and its description. After all, before watching a YouTube video, we generally first look at the thumbnail to see if it’s interesting and then read the description to know if it’s what we are looking for. Of course, this comes after first searching for the video itself—and this means typing in certain keywords, which are usually contained in the title. So, search engine optimization is an important tool you need to use before publishing a YouTube video.
Chances are, people won’t search for your video directly (unless you can somehow tell them). They will search for something in general and the only way your video will be included in the first few search results is if it is optimized to do so. This means in order for it to be a related video, you have to ensure its keywords are configured in such a way that it is relevant to the search. You obviously want your target audience to see your video, which is why you need to ensure it is among those said audience regularly searches for.
There are times when you have searched something on the internet and at the very top (or close to it) of the search results, you saw a bunch of YouTube videos. This is another advantage of YouTube videos on Google’s Universal Search tool. Most of the time, you will see these videos come up when you search for tutorials or instructions on how to do something. This is probably because somehow Google knows that videos are the best way to teach something. Or, it could also be because the videos are optimized so well for the search engine, they just have to be close to the top of the index of results.
Internet users will only pay attention to something that stands out—this is because the results come in the hundreds of thousands and we generally want what we are looking for as fast as possible. This is human nature. Your video will rank well if it is relevant enough. It can only be relevant if it has been configured that way. The only way to configure it into relevancy is through search engine optimization. The title and description of said video has to be clear and, in most cases, concise. Once the user has identified it as relevant, he/she would probably only click on it if he/she sees it as useful. This will only happen if the video can attract the user to itself. This is probably where the description comes in. The most important thing for you, however, is to ensure your video is relevant and always near the top of search engine results. After that, you need not worry because it will definitely get views.
To ensure your video is always among the relevant or related ones, you will need to learn about search engine optimization. Listed in detail below are five SEO tools you need to use before publishing a YouTube video:
1. Specific Key PhrasesBy using specific keywords and key phrases, you are giving your video a tool that will give it a good rank in search results. However, when you do so, you must ensure that said keywords and key phrases are not overly competitive. If they are too competitive, your video will sit with other low-ranking videos and generate little to no traffic at all.
You can learn more about this by taking a look at the auto-complete search results. The auto-complete feature comes to the fore when you start typing something in the search bar and before you have even finished typing, various phrases come listed just below the search bar. This is a good way to learn the most common key phrases and keywords people tend to use in their searches.
2. Monitor your ContentThe best way to do this is by creating a marketing dashboard that will archive and monitor your content for you. The best tool for this work is probably Cyfe, which can optimize your video for Twitter, Google Plus and other search results—as long as users’ searches mention your key phrases.
3. Research Other Similar VideosIf you want to post something on YouTube and you want it to stand out, you need to understand what is already in place for the videos that currently rank atop their respective search criteria. This means you have to first search for other videos (most probably videos like yours) to see what is working for them and what would not work. It is probably a good idea to also go to the very last result on the very last page (or somewhere close to it) to see what that video has and/or lacks for it to rank where it does.
You should also learn what the best YouTube videos contain in terms of thumbnails and names. A lot depends on a name as well as a video’s thumbnail. You should learn what the best ranking videos have in their names and what their thumbnails contain. You should learn why their thumbnails are so attractive to viewers and learn how to apply that concept to your own video.
4. Can your Video Answer Questions?Sometimes people type out questions into the search bar and they are answered with a list of videos to choose from. This is not because Google (or YouTube) is so intelligent as to interact with the user. It is down to keywords and key phrases.
Using SerpStats is a good way to know the kinds of questions people generally ask YouTube and/or Google. You can use this to judge if your video can answer these questions and optimize it to do so. Also, you can use this tool to create more videos in future.