How Can I Optimize My YouTube Channel?

The first thing to come to mind when you think about SEO is Google. Maybe Bing and Yahoo as well, but Google is the big one. What people tend to forget about is YouTube, which is the second most visited website in the world according to Alexa’s top 500 sites on the web.

Why optimize your YouTube videos?

According to YouTube, viewers watch over 4 billion hours of video a month. That is a lot of attention you can capture if you optimize your YouTube channel correctly. Google includes more than just articles in their SERPs, they also include videos, images, books and more. Given that Google owns YouTube, it’s not a surprise that optimizing video content on YouTube and embedding the videos on your website will help your organic visibility.

Note that embedding videos on your website will not directly improve your SERPs ranking, but it will show viewers that you have useful content, encouraging them to visit your site more, which in turn increases your site authority.

Ranking factors of YouTube

One of the most important ranking factors of YouTube is audience retention, which is how long people watch your videos before exiting. Audience retention is analyzed based on the following factors:

  • The average view time for all videos on your channel
  • Top videos or channels listed by watch time
  • Audience retention for a specific video for different time frames
  • Relative audience retention for a video compared to the average for similar videos

Other ranking factors:

  • Comments on videos
  • Number of subscribers (after viewing a video)
  • Number of video shares
  • Click-through rate
  • Thumbs up and Thumbs down
  • Watch time
  • Channel authority
  • Positive engagement
  • Broad match keyword targeting in title, description and keyword tags

How to optimize your YouTube channel

Optimizing your YouTube content is fairly similar to optimizing any other content on the website.

Keyword research

The first step for optimization is keyword research. The main goal with keyword research is to understand searcher intent, what kind of information users are looking for and which search terms are most relevant to your audience and business. Using YouTube, you can easily discover industry related search terms and topics by using YouTube’s search suggest feature.

Another way to find relevant keywords is to analyze your competitions videos. What are their topics? You can gather great ideas to help create better content and encourage more engagement.

Publish a high audience retention video

An extremely important ranking factor is whether or not people watch your videos. In short, if your video keeps people on YouTube, your video will rank higher in the search results. So, how do you create a high retention video? Make sure it is valuable and interesting and you are good to go. You don’t need to drop big bucks on production value if you give the audience what they want.

Optimize your YouTube videos

Include your target keyword in your video. If YouTube sees that you mention your keyword in your video, they will understand that your video is indeed about that term. You should also include the keyword in the title, the description, and the tags.

Promote your videos

Audience retention is clearly an important factor, but in order to get an audience, you need to garner views on your video. Share your content across your other social media accounts, link to it in your email signature, embed it on your website etc.

You can use your YouTube channel to market your business and increase your views by producing valuable content and optimizing it.

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