A Guide to SEO for YouTube Channels

Understanding the Opportunity

With an average of over 30 million daily visits and an estimated 92 billion views a month, YouTube presents a unique marketing opportunity for video based businesses to thrive. This brief guide to SEO strategy for YouTube provides solutions for improving Google and YouTube channel rankings.

YouTube Engagement APIs

Views  Core metric for total number of views a video received.
View Duration  Core retention metric for avg number of minutes’ users viewed video.
Shares  Core metric for number of times video was shared.
Subscribers  Core metric for channel subscribers gained after viewing a video.
Comments  Core metric for number of users that showed verbal engagement with a video.
CTR  Core metric for average rate of clicks on a video.
Likes/Dislikes  Number of times user indicated they liked or disliked a video.
View Percentage  Explains what portion of the total video was viewed.

Video Title and Description Keywords

A high portion of first page results in Google are reserved for video. Using free tools like Google Trends or Keyword Planner to find keywords with a minimum volume of 300 searches a month can drastically improve the SEO of a channel. How-to, review or sporting activity terms are a few of the popular keywords used in video titles. The first few lines of a description can also be vital to ranking high in search engines. Metadata descriptions are another area for placing keywords relevant to your video.

Engaging & High Quality Production

Posting high quality videos with appealing graphics, professional editing & good length are key to building loyal channel viewers. Tags present another chance for strategic keyword placement during the upload process. Unless it’s an ad, longer videos on YouTube tend to outperform shorter ones.

Leveraging Your Network

As a part of Google’s ad & search network, YT channels easily link to Google + profiles so videos can appear in results for both platforms. Viewers enjoy destination videos that direct them towards new content. Similar to the impact of a landing page, linking the channel to a website will increase viewer engagement.

Ranking in “Recommended”, “Suggested” and “Up Next” Columns

YouTube’s “watch time” algorithm for internal rankings also factors in viewer engagement, topic relevancy and CTA’s encouraging your users to engage with your video. Connecting videos to playlists can lengthen user sessions & total view times. Posting videos on popular topics is another way to boost internal & search rankings. Instructional and testimonials are topics that generate massive user engagement.