SEO your YouTube videos – How to use AdWords Keyword Planner

The reason why you need to SEO your videos

There are two ways for your YouTube videos to become viral. Number one, you have to be lucky enough that people get to like at least one of your videos very much and it gets high watch time. A video with high watch time is considered to be having quality content and thus will be suggested to even more YouTube users. And once one of your videos becomes popular, it will make your whole channel popular as well with just course of time, that’s for sure. The second way your YouTube videos could become viral is through proper SEO.

proper SEO can boost your YouTube channel's growth

Although in most of the cases this actually is ‘semi viral’, which means that your ‘Search Engine Optimized’ videos will be presented before the right (interested) audience to watch them. If they find the content to be relevant and valuable or entertaining, they will give positive feedback. In that case, these videos will be presented to even more YouTube users. If 80%-90% of them give positive feedback again, then chances are that your SEO videos are finally going to be all viral. If not ‘fully viral’ compared to the videos of the most successful channels on YouTube, then they will at least fetch you handsome earnings, rest assured about that.

Similarities between SEO a YouTube video and SEO a blog

Many people think that SEOing YouTube videos is a lot different than SEOing a blog article. Well, there are some differences indeed. But they have 80%-90% features in common. Let’s discuss the common things first.

In order to SEO an article or a YouTube video, you have to choose a focus keyword. For example for this particular article, the focus keyword I have chosen is SEO itself. I surely could have chosen another word or phrase for focus keyword like ‘keyword planner’ in this case. I actually had done a little bit of keyword research to choose the optimum keyword. And I did that using Google AdWords. I’m going to teach you guys how to do that in a latter part of this article.

Now once you have chosen your focus keyword, you should start writing the article or the video description. You have to maintain a proper keyword density throughout your writing copy. A keyword density of 0.7%-2% is good, in my view. A keyword density less than 0.5% is not effective, whereas a density over 2.5% can actually damage the SEO status of your article or video description.

Other points to remember while doing SEO

You have to use the focus keyword in the title of your article or video: preferably in the beginning. Another thing is that you have to divide the copy in several paragraphs. The first paragraph must contain the focus keyword. Try to insert headings and subheadings in your copy. In case of an article it’s a must and in case of YouTube video, this is kind of optional. If subheadings are used, then try to put the focus keyword in them.

Also keyword should vary from video to video or article from article. You must not use the same keyword in multiple videos on your YouTube channel or multiple articles of your blog. A good length of your article or video description is must for good SEO score. A minimum length of 300 words is good here. Also outbound links play an important role when it comes to SEO. In your video description you can put links to your social media pages and your websites, if any. In case of a blog, you can provide outbound links to your YouTube videos (like I do); also the ads shown here probably serve the same purpose.

Differences between YouTube videos and blog articles in the context of SEO

The number one difference is that the length of your video description should vary from 250 to 300 words. It shouldn’t be more than 300 words, whereas you can have an article length of as many words as you like. In fact, the lengthier your article is, the better; provided that it doesn’t contain any unnecessary ‘gibberish’.

You should provide one or more images on your blog article and they should contain title attribute too. But there is no way you can insert an image in a YouTube video description. I believe the thumbnail used on a video serves the purpose of it’s SEO.

In case of a blog article, you should provide a meta description which has to contain the focus keyword. But there is no such option on a YouTube video (the metadata of a YouTube video is a lot different scenario. Below is the link to an article which describes what metadata is for a YouTube video and also how it can be misleading).

Metadata: When it becomes misleading and leads your YouTube account to termination

The focus keyword should be present in the url of the blog article, which doesn’t apply for a YouTube video. Again, in case of a blog article you should provide internal links, like those to other articles on your blog. Whereas, you shouldn’t possibly put links to other videos of your channel in the video description. This should be done by using cards.

Use AdWords to find suitable keywords and tags

Although there are other tools and web services to find suitable keywords and tags for your YouTube videos and blog articles, but I would strongly suggest you to use ‘Google AdWords’ instead. It is the best keyword finding tool not only in my view, but also to most other SEO experts. Let us now learn how to use it.

First you have to sign in to your AdWords account. Recently they have made changes in the dashboard interface. You should go to the portion with three vertical dots and click on it. A menu will open where you’ll be clicking on ‘Keyword planner’, then a page will open in a new tab.

A portion of AdWords dashboard to do SEO
Can you see the three vertical dots?

Now you need to click on the link saying ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’. You’ll be provided with a few blank spaces, where you need to type your options. In most cases, typing the title of your YouTube video or blog article is just enough. And you have to do it in the box that says ‘Your product or service’.

You're about to enter your desired keywords for SEO purpose

After that you have to hit the blue ‘Get ideas’ button below, and you will have some search results. You could be using some of the results as tags in your YouTube video or blog article (I’m going to do the same for this article). Also when I’ll be preparing a YouTube video with the same title and content, I’ll be using some of these tags – the most popular ones.

Choose the best and the most popular keywords to serve SEO

Now that you know how to find keywords related to your particular YouTube video or blog article, you have to choose the best and the popular related keywords. Out of these, choose one as your SEO keyword (aka focus keyword) which you are going to focus in video description or article copy. The rest popular keywords could be used as tags.

For your information, I previously ran a search on AdWords using keywords like SEO and keyword planner. I had some results out of which I chose SEO as the focus keyword. Now after selecting my article title and running a search with that, I’m going to use a few results as tags on this article. If you’re a YouTuber, you could use such keywords as tags on your video, as I previously mentioned.

The keywords with most search numbers like 10K-100K or 1K-10K are supposed to be the most popular ones. Nevertheless, keywords which have low search frequency but are very close to your particular theme, could be selected as well. Besides the search frequency, there is another option which shows competition: low, medium or high. In ideal situation, you should be selecting keywords with low or medium competition, for reasons I’ll be describing may be in a future article. (FYI, I prefer to cover the first three pages of search results)

list of SEO keywords showing search frequency and competition level

SEO keywords you shouldn’t choose

In my opinion, you shouldn’t choose more than 15 tags for a YouTube video and 20/25 keywords to use as tags for a blog article. Also once you have the search results on AdWords, you might see some mouth watering and frequently searched keywords which are remotely related with your copy (article or video description). You shouldn’t choose these as tags for your copy, because choosing so may harm the SEO status of your article and lead your YouTube channel to termination.

For example, upon running  an AdWords search on the title of this article, I too found some mouth watering keywords as ‘youtube hot videos 2016’ with search frequency of 10k-100k. But I didn’t select this as a tag, because this search keyword is no way related with my current article. Also I found another keyword name ‘youtube generator’ with a good search frequency. But I didn’t accept this as a tag either, because I was not sure whether this one was relevant to my article or not. You should keep these points in your head while selecting keywords/tags for your YouTube channel/blog article.

That’s all for this article. If you have properly gone through this, then I believe you should be able to learn to SEO both your YouTube videos and blog articles correctly.

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Watch-time and percentage watch-time: Know the importance

Know the ultimate truth about your channel’s growth

If you are a new YouTuber, then you should realize the importance of average watch-time of your YouTube videos for recent time (like last 28 days). Watch-time and percentage watch-time are a direct indication of the quality of your YouTube videos and channel. That’s why these two terms are a lot more important than SEO of your videos.

Definitely you need to SEO your videos, but you should focus on the quality of your videos too. This quality depends on what sort of content are there in your videos. So the content has to be really nice and attractive to the general viewers. If your video content is really unique and exceptional and also useful to viewers in any way, like education, entertainment etc., then your videos will likely go viral.

My experience on average watch-time that I couldn’t but share

Here I like to share my experience on watch-time. When I first started YouTubing almost one and a half years ago, I had no idea about the importance of watch-time and SEO. Within just a couple of months I realized that in order to grow the channel in views and earnings, I must upload content that would be appreciated by viewers, so that average watch-time would increase. That’s when I started to think what sort of content I should upload. After thinking and experimenting for a couple of weeks I finally found my particular type content that I was able to create and would increase my average watch-time. In short, I just found the niche of YouTubing that would suit me the most.

YouTubing niche: Choose a nice one

At this stage some might ask me what my niche was. Well, the thing is that every YouTuber’s niche doesn’t necessarily need to be the same. That’s why I prefer not to mention mine. I just can tell you this, to find your YouTubing niche you have to look inside your heart. Ask yourself what you’re good at and what sort of content you would be able to create easily. You know, as a YouTuber you are supposed to create your own content and not steal someone else’s, unless you plan to work on creative commons videos.

Factors YouTube considers to decide whether to promote a channel

When YouTube compares between two channels and finds that their average watch-time for recent times is almost equal, then it considers percentage watch-time. In this case, YouTube’s automated system naturally chooses the channel with greater percentage watch-time. Then again when two channels have the same level of percentage watch-time, the one with greater size of recent average watch-time gets preferred by YouTube.

There are many new YouTubers out there who say that they SEOd their YouTube videos, but still no good results and they hardly get views. Well the thing is that SEO of your YouTube videos is a secondary thing to consider when it comes to the question of your videos being viral, at least your channel getting significant number of views. The primary thing that is considered here by YouTube’s system is recent average watch-time. Once your recent watch-time improves, you can expect that your videos will get significant views from that point onwards.

Learn in brief what you need to do to have good watch-time

So my suggestions to you new YouTubers is that you focus on the quality of your YouTube videos. To ensure this quality ask yourself whether your videos are really useful and unique to viewers. If not, then try to change the type of content/niche of your videos. Once your channel starts to get significant views, try to develop or at least retain the watch-time size. Suppose for a couple of days your average watch-time is good, then you should get a lot of views in this period. Later, if your average watch-time falls down, then you may not get enough views as before. Even if your watch-time remains fairly constant, you might lose views if your competitors are somehow able to increase their watch-time.

Watch-time and percentage watch-time
This is a symbolic image to signify the importance of average watch-time of videos to grow YouTube channels

Come to know why number of views might reduce drastically

I experienced this phenomenon at least twice in my YouTubing career. In one of my channels, I had significant views for almost one month. Then all of a sudden the number of views declined drastically whereas my average watch-time was fairly constant. The thing is that my competitors on YouTube were able to develop their average watch time while I was not. The same thing happened to another of my channels two months later. So the bottom line is that if you want your YouTube videos to go viral, then you must somehow increase the average watch time for them. And once your channel is established, try to increase your average watch time even more. It’s the only way you can sustain in YouTubing, unless you have a lot of subscribers.

If you have a lot of subscribers like at least 50k, then your views per day will remain fairly constant unless it increases. So keep uploading quality content until you reach a big milestone of subscribers. Lastly for your information, when I mentioned about my competitors, I meant the YouTubers who used to upload the same kind of content that I did. Like, YouTubers who all upload funny videos and contents on their channels are competitors to one another. One uploading educational content should not be a competitor to another uploading funny/amazing videos.

How to rank YouTube channel with keywords

Unable to find your channel in search results?

It is a common report of new YouTubers that they don’t find their channel in search results when they make a search with relevant keywords. In other words, they could not rank YouTube channel yet. Well, there are two main reasons for this to happen; they are described below.

(1) Malpractice of using similar name to rank YouTube channel

Many new Youtubers think that they should use most common keywords in their channel name. Like somebody making funny videos and uploading them names their channel ‘Funny Videos’. The thing is that there are probably hundreds, even thousands of channels on YouTube that have their name starting with the keywords ‘Funny Videos’. Some of these channels have been successful while others have not. So it is natural that any new channel with the same keywords will not be welcomed by YouTube’s search algorithm. That’s why they are not found on search results.

Someone naming their channel with common keywords must adopt keyword variations. Like, it is okay to name a channel starting with ‘Funny Videos’ if some extra words are to be added. These extra words might be ‘of India 2017’, ‘of all time’, ‘-the best ones’ etc. If some unique variations like these are adopted, then YouTube’s search algorithm will surely be interested in your channel this time. And it’ll be easier for you to rank YouTube channel.

(2) Lack of optimization for your channel (not using ‘channel keywords’)

The second reason why your channel is not showing in search results is that may be you haven’t optimized your channel with relevant keywords. Even if you used ‘channel keywords’, may be they were not the right ones to rank YouTube channel. Without proper keywords a channel is like a boat floating randomly in the seas without sail, rudder and engine. So you need to know how to properly set channel keywords.

How to rank YouTube channel with keywords

First of all go to your channel’s dashboard, then to ‘Channel’ tab. Now click on the ‘Advanced’ button. Here you’ll see the place where you’re supposed to type your channel keywords, just do it. Suppose your channel’s name is ‘Funny Videos of India 2017’ and your cyber-name is Dx Arijit. Then your channel keywords might be Dx Arijit, Funny Videos 2017, Funny Videos of India, Comical Videos etc. You have to type these keywords and use commas in between them. (After putting the keywords be sure to press the ‘Save’ button below, or all your labor will go to waste.)

So anyone searching on YouTube with keywords like “Funny Videos of India” or “Dx Arijit” will probably find your channel. That means your channel will likely be on the first page of search results. And if your channel name is unique on YouTube, then anyone typing your channel’s name while on a search will directly find it, i.e. it will be the first result of the search.

How to find suitable keywords for your channel

To find suitable keywords you could use many tools including Google AdWords. Once you have signed into your AdWords account and been on the dashboard, you need to click on the ‘Tool’ menu. Now click the ‘Keyword planner’ on the drop-down menu. You’ll be directed to another page. This time you’ll click on the thing stating ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’. You need to type your channel’s name in the ‘Your product or service’ blank space and then hit the blue ‘Get ideas’ button below. Thus you will have some keywords suggestions there, choose the ones that suit you the most.

If you follow and go through the above-mentioned steps you will definitely have some success to rank YouTube channel. Now that you have read the current article I guess you might like the following one describing on-page and off-page optimization of your channel.

Youtube search: How to rank your video higher

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Youtube search: How to rank your video higher

Youtube search
Rank your Youtube videos high as those buildings in the distance

A few best jobs to make your video rank higher in Youtube search results

You have to optimize your youtube video to see it at the beginning (or in the first page) of a particular search result. It is often seen that when you publish a new video it shows at the top of youtube search for a while and then later it doesn’t do that any more. This happens due to lacking of proper optimization of your video.

I have done some study regarding Youtube video optimization and learnt a few things. Now I’m going to share them with you guys. I hope this will help you. Also any kind of suggestions on this topic is most welcome. Below are the tips for Youtube video optimization:

The following facts will be useful only when your video will be able to value the viewers. The video itself must be beautiful and informative. Both Onpage Optimization and Offpage optimization are important to bring your video in ranking for Youtube search results. Let us now see how to do Youtube optimization.

Onpage optimization

1. Relevant keywords: Like a blog post a Youtube video too should have some relevant keywords which is really very important. The videos with relevant keywords are the ones to show up at the top of Youtube search results. The most relevant keyword of the video must be mentioned within the first 50 words of description.

2. Video title: The most targeted keyword must be given in the video title. See to it that your title doesn’t confuse or mislead a viewer. The title must begin with the keyword and you must make it attractive so that the viewer takes a single look at this and they know it is the right video for them. For a video of a series the serial number must be mentioned in the title. As a result the previous and the following videos to this one will be in the suggested videos.

3. Video tags: The tag section of a video must be filled with relevant keywords. Your video will be presented to the viewers based on these keywords.

4. Video description: You must nicely write the description for a video. Youtube prefers videos with description containing more than 300 words. The description must be unique and formatted which will have enough information about the video. It is good to mention the keyword 4/5 times in the description.

5. Thumbnails: Thumbnail makes the first impression for a video. When your video is done uploading and processing three thumbnails are automatically suggested. Yet a customized thumbnail is preferred when Youtube considers your video ranking.

6. Video transcript: If you want to rank your video higher then transcript has really some importance. You have to make your video transcript with the best keywords.

7. Channel authority: Youtube channel authority really plays a great role in ranking your video. Channel authority means more engagement of the viewers with the increasing number of views. It also means your channel’s linking with websites and social media pages.

These are basically Onpage optimization for your Youtube video ranking. Let us now see what we must do for Offpage optimization.

Offpage optimization

1. High retention views: It is really important how many people saw your video and also for how much time. High retention view means viewing for at least 50%-60% of your video length.

2. Video comments: Comments are important to develop your video rank and channel authority. A good video has many positive comments which means that viewers really took the video seriously. Do not forget to say ‘thanks’ to a good/complementing comment. Also be sure to answer questions when asked. But beware of commenting just like that, as Youtube might mark them as spam.

3. New subscribers: If a viewer likes your video, they might subscribe to your channel for the next video or update. So the increasing number of subscribers will prioritize your channel to Youtube which will in turn help it to grow further.

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