How to Hack YouTube SEO – 26 Tactics for Gaining Top Results

How to Hack YouTube SEO – 26 Tactics for Gaining Top Results

YouTube SEO is a bit different from regular SEO, and it might take a little while to get used to. To help make it easy for you, I’ve created a list of techniques that will provide you with the visibility you need on YouTube. Find video keywords Keywords for YouTube are a bit different from keywords that appear on search engines like Google or Bing. For example, you’ll often see YouTube keywords that start with “how to.” Brian Dean recommends using Google to search for different keywords in your niche. Just like you’d do keyword research for normal SEO, you should also do keyword research for YouTube SEO. The same goes for YouTube. And to maximize YouTube visibility and SEO, you need to share your videos on every social channel available. Use YouTube for keyword research Let’s talk a little more about video keywords for a second. Add some suspense If you’re still having trouble increasing your watch time and maintaining user engagement, you may need to rethink how you’re making your videos. Oh, and make sure you get a link to your channel!

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youtube seo

When you think of SEO, you probably think of Google.

It’s easy to understand why. Google is the most powerful search engine, period.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only search engine.

Even though no search engine matches the sheer size of Google, there are some that rival Google’s usefulness.

I’ll even go on record saying that some search engines can be more powerful than Google. (Gasp!)

Not as big, no. Not as popular. But if you tap into other search engines, you can boost your search presence and conversions.

It’s like this. Less popular search engines fill specific roles. For example, if you do Bing SEO, you can reach an audience you can’t reach on Google.

See what I mean?

If you ignore other search engines, you’re doing your business a disservice.

Today, I want to talk about YouTube.

It might seem weird to think of YouTube as a search engine, but when you think about it, that’s exactly what it is.

Specifically, it’s a search engine for videos.

The entire site is driven by a search bar that’s smack dab in the middle of the page. It’s similar to Google’s video search results.

Because YouTube is its own search engine, it has its own SEO best practices.

Just like you want to get your site high up on the SERPs, you want to get your videos high up on the YouTube SERPs.

YouTube SEO is a bit different from regular SEO, and it might take a little while to get used to.

To help make it easy for you, I’ve created a list of techniques that will provide you with the visibility you need on YouTube.

1. Find video keywords

Keywords for YouTube are a bit different from keywords that appear on search engines like Google or Bing.

For example, you’ll often see YouTube keywords that start with “how to.”

Brian Dean recommends using Google to search for different keywords in your niche. Then, see if any keywords bring up video results.

For example, if you search for “how to make apple pie,” you’ll see a ton of video results, and at least one is from YouTube.

You can use Google Keyword Planner to check how many monthly searches those keywords get.

Ideally, your selected video keywords should get several hundred monthly searches.

Just like you’d do keyword research for normal SEO, you should also do keyword research for YouTube SEO.

2. Optimize your video title

You know how you always optimize your headlines for written content? The same goes for YouTube.

You want to include your focus keyword in your video title, and you should also solve a problem with your title.

When you read Roberto Blake’s video title, you immediately know what benefits you’ll get:

You should be that clear with your own titles.

3. Optimize your tags

Tagging is one of the best SEO features that YouTube provides.

Tagging allows you to enter relevant keywords that help your videos get more views.

Use tags that are super relevant to your topic.

This is a perfect opportunity to use LSI keywords that are related to your focus keyword.

Don’t use too many tags. Around 10 to 12 are enough.

4. Tell people to comment

If your videos get a lot of comments, that tells YouTube your videos are popular.

Just like Google, YouTube prioritizes content that’s popular. Comments are one of the metrics YouTube uses to decide what people like the most.

It’s a good idea to end your video with a question to get a discussion started.

5. Encourage people to subscribe

Subscribing is a big deal on YouTube.

It’s one of the factors YouTube’s algorithms use to rank videos.

Liking or commenting on a video is a one-time action, but subscribing means that people will see your content on a regular basis.

For YouTube, that’s a giant factor that reflects the amount of value you provide.

Pro tip: Many YouTubers ask people to like, comment, and subscribe all at once. However, if you prioritize one of those metrics, focus on encouraging subscriptions.

6. Step up the production value

This article is about YouTube SEO. But like any SEO method, there’s a huge quality component to it.

I’ve said before that SEO is essentially user optimization. So, I want to give you a few pointers on increasing video quality which will in turn increase search performance.

I get that not everyone can afford a pro-level studio setup.

But that doesn’t mean your video quality has to take a hit.

Most of us have smartphones that are capable of recording video, and that’s good enough to get started.

Seriously, your iPhone and Android devices are pretty much all you need.

There are a few small investments and changes you can make if you want to increase the quality of your videos:

First, get a tripod for your phone.

A little stability goes a long way.

Second, add a backdrop.

If draping your bedsheets on a bookshelf is the best you can do, no problem.

Or, you can buy one of these off Amazon for less than $50.

Third, throw some light on it.

You don’t need fancy spots or anything. All you need is a few lamps or lights trained directly on the subject of the video.

If you do have a small budget, $50-$75, you can purchase some nice lights.

But like I said, if you have some ordinary house lamps laying around, you can use those, too.

Finally, get a microphone.

Again, you don’t have to get a huge budget.

Not everyone needs to purchase this $900 microphone.

But you might be able to afford a $5 microphone.

Even an inexpensive microphone will give you far better audio quality than your phone’s built-in microphone.

With an investment of $100-$150, you can be rolling with great quality videos that rival some of the biggest YouTube channels.

Your search traffic will show the improvement.

7. Make an eye-catching thumbnail

Your video thumbnail isn’t a ranking factor that YouTube uses directly, but it still has a huge impact on your SEO.

A good thumbnail means more clicks, and that means better SEO.

Make sure your thumbnail stands out and tells viewers what your video is all about.

Many people will view videos just from looking at the thumbnails, so don’t skip this step.

8. Add closed captions

Here’s a cool YouTube SEO hack that will give you a big edge.

You might know that YouTube videos support closed captions.

When you toggle this option, the captions appear:

These are meant for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but they have an unexpected SEO benefit.

Closed captions are crawlable by search engines!

That means you’ll get a nice SEO boost if you enable closed captions.

YouTube does support automatic captioning, but it’s not perfect.

You can edit those captions, or you can add your own. Whatever you do, make sure the captions are accurate.

9. Edit your filename

This is one of those tricks that may or may not dramatically impact your SEO, but it’s nevertheless important to do.

The idea is to rename your raw file so that it reflects your title or your focus keyword.

So for example, your file may default to a name like “20170613.mp4.”

But if you rename it and use your focus keyword (e.g., “how_to_use_hello_bar.mp4”), you’ll tell YouTube what your video is about.

10. Build links to your channel, not just your videos

For the best YouTube SEO, you want to get links to both your channel and your individual videos.

These inbound channel links basically tell YouTube that you’re…

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