How to Optimize YouTube Videos to Get More Views

6 May, 2021  

There’s no doubt that YouTube is a gold mine for marketers and content creators alike.

As the second-largest search engine in the world, YouTube currently reaches over 2 billion users. It’s a place where unknown brands or individuals can boost their popularity tremendously without breaking the bank.

That said, not anyone who creates a YouTube channel becomes a success, and those who do, don’t do it by chance. They work to get results. They tend to have a well-thought strategy and regularly carry out a YouTube video optimization.

We want you to be one of those smart YouTubers who don’t leave their success to chance. So, today, we’ll show you the strategies they use to boost their video’s visibility.

By the time you finished reading, you’ll have learned why and how to optimize YouTube videos for search, how to get more clicks, and how to get your videos suggested.

Shall we start?

1. Optimize Videos for Web and YouTube Search

A great part of your viewers will find your video by searching specific terms on Google or YouTube. This group of people is highly valuable since it’s safe to state they will be genuinely interested in your video – after all, they’ve looked for it.

However, they will only find your video if it has been registered correctly by search crawlers. These are bots that go through your content, index it in the search engine’s books, and classify it accordingly to the queries that match with it.

How do they know which of those queries are? Simple: by looking at your content’s keywords.

In this framework, it’s imperative to build a strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. So, let’s see how to optimize YouTube videos for search!

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What you should do:

The first step of a YouTube video optimization process is to research which keywords are popular and relevant enough to match your content. Once you have picked out the ones that suit your video the most, you will include those precious keywords in the title and description.

In the title, you will use your main keyword – the most important one. YouTube’s algorithm may pay special attention to it if it appears at the beginning of the title, so you better keep that in mind. It’s also helpful to include brackets or parenthesis to provide more context to viewers.

Now, you need to learn how to optimize YouTube videos’ descriptions. There, you want to use both your main and secondary keywords. Don’t make it sound like a robotic list, though. Include them seamlessly into a text regarding what your video is about. Some SEO experts also recommend making that text long to give crawlers more clues about your video’s topic.

2. Boost Your Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate is a vital element of any YouTube Video optimization.

It reports the number of times your video has been clicked on. Basically, it represents how attractive your video’s theme, title, and thumbnail are.

There’s no need to explain why this is important. Plenty of viewers will find your video through search, on the suggested videos column, or on YouTube’s home page. All places where people need to click on the video in order to access it.

Moreover, boosting your click-through rate also helps to optimize videos for web search since algorithms take this factor into account. So, a higher CTR translates into a higher chance of landing on the top of SERPs.

But we’d better stop the theoretical chit-chat and start focusing on how to optimize YouTube videos to increase their click-through rate. Let’s take a look!

What you should do:

There are two elements that highly impact your click-through rate: the video’s title and thumbnail. Since we’ve already touched upon the title, we’ll focus exclusively on the thumbnail.

Whenever you upload a video to YouTube, the platform automatically offers three freeze-frames for you to choose from as a thumbnail. Our advice? Stay away from them. The first and foremost rule for creating a clickable video is using a custom thumbnail.

That thumbnail has to be understandable from any sized screen. So, it’s vital to keep the picture simple and noticeable.

Forget about adding details and using small fonts. Instead, go with bold colors and text and a simple composition (an object or subject standing out against the background will do the trick). The simpler and more noticeable the picture is, the easier it would be for viewers to understand it at a glance.

If you want to learn more tips and tricks about making clickable video thumbnails, you can take a look at this handy guide on the subject.

how to optimize youtube videos

3. Make People Binge-watch Your Content

Have you ever got on YouTube and, almost unintentionally, watch video after video? We’ve all been there, and it’s no coincidence: the platform is designed to be a gripping rabbit hole that viewers find hard to abandon.

It’s only logical then that the algorithm will favor any video that keeps users inside YouTube. So much so that extending the viewing sessions will help you optimize videos for web search and make your content get suggested.

So, let’s see how to optimize YouTube videos to make viewers stay longer on the platform.

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What you should do:

A great way to keep viewers on YouTube is to include cards and end screens that redirect them to other videos on your channel.

You can also use end screens to promote one of your playlists. This tactic is especially useful for crafting long viewing sessions, as viewers will access several videos in a row.

Needless to say, the content you recommend should be related to the video where the cards or end screens are on, as viewers might not be interested in another subject.

If viewers click and watch the videos you promote, YouTube will start putting those pieces in the suggested column next to your first video. The reason is simple: those videos make users stay longer on the platform, so it’s convenient for YouTube to feature them.

how to optimize youtube videos

4. Use Transcripts and Captions

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a transcript is a text file that comprises all the things said in a video, being an instrumental part of a YouTube video optimization.

First off, using transcripts is highly beneficial if you wish to optimize videos for web search, as crawlers are unable to index audiovisual content correctly. They can, however, register text files. So, transcripts allow you to include more keywords than those that appear on your title and description, raising their variety and density.

As if that wasn’t advantageous enough, these text files enable your video to have closed captions, essentially transcripts showcased in sync with the audiovisual counterpart. At the same time, closed captions bring about benefits of their own, like the possibility of reaching out to hearing-impaired people and mobile users who play content on mute.

In a nutshell, using transcripts is a crucial step for anyone who’s trying to learn how to optimize YouTube videos. But let’s explore what’s the best way to go about it.

What you should do:

You’ll notice that whenever you upload a video to YouTube, the platform will offer you automatic captions – thanks YouTube, but no thanks. That automatic captioning system often fails to understand different accents and delivers inaccurate captions.

Sure, you can edit those automatic captions to make them match your video’s script, and you can also manually transcribe your video. The problem is that both these tactics can be very time-consuming.

A quick and accurate option is to hire a captioning service. In that case, the transcription is made by humans, so the accuracy tends to be high. That said, it’s not the best option for those with a tight budget, who might have to resort to the laborious techniques we’ve previously mentioned.

The Takeaway

There’s no magic trick that can get you instant success on YouTube. As with almost everything in life, triumph on this platform often comes as the result of hard work and a well-thought strategy.

Learning how to optimize YouTube videos is a great starting point, so we are positive to say you are on the right path. By knowing how and why to boost your videos’ visibility and learning the tactics that can get you more clicks, you are setting yourself for success in YouTube.

Just take into account that, as any digital platform out there, YouTube and its audience are always changing. Moreover, experts are constantly discovering new details about the algorithm. So, don’t marry with a thumbnail, title, or keyword. Instead, we recommend you regularly update your strategy and optimize your content.

Last but not least, we wish you the best of luck with your YouTube video optimization. Let us know how our tips work out for you!

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