Youtube SEO: How to SEO a Video on Youtube

How to improve your SEO on Youtube? How to improve the SEO of a video on Youtube? How to properly reference a video on Youtube? How to be first on Youtube? What are the Youtube ranking criteria to be ranked first in the results? How to optimize your video? What is SEO applied to Youtube? How to improve the authority of your Youtube channel to improve its ranking and get more views? A complete tutorial to improve the SEO of your videos first on Youtube.

SEO on Youtube




Referencing a video on Youtube: Youtube has evolved a lot since its creation in 2005. In a few years, Youtube has especially gone from a streaming video platform among many others to the rank of 3rd most visited site in the world and, each minute, more than 100 hours of video are uploaded to the site. Youtube is therefore in itself a complete, autonomous Internet network, with its billions of contents and channels, its community, its search engine.


Youtube was acquired in 2006 by Google and, guess what, it is no coincidence that SEO on Google has many similarities to the techniques of SEO for videos in Youtube.

Why is a video ranked first (or not) on Youtube?

So what are these positive signals used by Youtube’s ranking algorithm? Youtube uses multiple criteria to rank your video in the first position in order to offer relevant results and meet the expectations of its users. These relevance criteria can be classified into four categories:


1. The relevance and optimization of keywords on your video


2. The authority of your Youtube channel


3. The number of views and user interactions with your video


4. Recommendations and shares on the networks social



It is the combination of these factors that will allow you to be first discovered by users and then in a second time to reference your video on Youtube in the first place.

Optimize the referencing of your Youtube videos

Current search engines are essentially based on understanding text content. In fact, it is difficult for engines to understand the “meaning” of an image or video. Under these conditions, it is difficult for Youtube or Google to offer relevant results to their users.

Choose your keywords

By taking advantage of all the text field spaces available in Youtube, it is possible to give back “meaning” to your videos (the “metadata”) and therefore to benefit from a competitive advantage over other videos by starting by defining the keywords on which you want to be referenced:

1. Take stock of the list of keywords that interest you to bring the traffic you want to drive to your video.

2. Identify the semantic field of your video by putting yourself in the Internet user’s shoes to understand with which keywords he will do his research and in what context he will want to find the type of video you are ready to deliver.

3. Internet users’ research is often different from what we think of it. Type the main keywords of your video into the Youtube search engine. The auto-completion system will already give you a more precise idea of ​​what Internet users are really typing.

4. The choice of your main keywords (“video” “marketing” “tutorial”) or the main expression of your video (for example: “How to become a consultant?”) Then depends on your strategy: it is possible to target very precisely and niche keywords or phrases in order to secure the first place in the results of Youtube or to target larger traffic with more random fallout. Google Keywords Planner can give you an idea of ​​the search volumes for a particular keyword each month on Google (be careful not on Youtube). The number of videos found in Youtube search results will also tell you the level of competition on your keywords but also the potential of a keyword in terms of traffic.

5. Optimization is not an end in itself, you can completely prioritize the click-through rate on your video with a more catchy title such as “10 tips to hit on Youtube” rather than a simple “How to SEO well. a video on Youtube? “. It all depends on the importance of SEO in your Youtube strategy. The big brands besides often do not care about the optimization of the keywords rather rely on their notoriety or a media plan. Finally, the most viral videos generally do not have a title particularly optimized for referencing on Youtube (see: “PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남 스타일) M / V” with its almost 2 billion views).

Optimize your Youtube video for SEO

When Youtube indexes one of your videos, it takes into account:

1. The publication date of your video with a bonus for recent videos


2. The relevance of your keywords in:


– The title of your video: use the target expression defined previously in order to be found in the Youtube engine on these keywords. A title should be relatively short to have interesting keyword density.


– The name of the file of your video (as for the images, change the name of your files to “referencer-video-youtube.mp4” for example rather than “FRZ987245.mp4”)


– The description of the video and the outgoing links: a well-written text using your keywords while providing real information to your audience.


– Keywords (tags)


– Annotations on the video: use the text embedding tools directly on the video offered by Youtube to further enrich the semantic field of your video.


– Transcriptions: use the Youtube subtitling tool to further add to the wealth of keywords that will be indexed by Youtube.


– Information on the “filming location” and the “recording date”.



3. The keywords of your Youtube channel


– The more precise the semantic field of expertise of your Youtube channel (eg “marketing tutorials”), the more your videos will benefit from this concentration of videos on a targeted topic.



4. The social aspect


– Let’s take a look: we are moving towards a deeper integration of “social recommendation” (as has recently been the case in Google results), which means that your Google+ subscribers will see s ” display videos from your page more readily in their search results than those that are not linked to your account.





– Do not skip the step of targeting your keywords


– Take advantage of each of the possibilities offered by Youtube to add your keywords


– Insert your keywords in a natural way while thinking of humans


– In short, apply the same recipes as for a referencing on Google


– Take care of your Google+ account to be better referenced on Youtube in the coming years.


Improve the authority of your Youtube channel

The Youtube channel is what the domain name is to Google: a guarantee of credibility. An authoritative channel will be more likely to see its videos emerge in the results.

What is authority? The authority allows Youtube to differentiate between credible users who have had a real community for a long time and opportunists registered for two days on the platform. Among the criteria to judge the authority of a Youtube channel:


1. Frequency:


– Frequency of publication of your videos


– Frequency of interactions with other users and videos (likes, comments, conversations….)



2. Authority:


– Age of the Youtube channel


– Total number of views of the Youtube channel


– Number of subscribers on the Youtube channel


– Connection with your Google Plus profile



3. The optimization of the keywords on the video:


– Title of the Youtube channel


– Description of the channel


– Keywords of the channel


– Homepage of the channel (stream of discussions and videos)


– Playlists of the channel ( titles, descriptions, and videos of the playlist …)





– Work on your channel over time rather than hoping to create a buzz on a video


– Define your channel’s marketing strategy


– Define a readable editorial line for your videos in order to stay within a restricted keyword field


– Publish at a regular rate


– Publish quality content


– Make the most of all the free expression fields left by Youtube to enrich the semantic field of your channel


– Capitalize subscribers so that your next videos are seen even faster by more people and can one day integrate the top of the Youtube rankings of a category or a country.


How to reference a video? Make quality videos

Beyond the work to be done on your channel and on your videos, it’s hard to talk about SEO without talking about the quality of the content. Before you row against the grain trying to optimize the SEO of your videos, focus first on creating quality content. A well-made video will always be more successful than a mediocre video with the right keywords.

The impact of your video’s statistics on SEO

So what is a quality video? A quality video for Youtube is a video whose tangible quantitative and qualitative indicators send positive signals to its indexing robots:

1. The use of HD quality


2. The click rate on your video:


– The choice of an eye-catching thumbnail photo: a title and a video preview photo that arouses curiosity will obtain higher click-through rates, which is an indicator quality for Youtube.



3. The number of views on the video:


– The number of views is the factor having the most significant impact on SEO hence the importance of publicizing your ON Youtube (possibly with advertising) but also OUT of Youtube (by embedding your video on your site, by making the video known to partner sites or reputable blogs, by sending the video to your customers by email, by broadcasting on social networks) in order to obtain in a very short time the maximum of views but also positive comments and ratings. Why?


Because the acquisition of traffic and positive signals in the first 24 hours allows you to be positioned in the ranking of popular Youtube videos in France for a particular category (ex: Entertainment category) and thus receive thousands of views and additional comments that will keep you at the top of the search results longer.


4. Retention of your audience:


– The time during which the video is viewed in comparison to other videos of an equivalent length is interpreted as a sign or not of quality.


– Too much bounce rate (for example if the promise of the title and the thumbnail photo has nothing to do with the actual content of the video) will be interpreted as a sign of poor quality.



5. Interactions on your video:


– Number of comments


– Number of video responses


– Number of likes (and dislikes)


– Ratio like / dislike


– Number of favorites and favorites ” addition to a playlist


– Number of subscribers generated by the video



So don’t forget to allow in the advanced settings of your video to enable the following options:


– Allow comments


– Users can view reviews left about this video (so users can rate) – Allow comments ‘integration (so that your video can be posted on other sites or blogs)


It is possible to follow the evolution of these Youtube statistics thanks to the Youtube Insights tool available in your Video Manager.


6. The shares of your video:


– Shares on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Linkedin…) on influential pages or accounts


– Number of video integration on third party sites


– Incoming links pointing to your video.


Check out our tutorial to make your videos go viral and capture the attention of your audience and make your videos more shareable.

Also use the Youtube Trends tool to identify videos that are buzzing and are really successful depending on your country, age group, and gender of the target audience.

Is your video now shot, edited, and ready to stream on Youtube? Share your feedback to improve this tutorial.

Developing your social networks is a major part of the “Traffic & Customers” program.


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