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YouTube SEO: How Google Recognizes Video Content

The optimization and SEO work is responsible for indicating to the tool which are the best videos for the user, youtubers must always be working and optimizing this set of tactics.

To help you with this task, we have gathered below the main information and tips about SEO for YouTube. Enjoy reading!

How Google recognizes video content

Those responsible for sorting videos on YouTube's results pages are robots, developed by the platform to organize content according to its quality and relevance.

But… how does this system manage to extract these characteristics from the videos?

The elements analyzed by the platform robots are:

  • structured data
  • audio
  • Characters

Regarding the characters, these are present in the titles, descriptions and tags used by the producer to indicate the subject of the video.

And this information is processed by the system during ranking, greatly influencing the position in which the video will be placed.

In light of this, SEO optimization for YouTube helps producers meet this requirement by securing the best positions.

So find out more about this set of strategies below!

What is SEO for YouTube?

Search Engine Optimization — or optimization for search engines, in Portuguese — consists of a set of strategies aimed at adapting web pages to ranking factors. In this way, the site guarantees better positions in search results, as well as higher click-through rates, views and even conversion.

In the case of SEO for YouTube, the concept brings together the strategies that video producers must apply so that their content is indicated by the platform to users.

As YouTube is currently part of Google, the main objective of this system is also to deliver the best results to users , providing an excellent experience.

So, it is up to the producers to indicate to the tool through SEO for YouTube that their videos have relevance for a certain keyword.

Why Optimize SEO for YouTube?

Did you know that YouTube has a daily audience of 2 billion people?

In fact, this platform is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and the second most trafficked website in the world — second only to Google in both rankings.

With so many incredible numbers, investing in YouTube ends up being an excellent opportunity for those who want to make money on the internet or guarantee another channel of promotion for the brand.

For example, imagine that you own a digital marketing agency . By producing content in video format for YouTube, your company attracts more people to your website and, consequently, more customers. However, to take advantage of this opportunity, your videos must be in the first positions of the platform's search pages.

Thus, the chances of users actually watching your content are much higher than if the video is on the second page or beyond.

And here comes the importance of optimizing SEO for YouTube!

By applying these strategies, you will be able to indicate to the platform's robots — responsible for ordering the results of the pages — that your content has relevance and quality for the user.

Deserving to be in the first (or first) position!

Not to mention that when you apply the strategies correctly, your video not only guarantees a greater chance of appearing in the initial positions of the results on YouTube, but also of being indicated in Google searches.

After all, Google's SEO is quite similar to that of the video platform, given that the big search company is the current administrator of YouTube.

10 SEO Strategies to Apply on YouTube

Want to improve your channel's performance? See below 10 amazing strategies to optimize SEO and achieve better results on YouTube!

1. Do keyword research

The first step of every SEO strategy is keyword research — and on YouTube this process is no different!

From these terms, you will be able to inform the user and the platform what the main theme of your content is. That way, when someone searches for the same keyword used by you (or a similar one), YouTube can indicate your video as one of the top recommendations on that particular topic.

However, it is not enough to just choose any keyword and expect good results.

It is necessary to identify which are the terms most used by the user that you want to reach and thus guarantee a greater number of clicks.

For that, read our content with 10 validated SEO tools to optimize and boost your website and meet the best keyword planners.

Oh! Keyword research not only contributes to the YouTube SEO optimization process, but also to creating ideals for upcoming content!

2. Add tags to your videos

Tags work as auxiliary keywords, indicating to the platform that your content is also capable of satisfying other keywords.

For example, if you choose “digital marketing” as your main keyword, but your video also covers topics such as:

  • How to do digital marketing
  • Advantages of digital marketing
  • digital marketing strategies

To indicate to YouTube that your content meets these searches, you must use tags. But beware of exaggeration! By inserting too many tags, you run the risk of the platform not identifying this feature — harming your rankings.

The ideal is to put a maximum of 10 tags.

These auxiliary keywords can be extracted from the results obtained in the previous step, or by studying the contents of channels competing with yours.

3. Choose a creative and eye-catching title

Even though YouTube places your video in the first position of search results, without a good title, users will hardly click on your content.

Then, create phrases that arouse the interest of the user to choose your video and watch the content until the end.

For example, replace “How to make cake” with “The best cake recipe on the internet” or “Super easy step-by-step how to make cake”

Regarding YouTube SEO, these tips will help you optimize your video title:

  • Include the keyword;
  • Create titles with 40 to 55 characters;
  • Avoid sensationalist or controversial phrases;
  • Be objective;
  • Don't make false promises;
  • Arouse the user's curiosity or emotion.

4. Don't forget subtitles and transcripts

Another way to optimize YouTube SEO is to include subtitles and transcripts in the content. Remember earlier when we said that one of the ways the platform understands the videos is through the characters added?

Subtitles and transcripts are the main ones, as robots cannot analyze visual content, but are able to identify the subject addressed in texts.

We recommend that you transcribe the entire video and add timestamps, turning this tool into subtitles.

In addition, with subtitles, your videos become more accessible to users who have hearing difficulties.

5. Write strategic descriptions

When uploading the video, YouTube offers one more option for you to optimize the content: adding a description.

With this tool, it is also possible to provide more information to the user about the video , increasing the chances of that person clicking on your content.

The description can have a maximum of 500 characters and the text must contain the main keywords used throughout the video.

In this way, both the user and YouTube itself will be able to better understand the topic you are addressing.

Returning to the example of using the term “digital marketing” as a keyword. In that case, you could create this description:

Discover everything about Digital Marketing! Strategies, advantages and the best tools to help your brand reach the right audience. Click on this video and learn more.

6. Encourage audience engagement

Who has never watched a video and heard the famous phrase “If you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to the channel to have access to other content!”?

Although each youtuber has their own call for engagement, these phrases are common, as they help improve audience interaction.

As a result, you end up indicating to YouTube SEO that users like your videos — after all, no one likes, comments and shares something they dislike — increasing the authority and reference of your channel as a whole.

Then, throughout the video, interact with the user!

Encourage them to comment on a topic (“If you agree with me, leave it in the comments!”) or ask them to like the video and subscribe to your channel.

A strategy widely used by youtubers is to promise certain content, action or even discounts if the video reaches a goal.

For example, promise to produce similar content if the post reaches x number of likes or releases discounts from your store for every x registered users.

Just don't forget to keep all your promises!

7. Edit the video file name

Before publishing, enter the main keyword of your content in the filename of the video.

Even if small, this action can make a difference in the optimization of SEO for YouTube, as it is another way of indicating to the platform the subject that the content addresses. Therefore, always replace the generic names of video files, especially random numbers and code, with the main keywords.

8. Promote your channel and content

Don't just rely on YouTube SEO to drive an audience to your channel!

Also use other digital communication channels to spread the content and invite even more people to watch your videos. For example, create an Instagram account for your channel, promoting the new videos published, as well as the lives.

Don't forget to feed the followers of this network by producing content.

Tip: extract ideas for posts for posts from YouTube videos themselves , indicating them as a complement to that publication — for example, include in the caption this CTA “Want to know more? Visit our channel and watch our full video on the subject.

In addition to Instagram, you can use these channels to promote your videos on YouTube:

  • Website blog;
  • E-mail marketing;
  • Forums and Q&A sites.

Also respond to your users' comments and messages sent on social networks, increasing relationships with people and their loyalty to your content.

9. Focus on relevance over duration

According to a study carried out by Briggsby , videos with an average duration of 11 minutes and 44 seconds are the ones that occupy the top 5 positions of YouTube search results.

So, according to this research, the ideal average length for your content should be at least 12 minutes.

However, we must remember that one of YouTube's main goals is to deliver quality content to its users!

So, if you have to choose between quality and duration, always give preference to the first option.

Instead of filling your video with sausages, random gifs and unnecessary dramatic pauses, focus on satisfying the user's need. That is, to answer the question that started the entire research process. Even if your content cannot reach the average of 12 minutes, if it has high quality and relevance, the chances of guaranteeing one of the first positions will be great.

10. Study YouTube Analytics

Google Analytics is the main ally during the process of developing Google's SEO strategies. In the case of YouTube SEO, these producers also have access to a custom performance analytics platform.

YouTube Analytics !

To find the tool you can click on the link above or access the “Statistics” option in YouTube Studio.

By logging into YouTube Analytics, you will be able to analyze numerous performance data from your channel, such as:

  • Reach;
  • Display time;
  • Public involvement;
  • Views;
  • subscribers.

And other information that will help you understand how your channel is performing on the platform and what strategies you need to apply to improve this data.

YouTube Analytics should be monitored frequently, especially when testing new strategies.

Final grade

SEO for YouTube is your biggest ally in the search for organic growth on the video platform. Therefore, apply the tips presented throughout this content and optimize the ranking factors of your videos.

PWR is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, we have several cases on our website.

If you prefer, count on the specialized support of a digital marketing agency , which will not only improve your SEO for YouTube, but also your entire presence in the digital world.

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