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YouTube SEO: How Do You Get to #1?

Clearwater Staff

You hear SEO, you think Google, correct? Well, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, which means it can also apply to other options on the market, including Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Ecosia – and YouTube.

Yes, YouTube isn’t just a video sharing platform, it is also a search engine for videos, allowing users to refine their hunt through countless options and find the most appropriate answer to their query.


Sound familiar?

As a result, there is just as much competition with SEO behind YouTube as there is with Google, given the amount of use the platform receives from modern businesses creating dedicated channels to publish content. But how do you get to number 1? In this article, the team at Clearwater explore some proven strategies that just might help.

Allocate Video Keywords

Not too dissimilar from the keywords you research for your Google SEO campaigns, YouTube keywords will often revolve around ‘how to [insert action]’ or ‘what is [insert topic]’. This is because videos are typically more instructional and topical in nature, so it pays to search for a range of keywords in your niche and see which results include videos. You can also use common keyword research tools to help understand further insights behind your keyword choices, including volume, cost per click, and search difficulty.

Optimise Video Titles & YouTube Tags

Again, just as optimising your headline in written content is important, the same is true for YouTube content. Place heavy focus on your selected keywords in the video title, ideally solving a problem or at least addressing a frequently posed question, to rapidly inform your viewers on what the video is about.

YouTube also provides a range of tagging features, which allows you to include keywords relevant to your topic to receive more views. Use about 10 – 12 with LSI keywords for the best results.

Request Viewers to Leave Comments

YouTube also works similarly to social media platforms, in that if it recognises a video receiving plenty of comments, it will demonstrate popularity – and, of course, YouTube’s algorithm is going to prioritise popular content. As such, try starting a conversation in your comments, either with a reference towards the end of your video, or by getting started in the comments section yourself.

Build Subscriber Count

Speaking of popularity, the main metric YouTube will be concerned with is the subscriber count for your channel. After all, receiving likes and comments amounts to a singular action, whereas a subscriber denotes someone eager to receive regular streams of your content.

Closed Captions are a Must

YouTube has an automatic captioning service that is designed for those with hearing disabilities. Unfortunately, they aren’t always accurate, meaning you will have to edit them or add your own. Take the time to do this, however, as YouTube captions are crawlable by search engines, meaning you can receive an SEO result from this step alone.

Bolster Production Value

SEO isn’t all about technical hacks and quick fixes that will help your content skyrocket to the number one position. In fact, a significant part of YouTube SEO is built upon the quality of your content. How else are you going to engage enough of your audience to leave a comment, like your videos, or actually subscribe to your channel to receive more content in the future?

No one is saying you have to be a Hollywood director or special effects team all in one to gain some real traction, but it can benefit you to upgrade your equipment and follow some best-practice methods as you begin to create content. Smartphones, for example, are incredibly advanced in terms of their in-built cameras, which will prove ample as you are just getting started. Also, consider investing in/experimenting with:

  • A tripod for added stability as you record
  • Adding a backdrop
  • Controlled lighting to be trained on the video’s subject
  • A microphone to ensure clear dialogue is captured

Share on Social Media

If your end goal is to have your videos seen, appreciated, and then liked and engaged with, it is important to branch out from YouTube alone and share the content on every other medium available to you, including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Develop Your Wider SEO Campaigns with Clearwater

If you would like more assistance on how you can improve your SEO campaigns across all search engines, contact us at Clearwater and book a free consultation with one of our specialists today.

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