How to increase your views on YouTube using SEO
Updated: Mar 5
As a brand, if you want viewers to find your video content, you’ll want to be uploading to YouTube.
YouTube is the most-watched video sharing platform in the world. Not only do people visit YouTube to search for videos, but Google’s video search elects to show YouTube more than any other website.
The video-sharing site has come a long way since it started in 2005. Google purchased it 18 months after it launched, allowing the platform to grow to the force it is today.
According to Hootsuite, YouTube has more than 2 billion monthly users, with each user spending an average of 11 minutes per day on the platform. Additionally, 73% of adults in the United States use YouTube according to a Pew Research poll.
With so many users on the platform, you’ll want to make the most of your time to get views and ultimately drive traffic to your brand.
This article will walk you through some best tips and practices for uploading videos to YouTube, and how to get your videos to show up in search results.
What videos should I upload to YouTube?
Before you start to optimize your videos to make the most of YouTube and Google search, you’ll want to ensure that your videos appeal to your niche audience.
First, make sure that your videos are a good fit for your brand and your audience. If you upload a video about computer troubleshooting one day and then a video about hiking the next, your audience might get confused. Stay on topic. If your brand is about car detailing, post videos relating to your company and cars. If your business sells furniture, make sure your videos are about your stores, products, and your industry (such as home decor), etc.
Now that you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to come up with video ideas. Videos that focus on answering a how-to question or offering advice tend to perform better on the platform when it comes to search. After all, if your video directly answers a question someone is looking for, they are likely to watch it.
Longer videos generally do better on YouTube than short ones. However, don’t make videos longer than they need to be, or you risk losing the viewer’s interest. However, if you can create exciting and compelling videos that are longer than 10 minutes, the video is more likely to rank in search.
This is because YouTube’s algorithm supports videos with a higher watch time. In YouTube’s eyes, the longer people watch a video for, the more engaging and interesting it must be.
With that in mind, if your video remains engaging and is also longer in length, you are off to a great start.
How to upload videos to YouTube
To start uploading to YouTube, you will first need a Google Account. If your brand already has an account, sign in by selecting the sign in option in the upper right corner of the site. If you don’t already have an account, sign up, and create one for your brand.
Once you have done that, you’ll see new icons on the top of the website. There should be an icon that looks like a video camera with a plus icon inside. Select that and then choose “Upload video.”
At this step, you can either drag and drop your video file into YouTube or select the file with your computer’s file explorer. You’ll want to make sure that your video file complies with YouTube, otherwise you may encounter issues with the process.
You can view all of YouTube’s recommended upload encoding settings here.
Once your video has started uploading, it is time to tell YouTube about your video.
Setting up your YouTube video
How to write an effective title and description for your video
The title of your video is the first thing viewers will see, other than the thumbnail. Viewers will decide based on those two features alone if the video is worth watching, so you need to make sure it stands out.
Always make the title true to the nature of the video. Clickbait, or videos with misleading titles or thumbnails, get views, but they will leave viewers with a negative impression of your channel and brand. It is also against YouTube’s community guidelines to make videos clickbait.
That said, you want your title to be engaging while staying true to the video.
If your brand does IT support services, you might have filmed videos about basic computer troubleshooting. Let’s say your current video is about uninstalling programs in Windows 10. You might want to title your video with something like How to Uninstall Programs in Windows 10 because it is a search term that is likely to be entered by a viewer.
Had you named the video IT Support Tip 46, potential viewers would not be sure what your video is about. You always want to make it clear to viewers what they can expect from your video while also enticing them to watch it.
Now that you have a compelling title that isn’t clickbait, it is time to move on to the video description. This is a feature that many brands overlook or use as just a place to include a link to their website.
YouTube video descriptions are a place to describe what your video is about and use good SEO tactics.
The first line or two of a video description should summarize the video. This will be shown to viewers on the YouTube search results page or on featured videos on your channel.
The remainder of your description should describe the video in detail and provide keywords for YouTube and Google search. You’ll want to make sure any tags (in the next section) are mentioned in the description. However, you don’t want to just list tags in the description because that can actually hurt the chances of your video being seen. Just weave tags and keywords into the text of the description naturally.
YouTube allows up to 5 thousand characters. Use them! You might also want to include a paragraph or two about your company and provide a link to it. If you have social media profiles, you can add links to those there as well.
Another best practice is to add the new chapters feature in YouTube. If your video has subsections, such as an intro or answers to different questions, be sure to include a timestamp and brief description of each segment in the description. This way viewers can find what they want to watch easier (rather than leaving the video if the intro isn’t what they were looking for) and Google can use these segments as answers to search queries.
Now that your description includes segments, keywords, and links, it is time to move on to tags.
How to choose tags for YouTube videos
Selecting tags for YouTube videos is an important step in getting more views and traffic. Tags help YouTube to understand what your video is about and they can operate as search terms.
In general, you should use tags that resemble search terms for your video. Using our example from the previous section, if your video is titled How to Uninstall Programs in Windows 10, potential tags might include “how to uninstall programs in Windows 10” and “uninstalling programs in windows”.
To get an idea of what tags you should use, you can use one of many free or paid tools on the web.
Keyword Tool offers a free web version of their program that allows you to search for potential keywords for YouTube. You can use other internet keyword and search query tools like Soovle and TubeBuddy.
TubeBuddy* is a browser extension for YouTube that offers free and paid plans. With the free plan, you can use TubeBuddy to see what tags other videos are using and how they are ranking for you in YouTube search. This can help you decide which tags for your own video. You can unlock more features with the paid versions, but there are many other tools available as well.
TubeBuddy also allows you to explore different tags and get suggestions for tags to use while uploading your video. You can also see search volume and recommended tags for any search you make on YouTube.
YouTube allows up to 500 characters in tags. It’s best to use as many as you can that are relevant to your video. Try not to use any that are unrelated to your video or your brand.
Once you have filled out the tags section with the maximum number of tags allowed, you can move on to the remaining sections.
Playlists, cards, and other settings
There are a few other settings we haven’t discussed that appear on the YouTube upload page. Most of these are up to you, but we’ve highlighted a few more best practices below.
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to create a playlist for your videos. That way, if anyone watches a video in that playlist the next video will be recommended to them. If your video is part of a series of a certain category, make playlists for those and add your new video from the upload page.
In the Video Elements section after you select next, you will find options for adding an end screen and cards. With an endscreen, you can promote your channel, approved website, or other videos at the end of your video.
Cards allow you to insert links to your website or other videos. These cards pop up at the time stamp you select while viewers are watching the video. That way you can drive traffic to your site right from the video.
My video is published. Now what?
Congrats! You’ve successfully uploaded a video to YouTube.
Now that your video is public and available to your audience, it is time to promote it. Be sure to share your video on other social media platforms and even on your website.
Track YouTube metrics
As your video starts to get views, you can check in on the video analytics to see how viewers are arriving.
To view analytics for your channel overall, go to YouTube Studio. On the left, you’ll see a menu. Select Analytics.
You’ll be greeted with the overview page, which shows views over the last 28 day period and your top videos in that time frame. You can change the metrics from 28 days to any range that you’d like, and you can see other information like overall channel watch time, and subscribers earned.
At the top, you can switch pages to see other metrics. Under “Reach”, you will find overall impressions (how many times your video has been shown to others in search, on your channel, etc.) and the click-through rate (how many of those impressions translated to views).
Most importantly, this shows where your video traffic came from. It breaks down your views by sections: YouTube search, External, Browse features, Suggested videos, Channel pages, and Others. You can also see what viewers are searching for to find your videos.
In the Engagement tab you can see your watch time in hours and the average view duration for your channel. Remember, YouTube favors watch time in promoting videos. You can see which videos are performing better with that metric. You can also track how many of your endscreens and cards are clicked on.
Under Audience you can see when your viewers are on YouTube and how many subscribers have enabled bell notifications. You can also get a general idea of the viewer age, gender, and location.
You can also track analytics for specific videos, such as the one you just uploaded. If it is your most recent video, you should see it in your YouTube Studio Dashboard. From there, you can see how it ranks in comparison to your recent videos. Select “Go to Video Analytics” to see more details.
Just like with your channel, you can see Overview, Reach, Engagement, Audience, and Revenue. Under Reach you will see the section labeled “Traffic source types”. If your SEO is working, you should be seeing a sizable audience from search.
If not, you may need to take a look at the tags, title, and description of your video to see what needs to be changed. Maybe your thumbnail isn’t compelling enough, or the topic just isn’t searched for very often.
By looking at your analytics, you can find trends and learn what is most effective for your brand.
Growing your audience on YouTube will take some time. If you don’t have very many subscribers, you’ll have to be diligent in promoting your videos and driving traffic to your channel.
With time and effort, your channel will grow and your videos will drive traffic to your website.
The tips shared in this article will help your videos get more views from YouTube and Google search. With a good topic, compelling title and description, and effective keywords and tags, you have everything you need to start growing your following.
As you get more views, you’ll be able to refine your techniques and get a better sense of what works for your brand and your audience.
Are you looking for Utah's cutting-edge digital marketing agency?
If you want to take your digital marketing to the next level and make your dreams come true, contact SilverFox today. Our talented team of graphic designers, writers, SEO professionals, and marketers will create a marketing strategy that works for you. Focus on running your business, and let us figure out the rest.