The SEO score is calculated on a series of factors and it is the first step to optimize your video. We will work on all aspects to get the video up and performing. The maximum SEO score is 50. We will have to work on all aspects of your videos to optimize them, get a good score, but most importantly get a good set of keywords that will help you rank the videos. I will go over every aspect of the videos, giving you some theoretical concepts here that we will put in practice for each video in particular.
In 2020 SEO the SEO algorithm needed to rank a video is very complex. There are 5 major factors and several lower factors that influence the ranking of a video, some we can control and some we can’t and 2 major compliance protocols we must follow. Let’s take a look at the factors into the order of importance/weight. Calculating a total weight of 100, here are the factors in order of importance and weight factor:
- REACTIONS (WEIGHT 35): This includes the total of reactions a video gets. This includes:
– Number of comments
– Keywords in comments
– Comment reactions
– thumbs up/down ratio
– Video Responses
- VIEWS (WEIGHT 25): Youtube takes in consideration the views a video gets by calculating:
– the click rate in lists
– Audience retention
– Relative and absolute retention
– Length of the video
– % of view time relative to video length
– Attractive thumbnail
- ON-Video SEO (WEIGHT 25): Youtube calculates the Keyword relevance in the video. Since the search engines cannot search inside the video they will look at the text elements associated with the video and video view statistics to calculate a rating. Here are the factors that influence ON-Video SEO:
– Keyword relevance
– Title Optimization
– Video original filename (before uploading)
– Description optimization
– Keyword density
– Outgoing links (end screens)
– Keywords (tags)
– Keywords power
– Keywords relevancy to title and description
– Annotations (Cards)
– Age of video
– Quality of video (HD, 1080p, 4k)
- SOCIAL (WEIGHT 10): Sharing is a big factor for Youtube, with the biggest gain coming from social media and social sharing sites. Here are the factors that influence this:
– Social sharing (in order of importance)
– External sites
– Homepage/inner pages links
– Strength of the sites (calculated by how many links they send and quality of traffic)
- Channel strength (WEIGHT 5): Youtube ranks video from popular channels higher than videos from smaller channels. The factors:
– Age of channel
– Total video views (channel wide)
– Number of channel views
– Channel title
– Channel keywords
– Channel description
– Channel links
– Own Playlists
– Number of subscribers
– Active subscribers
– Where the subscribers come from
– Adsense Adsense
While we cannot influence views and subscribers directly we can help the video get enough search engine exposure to generate traffic organically and work on the things we can control. We will start with the main keyword(s). The best video keywords are specific (long-tail) phrases that show up in both YouTube and Google Autocomplete. This way you can rank your video in both places and get more traffic. We must look at the keyword’s competition so you have a fighting chance against the “giants”.
Now, let’s take a look at the compliance factors and see what we need to do in order to be able to list the videos on the platform. While the ranking factors influence the position on your videos on Youtube, the compliance factors influence whether your videos appear at all on the platform or not, so it is a serious issue.
Firstly we will make sure to comply with COPPA (videos made for kids). I saw you already set your videos as not made for kids which is good, but some people are seeing that if they turn on the “made for kids button” it increases their views and interactions. You should abstain from doing that because Youtube is taking action and taking down channels all together for violations of that rule as the fine from breaking the rule allows for civil penalties of up to $42,530 per violation.
We just have to make sure none of the videos are marketed as “For Children”. Under COPPA, there is no one-size-fits-all answer about what makes a video directed to children, but we can look for some guidance. To be clear, your content isn’t considered “directed to children” just because some children may see it. However, if your intended audience is kids under 13, you’re covered by COPPA and have to honor the Rule’s requirements.
The Rule sets out additional factors the FTC will consider in determining whether your content is child-directed:
– the subject matter,
– visual content,
– the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives,
– the kind of music or other audio content,
– the age of models,
– the presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children,
– language or other characteristics of the video,
– whether advertising that promotes or appears on the site is directed to children, and competent and reliable empirical evidence about the age of the audience.
Your videos do not fit these guidelines so we keep it safe and mark them as not for children. Videos marked as for children will be distributed alongside cartoons, animated videos for children and children songs, while the ones not marked for children are distributed everywhere else.
The second compliance factor has to do with the video content. Youtube is taking actions to enforce stricter policies for “general friendly content” meaning more and more content is considered “controversial” and videos that are marked as controversial will no longer appear on youtube homepage, related searches or suggested videos sidebar. There are a number of things to look for:
- Inappropriate language – including even light profanity (like “hell,” or “damn”) if used often and is considered a Strong profanity if such a word is included in the opening of the video, title, or thumbnail even if it is used for comedy purposes.
- Adult content – sexual related content including sexual words or even censored nudity, even if used for education
- Violence – Youtube is taking action against even mildly violent videos (with exclusion of movie or game footage) and considers offensive any kind of behaviour shown that can be replicated and can result in injury. Because of this rule “fail” or “prank” videos are shown less often on the platform and a lot of content was even deleted all together.
- Drug-related content – any reference to drugs, illegal substances or such (even alcohol in some cases) are considered harmful to the public and the video must be hidden
- Hateful content – defined as “Content likely to offend a marginalized individual or group”. Basically written, spoken or illustrated content that may be considered offensive to a group is a no-no on Youtube now.
- Firearms – Anything related to firearms aside from hunting or gun range is considered dangerous on youtube
- Sensitive issues – like recent events dealing with wars, deaths or tragedies, terrorism activities are all forbidden on the platform and Youtube is taking active actions to take down channels and videos.
If any of your videos fall into any of the above categories they will be penalized on the platform, ultimately resulting in channel penalysation. Repeated violations can result in channel takedown, so we must pay attention when working on the videos and when creating them.
So we start with working on the title optimization. As a general Youtube rule you should always write a descriptive, keyword-rich title. A good title has 2 things: your keyword, and an enticing headline. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters, so try to stay within that range. You don’t ALWAYS have to use an exact match of your keyword, but each individual word should at least be present in the video title.
For the descriptions, we need to write a long description with keywords, timestamps, links (if possible)
Long descriptions are great for YouTube video SEO and give you a place to add timestamps, useful links, and an overall summary. Text is super important for ranking any type of content. Include Keyword In The First Sentence – both YouTube and Google use the first 160 characters as the meta description which appears in search results. When you create your descriptions craft this sentence (or two) wisely since people will read this to determine whether they will click on your video. A rule of thumb is to naturally use your keyword about 2-3 total times in your video description. You should always start the descriptions with a sentence that includes all the keywords in the title, an exact copy of the title or something creative that incorporates everything in the first line.
Links – Google follows links to determine the relevancy of a video (similar to internal links on a website).
Including 3 hashtags in the description are important as they make Youtube index the video faster. We will do this so the video gets ranked faster for the title and added the hashtags to list the video into automatically created pages and playlists for those hashtags on Youtube.
Tags: The tags tell the search engine what categories your video falls within. It is a good idea to use good ranking tags and always use relevant tags to the video. Adding unrelated high-ranking tags will only hurt the video, so target long-tail keywords and related.
Cards: Cards are preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel. You can choose from a variety of card types like: merchandise, fundraising, video, and more. Once they’re set up, a small rectangular box, or teaser, will appear in the top right corner of the video to give your fans a preview of the message. If viewers tap or click the teaser, the card associated with the video appears along the right side of your video (or below the player on mobile in portrait mode). Cards are a great way to promote other videos on your channel even if the viewers don’t click on them. They work similar to how backlinks work on a website, so having them on your videos will help better rank your videos in the long run.
New Cards: You should add 5 cards to each of your videos at regular timeframes. You can simply add links to other videos on your channel. Here is a short guide on how to add cards: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6140493?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
End screens: End screens are a powerful tool that can help extend watch time on your channel by directing viewers to something next at the end of your videos. You can add them to the last 5-20 seconds of a video and they appear on both desktop and mobile. End screens allow you to promote up to four elements. They can point viewers to other videos, playlists or channels on YouTube; and to call for subscriptions to your channel.
New Endscreens: You should add 4 end screens to each of the videos. On the left, you should add a subscribe button and a link to the site and to the right one end card with a recommended video(best for the viewer) and one with the most recent upload or a related video with the same subject as the current one (if it exists). Here is a guide on how to add end screens: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6388789?hl=en
– Respond To Comments and interact with them: You should select one of the comments on the video and pin it and at least 1 comment as hearted. Do this on all your videos and also interact, reply to the comments. This will boost your engagement rate for the videos.
– Share the video on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit (IS A MUST DO). Focusing a bit on social media would work well for your videos. When possible share it with Digg, LinkedIn, Mix, Instagram, and Pinterest as well. There’s a little “Share” button beneath every YouTube video. When you click that button, there’s a list of sharing methods and social networks that pop up. They are organized in the order of priority in Youtube’s engine for video rankings, with EMBED being first (we’ll talk about this down here) and Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, VK, LinkedIn, MIX, OK and email being last.
– If you can, create a blog post targeting the same keyword as the video and embed the video into the post.
– Promote the video: Look at this Youtube help page: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/141808?hl=en . If you have the budget you can buy some Youtube ads.
NEVER DO THE FOLLOWING:
- NEVER BUY TRAFFIC/VIEWS FROM SITES OR SERVICES
Selling views on fiverr, for instance, is illegal, but there are still people selling them, getting around the system. These sites and people that sell views will bring BOT TRAFFIC that will increase views rapidly but the views are low quality (a few seconds) and they don’t bring any value. Youtube is currently monitoring these views and targeting channels grown artificially and taking them down and they are removing videos promoted with such methods from the platform altogether.
- NEVER BUY SUBSCRIBERS
Bought subscribers come from BOT NETWORKS and FAKE ACCOUNTS. You risk your account being taken down and you will lose the subscribers anyhow in a few months and Youtube ban those SPAM accounts and since the subscribers aren’t real they don’t bring any real value for your channel.
No one can promise you a fixed value of views or subscribers if they are using legitimate ways. Honest people will say they will try to bring X views/AND subscribers or you sign a contract to reach that number and they will run organic campaigns until you reach that number because you don’t know how many people actually love your songs and how many don’t for various reasons.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.