A YouTube channel may help freelancers build a following, promote their skills, and show off their work (looking at you, video producers). However, if you're going to spend time and money on YouTube marketing, you'll want to do it well.
Every day, YouTube's more than two billion users watch over a billion hours of material. And it's safe to infer that a significant portion of that traffic originates from Google searches, which prominently promote relevant YouTube videos. (To be sure, a sizable amount of YouTube users conduct their searches directly on the site; YouTube is the world's second-largest search engine.)
Assume you're a designer, and someone searches "how to make an infographic" on Google. These are some suggestions from Google:
Wouldn't it be fantastic for your business if your video appeared?
Before you go out and build one, keep in mind that YouTube is essentially a search engine, and a well-executed SEO plan can mean the difference between a half-dozen and a half-million views. This YouTube SEO strategy will help you maximize your return on investment while also helping you develop your freelancing career.
Understanding YouTube’s SEO Ecosystem
You're probably aware that every minute, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. When you visit YouTube's homepage or search for a video, you'll get a carefully curated assortment of relevant videos.
YouTube succeeds because it provides viewers with the stuff they want, which keeps them interested. It has evolved to ruthlessly bury all things dull, irrelevant, and misleading.
As a result, you must make it simple for YouTube to comprehend why your video is related to a specific topic.
Perfecting your YouTube SEO strategy
1. Identify your target keywords
The first stage in the content generation process is to identify your target keywords. Doing so beforehand will help you to include them into your material naturally. Keep in mind that your entire video is searchable (more on that later). You've already missed an opportunity to help your videos rank if you ignore keywords throughout the preparation phase.
Use a keyword tool like TubeBuddy or SEMRush to make sure you're choosing phrases that people will search for, but aren't so competitive that your video will never be seen (good luck getting that generic makeup tutorial to rank).
Because both Google and YouTube use semantic search, you should concentrate on keywords that pertain to a specific "query," or inquiry, such as how to slice a fennel bulb.
We can see that "how to slice a fennel bulb" is a suitable term to target using TubeBuddy because it's specific, not too competitive, and has enough search traffic to be worthwhile. That implies you may create a video tutorial for your cooking blog on how to slice fennel and have a good chance of ranking for related keyword searches.
2. Name your file
When determining what a video is about, Google considers every piece of information accessible. This includes the name of the file. Make sure to include your main keyword in the file name before uploading it. Try something like "how-to-chop-fennel.mov" instead of "final-4-master-NEW.mov."
3. Create a keyword-rich title (but don’t make it creepy or dull)
Because this is only one part of the equation, don't let your SEO strategy start and end with your keyword in the title. However, it is beneficial. Make sure your title is under 70 characters and effectively reflects the video by incorporating your keyword naturally.
4. Write an engaging description
The description area on YouTube is frequently underutilized by YouTubers. This is your chance to notify your audience — and YouTube's crawlers — about your video and provide call-to-action links.
YouTube only displays the first handful of lines of the description section before prompting the viewer to click "Show More." It's a good idea to put your call to action first if your primary goal is to generate visitors to your website. Make it plain and easy to understand: "Our three favorite fennel dishes can be found on our website."
The remainder of your description is an opportunity to incorporate some keywords, but don't go overboard. The impact of descriptions on search rankings has been demonstrated to be low. A description that is quick, catchy, and relevant will serve you better than one that is heavy with keywords.
5. Tag, tag, tag
Now we're getting down to business. When you upload your video, under "additional options," you'll have the chance to add tags:
Don't limit yourself to your main keyword. Don't be afraid to throw in some relevant phrases as well. This will increase your chances of ranking because your video will be associated with more search phrases and related videos. You can produce a list of related keywords using tools like Keywords Anywhere. You probably won't utilize them all, but they're a terrific place to start.
You can shorten your list by examining each keyword's score and eliminating underperformers. Begin with the most relevant keywords and use both long and short-tail terms in your strategy.
6. Select a category
You may categorize your own videos on YouTube. While this may appear to be a simple task, choosing a category should be done with care.
Before you assign a category to your video, do some research on what works well in that category. The category of a video can be found at the bottom of the video description.
7. Integrate cards and end screens
These tie your video to other content, making it more relevant. Cards are small icons that display during a video and direct the viewer to a certain location. The page you view at the end of a video that directs you to subscribe and watch another video is known as an end screen. Including them in your video can help it rank higher because it gives your audience additional opportunities to interact with it. This interaction tells YouTube that your content will keep people on the platform for a longer period of time. There are a lot of things you can accomplish with these tools, so learning more about them is a smart idea.
Following these methods will make your material stand out from the crowd and help you build your channel.
However, it's critical to remember who you're making videos for at the end of the day. Search engines are a tool that aids in the discovery of your content by your target audience. Optimizing your video for those tools alone will not make it worthwhile to watch. Make videos that your target audience will want to watch, regardless of SEO rankings. Answer those questions with your knowledge. Tell them a fantastic tale.
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