While many businesses suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the online video-sharing program YouTube was quite the exception. The New York Times article “The Virus Changed the Way We Internet” reported that YouTube use surged 15.3 percent during the pandemic.
According to Google, reasons for this surge included people needing assistance working from home, people studying, help creating meals, means of stress reduction, and in-home fitness needs. When you consider the popularity of YouTube, another shocking thing to keep in mind is that CNET reported in January 2018 that YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said at a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that a shocking 70 percent of the time a person spends watching on YouTube involves them being lured in by one of the service’s AI-driven recommendations.
In other words, companies hoping to maximize their YouTube impact will need to capitalize on that YouTube algorithm. Whereas the algorithm used to be dictated solely by the number of views a video had, the singular nature of the original algorithm led to many clickbait videos and YouTube eventually modified the algorithm.
YouTube seeks to engage viewers for extended periods of time and thus maximize the number of interactions with advertisers. The website now has an algorithm that is based on relevance, engagement, and quality.
To understand how each works, relevance relates to how a title, description, tags, and content matches an individualized search query. Engagement involves the number of responses from users, including watch time, engagement, and frequency. And quality is a far more subjective rating.
The YouTube algorithm also relies on historical views and a video-specific assigned score that counts both novelty and frequency of channel uploads. All of these different statistics help YouTube recommend videos that relate directly to a person’s search query.
Algorithm videos appear in six different locations on the YouTube platform: Search results, Recommended Streams, Notifications, Channel Subscriptions, Trending Streams, and the YouTube Homepage. So how do you maximize your chances of appearing in these algorithm videos? Here are nine different ways you can improve your organic reach.
Keywords, descriptions, captions, and tags are all going to matter for optimizing videos for searches in the YouTube algorithm. This means that you are going to need to use the best search engine optimization (SEO) practices when creating your videos.
Make sure that you are using relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions to give yourself the best chance of ranking as highly as possible. Include relevant links and references to help improve your chances of being ranked highly.
YouTube metadata includes titles, descriptions, tags, cards, thumbnails, and captions for videos that can be added while videos are being uploaded, although you can edit them anytime afterward. Make sure your video title is rich in keywords, write a thorough description, include industry-specific tags, design your thumbnails to be attention-grabbing, upload captions, and also use cards in your videos to link to other content.
It is important to keep in mind that YouTube generally prefers longer descriptions, so you should not be afraid to be a little verbose when describing your video. Yes, most people will only read the first few lines, but the YouTube algorithm will take the full text into account when ranking your video.
It is again important to remember that this section should be rich in keywords to maximize impact. A solid description is one of the surest ways to make sure that you are able to rank as highly as possible.
Do not underestimate the importance of captions on your videos. Closed captions are not only for people who have accessibility issues, but they also help others watch videos without sound in a variety of circumstances (which happens far more often than most people think).
Take the time to upload these captions yourself so you can make sure they are as accurate as possible. Automatically-generated captions can be very iffy on accuracy, so you will get better results when you take the time to handle the captions yourself.
Going back the importance of engagement in a video’s rankings, it is important to ensure your video is watched the whole way through. You can give yourself the best chance of having people watch videos the full way through by making sure your description matches video content and also including a hook that cannot be ignored.
You can also study audience retention graphs to find bumps indicating when viewers are rewatching or sharing those parts of a video and dips that demonstrate when viewers are skipping over parts of a video.The two tell-tale metrics are average view duration, which is the estimated average minutes watched per view for the selected video and date range, and watch time, which is the amount of time a viewer has watched a video.
If you just let your video end without some kind of effort to dictate their next action, you could be missing out on important opportunities. The end of your video is a great chance to incorporate watermarks, end screens, or cards that could even link to another one of your videos.
Do not underestimate the importance of these tricks, as many people will click on said items to follow wherever it is that a video recommends they go. This again satisfies the engagement portion of the YouTube algorithm.
Increasing your number of subscribers is very much easier said than done, but it is critical to organic reach. You should consider creating a channel trailer but also engage with any of the comments that are left on your videos.
Make sure that you have a solid channel layout, create regular content, and have great titles for your videos. Also make sure that you have good YouTube thumbnails and have thorough descriptions.
While some people may only watch one YouTube video, many more will be willing to watch multiple videos. You need to try to take advantage of this latter groups as much as you can.
Think of a series of videos as being a conversation, and try to create playlists that thread similar content together. By putting groups of videos together, you can increase viewership for all of them.
YouTube is easy for people to share on a number of other platforms, so never hesitate to use your videos in a number of other locations besides the YouTube platform. In addition to blogs, also think about your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
YouTube videos can even be included in email marketing. The bottom line is that you should not rely solely on YouTube website visits for YouTube views.
Study the YouTube Studio analytics basics page to learn more about the performance of your channel and videos. In addition to Overview, you will also see tabs for Reach, Engagement, Audience, and Revenue.
You can also learn how to expand a report and find data on line charts, bar charts, and other more specific data. All of these numbers can help you understand what is working and what is not.
If you need assistance creating a strong YouTube channel, SERP Matrix can help deliver the results you are seeking. We regularly assist people with video marketing and perform all kinds of SEO services.