When it comes to search engines, you might not think of YouTube as a top-ranked option. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet, with billions of visits each month from users around the world.
It makes sense, when you put it into perspective. The videos collected on YouTube provide a vast amount of educational, entertaining, and informational material, covering nearly every possible subject. Your prospective customers are looking to solve a problem, so it’s very reasonable that they would use every possible resource available to find the best solution.
So how do you get more views on YouTube? You may consider turning to some of the paid traffic lists that are circulating the internet, but this can potentially get you into more trouble than they’re worth.
YouTube’s algorithms are well tuned to calling out bots, paying more attention to traffic behavior. Paying for clicks won’t cut it, so you’ll need to find organic traffic from YouTube search results.
Getting Organic Traffic for your YouTube Videos
There are seemingly infinite videos on YouTube, with more and more users uploading their videos each day.
The good news is that the process isn’t hopeless. It will require some time and effort, but all of the tools you need are already familiar through your existing marketing expertise.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do on and off YouTube to help you get more views from YouTube’s organic search results.
How to Ensure Your Videos Get Noticed
As an experienced business owner or marketing professional, you already know about keywords. These are the short and long form words and phrases that help online users find anything.
Search for “shoelaces”, and you’ll receive information about the history of shoelaces, cultural implications of shoelaces, places to buy shoelaces, and more. Search for “how to tie my shoelaces”, and YouTube will helpfully provide the most popular videos on exactly that topic.
Titles, tags and Descriptions are all at play in ensuring YouTube users find exactly the videos they want. Therefore, your tags, titles, and descriptions should all be keyword rich. Both short and long-tail keywords count here, too.
You may think that YouTube is one place where you can leave your SEO Keyword Research tools alone, but nothing could be further from the truth.
A few words about the Title
The title to each video you upload needs to be descriptive and interesting, but this is not the time for arthouse theatrics. Instead, provide a few high-ranking keywords in the title of each video, so the YouTube algorithm can accurately determine what your video is about.
If the algorithm can’t find your video, then it won’t appear in search results, and you’ll have minimal traffic. Think of YouTube as you would any other search engine in this regard: users are going to choose the first video they find that is relevant to their search, so make sure your video is well-labelled in order to provide adequate opportunity for the algorithm to find it.
A Good Description and Tags
This goes for the tags and descriptions you add to your videos, as well. Much like Google, you have a limited number of characters “before the click” to explain what your video is about. If the first sentence of your video description is a winner, and the tags match what the user is searching for, they’ll likely click on the video to learn more before watching. Use the full description section to be even more specific, using those keywords to set the scene for your audience.
Don’t Forget This…
Additionally, YouTube allows you to choose a thumbnail image to accompany the title and description of your video. Take the time to choose this image wisely. Make sure it accurately represents the purpose of the video. Use an image that is clear and easy to identify.
For example, while it might be tempting to use your key infographic, the details will never show up in a thumbnail, especially not on a phone. Try for a simple graphic and legible font to make it as easy as possible for users to decipher the meaning of your video.
Using keywords in the titles, tags, and descriptions of your videos ensures that YouTube’s algorithms – and thus your prospective customers – are able to identify them easily as just the right resource for their inquiry.
Resources Within YouTube to Aid Your Search Visibility
There are a few resources built into the YouTube video format that can help you further promote your videos, thus helping you gain more organic traffic.
First are the cards. Cards are smaller ads that exist within your videos. You can create specific cards that lead to other related videos or to a landing page created just for YouTube viewers. This landing page might contain an email signup, your current special offer, a poll, and more.
The End Screen
You can also add this information with the video “end screen”. The end screen appears after the video ends, and often provides information about the video production, including your name, your business name, and your website. You can also use the end screen to recommend the next video, or direct first time viewers to your business’ YouTube channel.
One very important note about cards and end screens is that they only benefit your marketing plan if people see them. If viewers stop or close your video before the card or end screen appears, then they have 0% chance of clicking on them.
Use your YouTube analytic tools to determine how far into your videos the typical casual viewer watches in order to know where to put your information.
Playlists are another YouTube exclusive feature that can benefit your channel and your business. Perhaps you have a series of videos that ought to be watched in order. Maybe you have created a few different videos on similar issues that can provide an in-depth exploration of a certain topic when watched consecutively.
YouTube allows channel owners to create a variety of playlists, which can then have their own unique title and description. Using the shoelace example from earlier, let’s say you have one video that talks about the origin of shoelaces, another video about how handmade shoelaces are created, and another that explains how you created the shoelaces your company sells.
These three videos would make an excellent playlist that could easily help move viewers through your sales funnel.
By creating a playlist, you’ll seamlessly move your captive audience from one topic to another without requiring them to search over and over again.
Use Your Niche to Drive Organic YouTube Traffic
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of your presence within your niche. YouTube links are highly shareable, and can be embedded into a variety of social media platforms.
While you never want to inundate your social media subscribers with just one type of content, a video link with just the right description can gain a lot of attention: and it can be shared from friend to friend.
Also, as a trusted expert within your field, you are likely participating in a variety of forums within your niche. Consider scouring forums for questions related to your video, and take the opportunity to share your video link as a potential resource for answers and solutions.
Any time your link is clicked on from an external site, the YouTube algorithm will recognize the organic traffic, thus boosting your relevancy scores and search ranking.
Still, the algorithm also pays attention to the amount of time spent watching your video, so the clicks alone won’t get you the traffic. As always, make sure your content is spot on, and blend interesting/entertaining/educational so that people will want to watch your videos!
While gaining views from YouTube’s organic search results will take some time and effort, the process should be relatively familiar. You’ll need to make sure you have all the right keywords in place in your tags, titles, and descriptions.
It’s also wise to take advantage of some of the tools within YouTube: such as cards, end pages, and playlists- to gain a deeper level of interaction with your viewers. Lastly, make sure you spread the word about your videos on relevant sites, social media pages, and forums to gain those organic leads. From the clicks come conversions!
Brush up on the basics of Search Engine Optimization with this free and in-depth course: 4 hours and 31 video lessons suited for those who wish have a better understanding of how to do SEO and want to drive more traffic and customers to your website.