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Optimising your videos for YouTube

13th May 2016

It may be surprising to hear, but YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, sitting just below Google. With over 100 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it is fair to say that the chance of your content being noticed is very slim.

Generating a high number of views on your videos may seem like an improbable feat, but it isn't impossible if you have the right plan in mind and there are a few tips and tricks to help you optimise the chances of your videos being found in search results.

Content is King

Creating great content is the key component to optimising your videos successfully. Without content that is both engaging and informative for your business, it would be nearly impossible to generate good views organically and drive traffic to your online channels.

Have a look at the similar videos that do well on YouTube, and utilise some of the techniques that are used to capture your own visual content that is not only engaging, but also encourages your audience to share it with their followers.

Titles and Tagging

When it comes to making your videos discoverable to your audience, titles and tags are a key element to utilise. As it currently stands, YouTube has no way of understanding the video content itself, so using specific keywords in your titles and tags will affect your search ranking. Where it is possible, try to avoid using tags that have little to no relevance to your video.

Although YouTube used to prioritise videos by the volume of views, this is now not the case due to the unfortunately large number of people that buy fake views to increase their video ranking. What YouTube now does is base the rankings on the watch time of the video, essentially basing the ranking on the duration of time that a viewer stays to watch a video and not the number of likes that the video has.

Think about the keywords that your audience will be using to find your videos on YouTube and tailor them to fit the criteria.

Descriptions

When it comes to utilising useful keywords, the description of your video is another major player to improve your search ranking.  Similar to titles and tagging, you want to include specific key words and phrases, but in a way that flows when it is read, similar to the text content that you would use on your website.

Don't oversaturate your description with keywords, but spend some time writing a description that not only reads easily, but incorporates those keywords a number of times.

Playlists

Ensuring that your videos are part of a playlist can vastly improve your watch time if multiple videos you are uploading to YouTube are part of a series or single topic, for example tutorial videos. Creating a playlist for those videos will mean that the next video will automatically start playing when the previous video has ended and thus increase the watch time of a series of videos on your channel.

If you are looking to promote the videos via your social networks, make sure to share the playlist URL instead of the single video URL.

Summary

Although it is very difficult to gauge whether your videos will generate a large number of views, or even go "viral