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YouTube SEO (Part 2): How to Get More Views
by Dr. William Sen | CEO and founder of blue media

YouTube SEO (Part 2): How to Get More Views

Attract Users to Click on Your Video


In YouTube SEO Part 1: How to Get Higher Rankings, I talked about the technical aspects of YouTube SEO . But getting high rankings do not guarantee views! A successful YouTube SEO as described in YouTube SEO Part 1 will ensure that your video is being displayed high on the result pages of YouTube. However, the next step is as important as the first one: how to make users click on your video! If they don’t YouTube will stop promoting and ranking your video, and all your efforts will be lost.

High-Quality Videos

It’s imperative that you create high-quality videos from day one that can drive engagement. A high-quality video needs time and resources. Not only does it bring traffic but conversions. If you have just started you might ask yourself, why you’re putting all these efforts into your videos as you won’t get many clicks in the first months anyway. The reason is: once you get ranked high, the videos have to perform well. Basically, you’re waiting for that special day to come where you can prove to YouTube that your video are worth watching from a user’s perspective.

Create high-quality videos right from the start and never stop doing it. In other words, it requires time and effort to reap. It will pay out later.

Choose a Great Thumbnail for your YouTube Video

Your thumbnail is the most important factor when it comes to arousing interest. Always imagine your thumbnail among other videos. Would you have clicked on it?

There is a growing trend towards using less text inside the thumbnail. You should consider using one distinctive and expressive illustration that resemblances your topic like chalk and cheese. Only on rare occasions, you should allow the automated system of YouTube to choose your thumbnail.

A thumbnail needs work. Usually, it’s being edited in Photoshop. And it’s hard, too. If your topic is about fast cars, it’s an easy task. But when your topic is about regret — what would you choose? Here is a trick: look for similar videos, and get inspired!

Title of your YouTube Video

As I mentioned the title has two functions. The first one I mentioned in Part 1 already is the keyword factor. The second one is to get the user’s attention. Choose a title that will arouse the interest of the user the moment they see it. Make it so interesting that they can’t resist clicking.

Here are some tips how to create the best YouTube titles:

Don’t try to explain the topic as if this were a school essay. Make it a mystery. For example, if your video is about “how to flip houses”, don’t call your video “How to flip houses. Instead, think of titles like “flipped my house, and this GUY happened!“, “Flipped my house, where is my money?“, “How to flip my house, and lose everything!” Also, you might want to think about these titles before producing so you can, in fact, make these kinds of interesting happenings or anecdotes a part of your video. Make sure that the promise on your video will also be fulfilled in the video!

You believe or not, YouTube is one of the rare occasions where clickbait is encouraged! Read more about successful clickbait campaigns and YouTube in my article: Clickbaits: Pathway to Success?

Description

Take advantage of the description that will help a user decide whether to view or not. The first sentence of your description will be shown to your users. Some YouTubers tend to post links in there — don’t do that as it doesn’t say anything about your video. Actually, the link can lower your click-through rate (CTR). Use that first sentence to describe your video. If you are an SEO you might understand that the first paragraph of the description is almost the same as the Meta Desc for your video.

YouTube Description Example

It’s okay to add links and everything else in the description more below, but don’t make it the first sentence.

End Screen & Annotations

This is a useful YouTube resource to help you drive traffic. Now that somebody is watching your video, what are you going to do with that user after he/she watched your video? Are you ready to lose that user or do you want that user to watch more of your videos? Needless to say, you have to drive engagement to make people to watch more of your videos.

Using the End Screen & Annotation feature, you can prompt “subscribe” or just encourage users to see more of your content. Don’t miss the opportunity to promote at least 2 more videos of yours, available on the last 20 seconds of your video. Design and cut your video always the way that it will allow you to place these end annotations appropriately to avoid obstructing the content.

Also, don’t cover important footages using end annotations. That’s not only going to annoy the user, YouTube has already started to remove annotations automatically that cover important parts of your video. And it’s never a good sign for YouTube if it has to take measures into its own hands — we call this “negative actions” in the SEO world. Negative actions tend to rank down your content and decrease your channel rank. That’s why it’s important to consider and plan end annotations when creating the video.

YouTube End Annotations

As shown above, the video on the right has already accounted for the placement of end annotations, while the left video… well, you can see for yourself what happened here!

Conclusion

When your video is being shown on the YouTube result pages, the users will see 3 things — and in that order:

  1. Thumbnail
  2. Title
  3. Description

Because the thumbnail is where the eye goes first. Secondly, users will read the title and finally, the small description underneath.

The Tricks

You still might think — gosh, how long before I can benefit from all this and get views and subscribers? Well, they are a couple tricks how to fast forward your efforts. I have revealed some of the most secret YouTube growth tricks on YouTube SEO Part 3: How to Grow my Channel Faster.

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CATEGORIES Search Engine Optimization Social Media Marketing
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. William Sen CEO and founder of blue media

William Sen has been an SEO since 2001 and is a Software Engineer since 1996, and has been working as an Associate Professor in Germany for the University of Dusseldorf and Cologne. He has been involved in developing custom SEO tools, large website and software projects. William has a PhD in Information Sciences and has been working for brands such as Expedia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bayer, Ford, T-Mobile and many more. He is the founder of blue media.

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