How to Do Effective YouTube Keyword Research
By Elanor ParkerJul 29
Published August 23rd 2020
We have all heard that YouTube is in fact one of the most powerful marketing channels and it is in fact the second biggest search engine.
And yet, in my experience, the overwhelming majority of businesses and publications shy away from making the most of the platform.
Are you one of those business owners or marketers wishing they could do more with YouTube?
Then read on!
One of the biggest reasons businesses fail to achieve success on YouTube is because it is unbelievably intimidating.
We’ve all heard how you can make millions on YouTube but we also know for sure that building up a YouTube channel is a full-day job.
Few businesses can afford this investment.
So instead of trying to conquer YouTube’s mysterious algorithms, I suggest a different, more doable approach: Build up your YouTube views and engagement through Google search.
Google offers an insane amount of visibility to videos, especially YouTube videos. In fact, almost ⅓ of Google’s search result pages contain videos, according to MozCast. In fact, there are more SERPs with videos than those with images and shopping results:
Why is it important?
If you optimize your videos for organic rankings, you get both views and engagement, and that’s what YouTube needs to start suggesting your videos to more and more of its users.
In other words, this YouTube strategy basically consists of the following steps:
On a broader level, this strategy may serve more goals:
Keeping this multi-purpose strategy in mind, how to actually create a SEO-focused YouTube marketing strategy?
Keeping SEO in mind when planning your video strategy sounds a bit too fancy. In reality, it simply means one thing: When creating a video you should know which keyword you want it to rank for. While keywords are not everything, finding good ones is a good first step.
This can be done in either of or both of the following ways:
The easiest way to keep yourself on track is to create a video every time you create a text article. Don’t be afraid of targeting the same keywords in your article and video: Videos show up in a separate section within search results called “video carousels”, so your video will not compete with your on-site content.
The easiest way to create videos based on your text article is by using content re-packaging tactic, i.e. turn your text content into a video slideshow. Try using Placeit video maker for that. It is a web-based video editor (so no need to download anything) which allows you to select a template to create an annotated video slideshow:
This strategy may work for your articles, but it will also help your landing pages. It is known that videos on landing pages help conversions, so put together a quick slideshow to improve your landing page performance as well as drive extra visibility through ranking your video in organic search.
Here are a few additional video creation resources in case you want to take several steps further:
When generating ideas for your video content, make sure to use BuzzSumo video marketing features that help you ideate, analyze, and create high-performing video content:
This is a more tedious task as it requires some original content creation. Video SEO is not much different from any SEO: You need a lot of text content for search engines to crawl.
While Google is getting better at understanding video content, they still need text to index and rank videos (this was just recently confirmed by John Mueller, Google webmaster trends analyst).
With that in mind, make sure to make the most of each text field you have when uploading or editing your video:
As well as write a better optimized video description:
This is a quick tip but a very important one as it helps on many fronts. YouTube allows to add timestamps taking a user inside each user to that particular part of the video. If you add those timestamps inside the video description, they will be additional content for you. If you add them to the pinned (i.e. featured) comment, they will be clickable and engage your video viewers.
But what’s more important in the context of this particular article, those timestamps are often used by Google to show the outline of your video right inside Google’s search results.
Obviously, promoting each video is a necessary step. You should do your best to drive views and links which will hopefully help the video rank higher in search.
At the very least, utilize the following marketing tactics:
Simply scheduling multiple social media updates across various channels linking to your YouTube video will bring in extra views. But also:
(Disclaimer: This is the platform I have founded)
Viral Content Bee is a free platform that facilitates social media shares to non-promotional content
Finally, in order to rank each video, it needs to have text links pointing to its page. No one knows if embedding a video helps it rank but we all agree that text links do play a crucial role in Google’s algorithm.
The easiest way to create those links pointing to your video pages is to link to your videos from your own site.
Here’s also how to link to your recent videos automatically.
Finally, tracking your progress is essential to making better-informed steps. Keep in mind that SEO takes some time, so don’t be discouraged if you fail to see too impressive results within a month.
YouTube provides handy analytics showing which videos get views and where those views are coming from, so that’s a good start:
YouTube Analytics won’t show you Google search queries driving video views (it will only reveal YouTube search queries), so I use tools like Ahrefs to figure out which keywords my video is ranking in Google organic:
Finally, to get a better understanding on how YouTube is helping your site generate some traffic, I use Finteza, an advanced analytics platform that helps understand your site audience better. Finteza can be installed through adding their script and you’ll see traffic details within seconds. To see how many clicks and engagements your YouTube videos are generating:
The coolest thing is that now, as you proceed looking at all kinds of data (conversions, events, funnels), all your reports will be limited to YouTube.com source. This allows to get all kinds of insights into whether your YouTube efforts pay off:
This strategy works both for new and established channels. Regardless of how many subscribers you have already built, there’s never a thing like “too many” views. If you already have videos published, consider optimizing them for a searchable keyword to attract some search traffic and views.
Enter any topic, term or url to search to see BuzzSumo in action. It’s free!
100% free. No credit card required.