Sunday, July 14, 2019

“A New Era of Google Search: What It Means for SEO - Search Engine Journal” plus 1 more

“A New Era of Google Search: What It Means for SEO - Search Engine Journal” plus 1 more


A New Era of Google Search: What It Means for SEO - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Important changes are happening at Google and, in a world where marketing and algorithms intersect, those changes are largely happening under the radar.

The future of search looks like it will have considerably less search in it, and this isn't just about the end of the 10 blue links, but about much more fundamental changes.

Let's talk about some of those changes now, and what they mean for SEO.

Google Discover

Google Discover is a content recommendation engine that suggests content across the web based on a user's search history and behavior.

Discover isn't completely new (it was introduced in December of 2016 as Google Feed). But Google made an important change in late October (announced in September) when they added it to the Google homepage.

The revamp and rebranding to Discover added features like:

  • Topic headers to categorize feed results.
  • More images and videos.
  • Evergreen content, as opposed to just fresh content.
  • A toggle to tell Google if you want more or less content similar to a recommendation.
  • Google claims the recommendations are personalized to your level of expertise with a topic.

Google Discover hardly feels revolutionary at first. In fact, it feels overdue.

Our social media feeds are already dominated by content recommendation engines, and the YouTube content recommendation engine is responsible for 70% of the time spent on the site.

But Discover could have massive implications for the future of how users interact with content of the web.

While it's unlikely Discover will ever reach the 70% level of YouTube's content recommendation engine, if it swallows even a relatively small portion of Google search, say 10%, no SEO strategy will be complete without a tactic for earning that kind of traffic, especially since it will allow businesses to reach potential customers who aren't even searching for the relevant terms yet.

Google Assistant

For most users, Google Assistant is a quiet and largely invisible revolution.

Its introduction to Android devices in February 2017 likely left most users feeling like it was little more than an upgraded Google Now, and in a sense that's exactly what it is.

But as Google Assistant grows, it will increasingly influence how users interact with the web and decrease reliance on search.

Like its predecessor, Assistant can:

  • Search the web.
  • Schedule events and alarms.
  • Show Google account info.
  • Adjust device settings.

But the crucial difference is its ability to engage in two-way conversations, allowing users to get answers from the system without ever even looking at a search result.

An incredibly important change for the future of business and the web is the introduction of Google Express, the capability to add products to a shopping cart and order them entirely through Assistant.

But this feature is limited to businesses that are explicitly partnered with Google Express, an incredibly dramatic change from the Google search engine and its crawling of the open web.

Assistant can also identify what some images are. Google Duplex, an upcoming feature, will also allow Assistant to call businesses to schedule appointments and other similar actions on the user's behalf.

The more users rely on Assistant, the less they will rely on Google search results, and the more businesses who hope to adapt will need to think of other ways to:

  • Leverage Assistant's algorithms and other emerging technologies to fill in the gaps.
  • Adjust their SEO strategies to target the kind of behavior that is exclusive to search and search alone.

Google's Declaration of a New Direction

Circa Google's 20th anniversary, Google announced that its search product was closing an old chapter and opening a new one, with important new driving principles added.

They started by clarifying that these old principles wouldn't be going away:

  • Focusing on serving the user's information needs.
  • Providing the most relevant, high-quality information as quickly as possible.
  • Using an algorithmic approach.
  • Rigorously testing every change, including using quality rating guidelines to define search goals.

This means you should continue:

  • Putting the user first.
  • Being accurate and relevant.
  • Having some knowledge of algorithms.
  • Meeting Google's quality rating guidelines.

But the following principles represent a dramatically new direction for Google Search:

Shifting from Answers to Journeys

Google is adding new features that will allow users to "pick up where they left off," shifting the focus away from short-term answers to bigger, ongoing projects.

This currently already includes activity cards featuring previous pages visited and queries searched, the ability to add content to collections, and tabs that suggest what to learn about next, personalized to the user's search history.

A new Topic layer has also been added to the Knowledge Graph, allowing Google to surface evergreen content suggestions for users interested in a particular topic.

Shifting from Queries to Queryless Ways to Provide Information

Perhaps the most important change to watch carefully, Google is looking for ways to help users who don't even make a search query.

Google Discover is central to this effort and the inclusion of evergreen content, not just fresh content, represents an important change in how Google is thinking about the feed. This means more and more traditional search content will become feed content instead.

Shifting from Text to Visual Representation

Google is making important changes in the way information is presented by adding new visual capabilities.

They are introducing algorithmically generated AMP Stories, video compilations with relevant caption text like age and notable events in a person's life.

New featured videos have been added to search, designed to offer an overview on topics you are interested in.

Image search has also been updated so that images featured on pages with relevant content take priority and pages where the image is central to the content rank better. Captions and suggested searches have been added as well.

Finally, Google Lens allows you to perform visual search based on objects that Google's AI can detect in the image.

These changes to search are slipping under the radar somewhat for now, since user behavior rarely changes overnight.

But the likelihood that these features and Google's new direction will have a dramatic impact on how search works is very high.

SEOs who ignore these changes and continue operating with a 2009 mindset will find themselves losing ground to competitors.

SEO After Search

While queries will always be an important part of the way we find information online, we're now entering a new era of search.

An era that demands we start changing the way we think about SEO soon, while we can capitalize on the changing landscape.

The situation is not unlike when Google first came on the scene in 1998 when new opportunities were on the horizon that most at the time were unaware of and ill-prepared for.

As the technological landscape changes, we will need to alter our strategies and start thinking about questions and ideas like these in our vision for the future of our brands:

  • Less focus on queries and more focus on context appears inevitable. Where does our content fit into a user's journey? What would they have learned before consuming it, and what will they need to know next? Note that this is much more vital than simply a shift from keywords to topics, which has been happening for a very long time already. Discovery without queries is much more fundamental and impacts our strategies in a much more profound way.
  • How much can we incorporate our lead generation funnel into that journey as it already exists, and how much can we influence that journey to push it in a different direction?
  • How can we create content and resources that users will want to bookmark and add to collections?
  • Why would Google recommend our content as a useful evergreen resource in Discover, and for what type of user?
  • Can we partner with Google on emerging products? How do we adapt when we can't?
  • How should we incorporate AMP stories and similar visual content into our content strategy?
  • What type of content will always be exclusive to query-based search, and should we focus more or less on this type of content?
  • What types of content will Google's AI capacities ultimately be able to replace entirely, and on what timeline? What will Google Assistant and it's successors never be able to do that only content can?
  • To what extent is it possible for SEOs to adopt a "post-content" strategy?

With the future of search having Google itself doing more of the "searching" on the user's behalf, we will need to get more creative in our thinking.

We must recognize that surfacing content has never been Google's priority. It has always been focused on providing information.

Bigger Than Google

The changes on the horizon also signal that the SEO industry ought to start thinking bigger than Google.

What does that mean?

It means expanding the scope of SEO from search to the broader world where algorithms and marketing intersect.

It's time to start thinking more about how our skills apply to:

  • Content recommendation engines
  • Social media algorithms
  • Ecommerce product recommendation engines
  • Amazon's search algorithms
  • Smart devices, smart homes, and the internet of things
  • Mobile apps
  • Augmented reality

As doors on search close, new doors open everywhere users are interacting with algorithms that connect to the web and the broader digital world.

SEO professionals should not see the decline of traditional search as a death knell for the industry.

Instead, we should look at the inexorably increasing role algorithms play in peoples' lives as a fertile ground full of emerging possibilities.

More Resources:

How to Promote Your YouTube Channel to Maximize Views - Business 2 Community

Posted: 13 Jul 2019 10:08 AM PDT

YouTube, a Google subsidiary and a popular video sharing platform, is currently the second most visited website and search engine in the world. It hosts more than 1.9 billion active users per month. With a stunning figure of an ever-increasing subscriber count, YouTube unfurls an enormous potential for businesses.

According to reports, a viewer spends 70% of their time on YouTube watching recommendations by algorithms. To increase your channel's visibility, you should learn how algorithm works and prepare a strategy accordingly.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

You can always boost the visibility of your channel using paid ads and influencer collaborations. But it is also important to improve the organic reach of your channel without paying a single penny.

To help you succeed, we have put together a few effective ways that can help you promote your YouTube channel to maximize views and drive more traffic.

1. Optimize Your Channel Description

If you want to maximize view on your YouTube channel, setting up your channel information the right way is one of the most basic things to start with. You should go to your channel and customize.

Give a brief introduction of the channel. Make sure that you provide a clear description about your channel, what is it all about, its purpose, goal, and what your viewers can expect from it. This information shows up in the "About" section on your channel and it works as part of branding.

Here's what the YouTube channel description of Backlinko by Brian Dean looks like:

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via YouTube

You should use appropriate keywords in the first 100 characters as they would work as a snippet when a user searches for your channel. It will also help your channel to appear in relevant search results.

Personalizing your channel also gives better outcome. As you can see in this image from Briggsby, having more characters in description help improve your channel's visibility. It is recommended that you should use at least 300 characters in your channel description.

Promote YouTube Channel

2. Create Engaging Titles Inclusive of Keywords

When you search for something on Google, it always shows results inclusive of YouTube videos. But to rank your video in relevant search results, one of the best practices is to optimize your video title.

I just searched for "how to buy a camera," and as you can see in the below image, Google search results also listed relevant YouTube videos.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Google

Do you want your YouTube videos to rank in the SERPs?

You should ensure that the video title is not any longer than 70 characters as the rest do not appear in search results. According to a study by Briggsby, shorter video titles secure higher ranks.

Promote YouTube Channel

You should also make the title keyword-friendly. Keywords that occur naturally in video titles play an important role in generating more views. Keyword-inclusive titles can help your videos rank better in YouTube as well as in Google search results.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Backlinko

However, you shouldn't add keywords for the sake of views. The title of your video should be engaging yet it should clearly tell users about the content of your video. You should refrain from misleading viewers with irrelevant titles.

To increase click-through-rate (CTR) of your videos, another thing you can do is to add a number to the thumbnail text. You can add the number of views if you have touched a milestone. For instance, "5 million views" or similar, but the number should be correct. Alternatively, you can write the number of tips you are going to share in the video such as "10 tips to improve your rankings."

3. Write a Good Video Description

Always write a proper description for each video you upload on your YouTube channel. Make sure that the description is informative.

Viewers often prefer to read video descriptions, especially for product reviews and "how-to" tutorials.

But, what exactly should you write in your video descriptions?

  • The first 100-150 characters are crucial. They appear as a snippet in search results. Therefore, you should use the target or main keyword in this segment.

This will make it easier for YouTube and Google to identify your content and show it to relevant viewers.

Here are the video results YouTube displays for the term, "how to lose belly fat":

Promote YouTube Channel

  • Use primary and other important keywords throughout the description, as required.
  • Add hashtags in the description. According to Google, hashtags make it easy for viewers to find your video.
  • Include your social media profiles with links to follow.
  • Ask your viewers to like and subscribe to your channel.

According to Briggsby, a 3-4% keyword density and 300-350 word video description can help your content stand out.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Recommended for You

Webcast, July 18th: 6 Trends Changing Customer Retention in 2019

4. Add Video Thumbnails

Thumbnails help viewers to quickly get an insight into your video content. According to YouTube Creator Academy, thumbnails make videos more appealing to advertisers and they are also an important part of your video's metadata.

Thumbnails help viewers to decide whether the content is relevant, and to an extent, what they can expect from it.

You will have three options to select a thumbnail once you finish uploading your video. But it is always better to create your own. In fact, 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.

You should create custom thumbnails using impressive images to make your video more clickable. You can also add your video title in the thumbnail to convey more on its content.

Remember, your thumbnail's file size should not exceed 2 MB and it should maintain an aspect ratio of 16:9. You can use file formats such as JPG, PNG, GIF, or GMP.

5. Maintain a Posting Schedule

How regularly do you upload and share videos? It may not strike you, but the frequency of uploading videos has a lot to do with the overall visibility of your YouTube channel.

If there is a significant gap between your video uploads, it would make your channel less detectable. Whereas, more number of uploads and freshness can boost the searchability of your channel and content.

YouTube algorithms value consistency so you should better create, maintain, and follow a content calendar.

Promote YouTube ChannelPromote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

If you are busy and cannot keep track of time, you can schedule your videos on YouTube. For this, you first need to upload a video and mark it as "private" or "scheduled." You can mention the date and time when you want to publish the content. YouTube also enables you to edit the time later.

Remember, the upload time mentioned on YouTube is based on Pacific Standard Time (PST).

6. Avoid Short Videos

Shorter videos often have a negative impact on your video rankings. Any video that is of below four minutes duration tends to get fewer views.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Videos that run 4:26 minutes in length achieve maximum views. You should use your creativity to make longer yet engaging videos to bring in more views.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

7. Increase Viewer Engagement

Engagement fosters better relationship with viewers and encourages them to like, comment, and share your videos. This also helps you drive more traffic to your YouTube channel.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

To increase viewer engagement, you need to create video content that is authentic, helpful, and entertaining.

A few other YouTube optimization tips that can help you drive more engagement on your videos include:

  • You should make full use of the comments section. You should ask your viewers to leave comments and also engage with their comments.

You should like their comments, reply to their questions and praises, and encourage discussions to improve engagement.

  • Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel.
  • Request viewers to like your videos if they like your content. YouTube algorithms prefer to rank videos that get more likes.
  • Host contests that engage users and compel them to subscribe to your channel.

8. Create Playlists

Creating your own video playlists on YouTube can help you promote your videos and drive more views. Playlists can also help you increase watch time.

Additionally, they help organize your content better. Viewers can easily filter relevant videos from your playlist according to their needs and preferences.

  • To create a playlist, you should start with adding videos that have more number of views and a better audience retention rate.
  • Write SEO optimized playlist title and description.
  • Do not add too many videos as it can hamper visibility.
  • Experiment with different playlist layouts.

9. Embed YouTube Videos

Embed your YouTube videos on your website or in your blog posts to generate backlinks. You can also embed valuable video content while guest posting to high-authoritative websites.

This can help you drive external traffic to your YouTube channel and boost your video rankings.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Conclusion

There are numerous other ways to promote your YouTube videos organically. You can promote your channel and videos on all of the major social media channels, your blog, and personal website. This can help you increase the viewership of your YouTube channel.

However, you should remember that the process of attracting viewers to your channel needs time and patience. You can expect tons of traffic overnight.

Can you think of any other ways to increase traffic to YouTube channel? If yes, why not share them with the community here?

“A New Era of Google Search: What It Means for SEO - Search Engine Journal” plus 1 more


A New Era of Google Search: What It Means for SEO - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Important changes are happening at Google and, in a world where marketing and algorithms intersect, those changes are largely happening under the radar.

The future of search looks like it will have considerably less search in it, and this isn't just about the end of the 10 blue links, but about much more fundamental changes.

Let's talk about some of those changes now, and what they mean for SEO.

Google Discover

Google Discover is a content recommendation engine that suggests content across the web based on a user's search history and behavior.

Discover isn't completely new (it was introduced in December of 2016 as Google Feed). But Google made an important change in late October (announced in September) when they added it to the Google homepage.

The revamp and rebranding to Discover added features like:

  • Topic headers to categorize feed results.
  • More images and videos.
  • Evergreen content, as opposed to just fresh content.
  • A toggle to tell Google if you want more or less content similar to a recommendation.
  • Google claims the recommendations are personalized to your level of expertise with a topic.

Google Discover hardly feels revolutionary at first. In fact, it feels overdue.

Our social media feeds are already dominated by content recommendation engines, and the YouTube content recommendation engine is responsible for 70% of the time spent on the site.

But Discover could have massive implications for the future of how users interact with content of the web.

While it's unlikely Discover will ever reach the 70% level of YouTube's content recommendation engine, if it swallows even a relatively small portion of Google search, say 10%, no SEO strategy will be complete without a tactic for earning that kind of traffic, especially since it will allow businesses to reach potential customers who aren't even searching for the relevant terms yet.

Google Assistant

For most users, Google Assistant is a quiet and largely invisible revolution.

Its introduction to Android devices in February 2017 likely left most users feeling like it was little more than an upgraded Google Now, and in a sense that's exactly what it is.

But as Google Assistant grows, it will increasingly influence how users interact with the web and decrease reliance on search.

Like its predecessor, Assistant can:

  • Search the web.
  • Schedule events and alarms.
  • Show Google account info.
  • Adjust device settings.

But the crucial difference is its ability to engage in two-way conversations, allowing users to get answers from the system without ever even looking at a search result.

An incredibly important change for the future of business and the web is the introduction of Google Express, the capability to add products to a shopping cart and order them entirely through Assistant.

But this feature is limited to businesses that are explicitly partnered with Google Express, an incredibly dramatic change from the Google search engine and its crawling of the open web.

Assistant can also identify what some images are. Google Duplex, an upcoming feature, will also allow Assistant to call businesses to schedule appointments and other similar actions on the user's behalf.

The more users rely on Assistant, the less they will rely on Google search results, and the more businesses who hope to adapt will need to think of other ways to:

  • Leverage Assistant's algorithms and other emerging technologies to fill in the gaps.
  • Adjust their SEO strategies to target the kind of behavior that is exclusive to search and search alone.

Google's Declaration of a New Direction

Circa Google's 20th anniversary, Google announced that its search product was closing an old chapter and opening a new one, with important new driving principles added.

They started by clarifying that these old principles wouldn't be going away:

  • Focusing on serving the user's information needs.
  • Providing the most relevant, high-quality information as quickly as possible.
  • Using an algorithmic approach.
  • Rigorously testing every change, including using quality rating guidelines to define search goals.

This means you should continue:

  • Putting the user first.
  • Being accurate and relevant.
  • Having some knowledge of algorithms.
  • Meeting Google's quality rating guidelines.

But the following principles represent a dramatically new direction for Google Search:

Shifting from Answers to Journeys

Google is adding new features that will allow users to "pick up where they left off," shifting the focus away from short-term answers to bigger, ongoing projects.

This currently already includes activity cards featuring previous pages visited and queries searched, the ability to add content to collections, and tabs that suggest what to learn about next, personalized to the user's search history.

A new Topic layer has also been added to the Knowledge Graph, allowing Google to surface evergreen content suggestions for users interested in a particular topic.

Shifting from Queries to Queryless Ways to Provide Information

Perhaps the most important change to watch carefully, Google is looking for ways to help users who don't even make a search query.

Google Discover is central to this effort and the inclusion of evergreen content, not just fresh content, represents an important change in how Google is thinking about the feed. This means more and more traditional search content will become feed content instead.

Shifting from Text to Visual Representation

Google is making important changes in the way information is presented by adding new visual capabilities.

They are introducing algorithmically generated AMP Stories, video compilations with relevant caption text like age and notable events in a person's life.

New featured videos have been added to search, designed to offer an overview on topics you are interested in.

Image search has also been updated so that images featured on pages with relevant content take priority and pages where the image is central to the content rank better. Captions and suggested searches have been added as well.

Finally, Google Lens allows you to perform visual search based on objects that Google's AI can detect in the image.

These changes to search are slipping under the radar somewhat for now, since user behavior rarely changes overnight.

But the likelihood that these features and Google's new direction will have a dramatic impact on how search works is very high.

SEOs who ignore these changes and continue operating with a 2009 mindset will find themselves losing ground to competitors.

SEO After Search

While queries will always be an important part of the way we find information online, we're now entering a new era of search.

An era that demands we start changing the way we think about SEO soon, while we can capitalize on the changing landscape.

The situation is not unlike when Google first came on the scene in 1998 when new opportunities were on the horizon that most at the time were unaware of and ill-prepared for.

As the technological landscape changes, we will need to alter our strategies and start thinking about questions and ideas like these in our vision for the future of our brands:

  • Less focus on queries and more focus on context appears inevitable. Where does our content fit into a user's journey? What would they have learned before consuming it, and what will they need to know next? Note that this is much more vital than simply a shift from keywords to topics, which has been happening for a very long time already. Discovery without queries is much more fundamental and impacts our strategies in a much more profound way.
  • How much can we incorporate our lead generation funnel into that journey as it already exists, and how much can we influence that journey to push it in a different direction?
  • How can we create content and resources that users will want to bookmark and add to collections?
  • Why would Google recommend our content as a useful evergreen resource in Discover, and for what type of user?
  • Can we partner with Google on emerging products? How do we adapt when we can't?
  • How should we incorporate AMP stories and similar visual content into our content strategy?
  • What type of content will always be exclusive to query-based search, and should we focus more or less on this type of content?
  • What types of content will Google's AI capacities ultimately be able to replace entirely, and on what timeline? What will Google Assistant and it's successors never be able to do that only content can?
  • To what extent is it possible for SEOs to adopt a "post-content" strategy?

With the future of search having Google itself doing more of the "searching" on the user's behalf, we will need to get more creative in our thinking.

We must recognize that surfacing content has never been Google's priority. It has always been focused on providing information.

Bigger Than Google

The changes on the horizon also signal that the SEO industry ought to start thinking bigger than Google.

What does that mean?

It means expanding the scope of SEO from search to the broader world where algorithms and marketing intersect.

It's time to start thinking more about how our skills apply to:

  • Content recommendation engines
  • Social media algorithms
  • Ecommerce product recommendation engines
  • Amazon's search algorithms
  • Smart devices, smart homes, and the internet of things
  • Mobile apps
  • Augmented reality

As doors on search close, new doors open everywhere users are interacting with algorithms that connect to the web and the broader digital world.

SEO professionals should not see the decline of traditional search as a death knell for the industry.

Instead, we should look at the inexorably increasing role algorithms play in peoples' lives as a fertile ground full of emerging possibilities.

More Resources:

How to Promote Your YouTube Channel to Maximize Views - Business 2 Community

Posted: 13 Jul 2019 10:08 AM PDT

YouTube, a Google subsidiary and a popular video sharing platform, is currently the second most visited website and search engine in the world. It hosts more than 1.9 billion active users per month. With a stunning figure of an ever-increasing subscriber count, YouTube unfurls an enormous potential for businesses.

According to reports, a viewer spends 70% of their time on YouTube watching recommendations by algorithms. To increase your channel's visibility, you should learn how algorithm works and prepare a strategy accordingly.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

You can always boost the visibility of your channel using paid ads and influencer collaborations. But it is also important to improve the organic reach of your channel without paying a single penny.

To help you succeed, we have put together a few effective ways that can help you promote your YouTube channel to maximize views and drive more traffic.

1. Optimize Your Channel Description

If you want to maximize view on your YouTube channel, setting up your channel information the right way is one of the most basic things to start with. You should go to your channel and customize.

Give a brief introduction of the channel. Make sure that you provide a clear description about your channel, what is it all about, its purpose, goal, and what your viewers can expect from it. This information shows up in the "About" section on your channel and it works as part of branding.

Here's what the YouTube channel description of Backlinko by Brian Dean looks like:

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via YouTube

You should use appropriate keywords in the first 100 characters as they would work as a snippet when a user searches for your channel. It will also help your channel to appear in relevant search results.

Personalizing your channel also gives better outcome. As you can see in this image from Briggsby, having more characters in description help improve your channel's visibility. It is recommended that you should use at least 300 characters in your channel description.

Promote YouTube Channel

2. Create Engaging Titles Inclusive of Keywords

When you search for something on Google, it always shows results inclusive of YouTube videos. But to rank your video in relevant search results, one of the best practices is to optimize your video title.

I just searched for "how to buy a camera," and as you can see in the below image, Google search results also listed relevant YouTube videos.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Google

Do you want your YouTube videos to rank in the SERPs?

You should ensure that the video title is not any longer than 70 characters as the rest do not appear in search results. According to a study by Briggsby, shorter video titles secure higher ranks.

Promote YouTube Channel

You should also make the title keyword-friendly. Keywords that occur naturally in video titles play an important role in generating more views. Keyword-inclusive titles can help your videos rank better in YouTube as well as in Google search results.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Backlinko

However, you shouldn't add keywords for the sake of views. The title of your video should be engaging yet it should clearly tell users about the content of your video. You should refrain from misleading viewers with irrelevant titles.

To increase click-through-rate (CTR) of your videos, another thing you can do is to add a number to the thumbnail text. You can add the number of views if you have touched a milestone. For instance, "5 million views" or similar, but the number should be correct. Alternatively, you can write the number of tips you are going to share in the video such as "10 tips to improve your rankings."

3. Write a Good Video Description

Always write a proper description for each video you upload on your YouTube channel. Make sure that the description is informative.

Viewers often prefer to read video descriptions, especially for product reviews and "how-to" tutorials.

But, what exactly should you write in your video descriptions?

  • The first 100-150 characters are crucial. They appear as a snippet in search results. Therefore, you should use the target or main keyword in this segment.

This will make it easier for YouTube and Google to identify your content and show it to relevant viewers.

Here are the video results YouTube displays for the term, "how to lose belly fat":

Promote YouTube Channel

  • Use primary and other important keywords throughout the description, as required.
  • Add hashtags in the description. According to Google, hashtags make it easy for viewers to find your video.
  • Include your social media profiles with links to follow.
  • Ask your viewers to like and subscribe to your channel.

According to Briggsby, a 3-4% keyword density and 300-350 word video description can help your content stand out.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Recommended for You

Webcast, July 18th: 6 Trends Changing Customer Retention in 2019

4. Add Video Thumbnails

Thumbnails help viewers to quickly get an insight into your video content. According to YouTube Creator Academy, thumbnails make videos more appealing to advertisers and they are also an important part of your video's metadata.

Thumbnails help viewers to decide whether the content is relevant, and to an extent, what they can expect from it.

You will have three options to select a thumbnail once you finish uploading your video. But it is always better to create your own. In fact, 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.

You should create custom thumbnails using impressive images to make your video more clickable. You can also add your video title in the thumbnail to convey more on its content.

Remember, your thumbnail's file size should not exceed 2 MB and it should maintain an aspect ratio of 16:9. You can use file formats such as JPG, PNG, GIF, or GMP.

5. Maintain a Posting Schedule

How regularly do you upload and share videos? It may not strike you, but the frequency of uploading videos has a lot to do with the overall visibility of your YouTube channel.

If there is a significant gap between your video uploads, it would make your channel less detectable. Whereas, more number of uploads and freshness can boost the searchability of your channel and content.

YouTube algorithms value consistency so you should better create, maintain, and follow a content calendar.

Promote YouTube ChannelPromote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

If you are busy and cannot keep track of time, you can schedule your videos on YouTube. For this, you first need to upload a video and mark it as "private" or "scheduled." You can mention the date and time when you want to publish the content. YouTube also enables you to edit the time later.

Remember, the upload time mentioned on YouTube is based on Pacific Standard Time (PST).

6. Avoid Short Videos

Shorter videos often have a negative impact on your video rankings. Any video that is of below four minutes duration tends to get fewer views.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Videos that run 4:26 minutes in length achieve maximum views. You should use your creativity to make longer yet engaging videos to bring in more views.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

7. Increase Viewer Engagement

Engagement fosters better relationship with viewers and encourages them to like, comment, and share your videos. This also helps you drive more traffic to your YouTube channel.

Promote YouTube Channel

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To increase viewer engagement, you need to create video content that is authentic, helpful, and entertaining.

A few other YouTube optimization tips that can help you drive more engagement on your videos include:

  • You should make full use of the comments section. You should ask your viewers to leave comments and also engage with their comments.

You should like their comments, reply to their questions and praises, and encourage discussions to improve engagement.

  • Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel.
  • Request viewers to like your videos if they like your content. YouTube algorithms prefer to rank videos that get more likes.
  • Host contests that engage users and compel them to subscribe to your channel.

8. Create Playlists

Creating your own video playlists on YouTube can help you promote your videos and drive more views. Playlists can also help you increase watch time.

Additionally, they help organize your content better. Viewers can easily filter relevant videos from your playlist according to their needs and preferences.

  • To create a playlist, you should start with adding videos that have more number of views and a better audience retention rate.
  • Write SEO optimized playlist title and description.
  • Do not add too many videos as it can hamper visibility.
  • Experiment with different playlist layouts.

9. Embed YouTube Videos

Embed your YouTube videos on your website or in your blog posts to generate backlinks. You can also embed valuable video content while guest posting to high-authoritative websites.

This can help you drive external traffic to your YouTube channel and boost your video rankings.

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Promote YouTube Channel

Image via Briggsby

Conclusion

There are numerous other ways to promote your YouTube videos organically. You can promote your channel and videos on all of the major social media channels, your blog, and personal website. This can help you increase the viewership of your YouTube channel.

However, you should remember that the process of attracting viewers to your channel needs time and patience. You can expect tons of traffic overnight.

Can you think of any other ways to increase traffic to YouTube channel? If yes, why not share them with the community here?

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