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Since its acquisition by Google for $1.65 billion on October 10, 2006, YouTube has transformed into a significant video search engine.

Under the umbrella of the Google family, YouTube became subject to numerous algorithms dictating the fate of uploaded videos.


By consistently working on the SEO of your videos as I will show you in this blog post, you will be able to influence the two main algorithms that seem to govern YouTube (there are certainly more than two, but we are interested in these).

Of course, this is a job that cannot be done on just one video and then stop: all videos must be composed and published as I am about to explain.

Now, what are the SEO elements that influence the two algorithms?

For the search algorithm – the one that simply returns a series of videos based on the keyword searched by the user – it is enough to do a good job optimizing the title, and description of our videos.

But as for the related algorithm of suggested content, we also need to optimize our thumbnails because, even if it may seem like science fiction, through reading colors and pixel arrangement, YouTube can understand what type of video it is and when to suggest it.

Here are all the elements we need to focus on to do a great optimization job on YouTube:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Video content
  • Thumbnail
  • Keywords

Now let’s look at them in detail.


Title of the Video


Many of the elements we’ll discuss here have already been covered in my blog posts How to Write a Blog Post and What Is On Page SEO“.

I recommend reading them before continuing, as they provide a solid foundation for better understanding the concepts we’ll be discussing.

Specifically, your video title should match your blog post title.

This is important to maintain consistency and make it easier for users interested in the topic to find.


Video Content Description


Write each of your descriptions using this template (copy/paste):

  • ๐Ÿ“Œ [VIDEO DESCRIPTION: COPY AND PASTE THE CONTENT DESCRIPTION THAT I SHOWED YOU IN THE BLOG POST “WHAT IS ON-PAGE SEO”]
  • โžก๏ธ [PRODUCT_NAME]: [SALES_PAGE_LINK]
  • ๐ŸŽž CHAPTERS:
    ๐Ÿ”น [MM:SS] [TITLE_CHAPTER 1]
    ๐Ÿ”น [MM:SS] [TITLE_CHAPTER 2]
    ๐Ÿ”น [MM:SS] [TITLE_CHAPTER 3]
  • ๐Ÿ“œ [CHANNEL_NAME]: [CHANNEL_DESCRIPTION]
  • FACEBOOK PAGE: [FACEBOOK_PAGE_LINK]
  • INSTAGRAM PROFILE: [INSTAGRAM_PROFILE_LINK]
  • [ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA YOU DESIRE]

The [PRODUCT_NAME] and [CHANNEL_NAME] are two elements that are repeated in all videos.


All of this data is very important for SEO purposes because its presence in each of our videos makes the videos resemble one another.

This communicates to YouTube that they were all created by the same author (you), which in turn contributes to the visibility of your videos in the suggested video column when someone is watching your content.

In [PRODUCT_NAME], you’ll need to write the name of your flagship product and the link to the Sales Page.

In [CHANNEL_NAME], you should write the name of your channel followed by its description, which as I explained in blog post How to Make a YouTube Channel“, is essentially your differentiating idea.

Let’s give an example.

  • ๐Ÿ“Œ How to publish business videos so they’re suggested for free to your audience by YouTube’s algorithm.
  • โžก๏ธ Free Marketing and Business Course: https://thebusinesshomepage.com/
  • ๐ŸŽž CHAPTERS:
    ๐Ÿ”น 00:00 SEO and YouTube Algorithms
    ๐Ÿ”น 01:30 Title of the Video
    ๐Ÿ”น 02:10 Video Content Description
    ๐Ÿ”น 03:15 Video Content Structure
    ๐Ÿ”น 04:10 Video Content Thumbnails
    ๐Ÿ”น 05:20 Video Content KeyWords
    ๐Ÿ”น 06:30 How to Use Each Video to Generate Traffic
  • ๐Ÿ“œ The Business Homepage: The world’s ultimate free advanced business blog.
  • FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/thebusinesshomepage101/
  • INSTAGRAM PROFILE: https://www.instagram.com/thebusinesshomepage/
  • X PROFILE: https://x.com/TheBusinessHP



Video Content Structure


To produce video content that truly interests people (aka your customers), follow the content structure I showed you in the blog post How to Write a Video Script“.

Video Content Thumbnails


Although still in its early stages, Google is developing technology capable of “reading” the pixels of an image.

It may sound like science fiction, but if you pay attention, you will often see similar thumbnails (design and colors) in the Suggested Videos section of YouTube.

Over time, Google will improve this technology and will be able to read the text in the thumbnails, which will become an active part of SEO.

So, here’s how to create an optimized thumbnail:

  • Open Canva and choose “YouTube Thumbnail” as a template.
  • Choose an image as background for your video.
  • Write the video title on the thumbnail.
  • Rename the image with the video title.

If you have graphic skills you can add a particular forms or colors (or you can follow free tutorials on YouTube); the important thing is that the video title is clearly readable.

Example of a YouTube thumbnail I created with Canva in 30 seconds
Example of a YouTube thumbnail I created with Canva in 30 seconds.
Source: Canva.



Video Content KeyWords


Use the same keywords for all the videos you publish.

You can use the same keywords you selected for your channel: “How to Create a YouTube Channel.”

How to Use Each Video to Generate Traffic


Now, let’s delve into the usage of two strategic features within our videos: “End Screen” and “Cards.”

What are these features?

They are tools that YouTube offers us for free to prevent “drop-off,” which refers to when viewers watch our video until the end and then switch to watching cute kitten videos or Japanese prank clips.

End Screens and Cards can help us avoid this situation by encouraging continuous viewing of our other videos.

This technique will increase watch time, prompting YouTube to suggest your videos more frequently and at no cost to you.

Here you will find Google’s official guide that explains step-by-step how to set up End Screens and Cards from a technical standpoint.

Now, let me share some tips to optimize the use of these two tools.

End Screen

Let’s start with the End Screen.

Thanks to this tool, a few seconds before your video concludes, you can display a screen where viewers can see your latest uploaded video and another video that the algorithm considers most relevant to them.

Additionally, there’s a button to encourage them to subscribe to your channel.

As you publish more videos, this tool becomes more effective, as it can suggest the viewer the video that best aligns with their interests.

Cards

Once upon a time, there was a very useful Chrome plugin called TubeBuddy.

With just one click, it allowed you to ensure that a link to a video offering your lead magnet appeared in the top right corner of every video.

In practice, while a viewer was engrossed in your video, a non-intrusive message popped up in the top right corner, suggesting your video, ebook, or free course.

Unfortunately, this plugin lasted about as long as my attention span during explanations of philosophy and history in school.

YouTube removed it all of a sudden, and the company ceased operations shortly afterward (yet they kept charging subscription fees even two months after the service closure).

Beyond this (sorry but I had to complain), it’s a pity because it was an incredibly useful plugin, and at the moment, there is no replacement available (though I hope to update this sentence soon).

So, the only feasible solution is to manually create a card every time we upload a video, with a link to our introductory trailer, just to let viewers who don’t know you understand who you are and what you do.

Make sure to activate the card from the beginning to the end of the video.