In a previous post I wrote about the 3 main pillars of YouTube SEO, which are Watch Time, Google's YouTube algorithm and Tags. Out of those 3, Watch Time is the most important when getting your videos to appear at the top of search results. In this post I will give you 5 easy tips to help improve your Watch Time.
1. THUMBNAILS & DESCRIPTIONS
Have you ever been scrolling through social media and have clicked on a video because of an interesting thumbnail image or an enticing description? I'm guessing the answer is yes.
A good thumbnail should pique peoples interest and make them want to learn more. A good place to start is to use one of the more visually striking shots from your video to capture peoples attention. Depending on your skills in photoshop, you could also take this further by blending multiple images together, adding text etc.
When working with us, we will happily create a thumbnail for you.
Once you have a viewer's attention you need to close the deal by writing a killer description. A good description should start telling a story so that the viewer has to see the video to know the ending.
We have a whole blog post covering how to write a great description which you can find here.
2. Use An End Card
You have probably seen end cards before but not realised what they are called. An end card is the final shot of a video that displays other videos from your channel that the viewer can click on, as seen above.
End cards are a great way to funnel your viewers on to more of your content and thus improve your Watch Time over more of your videos. It can also be used to promote older videos.
To make an end card you will need previous content.
Check out this blog post on how to set up End Cards on YouTube.
3. Create Playlists
Playlists are a greatly underused YouTube SEO resource. There's no easier way to guide your viewer from one video to the next.
It is important to create playlists of videos that fit naturally together. If a person has clicked on your video and is enjoying it, a playlist makes it very easy for them to watch your other related videos.
There are many different ways you can curate playlists. For example you can have a playlist dedicated to each of your products, one for how to videos, one for your event showcases etc. There are many possibilities.
Another great tip is to link to a playlist rather than a single video when posting your videos online. To do this simply create your playlist, add the videos, click on the video you want to share, click on share and there you will see a tick box stating 'share with playlist starting from current video'. Now all you have to do is copy the link next to it and paste it into your website of choice.
4. Use Annotations To Link To Other Videos
As well as using an end slate you can also add annotations throughout the video. For those of you who don't know, annotations are text or graphic boxes that appear over your video. They are easy to create and can be used to link to your other videos as well as your website.
The most obvious way to use annotations is to link to your website at the end of the video making it easier for you to turn viewers into clients.
Another great way to use annotations is to link to your other videos during your video. You shouldn't use annotations near the beginning of the video as the viewer is solely interested in the current video they are watching. As you get to the middle of the video, more and more people are starting to click away, this is a great time to give them the option of clicking through to one of your other videos. You can use YouTube Analytics to work out when most people are leaving your video and place an annotation 10-20 seconds beforehand.
It's best not to use the title of the video for the annotation, try to engage your audience. If the original video is a product announcement video then you could link to a how to video with the annotation reading 'Find out how to use "product name" here'.
Don't forget you can use these annotations to drive more viewers to older content.
5. Spread The Word With Blogs & Social Media
This one seems self explanatory but I often see companies posting a video once and then never posting about it again. First of all don't be afraid to post about your video multiple times in the first couple of weeks, this is a critical time for your videos SEO. With sites like Twitter this is even more essential as most Twitter users only stay up to date with Twitter at the time they are looking.
I would also recommend boosting your post on Facebook. You only have to spend £5-£10 to boost your post for 3-5 days to start to see results. You can target the post to a specific audience's interests making it easier to find your perfect customer. If you write a post that is engaging to your followers as well as non followers then you are likely to get new likes as well as views.
Don't stop at just your social media accounts either. Do you have a friend who works at a distributor of your products? Ask them to write a blog post about it. Do you have client who is always recommending you? Ask them to post it on their Facebook wall. Don't be afraid to ask anyone you know to help you promote it and share it across social media.
These tips are just the start and are meant to spark your creativity to think outside the box and come up with inventive ways to promote your videos.
If you would like personal help with setting up your YouTube channel, promoting your videos and of course video production then please feel free to get in touch at any time.
What would you like me to cover in the next blog post? Leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let me know.