Optimize organic YouTube content

Business benefits

Make your YouTube content discoverable, relevant, and valuable to your target audience.

Define your brand’s YouTube value proposition based on what unique value your brand can offer on YouTube.

Your YouTube value proposition is distinct from your brand’s general value proposition. It should answer what people get from your channel and what unique value or expertise you provide on your YouTube channel.

For example, your YouTube value proposition might be Showing home workout ideas that can be done in 15 minutes or less or teaching your viewers about Cocktails made with organic or local ingredients.

Identify keyword opportunities and content ideas by using a

YouTube keyword research tool, such as TubeBuddy or Ahrefs.

Type a topic, like home fitness, flower arrangements, or chicken recipes, into a keyword research tool. TubeBuddy shows the overall keyword score, score analysis, interest over time, and related searches, while Ahrefs provides many related keywords with analysis.

Calculate which keyword is most likely to succeed in the short and long term by using the YouTube Opportunity Score method.

To calculate the YouTube Opportunity Score:

  • Type a keyword from your keyword opportunity list into YouTube.
  • Watch the top 10 ranked videos for that keyword.
  • For each, give it a subjective quality score out of 10.
  • Plug that quality score into this formula: MEAN (1:10 (Views / Age in Months / Quality ))
  • Do this for a few keywords you’re interested in to see which has the highest mean, and then use that word.

Find and optimize for keywords that return video-based results in Google search, such as how to, watch, and make.

To try to get the featured snippet on Google for a video, look for keywords that already have video-based results, and use these queries that are likely to return video results as a starting place. For example:

  • How do…
  • What is…
  • What should…
  • Demonstration of…

Make videos that follow the head-tail-body storytelling framework, with an engaging hook at the beginning, interesting content in the middle, and a call to action at the end.

YouTube videos can vary drastically in length and still perform well if they follow this engaging storytelling structure. To see if your videos retain attention throughout and where you lose viewers, use the viewer retention analytics in YouTube Analytics.

Optimize your YouTube video title by making it more editorial, engaging, and intriguing.

Try coming up with a list of titles for one video, and ask other people at your company which one they would click on.

Create custom, consistent thumbnails that follow best practices like using a brand logo, including human faces, and high-contrast colors.

Thumbnails should look more like a movie poster than a video screen grab.

Other thumbnail best practices include:

  • Large, stylized text that is legible at 116 x 24 px
  • 16 x 9 aspect ratio, with dimensions of 1280 x 720 pixels, JPEG less than 2 MB

Optimize your YouTube content more by adding video chapters, an editorial description, watermark, and captions.

To add chapters, include time codes in the description, with a short, descriptive chapter name next to each. Provide context in your description, and include a link to your website and supporting material in your description.

Build playlists for existing, curated, or series videos on your channel, using keywords for which you want to rank.

YouTube playlists can be added later, so if there is a trending topic that is relevant to some of your existing videos, group those videos into a playlist with that keyword as the playlist title, like adding the playlist title Thanksgiving drinks to videos about cocktail recipes. Use playlists for series with consistent branding as well, like on Bon Appetit’s channel.

Measure your channel’s success in YouTube Analytics, using Traffic Source Types, Average Percentage of Video Completed, and Subscriber Growth as key success indicators.

Look at Traffic Source Types and see what percent of traffic is coming from YouTube search and Suggested videos. These two percentages should be higher than the other categories, if you are successfully optimizing your videos.

“Through youtube SEO optmization” isn’t really needed here.

I think that this should reword to say “tools like” so the reader knows there are more tool options.

A few of these could be added to the step as the examples.

I think this explanation should be in the step. “Create custom, consistent thumbnails that follow best practices like using a brand logo, including human faces, and high-contrast colors.” Can add the extra ones in the explanation moving the movie poster bit there too.

The metric names should be bold/italic here. Step and Explanation.

All comments addressed and additional refinements done.