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The 5 Commandments of YouTube Video SEO

No matter how great your videos are, YouTube video SEO will be the key driver that gets your content in front of people’s eyes. Get more views, subs, grow your audience, and attract sponsors with these top 5 YouTube SEO tips.

Video SEO

Make Money with YouTube SEO

Quality travel videos are turning average bloggers into online celebrities and opening doors to¬†sponsors, free swag, and free accommodation. And competition is fierce –YouTube SEO is often the key factor in how quickly a vlogger can grow their audience and make money on YouTube.

The YouTube video SEO tips in this article are king (and queen) makers;¬†we asked all our top travel blogger colleagues for their best SEO tips, and surprise! —they’re not complicated.

We were able to boil it down to five key tips, and the best YouTube SEO software they swear by.

Related:¬†Blogger Rate Card –How Much Should You Charge for a Sponsored Post?

Your videos could be bloody amazing, but they could also be a poor investment of your time and effort if they fall on def ears because you didn’t take video SEO seriously.

Over half a million views, travel blogger drone video by my friends at Just One Way Ticket

Making Good on Your Investment

To distinguish themselves, professional travel bloggers like Just One Way Ticket and Getting Stamped have invested heavily into their gear. Drones have become a a must-have travel blogging accessory, and they aren’t cheap.

If you’re going to invest a lot of capital, time, and effort into your videos, you’re leaving money on the table if you’re not putting a lot of focus on YouTube SEO.

The purpose of this post is to help¬†travel bloggers release their shiny new travel videos into the world with maximum impact, even if they’ve never attempted SEO for YouTube before.

Our Top Video SEO Software: KeySearch

KeySearch is the most important (YouTube) SEO tool in our toolbox, and it is drastically cheaper than its leading competitors while still delivering immense value. Comparable tools cost hundreds of bucks per month, KeySearch costs under $20 and it’s worth every cent.

Keyword research is something we do before we create any content –before investing our time on a topic, we usually want to know if people are searching for content related to it.

Video SEO Software

KeySearch provides valuable insight about how much traffic specific keywords get on major search engines –but maybe even more importantly, it has a metric that tells you if you have a chance in hell you’ll rank for them.

Keyword suggestion tools only provide a small piece of the puzzle.

Keyword¬†competition metrics show you who is already ranking for a keyword or keyphrase, and provides a score for their website/article/video that you can compare with your own. If they’re too far out of your league, choosing a less competitive keyword will do the trick.

We recommend you check out KeySearch for yourself, or learn more about it on our Blogging Tools post.

YouTube SEO

5 Commandments of YouTube Video SEO

Every day another travel blogger picks up a drone or a GoPro, so it’s important to remain competitive with your YouTube SEO strategy to ensure your travel videos remain evergreen and withstand increased competition.

video SEO could be the key to getting more exposure over others, and it’s an incredibly important skill to master.

At the time of writing, all major online video websites generally rank videos on search result pages¬†in a similar fashion¬†as traditional search engines like Google or¬†Bing –although there are a few SEO advantages for video over other content types that a travel blogger can leverage.

Related: A List of GoPro Travel Accessories We Use

From the keywords used in video titles, descriptions, or tags –to the popularity of your travel videos measured by view count– the precise methods that online video sharing websites use to rank travel videos¬†have much in common with traditional search. Social media outside of YouTube such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all play a big part in how many views your videos will receive and how they¬†rank,¬†but those are topics for other blog posts.

Travel Blogger Drone Videos
DJI Mavic Pro, a top-rated drone by travel bloggers

How does YouTube Rank Travel Videos?

There exists a set of 5 tried-and-true areas that you can focus on to make your online video rank on search engines. They are:

  • Human need
  • Viewing time
  • Keyword relevance
  • Call to action
  • Promotion

Here’s an infographic to help you clearly understand¬†what makes YouTube SEO tick –what video portals¬†measure, and how you can leverage search optimization strategies to make your travel drone videos rank better on search results pages.

The article continues after the infographic.

Video SEO Tips for Digital Nomads

2019 YouTube Video Ranking Factors:

Below we’ll expand on the YouTube ranking factors we discussed in the infographic above. If you’ve got any additional tips or advice regarding video SEO best practices, we’d appreciate hearing from you in the comments.

1. Human Need

Travel blog drone videos are mostly eye candy, and draw upon human emotion to enhance their popularity. In addition to epic visuals, it’s also important that you mix in audio that elicits an emotional response. Thoughtfully chosen music tracks combined with the happy sounds of children laughing, nature, street life. and the odd funny remark will enhance the positive vibe of your drone videos and build loyalty with your viewers.

Worth mention that all of this is ideally accomplished within 3 minutes, as this is the length of time most common among the most popular videos on YouTube. It is also important to use a descriptive yet appealing thumbnail preview image that suits the content, and we recommend making one separately instead of simply using a frame of video.

DJI Phantom Top-Rated Drone
DJI Phantom P3-Standard, a top-rated mid-level drone

2. Viewing Time

Not to be confused with the 3-minute video length mentioned above, the “viewing time” we’re referring to here is the amount of combined minutes and hours your viewers have spent watching your video overall.

This YouTube SEO ranking metric sports a direct correlation with how well your drone videos will rank, and is a key YouTube ranking factor in 2019.

In order to keep eyes glued to your videos, we suggest that you take your time editing your videos to ensure they have a high production value and select one of the top rated drones on the market to ensure a quality HD viewing experience.

Do a little keyword research to find out what’s trending, and include popular subject matter in your videos (and video titles, descriptions, and tags).

3. Keyword Relevance

In March of 2017,¬†Google announced its Google Translate team has made larger leaps in the past few months than it has since the inception of the project in terms of speech recognition, context, and understanding. It has achieved this by¬†using artificial intelligence –and it’s safe to assume that very soon YouTube will be able to fully understand and index speech within your videos.

However, for now no video search engine on the web possesses the Jedi-like ability to “watch” and contextually understand video as they do with text-based blog posts. This means you’ll need to give them a hand indexing your video properly through the use of relevant keywords in your video title, description, tags, transcripts, and/or closed captioning to provide clear context of what your video is about.

It’s important to be as relevant as possible, and not just go for popular keywords if they don’t relate to your video. Setting the wrong expectations by tricking viewers into watching your videos will have a negative effect on other ranking factors –such as up-votes and down-votes.

How to Use Keywords on YouTube

Clear copy in your YouTube video SEO description will help search algorithms best understand what context to present them in search results, and match them with the right audiences.

Here’s a Video SEO Keyword Checklist:

  • Video title: We suggest approximately 5 word video titles, with just one central keyword/keyphrase
  • Tags: Less is more, use tags with razor-sharp precision –avoid using loosely-related tags
  • Descriptions: Don’t skimp on your video description, make it close to the length of a short form blog post and be sure to use long-tail keywords througout

4. Call to Action (CTA)

Great videos will give you the undivided attention of your audience, so this is a great time to drop a potent CTA.

Take a cue from Instagram; embellish videos with a memorable URL and strong call to action. Only use annotations decisively as to avoid annoying your audience.

The only thing on earth that’s worth lowering your overall YouTube viewing time is a CTA that lures¬†your viewer from YouTube to your website.

And when you do this, ensure that there’s a good reason, too. Your call to action should be enticing YouTube traffic to come to your website for a reason more than “check out my blog”. Whether it’s a page with valuable affiliate links, you’re trying to boost traffic for¬†an influencer marketing / sponsored post campaign, or you’re getting people to sign up for your email list –whatever you do, make it count.

DJI Phantom PRO Top-rated drone for travel bloggers
DJI Phantom 3 PRO, top-rated drone

5. Promotion

As previously mentioned, where and how your travel video is promoted will make a big difference on your YouTube SEO metrics and affect how they rank. And how they rank will affect how many conversions you get, and those conversions¬†will determine whether or not you’re able to afford that trip to Bali next week. Or eat.

Your best bet is to tap into additional search engines to diversify your traffic like Pinterest and Instagram to create a trickle-down effect.

Which means you’ll have to rinse and repeat the YouTube SEO tips above for Pinterest and Instagram —attractive preview images, keywords, descriptions, and tags.

In Summary

If your travel videos evoke more emotion than others, you’re mindful about overall viewing times, you take your time identifying trends and keywords, and promote the haaaailllll of them –you’re on your way to being a successful travel blogger that people love and brands enjoy working with.

Do you have any YouTube SEO tools or tips to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Nomad living Blog - Michael Hulleman

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