With over 6 billion hours of video footage watched and over 1 billion visitors every month, YouTube is one of the most popular and influential social media platforms available to date. Not only is the video sharing site a thriving social media platform, it is also the second biggest search engine in the world. Oh, and another thing, it is owned by Google… the world’s biggest search engine! (Yes, Google, you know that big search engine that everyone is trying to get to number 1 of? Well it takes how you treat its child very seriously, so unless you want to feel the wrath of Mother Google, treat YouTube with respect, no spam or trickery!). Read how Mother Google will reward you for playing nice in Tara’s Why Use YouTube For Business blog post.
Just like other search engines, YouTube works on algorithms in order to find the video best suited to your search term and lists them accordingly. For this reason videos are not filtered automatically by view count, as this means that nobody would ever see anything new. In fact, YouTube updated its algorithm back in 2013 to rank videos depending on how long they were watched. This is of the understanding that people would not tend to watch a video that was of bad quality, the wrong topic, misleading or simply not very good.
This means, therefore, that in order to have a successful YouTube video, i.e. be ranked top in YouTube search, your video needs to be what your audience want to watch. This sounds obvious, but if you are not attracting and engaging your target audience with your videos, they will simply not be watched. Consequently, they will not come up in search results so even less people will see them and the whole thing will just have been a waste of your very precious time.
Getting Good YouTube Results
I am going to put it quite simply, the golden rule to getting good YouTube results is to create good video content. This doesn’t have to the funniest, the weirdest, the shortest or the longest, it just has to successfully target your target audience (its already in the phrase!): answer their questions, entertain them or get them thinking about your brand in whichever way you like.
Of course there are also some clever little optimisation tricks that can help your excellently entertaining videos get to the top. Ultimately, however, as with any search engine optimisation, your overarching goal is to encourage the best user experience possible rather than to try and fool people into clicking through to your site.
This means things like keeping your video’s title and description within the character limit so that important information is not missed by users looking for the right video to watch. Similarly, using the thumbnail in correspondence with the title is essential in showing potential viewers what the content is about so that they know to watch it.
You’re Only Fooling Yourselves By Trying To Fool YouTube
I’m sure you have had it where you are looking for something on YouTube, say, ‘really cute puppies’ and you see a title with ‘really cute puppies’ and an adorable thumbnail picture of ‘really cute puppies’, then you click on it and it’s some weird guy at his desk talking about CoD? Well as much as it’s great that this guy has got loads of clicks on his video, I imagine that he doesn’t have a particularly great watch time, or a lot of friends.
What I mean by this is do not try and trick potential viewers, or the YouTube overlords, into thinking your video is something else in order to get people to watch it. Videos that match what users are searching for most effectively are the ones that are going to come up highest in search. If this means that you have a video about the correct plumbing of a toilet, and you title it ‘The correct plumbing of a toilet’ with a thumbnail of the correct plumbing of a toilet, then so be it. It may not be the most interesting video on YouTube but it is more likely to come up first when a desperate potential customer searches for ‘the correct plumbing of a toilet’.
So I am not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but ultimately, the only way you are going to succeed on YouTube is through creating quality content that your target audience will want to watch. You can try and cheat the YouTube elders and trick people to click on your video by making them think it is something that they want to watch, but when they realise that it is not, they will click off. This cruel trickery (especially if you choose to play around with the hope of watching puppies) will in fact damage your brand’s YouTube success more than strengthen it. So even though it may be a slow winding process of getting your toilet’s plumbing maximum views, patience will have it that when that potential client needs the ‘correct plumbing of a toilet’ your video will be there to drive them back to your site and there you will have a beautiful conversion.
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