Keywords play an important role when it comes to making your videos searchable on YouTube. As it turns out, they also do the same for your entire channel. Read on to get a better understanding of what YouTube channel keywords are and how to effectively use them.
How YouTube channel keywords work
YouTube channel keywords are words and phrases that best describe your channel and its content as a whole. Visitors to your channel use them in conjunction with video-specific keywords to find your content. The keywords are also used by YouTube’s algorithm to rank your videos in their search results. You can see that these channels have optimized well for the keyword searched:
Channel keywords are commonly placed in the major sections of your channel like the title, the About section, and in playlist headings. They can also be included in the metadata of your videos:
- Video titles
- Video tags
Putting the right keywords in each one of these sections helps YouTube display your videos in its search results.
Choosing the right keywords: Consider the audience
Your audience is the biggest deciding factor when choosing keywords. Think about the terms and phrases that they commonly use to refer to the topics in your content. They are likely the ones that they use to search for videos pertaining to the topics.
To get a better idea of the terms, read the comments and discussions posted on your videos. You can also visit other similar sites in the same niche to better understand the phrases your viewers could use. Take variations into consideration to better cover these terms.
Narrowing down your list
Not all of the channel keywords you have listed will be used. You need to narrow them down to the ones that best suit your channel and its contents.
Relevancy plays a big role in determining which of the possible YouTube channel keywords you are going to use and which ones you will need to drop. Remember that they describe your channel as a whole and not just individual videos. Select the keywords that give a detailed description of your channel and are commonly used by your target audience. Around 10 keywords should be a good range to work with.
Tools like Google AdWords Keywords Planner and YouTube Trending are useful in refining your list of keywords. The Keyword Planner displays the monthly search volume for specific keywords, as well as the relative amount of competition you are likely to encounter if you decide to use them.
On the other hand, YouTube’s Trending section gives you the trending videos that you can study for the same purpose.
Optimizing your channel for your chosen keywords
When choosing the spots to place your keywords in, they should fall into place with the surrounding text and not stick out as obvious, well, keywords. This is particularly true in the case of the sections that are displayed in search results such as channel names and descriptions.
In the case of the former, you need to strike a balance between a unique name and being able to insert a keyword. One technique to use here is to place one of your keywords or key phrases as a definite part of the whole channel title, like this one using the keywords “video tutorials”:
This helps YouTube better classify your channel as a resource and gives users an idea of what it features within.
You have more flexibility when it comes to including keywords in your channel description. The rule about keyword stuffing still applies, but you can put in more than one keyword. Use keywords that best fit into the description you plan to write for the channel. Select keywords that are closely associated with your overall topics, yet still describe your content too.
You can also use your keywords in channel tags. Here, you can put both single-word keywords as well as key phrases. Include common misspellings of some of your tags. This lets you accommodate mistakes made by users and increases the chances of your videos showing up in searches. The number of tags you can add depends on how many you can fit within the 500-character limit.
Competition research also helps you get ideas for tags to use. Look for a video with similar content as yours and do the following:
- Open the video’s source code by right-clicking on the page and selecting “View Page Source”
- On the Page Source screen, do a text search by hitting Ctrl+F (Command+F for Mac users) and typing “Video:tag”
- This will highlight all the tags the creator included in the video
This is a “White Hat” technique if you want to capture part of the competitor’s audience and lead them to your own content.
Other places to use YouTube channel keywords
Aside from the standard places to place your YouTube channel keywords, there are a few more spots where you can use them to increase channel visibility. The thumbnail images used for your videos is one such spot.
Use the right channel keywords in the metadata of the custom thumbnails that is used for your videos. This increases the chances that the thumbnails will appear in image search results, attracting more traffic to your videos.
You can also use YouTube channel keywords in your playlists. Organizing your videos into playlists helps your audience find specific content in your channel. By adding relevant keywords to the playlist titles, you make them more visible in Google’s search results and easier for viewers to access them.
YouTube channel keywords and other relevant ranking factors
Another key ranking factor is known as Watch Time. The longer your videos are viewed by your viewers, the more likely that YouTube will see your channel as a valuable resource and rank your content higher. You can boost watch time by using Devumi’s YouTube Views service which provides high retention views.
Your channel’s ability to attract returning viewers is also important. Being able to get people to come back and watch more of your videos tells YouTube that you have a solid following that deserves to rank higher. There are many ways to entice people to come back to your channel frequently. Creating video teasers, for instance, will get them hyped up enough to wait for your next release. You can also produce a video in parts, with each part ending in a teaser that leads on to the next, like here:
Creating complementary videos to earlier content also gets people to go back to them and rewatch them.
These two methods lead to yet another important ranking metric: your channel’s authority. Channel authority is not only determined by the number of views but also the level of engagement your videos generate. These include the number of comments and shares, as well as the number of backlinks the videos get, which again YouTube sees as proof of your channel’s reliability. Good channel promotion helps build its authority. Boosting the channel’s social proof with services like Devumi’s YouTube Subscribers Service also works here.
All the three factors mentioned above come together with your chosen YouTube channel keywords to determine how well your videos rank in search results.
Harness the power of keywords to increase channel viewership
As we have seen, YouTube channel keywords play an important role in helping audiences discover your content. For the keywords to do that, you need to know how to use them:
- Choose your keywords wisely: Keywords describe your channel, as a whole, to your audience. Look for keywords that they would likely use to look for your channel’s general topics.
- Optimize your channel for your keywords: Choose strategic places on your channel to drop your keywords in. Don’t stuff them in, come up with ways to integrate your keywords into the sections.
- Don’t forget other ranking factors: By taking other factors like Watch Time and audience retention into account and combining them with your channel keyword strategy, you can further improve the search rankings of your videos.
These reminders will help you bring your YouTube channel’s content much closer to viewers. Follow them and you will soon be impressed by the results.