5 free tools for optimising YouTube for search engines

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If you’re reading this you must have a YouTube account or are wondering how to bulk up your YouTube toolbox to fully exploit the magnificently engaging powers of film for your brand.

(P.S. If you’re interested in tools for creating Instagram or blog content, then we’ve got some great advice on our blog, but you won’t find it in this article. You can still scroll down to see some kittens, though. )

Well, if you’re having any difficulty getting your project started, or would love someone to sit down and have an iced coffee with and to discuss the technicalities – don’t hesitate to send me an email. It would be putting my film degree to good use!

So, why am I qualified to discuss YouTube SEO? Firstly, I have a degree, and secondly, I have spent the past three years creating content for YouTube, trying to push my content up the search result list, and watching and reading about other creators. With all the time, effort, and love that goes into making a video, you want to be certain you’re doing all you can to get it seen.

Just like on Instagram and Facebook; the success of your content is often judged by numbers. The number of views / upvotes / comments and hours of watchtime. (The virality of vids is determined by how many millions of views they have, for example.)

While this can be disheartening – as you feel your work shouldn’t be valued by a few pesky figures – there are tools on the platform, additional plugins and websites that you can use to wrangle those digits.

Wrangling the YouTube numbers is almost as hard as herding kittens.

What’s even better is that YouTube is free to publish to and that there is a huge variety of equally free tools to exploit. You simply need to know which websites to sign up to and what plug-ins to plug in. Coincidentally, I am here today to share my favourite tools that can help maximise your sphere of influence and make your life a little easier.

Bear with me,

grab your notebook,

and get ready to learn the top YouTube SEO tools…

1.  Use what YouTube gave you

The godesses (and gods) at YouTube have blessed us with an extremely useful and free way of analysing the audience’s response to your content.

Hallelujah for the Creator Studio.

As soon as I have uploaded a video, Video Manager is the tab I head to. From here you can customise your thumbnail, add tags and extra keywords in the title and description (the more keywords the BETTER), and add links to your other videos with the End Screen and Annotation options.

The Analytics tab will show you all the details you could hope for (and more) relating to your watch-time and audience. Utilising the traffic source, demographics, and form of watching that your audience most participate in can certainly provide you with some ideas to maximise your view count.

YouTube offers some awesome elements that you can utilise to check your audience engagement and use to improve your video SEO.

2.  A little keyword help from Tube Buddy

We get by with a little help from our friends… so download the Tube Buddy browser extension if you need someone to point out a few more keywords that you can tag your video content with.

I have this installed on Chrome and it follows me on my YouTube viewing adventures. This means I can see what keywords popular creators have tagged their videos with and all the data on recommended videos and their channel’s total views.

It clutters up the YouTube page a little but it’s undeniably vital if you’d like to sneak a peek at what others are using as tags for similar content, and upping your video’s search result number.

Tube Buddy is a super tool for snooping on other videos to identify key tags that you can use for your content.

3. Showcase your creativity with Canva *

Thumbnails are key to attract an audience to your videos. As book covers must entice readers, thumbnails have to be eye-catching and appeal to your target audience.

If you’d like to upgrade from Paint, but would like to avoid the expense of Photoshop, then Canva is definitely a website you should add to your toolbox.

I have used this for over a year and because it has preset template sizes for all your social media needs ( I mean ALL your social media needs), whether you need a channel banner or thumbnail Canva can provide you with excellent templates you can return to (for the best uniform-looking channel) again and again.

Also, if you sign up for a free account there’s nothing stopping you from also using it to create content for your plethora of social media accounts.

*Canva is a ‘freemium’ site.

Canva is beautifully simple and offers some excellent template designs in with preset sizes for all of your needs.

4.  When you need unlimited suggestions, use Google Keyword Suggest

Another freebie, this time you don’t need to even sign up or install anything. For more vital keyword suggestions, there’s this comprehensive tool that’ll give you every possible variation of popular search results from YouTube, Google, Bing and Amazon that include your keyword. It’s great when you’re stuck trying to think up variating phrases to add in your keyword tag section (which can be difficult when you’ve reached 30 tags and just want to share your video with the world).

Google Keyword Suggest Tool does what it says on the tin. Extensive keyword suggestion for SEO tagging.

5. Stuck for ideas? Head to Buzzsumo

You know your brand inside out. You want to create video content to showcase your business. Where do you start?

If you’re having difficulty with the type of videos that you could be sharing in relation to your brand, then head to Buzzsumo, search for your chosen topic, sit back and scroll through the extensive list of highest performing and relevant videos.

They’re not all going to be applicable, but if you’ve got creator’s block and need some inspo, this site should be a tool that will help you get back on track to creating and sharing some amazing videos. Buzzsumo could be a great way to create innovative content (think ASMR quality DIY videos).

Buzzsumo’s a good one for the uninspired who want to nab some ideas which have proven successful on other channels.

For more help or specific advice about how you can utilise YouTube and these tools to make your content go further – get in touch, as I’d love to sit down with you and discuss SEO or how to create video content.

If you’d like to understand more about YouTube itself, check out the blog they run for creators to keep up to date with platform updates.

The Author

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