SEO on YouTube…it seems easy enough to understand, right?
The good news is that SEO on YouTube isn’t complicated. The bad news is you can’t approach your SEO efforts on YouTube in the same way that you’d approach them creating written content for Google…or for podcast SEO.
There are a few things YouTube is very picky about—take search intent as an example. YouTube wants to be sure that the video content it delivers to its users actually delivers on the search terms they entered. And when the people viewing your content are happy with what they’re seeing, they’re going to stay to watch the entire thing, continue consuming your other videos, and eventually become loyal and consistent followers.
And this is exactly why SEO on YouTube is something you should focus on. Not because you want to go viral. Not because you think you’re going to grow your followers overnight. Not because you think SEO will skyrocket the views each video gets.
You follow SEO best practices because you know doing so will get the right eyes on your videos. And those people may very well end up being better qualified clients, people to collaborate with, and other visibility opportunities.
So listen in to learn about how to approach SEO on YouTube strategically and sustainably.
Here is what Erin wants you to know about SEO on YouTube
Why SEO strategy needs to come before creating any video content
Different options for keyword research using the usual SEO tools and YouTube-specific tools
Why it’s important to use keywords with high search volume and low competition
What content gaps are and why they will boost your SEO on YouTube
How off-site SEO is similar, yet different, from on-site or on-page SEO
Why YouTube cares so much about search intent and how ignoring it can tank your ranking
Why transcripts and closed captions influence both accessibility and SEO
How to optimize for maximum content consumption by keeping viewers engaged
How to use conversion marketing techniques alongside your SEO efforts on YouTube
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
“A content gap happens when viewers don’t find the information that they’re looking for. If you’re able to do this research early on to find out what people are are looking for, but they’re not getting, then you can immediately create that content, rather than trying to answer the questions that everyone else has already answered, or trying to give the content that everyone else has already given.” – Erin Ollila
“You are not going to attract eight million people to one video because you follow SEO best practices. The reason I’m lecturing on it, the reason I have a whole episode on it, is if you follow SEO best practices, you might attract some of the right people.” – Erin Ollila
“You do not need to go viral on YouTube. What I am teaching you in this episode…will likely not make you go viral on YouTube. If it does, it’s probably more of a fluke. You’re following SEO best practices so you can get more of the right people viewing your content.” – Erin Ollila
“Doing this is investing in yourself in the future, because SEO is really a long-term investment in you and your business. But we have to be realistic when we go into this. I don’t want you to think that these naming conventions I’m about to remind you of are what will suddenly make you into a seven or eight figure entrepreneur. It’s not gonna happen friends! But, it could give you your next best client. It could introduce you to the next person you’re collaborating with. And those might be some of the best relationships you’ll make in your business, or they may be some of the most financially rewarding relationships.” – Erin Ollila
“We need to optimize for content consumption. Again, we have to look at YouTube slightly differently than we would for Google when it comes to searching. SEO on YouTube isn’t just about attracting new people to your channel. Yes, of course, that’s important. That’s why we’re following best practices. But the key here is that we have to keep them there, too.” – Erin Ollila
The people watching your videos understand that you’re running a business and that you are going to offer things to them. They understand that what you’re doing is you’re educating them, you are entertaining them…but you also have to run a business.” – Erin OIlila
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
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Here’s the transcript for episode 070 about SEO on YouTube
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
seo, youtube, seo on youtube, seo best practices, searching, content, video, seo efforts, episode, business, talk, podcast, honda odyssey, talking, keyword phrase, keyword, platform, upload, keyword
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee.
Hey friends today we are here to talk about SEO on YouTube. As you know, we’ve had a video episode already. And next week, we’re talking with train a little about what small businesses need to know service providers need to know about using YouTube for their business. So in between that I had actually scheduled a solo episode to talk about SEO because, well, I love to talk about SEO. But here’s the thing, when you are a small podcast or making your own podcast, you sometimes forget to actually record the episodes that are solo episodes, which is why it’s a Saturday afternoon, and I am not only recording, but I am also publishing this episode because it should have gone live days ago. So welcome to my weekend friends, where we talk about YouTube and SEO, I am going to try to keep this episode short for you if possible, because we’ve had some long ones in the past couple of weeks, and we have a couple long ones coming out again. So we’re going to just get down and dirty to think about how we can use YouTube as a platform as a way to build up our SEO strategies and use SEO best practices when we are uploading videos to YouTube. So buckle up, we’re gonna dive right in. But before we do, I want to say a great big thank you to a few of the people who have recently left me reviews for the podcast. I think a couple episodes ago, I was talking about how important social proof is. We all know it I’ve talked about testimonials in one of the earlier episodes, I had the lovely Britney Herzberg from the simple and smart SEO show on to talk to her about testimonials and how we can develop testimonials into case studies. But as a podcast host, it’s important for me to remind myself how important reviews are for my business. So I had asked anyone if they were listening and they liked the show, please head on over to Apple and share why you liked the show. If you are strictly a Spotify player, give me those five stars, hopefully as many stars as you deem appropriate. But let’s hope for five stars on Spotify. And you guys delivered. So I’m going to say a quick thank you to Olive wins, she came on over to Apple and she said, stumbled upon Aaron’s podcast and just can’t stop listening. She has an amazing guest with great information that you can put into action now. Or it really gets you thinking high highly recommend you listening. Thank you all of and then we also have Smith for J M who just said, I have just finished Aaron’s first couple episodes about what goes in our website and messaging, and how to lay it out strategically. And as a side note, friends, those are some of my favorite episodes. But let’s actually continue with what’s in the review. They say this is so helpful. I’m taking notes and we’ll start brainstorming how I will update my website. Thanks, Erin. Well, thank you for listening. And then finally, it’s Tanya Bhattacharya who was one of our LinkedIn experts. Thank you, Tanya, for your view. She says Erin is a fabulous host and offers so many different kinds of insights that my small business mind needs. I appreciate the three of you so much. It’s really just lovely to get reviews. We all work so hard on our podcast. So it’s just not only is it just nice to hear what other people say, but reviews really do help us get listened to by other people. So let’s stop talking about reviews and let us jump into SEO. The first thing I want you to even consider is strategy. Now for some people like me, SEO dweebs, we find strategy to be the most exciting part about any SEO efforts. But for most people if I’m going to be honest here, SEO strategy is complex. It’s overwhelming involves so many vast pieces that they usually avoid it for as long as possible. I would actually say they completely avoid it and knowing most of my lovely clients who I tend to do a little bit more of an SEO cleanup for before we can even do any SEO strategy. And I say that would love
it just because it’s like one part content strategy. And then there’s a lot of like business decisions right like you know
SEO is not as simple as just kind of popping in Uber Suggest and searching for a keyword that sounds similar to what someone would search based on what you want to talk about. It’s really factoring in your entire business’s goals, your marketing plans for all channels, any types of events, offers, launches, new programs, services, seasonality, all of these things, we have to take into consideration, we need to pair it up with the content strategy, and the technical part of SEO, and then, you know, make decisions before we plot and scheme and plan. So I really, really, really want to encourage you to actually take that same approach when we look at the video content that we create.
Even if you don’t want to get overwhelmed because here’s the thing, here’s why I hate talking about SEO with DIY clients, I can talk about it all day long with my clients who trust me to do this work for them. And the reason I’m kind of saying DIY I why right now is because I’m talking to a microphone staring out of the window that is looking at the woods, I’m not talking to a specific person. So I have to kind of assume that you’re working on this on your own. And I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed or nervous, I want you to feel confident going into the SEO efforts you put into your video content strategy. So don’t try to create the entire plan for your business in one sitting, especially at first. But I’d love for you to have a plan of action, at least for batches of content you create. So if you look at it as Okay, I’m going to test these SEO waters over on YouTube, I am going to create a batch of video posts about this specific topic. And maybe you choose that topic because you know in two months you have a offer that is going to be in the launch process. And you kind of want to build up that pre launch marketing stuff that Miss ash Chow, copywriter extraordinaire talked about in one of the earlier episodes. And you kind of want getting we want to get people thinking about what it is that you have coming for them. And then you want to do the actual launch content where we’re kind of like building up this anticipation and excitement for your offer. So maybe that’s where you start with something small enough that you know, here’s my end goal. Here’s why I want to attract people so they could purchase whatever it is that you have at the end goal. And here is the types of questions concerns, desires that they have about this. So that is your first batch of content. Start with that start with the planning. And then once you have that, you’re going to have to do the actual keyword research. I think keyword research is a ton of fun, because it’s kind of like, I don’t know, I think I look at SEO is like a gamification of things, you would ideally like to have a high amount of search and a low amount of competition in order to rank in any average old SEO efforts. When we think about off site platforms, meaning not your website, but things like YouTube or things like podcasting. The way that we approach SEO is very much the same. But it is not as precise. I would say sometimes what I do when I’m working with my clients on creating, you know, SEO best practices for their video or their audio content, is I treat the actual keyword research just as I would treat it for on site or on page SEO efforts.
And that’s really for me to make sure I have a clear understanding of the of what people are searching for, based on what content they want to share with their audience. So do that work. And then use the tool itself, like use YouTube to find out what people are searching for, specifically on YouTube. And you can do that in a few different ways. The first and the easiest is to use YouTube like a consumer. So you know whenever you put a search term in yourself on YouTube in order to find video content that you’re looking for, you will see like terms appear alongside of the letters you’re typing in. That’s the platform giving you information on what people are actually searching for. So that’s the consumer approach to SEO research for their own business when they’re doing search optimization for their videos on YouTube. But YouTube actually has an entire research tab within the YouTube Studio app. You can go over to that tab to get insights basically to find out what people are searching for. The research cards will show you the top searches ways to just
cover more topics, recent videos that are related to and content content gaps that are related. Now, I bring this up specifically because content gaps are the way to win on YouTube. What’s happening with a content gap, if, if you’re not aware of what it is, is a content gap happens when viewers, they don’t find the information that they’re looking for. So they’re searching, but they’re not getting precisely what it is that they want. So that’s the rule that you can fill. Right? So if you’re able to do this research early on to find out what people are are looking for, but they’re not getting, then you can just immediately create that content, rather than trying to answer the questions that everyone else has already answered, or trying to give the content that everyone else has already given. Because what happens at that point is you’re competing against things like graphics, like video crispness, like all of these videos, specific things. You don’t want them in your SEO world, right? Like you create the content, don’t worry about that content. Let’s get found. And let’s provide the best content when we’re found. By filling the content gaps. There are also tools and Chrome extensions that you can use to help you with your SEO efforts. I’m totally blanking on them right now. This is this is how you know that this is a Saturday episode. Instead of a normal episode, I think I used to put buddy, and vid IQ. I will link to both of those in the show notes. Keywords Everywhere. It’s also helpful. But those are the tools those I mean, there’s many different ways but those are probably the ways I would suggest that you start not knowing your specific SEO needs.
Take that content plan you’ve created the small batch of video content you’re planning on creating, and then use those tools to kind of figure out what terms people are actually searching for. Now the key here is, you want to make sure that the video you give them responds back exactly to what they’re looking for. Now, that sounds obvious. And I you might be rolling your eyes at me. But YouTube is definitely a lot more precise on this. Then other search platforms are. So if you promised a video about like all the things you need to know about bookkeeping for your small business. But on Tip number two, you kind of start reeling into a sales explanation about a specific type of bookkeeping software, and you stay there for far too long before sharing any tips. It’s going to make it very clear that the intention of the search did not give them the content that they were looking for. Right? How does YouTube know this? Well, it’s actually that’s another fun part of the SEO on YouTube. It’s the things like all of the analytics that they can get from how people watch the videos. So when did they drop off on the videos, I won’t go I won’t go too far down there. But basically, YouTube presents to its end users what they’re looking for, because the key here is YouTube wants the viewers to stay on platform. Whereas Google wants to send people off of the platform. So there is a different approach here to how the platform rewards people for their SEO efforts and how they quote unquote punish punish being too strong of a word here, punish people for not following the best practices. So when it comes to content creation, don’t just pick a keyword that seems like it’s going to be an incredible keyword and try to stuff content into like a video about using that keyword in the title. That’s not the exact promise, because it’s not going to serve you well, in the long term. It’s only going to hurt you. You got a couple of lectures there, you get my opinions on SEO best practices, but start with the keyword research and the content strategy. We’re going to move on though, because there’s a lot that you can do when it comes to the videos such as the naming conventions that you’re using, and actually using the keywords within all these different facets of your videos, as well as optimizing for content consumption. Before I start, though, I do want to say this one thing, you are not going to attract 8 million people to one video because you follow SEO best practices. The reason I’m lecturing on it the reason I have a whole episode on it though is if you follow SEO best practices, you might attract some of the right people. Right The right people. So you know you have this video on here actually, here’s a great example I have a 2007 honda odyssey of
Then, every time my husband changes the oil in my van, I need to remember to reset the oil light. And every time I go to reset that oil light, I have to check the same YouTube video because I forget the like silly two steps that I have to take. But I search it every time, you know, again, because I haven’t figured out how to be smart enough and actually just bookmark the video. But I searched for it every time. And I find the same video because the words that I’m using the phrases, bring me to the exact video with the solution that I am looking for. And that’s what you want to be able to present to the people who are looking for your solution, right? You want them to give them something where they think like, Oh, yes, this is what I’m looking for. And they’re excited, and they watch the entire video, and they maybe watch it more than once or they bookmark it. And they come back to it in the future. Like that’s what you want, you do not need to go viral on YouTube. What I am teaching you in this episode, may not I will say will likely not make you go viral on YouTube. If it does, it’s probably more of a fluke. You’re following SEO best practices, though. So you can get more of the right people viewing your content. So as with any SEO lecture, I keep saying the word lecture. But as with any SEO conversation that I have, I really like to set very clear expectations. Doing this will is the best effort for yourself doing this is investing in yourself in the future, because SEO is really a long term investment in you and your business. But we have to be realistic when we go into this. So I don’t want you to think that these naming conventions I’m about to remind you of are what will suddenly make you into a seven or eight figure entrepreneur, not gonna happen friends, but it could give you your next best client, it could introduce you to the next person you’re collaborating with, right. And those might be some of the best relationships you’ll make in your business or they may be some of the most financially rewarding relationships. Alright, so let’s move on. And let’s actually jump into the naming conventions and ways that we can actually use the keywords that we find. So there are some things we want to do, we want to make sure that we rename the video file with the keyword phrase you’ve chosen before you even upload it into YouTube. In addition, we’re going to make sure that we have the best title that we can come up with for our episode. It is helpful if the title has the keyword in it. But what’s more helpful for the title is that you have a hook or you have it stands out in some way. Because the title is really the title and the what do you call that like the cover of your YouTube video is really what people are paying attention to when they scroll through that that list of potential videos that they can click, you have to sell them immediately. So now that I’m talking this out, I’m thinking maybe a great episode for the future would be an episode on how to build a bat hook, or how to write like really clear, crisp enticing titles, and I’m gonna put that in my little handy dandy notebook. So I can follow through on that in the future. But make sure you really get a great title. So don’t sacrifice the title for the keyword. But if you are able to put the keyword in the keyword phrase and absolutely do that in your title. In addition, you really want the keyword phrase or at least a phrase that is very similar to that in the video description.
Make sure you follow through and tag your videos with the popular keywords that are similar to what you’re doing. So obviously of course let’s let’s just say we’ll use my old example that the keyword phrase here is 2007 Honda Odyssey oil reset, right? That’s, that is my longtail keyword. And if that is the keyword then maybe some of my popular keyword phrases would be like Honda Odyssey 2007 Honda Odyssey oil reset for Honda’s things like that. You want to make sure that we’re including those within the tags. You’re gonna want to categorize your video correctly. That’s really important. Don’t forget though, that you need a custom thumbnail. That’s what I was meant before I said cover I meant a custom thumbnail for each video that you upload. When I said we upload the video, what was the thing that I said that we do before we upload any videos into YouTube? Done that the DA is rename the file before we upload the video and you want to do the same thing before you upload that custom thumbnail image. You want to rename that using the keyword of the episode that you’re doing right now.
In addition, you want to make sure now this again, this is not going to make you viral on YouTube but if
There are relevant hashtags that you can use to increase search, or branded hashtags. So, you know, for example, this is the talk copied me podcast. So if I were uploading podcast episodes on to YouTube, I would definitely probably want to put like hashtag top copy to me, because that’s a branded hashtag that I’m going to use consistently. And if I do develop a following, people will know that to expect that for me, and they might search that out. When you’re uploading your videos, don’t forget the things such as like uploading your own transcriptions, especially if you’re putting time and effort into making sure that the transcriptions of your videos are high quality. So pull in that SRT file to get those subtitles and closed captions in there. Now, you want to do that for accessibility period, we want to make our videos as inclusive as possible. So those transcripts and that, you know, the closed captioning subtitles, all of that’s really to be inclusive. But here’s another reason why they’re important just for SEO, specifically, if you’re doing a video about a specific topic, again, let’s use my poor old mum van as the example. You’re going to be saying those phrases, even if you’re not using like match for match word for word of the keyword phrase that like within the speech that you’re using. I know for sure the person who’s explaining to me how to reset my oil light and my car is saying like, hey, you’ve listened to this video for the 2007 Honda Odyssey, oil resetting, right? Like you’re saying these words naturally, you’re not forcing them into your videos and 100% friends do not take this as like, save these words when you’re actually filming. But the point of the matter is, when we’re adding the transcripts, and we’re adding the SRT file, we’re naturally saying these things already. So that does help kind of pull that
SEO factor in that we’re using the words within the video. So those I mean, I think I’ve covered everything, I did it really quick. Again, it’s Saturday, late afternoon, my brain is tired. Please forgive me if I forgotten something.
But one more thing. Before we end though, I really want to talk about the fact that we need to optimize for content consumption. Again, we have to look at YouTube slightly differently than we would for Google when it comes to searching. Searching on actually SEO on YouTube isn’t just about attracting new people to your channel. Yes, of course, that’s important. Yes, of course. That’s why we’re following best practices. But the key here is that we we have to keep them there. Right. So attracting people is one thing, you know, maybe if they’re searching for a term that you have optimized a video for they find you. That’s great. But but one, is your video good enough to keep them watching? And to how like how do we keep them there, even if your video is good. And that is why conversion marketing, you know, I’d say conversion copywriting for actual written things. But conversion, marketing and SEO really do blend well and need to go together. So using YouTube, and SEO and videos, right? Now let’s talk about that. And one way to do that is to add cards to your videos, and N screens, that’s going to both of those will keep them scrolling through your library of content. If this is brand new to you, and you are just starting a YouTube channel, that’s kind of one of those reasons why I talked about the content strategy first. You know, for example, if you are following that pre launch factor where you’re building up, you know, maybe a handful of videos on a specific topic. The beauty of that is you can link to those videos together, right? You know, like, if you’re talking about the same thing, it’s natural to be able to say, Oh, and if you’ve really liked this video, I, I have a follow up video where I talk about the next step that you have to do. So implement everything you’ve learned in this video. And then make sure you and come back and press play on that next one right away. Right? So we want to we want to encourage, we want to think of like at the end of the video, what is the call to action here on YouTube, much of the call to action is going to be to consume content to stay on the channel and to nurture that relationship. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be sending them off platform. We do need to think about our business first, right? The point of this episode is for businesses who want to use YouTube as a marketing like channel as a marketing asset. It’s not to become content creators. There’s definitely enough content out there for you to consume if you’re hearing this right now and you’re like but I want to be an influencer. But I want to create tons of YouTube content only like cool, great go for it. But this is for the people who want to have this as like a side
supplement to their business. And in that case, you have to make sure you’re selling as well. And when I say that, I mean things like move them off platform to your website, share your sales pages, talk about offers you have coming up. Not in every single video, we definitely want to have as many like evergreen videos as as possible. But the people watching your videos, understand that you’re running a business and that you are going to offer things to them, they understand that what you’re doing is you’re educating them, you are entertaining them, however, you’re approaching YouTube, but you also have to run a business. So I didn’t want to go down and talk about too much more just because I’m not exactly sure what’s going to be on next week’s episode. And I do not want to cover all of the same things that you’re going to learn next week when we have Trina on the show. But as a quick summation, we want to make sure that we are following SEO best practices while understanding that the work that we do with our video channel does not necessarily mean that we’re going to get millions of followers just because we’re using the correct keywords. But it does in fact mean that we’re optimizing our content so that the people we want to see our content are hopefully seeing that content from the work that we’ve done within SEO optimization. So friends, thank you so much for being here today on my gloomy rainy Saturday. I will be back next week on time. We already have that episode edited and ready to go with you. And if you have any questions at all on SEO and YouTube, you know where to find me Have a great day.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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