Optimizing SEO for YouTube Shorts: A Comprehensive Guide

July 3, 2024

YouTube Shorts has emerged as a powerful platform for creators to share bite-sized, engaging videos with a vast audience. SEO techniques become essential for anyone looking to maximize their reach and impact.

Learning how keyword research works, optimizing metadata, and leveraging analytics and trends is paramount. Following these steps will ensure tools and insights can boost your visibility and grow your audience in the competitive landscape.

The Importance of SEO for YouTube Shorts

Creating concise videos is the new trend in delivering a fast message without uploading long videos. While YouTube had no minimum length for uploading to their platform, YouTube shorts are specially optimized for phone devices due to their aspect ratio.

Like other famous platforms like TikTok, Shorts has increased in popularity since its relatively new release because most audiences prefer short videos over long-length content nowadays.

SEO for YouTube shorts has become very important. Search engine optimizations help increase media visibility, appearing more on user recommendations, such as feeds and search results. This can significantly increase the view and subscriber count.

What to Optimize on Youtube Shorts?

There are many ways specialists from marketing agencies develop strategies for optimizing YouTube Shorts. They all ensure that videos appeal more to the public, providing a constant influx of people watching them.

Figure How Shorts Fit Into the Strategy

One of the main goals of a proper strategy is to make Shorts appear in users’ feeds. This means that every video needs to have a specific intent that can appeal to viewers to click on it.

This type of video is way easier and faster than traditional videos, meaning channel owners may be tempted to upload many of them. However, specialists recommend starting slowly, contributing to steady channel growth.

Another thing that should be remembered is that while Shorts are more accessible, uploading traditional videos shouldn’t be neglected. They’re still a massive aspect of YouTube and can significantly help improve the numbers related to view counts and monetization.

Discover What the Audience Wants to See

There’s a huge misconception among YouTube channels, where everyone thinks that algorithms choose to push some videos to the top more than others. This is far from true. According to Rene Ritchie, it doesn’t make videos for users; it pulls them for users to watch.

It’s essential not to find workarounds for the algorithm but to know what the audience wants to watch. Optimizing your channel with experts to find your niche and reach them will exponentially increase your numbers and get shown to even more people.

Research Keywords and Implement Them

For many reasons, having a marketing agency like Kala on your site when optimizing your Shorts is vital. One of them is that specialists will be able to find and research keywords that can be useful through tools like vidIQ, Semrush, or Ahrefs, as well as see how competitors work.

It’s also possible to manually check how competitors are doing, watching what they upload and how they do it. Checking the used keywords and employing tools like Google Trends can provide a rough idea of how many people are searching for such specific words.

Experts in marketing have many ways to employ the keywords they find, with the most common ones being:

  • Using keywords as hashtags: a keyword must appear in the title to attract more people. YouTube also recommends using the hashtag #shorts in the title as it helps the system recommend it across the whole platform.
  • Mention the keywords in the video: mentioning the word itself at least once or twice in the content is very important.
  • Include the words in the caption: this should always be done, whether you use automated captions or do it manually.
  • Place keywords on the description: just like the title and caption, the description is where keywords should always be mentioned.

Making sure that keywords are added in every one of these parts of a YouTube Shorts video can ensure that it’ll get more exposure than those who don’t.

Add Descriptions

Descriptions are an essential part of Shorts, but not many people use them since they tend to be hidden when watching videos. Still, they’re a great place not only for keywords but also to incorporate other elements, such as hashtags, to make them more visible and more accessible to find.

Review Performance and Analytics

Another of the benefits of having the help of a marketing and SEO agency is that specialists run performance metrics and check analytics to see progress. Data can be reviewed to see how much watch time is accumulated and how many subscribers are gained.

Other parameters, such as how hashtags are doing or what video content should be targeted more than others, are some points that specialists focus on.

Use SEO Tools

An SEO agency doesn’t only run performance tests and review analytics; it can also develop a proper SEO strategy with the correct tools to ensure success. Given that Shorts is relatively new, using tools focused on the platform is very important.

For example, vidIQ is an excellent AI tool that evaluates a channel’s performance, analyzes competitors and provides valuable insights to improve the reach of specific videos that might need it.

General Tips for Success with Shorts

Employing these tips can be great to ensure that your shorts are more successful amongst your public, getting recommended even more:

Length  

❌ It’s not necessary to use the 60 length mark.

✅ Most of the highest viewed videos are around 30 seconds or less.

❌ Eliminate all unnecessary footage that could be considered filler.

✅ The quicker you get to the point, the better.

 

Consistency  

✅ Always try to keep a consistent length amongst all videos.

✅ Keeping consistency increases trust in your brand and familiarity. 

 

Entertainment  

✅ Provide useful information while entertaining your viewers.

✅ Ask yourself what do users need and how it benefits the viewer.

 

Expectatives ✅ Always tell the viewers what to expect in the very first seconds.

 

All of these tips about what to do and avoid can help to ensure that your content is properly designed for YouTube shorts while being consistent with every other upload.

Other Ways to Increase View Counts on YouTube Shorts

Many other tips are non-related to SEO or specialized marketing strategies that every video uploader should know when creating Shorts. These are some of those ways that will make videos seem professional and increase view counts:

Optimizing Your Uploads

Capturing the audience isn’t only about keywords and SEO but also about the visual things that impact users. The first seconds or glance at a video recommendation makes a viewer click on it.

Thumbnails also play a big part in this. It holds an immense power, which can “lure” viewers to click on the video if they feel attracted by it. Eye-catching thumbnails are often the decisive factor for clicking content when appearing on the feed.

Using Trendy Music

Incorporating current trending music can work for many Shorts, as well as other trendy special effects that are viral during the period. However, remember that copyright infringement accusations can sometimes lead to strikes if not used properly.

Shooting Videos Vertical

YouTube Shorts are specially designed for mobile users, so they always focus on shooting and editing these videos in a vertical format. This prevents the need to make users rotate their phones to watch a video, improving the overall user experience and making it accessible to everyone.

Using Loop Feature

Those who manage to create videos that end or start with a not-very-distinctive end are known as “loop” videos. It leaves viewers unsure when a video ends, making them watch it again to see if it is finished.

This “hack” keeps looping until the user decides to swipe the video away, meaning that if they rewatched it a couple of times, it counts as multiple organic views, greatly benefiting the channel.

Finding the Perfect Upload Time

Posting is crucial, not only for YouTube Shorts but for all social media platforms. There’s no definitive or 100% accurate answer, but the general rule says that posting during the evening has way more success than other moments of the day.

Many people scroll and swipe Shorts during bedtime, after a long day of studying or working. Sharing them during this moment increases the likelihood of them appearing to even more users and gaining more views.

Diversifying Content Type

Creating one type of video isn’t the way, not only for traditional videos but also for Shorts. Creators must find other ways to capture the audience, stay on top, be competitive and provide fresh content.

There are many ways to do so, such as blending into various formats. These include sharing quick tips about advice, step guides, walkthroughs and more. Vlogs sharing personal experiences on topics are trendy and help connect with your audience.

Conclusion

Optimizing SEO for YouTube Shorts is a significant and dynamic way of increasing views and subscribers. However, it requires a strategic approach tailored to the unique format of short-form videos.

Analyzing keywords, crafting compelling titles and descriptions, and using relevant hashtags are some of its most successful methods. This way, creators can significantly enhance the visibility and reach of their Shorts.

Additionally, acquiring the services of an agency like Kala can help to develop further SEO strategies, maintain consistency, analyze performance metrics, and stay updated with YouTube’s algorithm changes.

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