On this episode of TubeTalk, learn why keyword research is the secret sauce to cracking the YouTube algorithm, and how to do it properly.
YouTube is all about content and if you can show lots of value on your channel, YouTube is going to suggest your videos to help you generate more views and subscribers. On this episode of TubeTalk, the YouTuber podcast, we’re going to show you how to hack the YouTube algorithm - in the legal and correct way, of course.
We’re joined by Tom Martin, a YouTube strategist extraordinaire. Tom is Certified by YouTube as an expert in both Audience Growth and Digital Rights. He has led the YouTube strategy for some of the world’s largest and most successful media companies, like the BBC, gaining them millions of subscribers and billions of views. He has also consulted with YouTube Creators and Fortune 500 companies to improve their results on YouTube via his company Channel Fuel.
He specializes in both YouTube SEO, optimization and channel strategy and has dedicated his time to making sure other YouTube Creators can learn from his experience. He is the author of 'YouTube Optimization – The Complete Guide.'
The Three C’s of YouTube Success
Tom confirms that there are a number of factors that could be affecting a channel's growth or lack of growth - he calls them the three Cs of YouTube:
Consistency of uploads
Consistency of topic
Consistency of metadata
While being consistent with upload schedules and content topics is YouTube 101, being consistent with metadata, or how you optimize your content is key. Titles, tags, and descriptions need to work for you on a channel level, as well as on an individual video level. Having a system for works to create an ecosystem of all of your videos and it’s something Tom has been working on for years. Because of his extraordinary access to a billion views' worth of data, he’s been able to refine this system down as close to scientific process as possible. Tom states that it’s the job of any channel manager, whether you're doing it for yourself or for somebody else, to engineer relationships between your own videos so that you dominate that sidebar. That’s the path to crazy, crazy suggested views.
People totally forget that YouTube is, at the end of the day, a search engine. Good old SEO practices that work in the blogging world and on Google Search are going to have to be applied on YouTube too. It’s not about the relationship between you and your video content, it’s the relationship between your videos as a whole, and it’s a system that Tom unpacks on the podcast.
Keyword Research: The Basis of YouTube Success
Tom’s system is based on a process called keyword research. It’s a tool that is widely underused, probably the most underused weapon that any channel manager or YouTube creator could use. Most people are NOT using it, or certainly not using it to its full power.
Keyword research is often misunderstood because it's easy to do a quick search and say, "Okay, I'm going to put this in the tags of this single video and hope for the best." That's how it used to work in 2012 but that's not the same anymore, because YouTube and Google are a lot smarter now, and they understand content a lot better. Also, there's a lot more competition, and so there's a lot more other videos with similar metadata to cut through. Tom engineer’s relationships between his videos using keyword research, to go a level beyond just trying to rank an individual video. His aim to be the authority in his space, and he has used vidIQ’s Keyword Tool for the last seven years to identify exact search volume, an incredibly important metric for YouTube creators.
Tom looks for keywords that are getting high search volume (meaning lots of people searching for it that month), but low competition. That combination means that either there's not enough videos being made around that subject to cover that search demand, or the videos are being made, but the competition are not optimizing their videos for the right keywords. vidIQ’s Keyword Tool helps Tom find opportunities in the market around his main channel keywords (or ‘seed’ keywords).
Tune into the podcast to find out exactly how using keyword research will help you truly master the YouTube algorithm today.
Huge thanks to Tom for his incredible insights. For more YouTube tips please follow him on Twitter at @channel_fuel, and on Instagram at @channelfuel. You’ll find details of his 'Ultimate Course for YouTube Professionals' here.
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Liron Segev, aka TheTechieGuy, is the Director of Customer Success at vidIQ, an internationally celebrated Digital YouTube Strategist working with some of the largest brands and YouTube influencers in the world. Over the past 20+ years, his work has taken him to South Africa, the UK and the US where he frequently speaks at conferences and provides expert tech commentary for various print publications, radio, and TV while actively running his Tech YouTube Channel.