Church Marketing: YouTube SEO
Christian Marketing 101: 3 YouTube Optimizations You Can Make Right Now
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet and many of the basic SEO principles you apply to your website can be applied to help increase the visibility of your videos, and add channel subscribers!
Here are three YouTube optimizations you can make right now to help get better results!
YouTube Search Engine Optimization
With so many people using YouTube to explore and research, it makes sense for churches, Christian businesses and non-profit organizations to use the channel to attract audiences. Instead of it feeling like “one more thing to learn,” we encourage you to take a few minutes to discover three basic tools that you can get correct (right now), so that you can more effectively attract the right audience.
Write An Effective Title
Your title is the first thing the user sees when they conduct a search. Video titles are similar to a website page title or h1 tag in SEO.
Don’t know what those are. . .no problem, let’s focus on what goes into your video title.
1. Speaker or Singer
2. Location (if relevant)
3. Song, Event, Sermon Series, or Sermon Title
4. Relevant Keyword(s)
YouTube gives you 100 characters to achieve this, so you’re probably not going to get all four of these elements into the title each time.
Here are a few examples of optimized video titles:
- Viv Iris – LORD PREPARE ME – Official Video
- Grace Poured Out | Warehouse Church Cincinnati | Livestream| Pastor Sadell Bradley
- Am I Being Fake With God? | Portland Community Church | Online Church | Pastor Ron Kincaid
From the video titles alone you can typically get a good sense for the most important keywords, the category, or the theme of the video. Not only does it provide the searcher with a great experience (each of these are immediately clearly identifiable), it also leverages the video title area to market/promote important concepts like “official video,” “online church,” and “livestream.”
Write A Complete Description
YouTube has no problem with you getting wordy. In fact you’ve got 5,000 (!) characters to describe your video content. This is plenty of space to give a detailed description, mention other channels, provide links, use hashtags or emojis, or to do whatever else you think is necessary to accurately (and fully) describe the video’s content. Some like to provide a transcript. For worship artists this is a great place for you to put the lyrics.
While it is important for you to use target keywords, it is also important that you aren’t spammy or stuffing keywords.
Each video has a space for up to 500 characters of “tags.” Tags help provide additional context for your video and lend additional support regarding the video’s content.
Channel tags should be used to help provide category level context on the type of content that your channel produces.
Channel tags can be set as the default upload setting, or you can customize tags for each video.
Bonus Tip: vidIQ Chrome Browser Extension
Chrome extensions can be a handy way to help provide additional perspective on the quality of your content. One great extension that we highly recommend is vidIQ.
This powerful Chrome extension provides a checklist of items to help improve the overall experience of the video, and gives insight into rankings for tags, as well as tag suggestions. And while there is a paid version, we’ve found that the free version is powerful enough to be useful on its own.
What’s on their checklist?
- Does the video have at least one card?
- Does the video have at least one end screen
- Closed captions?
- Monetization enabled (channel must qualify)
- Is the video on a playlist?
- Is it public
- Has the video been shared to Facebook with at least one like
- Have you replied to a recent comment?
The tool also gives a vidIQ SEO score with actionable data for you to help improve your visibility.