How to Get Your Video Found on YouTube
You have something amazing to say with your original songs. Make sure your songs are heard. Follow these steps to optimize your music videos for discovery on YouTube.
Hello, friend. Today, we’re talking about SEO — Search Engine Optimization — specifically, YouTube SEO. This technical term is really all about your content (your website, your video, your blog post, etc.) showing up at the top of search engine results. Google is a search engine. YouTube is also a search engine, and there are some really solid things you can do to prepare your information, in this case, your music video, for a top spot in search engine results.
I’m right here with you.
Ok. Here we go.
In the least technical terms possible . . .
The Music Video
Create a music video, and save the file with a keyword-rich filename. A keyword is a word that describes your content. String a few of these keywords together, and you’ve helped the search engines understand what your content is all about.
Use hyphens between the words in the filename. This helps the search engines read the filename. If your song is about an important topic, use those words as keywords in the filename (e.g., civil-rights-song-backlash-blues-nina-simone.mov). Aim for a filename length of between 40 and 60 characters.
I’m probably going to say the word keywords like 20 more times.
Upload to YouTube
Upload your music video to YouTube. Set the upload to Private, so you’ll have as much time as you need to fill out all the video information before making it live and Public.
If your Internet connection is particularly slow, you could probably practice one of your new songs right now, commit it to memory, and make a sandwich.
Create a keyword-rich title for your video. The information in this field is what will be displayed publicly on YouTube — no hyphens this time. Try to order the words in your title in the same order as your filename (e.g., Civil Rights Song: Backlash Blues by Nina Simone) — this helps with SEO. The repetition of the words in the same order amplifies the SEO power.
Use keywords in your video description. Long descriptions fare better than short descriptions because you’re giving the search engine more information about your content. Again, try to order the keywords that you’ll use in your description in the same order that you have been using them in the filename and title. (SEO powers activate!) In addition to a description about your content, this field is also where you will add your song lyrics and credits.
Add at least ten keyword-rich tags. List the most important tags first. Continuing with today’s example, Nina Simone’s song, “Backlash Blues,” was based on a Langston Hughes poem called “The Backlash Blues” from the book The Panther and the Lash. Hughes wrote in a literary genre called Jazz Poetry. Consider including those facts as keywords. What would a real person type into the search field to find this song? Use this example to guide your decision-making process for your own song.
civil rights song
civil rights movement
panther and the lash
Stop scrolling for a moment.
You are amazing.
Subtitles/CC (Closed Captions)
Upload a file of your song lyrics, and match it up with the timing of the words in the video. YouTube uses the words in the file to understand what your video is all about.
Ok. This step is pretty time-consuming. You’ll have to listen to your song over and over again to match up the action in the video with the words coming out of your mouth. But, it’s a damn fine song, and you were having a good hair day when this video was filmed. So, keep going.
End Screens & Annotations
Use the End Screen feature to point viewers to your other videos, and turn on your Subscribe button. Guide your audience through discovering your music, and keep listeners on your channel longer.
Create a listening experience for your audience.
Create a high-quality thumbnail for your video. It should represent the video content. Take a still shot from your video, and add some text to it (e.g., your band name and song title). Canva is a free, online tool that makes easy work of this important task. A custom thumbnail will make your video look professional, and it will help your video stand out from all the other videos that may come up in a YouTube search.
You did it.
You made something beautiful and meaningful.
And, you shared it with the world.
I believe in you.
Have any questions? Any advice that you’d like to add? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
P.S. Need help with any of these strategies? Schedule a one-on-one consultation, and I’ll help you with your unique goals.