YouTube SEO in 2020 with Luke Sherran



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For full transcript → https://www.semrush.com/blog/weekly-wisdom-luke-sherran-youtube-optimization-2020/

In this video, Luke Sherran covers the YouTube algorithm, where to spend most of your time, an overview of the collaborative filtering, the behavior metrics that you need to understand, and how to use analytics to optimize your content.

0:41 The YouTube algorithm is based primarily around user behaviour metrics
0:58 Which % does the search traffic typically make up of total traffic on popular YouTube channels?
1:17 Most traffic to YouTube videos now comes via YouTube Recommendation engines
1:35 Why user behaviour metrics are now more important than KW research and metadata
2:15 The most reliable metric to determine video quality
2:25 What exactly is video content? What are the key metrics to consider about video content performance?
2:55 What is collaborative filtering?
3:18 How collaborative filtering works
4:05 What happens if the video theoretically gets to the top of the search results page but gets no clicks?
4:20 How to craft a good video title? Why are thumbnails important?
5:05 How much time do the most popular YouTubers spend on creating a thumbnail that converts?
5:35 Storytelling with your video: how to entice your audience
6:20 Audience retention graph in YouTube Studio: look for any decrease and identify the weak spots
6:50 Tips for having a good and concise outro
7:06 Closing tips: exceed expectations!

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#YouTube Traffic Sources

🔍Search traffic typically makes up between 15% and 25% of total traffic on popular YouTube channels. On my channel, search traffic makes up around 22% of my total traffic; this isn’t because I don’t get a lot of search traffic, it is just that there are bigger and better traffic sources to focus on.

Over 70% of all traffic now comes via YouTube’s recommendation engine. So again, if you just focused on search, you’re really missing out. The problem is that things like keyword research and metadata feel really tangible and those with an SEO background feel very comfortable using them. The issue is that no matter how perfect your keyword research is, or how well formulated your tags are, if your behavior metrics aren’t good, then YouTube won’t recommend your video and your video won’t rank.

#Metrics to Focus On – Average Watch time
Originally the YouTube algorithm was based on pretty basic principles, and a video was ranked largely on how many views it had. The issue with this is that it was very easy to gamify. It led to a lot of clickbait and, ultimately, a lot of viewer frustration. Viewers often had to click on multiple videos before they could find the content they wanted.

⏲️So in 2012, the YouTube engineers made a critical change to the YouTube algorithm and actually prioritized watch time overviews. Watch time was seen as the most reliable metric to determine video quality and the most difficult to gamify. And in 2020, it is still one of the most important metrics used to determine video quality.

YouTube SEO in 2020
When we talk about YouTube SEO in 2020, the primary focus where you spend most of your time should be your content. Your content is not just your video; it is also your thumbnail and your title. This is because the main metrics you want to consider are:

🖱️Click-through rate
⏲️Watch time
🔣Percentage watched
Click-through rate was always a little bit of an unknown on YouTube, but the new Studio actually shows you your click-through rate for each video, which is extremely useful.

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