How Optimizing YouTube Hashtags Is A Great Search Strategy
You can be forgiven for thinking that search optimization improvement efforts are confined to one web page. But the truth is, they happen on any platform that augments an SEO strategy.
YouTube is one example. Last month, YouTube introduced a simple feature, a hashtag search results page, to improve the relevance of results to viewers. While it was possible to search through the hashtag previously, this update limits results only to items that use the hashtag in question, and not to linked results determined by an algorithm, as was the case previously.
Where YouTube and Google search diverge
YouTube’s search algorithm has different entries than the Google search engine.
Search results for the same query differ because YouTube prioritizes viewer comments over videos in the query. The more comments there are, the more likely the video is to be “relevant” to a query result. This is why so many influencers and users encourage subscriptions and mention comments in their videos. On the other hand, Google examines the relevance of the elements of the site in relation to the terms of the request.
Still, YouTube is a crucial asset in a strong online presence. It has long been considered the second largest search engine behind Google. So, marketers planning a YouTube optimization strategy should change their keywords and content deployment to take advantage of the different inputs as well as to strengthen a coordinated hashtag strategy.
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How the hashtag search works on YouTube
To appreciate the value of hashtags, you have to appreciate how YouTube videos are optimized. YouTube video optimization tactics usually focus on the title and description of the video. The title, which can be up to 100 characters long, should ideally include the relevant keywords. The video description can contain up to three sentences of a maximum of 300 characters. The description can also include a link to a website.
Hashtags are added in the video description to further highlight the content. Hashtags in the title and descriptions become hyperlinks once in place. This means that users can click on the hashtag to create a search page result for the hashtag, linking a video to an existing topic or event theme.
Viewers can access a search results page in two ways: 1. Users can type the hashtag directly into the search text box or 2. They can click the hyperlink in a video. The URL for the page will be www.youtube.com/hashtag with your search hashtag attached. So, for example, the hashtag #daffodils returns a URL www.youtube.com/hashtag/daffodils.
Related article: Get Your SEO House in Order for 2021
The importance of hashtag search for ecommerce
A previous post covered the importance of a social media hashtag strategy. But for YouTube, the new research is creating benefits for marketers and consumers.
The hashtag search page comes as a new feature, video shopping, is rolled out to YouTube users to appeal to emerging consumer behavior. Video shopping allows the user to click on a link to buy right after watching a video. This functionality is comparable to shopping in an Instagram post and allows the marketer to plan a strategy for customers to discover and buy products much more easily.
Since consumers use more portals than the standard search engine, either as a supplement or even in some cases as a starting point, marketers need to optimize hashtags on all platforms. There are many hashtags used in advertising, so customers have learned to research them as a starting point for researching products and services. YouTube’s search function is relying on this behavior, especially as people continue to shop at home due to public restrictions from the pandemic.
Ultimately, you should see this as a reason to update old videos. The better you can coordinate the use of hashtags and keywords, the more complete the customer experience your brand will deliver.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a digital analysis consulting firm for small businesses. It examines data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions, then provides web development recommendations and actions that improve business marketing strategy and profitability.