Why use YouTube for SEO

Using YouTube for SEO is a strategic approach to enhance your online visibility, drive traffic to your website, and improve your overall search engine rankings.

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and since Google owns YouTube, videos often rank prominently in search results. Here are key reasons to use YouTube for SEO.

1. Increased Visibility and Traffic

  • Broad Reach YouTube has a vast global audience. Publishing content on this platform can significantly increase your brand's visibility.
  • Traffic Generation By including links to your website in video descriptions and on your channel page, you can direct viewers to your website, leading to increased traffic.

Watching Youtube

2. Enhanced Search Engine Rankings

  • Video Results in Google Google often includes video results in its search pages. A well-optimized YouTube video can rank in Google search results, potentially ranking higher than traditional web content for the same keyword.
  • Rich Snippets Videos from YouTube can appear as rich snippets in search results with a thumbnail, making them more noticeable and likely to be clicked.

Youtube Search Results

3. Engagement and Retention

  • Engaging Content Videos are highly engaging and can convey information more effectively than text alone. This can lead to longer dwell times, which is a positive signal to search engines.
  • Improved User Experience Incorporating videos into your content strategy can enhance the user experience on your website, making information more accessible and enjoyable.

4. Keyword Optimisation and Backlinks

  • Video Keywords Just like with website SEO, your YouTube videos should be optimised for keywords relevant to your content. These keywords should be included in the video title, description, and tags.
  • Backlink Opportunities While links in YouTube video descriptions are nofollow, they can still drive significant referral traffic. Additionally, if your video is shared or embedded on other sites, it can lead to increased backlink opportunities.

5. Content Diversification and Brand Authority

  • Diverse Content Strategy Adding video content to your marketing strategy diversifies your content offerings, catering to different audience preferences.
  • Establish Authority Videos that provide valuable information or solve problems can help establish your brand as an authority in your field.

When creating content for YouTube, it's essential to consider both the aspect ratio and resolution of your videos to ensure they display correctly across various devices and provide a high-quality viewing experience.

Here's a breakdown of the recommended sizes

Aspect Ratio

  • 16:9: This is the standard aspect ratio for YouTube on desktops and most mobile devices, ensuring your video fills the screen without any black bars on the sides. If you upload a video that isn't in 16:9, YouTube will automatically add pillarboxing (black bars on the sides) or letterboxing (black bars at the top and bottom) to make it fit.


YouTube supports a wide range of resolutions, from 240p up to 4K and even 8K, but for a good balance of quality and file size, these are the most commonly recommended resolutions:

  • 1080p (Full HD): 1920x1080 pixels. This is a high-definition standard offering good quality without requiring the large file sizes of higher resolutions. It's suitable for most content, including vlogs, gaming videos, and tutorials.
  • 4K (Ultra HD): 3840x2160 pixels. For creators wanting to offer the highest visual quality, especially for content that benefits from higher detail like nature videos, documentaries, and professional-grade productions. Keep in mind, 4K videos have larger file sizes and require more processing power for editing and rendering.
  • 720p (HD): 1280x720 pixels. Considered the minimum for "HD" quality, it's a good option for those with limited bandwidth or processing power, though it's becoming less common as higher resolutions become the standard.

Frame Rate

  • 24fps: The traditional frame rate for cinema. It's often used for content that wants to achieve a cinematic look.
  • 30fps: Standard for television and typical video content. It provides a smooth viewing experience for most types of videos.
  • 60fps: Offers a very smooth motion, ideal for gaming videos, sports, or any content where fast motion is a key component.

File Format

YouTube recommends uploading videos in the MP4 format with the H.264 codec. This ensures broad compatibility and balances quality with file size efficiency.

Other Considerations

  • Bitrate: Adhering to YouTube's recommended bitrates for your chosen resolution can improve video quality. YouTube provides detailed guidelines for bitrate values based on resolution and frame rate.
  • Sound: AAC-LC audio codec at 48kHz or 96kHz for the best audio quality.
  • Export Settings: Use software that allows you to customise your export settings to match YouTube's recommendations closely.

When preparing videos for YouTube, aim for the highest quality possible within the constraints of your recording and editing equipment. Higher resolution and frame rate can significantly improve your video's appearance, but they also increase the file size and upload time. Consider your audience and the type of content you're producing when deciding on these settings.

While Facebook and Instagram offer ease of use and immediate engagement with a broad audience, YouTube's strengths in search visibility, content longevity, detailed analytics, and monetisation make it an invaluable platform for long-term content strategy and audience building.

Finally your choice of platform should align with your marketing objectives, target audience preferences, and the type of content you are most equipped to produce. For maximum impact, many businesses and creators adopt a multi-platform approach, tailoring content to leverage the unique advantages of each platform, but remember to use YouTube for SEO.

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