YouTube is the second largest search network after its parent company, Google. As an artist, it’s more valuable now than ever to have a presence on YouTube and showcase your music.

Earlier on the Stem blog, we talked about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in our four step guide to help you grow your brand as an artist. In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of increasing your video’s visibility through YouTube SEO. While additional YouTube promotion and marketing is beneficial, YouTube SEO is an important effort to put into place.

Five Must-Dos with YouTube SEO

With YouTube, it’s important to keep people engaged and in your channel for as long as possible. As an artist this helps you grow your fanbase and continue to reach current fans with new music and performances. YouTube is also a platform where the fans can feel as though they are a part of your journey, growing with and learning about you as an artist through behind-the-scenes looks, Ask-Me-Anythings and even song previews or lyric videos.

As an artist, make sure you’re able to reach your fans when they’re searching for you on YouTube. It’s imperative to be as accessible as possible, to help your fans find your music and to continue growing your community.

Below are some areas to focus on when you’re uploading new videos to YouTube (or editing currently live ones). These tips will help you show higher and more frequently when a fan searches for your name and your music.

Add Keywords to your Video Title

Video titles are crucial; they’re the first thing people read when skimming through a YouTube search. Make sure to include keywords in the title of your video. As an artist, some valuable keywords would be your band or artist name and the song title. Including these keywords in the title can help with people clicking to watch your videos, increasing overall video engagement.

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Focus on your Video Description

Your description is the most important part of optimizing your video for SEO. As a reminder, SEO is simply making sure your website, video or content can be found in search engines, by working with how search engines’ algorithms understand data. YouTube’s algorithm cannot watch videos so in order for it to understand what the video is about, it has to read the video’s description. This way, YouTube’s algorithm knows which videos to show when someone searches for something in YouTube. Here are some recommendations when optimizing your YouTube Video description:

  • 100-300 words in length
  • Include a link to buy or stream your album at the top of the description.
  • Utilize important keywords throughout the description.

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Include Relevant Tags

Adding relevant tags to your band or artist name, music genre and album titles can also help with showing up higher in the search. These aid your video ranking when people search for keywords that relate to these tags.yt_tags

Create Playlists On Your Channel

Making playlists on your channel is a great way to keep your fans watching. Playlists can also help you group relevant videos together to show a progression or a story. Here are some tips for creating playlists on your channel:

  • A playlist with singles from the same album
  • A playlist that shows tour videos
  • Only include videos from your own channel.
  • Each video should be in at least one playlist.
  • You can include videos in more than one playlist that you create.

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Utilize End Cards

An End Card is a graphic or slide at the end of a YouTube video that encourages action by the viewer or provides the viewer with additional content. These can include a call-to-action for fans and provide them with different ways to engage with your music. Here are some tips how how to use End Cards on your videos:

  • Always link to a YouTube playlist that is relevant to that video so you can encourage fans to continue engaging with content on your channel.
  • Include a subscribe option so your fans can subscribe to your channel and be notified whenever you upload a new video.
  • Include a purchase or stream link for your music.
  • Before you can include a link in your End Card, you need to associate your website with your YouTube account. You can learn how to do that here.

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While those are five key things to pay attention to when working with YouTube SEO, YouTube also values engagement. Some other factors to consider are:

  • If you gain a subscriber after that person watches 1 of your videos, the video that was watched will rank better.
  • Subscribers matter more – likes/dislikes don’t have much of an impact.
  • Comments can impact your ranking. They are another form of fan engagement and YouTube favors more direct engagement.

Ensuring that your fans can find your music is key to growing your fanbase, and optimizing your content for search engines can help you make your music more accessible. In this case, SEO can help with your video’s visibility as your fans are searching and lead to overall YouTube video growth. 

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For more ways to market your music and reach your fans, check out the Stem blog.