How to Optimize for Traffic, Views & Keywords on YouTube with Data

We earn commissions if you shop through the links below.

Knowing how to find actual search volume and which keywords can bring you traffic when uploading YouTube videos can be tricky.  You also need to think about which keywords will convert into revenue for you and what has the best potential for making money with ads.  Luckily this is easy, when you know how to find the data before you begin the optimization of the YouTube video.

By investing a little bit ahead of time, you can properly optimize everything from the opening image that causes the most engagement based on a desired reaction, to which keywords will show volume so you can make money off of ads, as well as how to determine which combinations can make your YouTube video go viral and which can generate interest to drive sales and subscribers.

It takes between 15 minutes and an hour to set up the test and you can spend as little or as much as you want to build relevance and enough of a result to build a strong enough focus group and have a solid dataset to verify that your test is accurate.  In some cases I’ve had a video start to take off during the test.  When this happens I can normally make my money back with ads showing on it.  That’s the nice part about having an “earned views” column in the adwords interface for YouTube ads.

So here’s how to do this.

how to optimize a video for YouTube seo

As a heads up, I do this across multiple niches and industries including reviews, product sales, lead gen and more.  I blocked out any identifiable information since these are live client campaigns I’m using and yes the client/s did give permission.  No I will not share who or what they are.  =0)

How to Optimize YouTube SEO

Log into adwords (if you don’t have an account, create one) and build a campaign like you normally would.  The difference here is that you need to select one of the two options that let you run video ads.  You also need to make sure the campaign settings are set to only run on YouTube.  Sometimes I only do on the stream/feed, other times that combined with queries and ads.  It just depends on what the goal of the test is.

Now break your ad groups out by main phrase and modified versions.

How to set up YouTube ad groups:

  • main phrase
  • main phrase reviews
  • main phrase unboxing
  • main phrase video and videos
  • how does main phrase
  • main phrase for XYZ demographic
  • and other variations

Next I build other ad groups using the same method but with generic phrases.

This could be:

  • product type
  • product type unboxing
  • product type reviews
  • Which product type for and other questions

Here’s an example of properly optimized YouTube ad groups and how I look at the results.

how to set up youtube video ad groups

Everything has a different goal and purpose.  For example, if you’re a YouTuber with a blog, driving affiliate sales and driving people to your website to get them on your newsletter is incredibly important; just like shopping with your coupon code or clicking the link in your description, so reviews and unboxing can be good variations for you.

If you’re a YouTube only person, providing niche or generic everyday solutions is great so the questions type groups can be a focus.  If you’re a merchant or ecommerce store, or lead gen company, then you’ll use other modifiers.  That’s why I test across the board.  Sometimes it’s the not as relevant ad groups lead in for a better result.

Many times my clients that I optimize YouTube for or help on the ads network with have multiple marketing channels too, so it’s important to get a feel for what the user intent is in watching.  Then we optimize the image and the groups or keywords around the intent.

  • Are they looking for something to kill time?
  • Have they found what they need and are planning to shop?
  • Maybe they are at the beginning and are looking to find a solution?
  • Do they need a trusted resource?
  • Most important what is the client’s goal?

That could be total views, new subscribers, exposure or ad revenue.  Breaking your ad groups out niche is how you get this info and can optimize your videos to meet those goals.  Now let’s get into a fun subtopic…finding how to make a video go viral on YouTube.

How to Find Keywords to Make a Video go Viral on YouTube

As a bonus in here, I’d like to show you an example of a test we ran where we found specific keywords that tend to get some larger quantities of views.  We run the same test as above, but we build campaigns specific with what we think will reach an audience of people who can either influence others or who are more likely to share the video.  This is especially good for people in affiliate marketing and companies with small budgets who need to compete.

In the first screen shot you’ll see the ad groups and which one was able to reach that type of person.  Next we click that ad group and then analyze the keyword, audience, placement and other targeting options available in YouTube ads.  This is to help identify how we reached the sharers and influencers and specifically where we reached them at. You can also match this up to your image to help better optimize.

Now I can use those keywords and drive the same video directly to this type of audience, but through organic YouTube SEO and this may give us a much better chance at getting a video to take off instead of just making guesses based on gut instincts and projected keyword search volumes.  (i.e. saying, well we feature blue widgets in the video, lets use it in the name, description and tags).

Note: since YouTube ads does not give you the earned views by keyword, but it does give you total views, total impressions, total CPV and other data points, you’re now able to figure out which keyword variations are driving the viral aspects and use other data you’re given to optimize.  This is where the real power in optimizing YouTube to make viral videos.

Two other hints are to also look at CPV (if its normally .50 per view and two or three keywords are magically at .10 and have volume, they may be really good.  Combine that with view through 100% and higher volumes and you are on your way.  If you need to make money, look at what you spend per view and optimize for that, with a combination of the higher CPVs to try and get the higher ad revenue with evergreen searches.  This can lead to more revenue in the long run now that you know which has more money per view and volume.   Keyword 1 and 5 below are the big finds here and keyword 1 is the one to go viral.

finding keywords to make YouTube videos go viral

how to make a youtube video go viral

And that’s it.  Optimizing videos for YouTube SEO doesn’t have to be guess work.  You can do all of the keyword research in the world and use the proper tags, internal links, encourage shares and comments, but without knowing if those keywords and image combinations generate the right reactions, or desired results, you may not see as much success.  That’s why you may want to take a little bit of budget and invest it into an ads test.  By doing this you can optimize it ahead of time and then no how to go in and set the video up for a greater chance of gaining the right exposure that also generates the desired results you’re hoping for.

Join My Newsletter & Never Miss Another Post!

Contact Us

Contact Us

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top