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10 Types of Blog Posts & How to Use Them Effectively

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10 Types of Blog Posts & How to Use Them Effectively

When it comes to writing a blog post, there are multiple formats you can use—and it all depends on the goal of your article and what your audience is looking for.

Here are some popular types of blog posts to know, along with examples of how to use them:

  1. How-to guides
  2. Content hubs
  3. Expanded definition posts
  4. Listicles, aka list posts
  5. Expanded list posts
  6. News
  7. Data studies
  8. Case studies
  9. Cheat sheets and checklists
  10. Templates

A how-to post offers a series of specific, chronological steps on how to achieve a goal. It’s typically structured like so:

Infographic showing structure of a how-to guide

For instance, this post is titled “How to Choose the Right Words for SEO” and shows you how to achieve that goal through a four-step process:

  • Step 1 – Find keywords with search traffic potential
  • Step 2 – Create content that aligns with search intent
  • Step 3 – Ensure the keyword has “business potential”
  • Step 4 – Make sure you can rank for the keyword

We then elaborate on each step by showing you how to execute it.

In the case of step one—finding keywords with search traffic potential—we suggested using keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and then elaborated on how each tool works.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about GKP and Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Best practices

  • When chronicling your steps, be as specific as possible. Consider that your reader may ask, “How? Why?” and then fill these gaps to make your how-to guide substantial.

A content hub is an interlinked collection of content about a topic. 

Sometimes, you may have multiple blog posts on your website about a topic—let’s say SEO—but they aren’t housed in one place. That’s where a content hub comes in: It’s strategically built to boost your site structure for more traffic, links, and topical authority.

In simple terms, a content hub comprises three parts:

  1. Your hub page – A high-level guide about the overarching topic (e.g., SEO). It usually includes links to subtopics that are sometimes split into chapters.
  2. Your subpages – These are in-depth guides about parts of the main topic. Each of these guides is split into yet more chapters.
  3. Hyperlinks – These connect the subpages to your hub page. The hub page links to all the subpages, and each subpage links back to the hub.

It may be a little confusing, so let’s take the example of our beginner’s guide to SEO. This is our hub page:

Hub page of beginner’s guide to SEO

We first give the reader an overview of what SEO is. This is followed by six hyperlinked chapters (with descriptions for each). Clicking on each of these chapters brings you to their respective subpages.

So if we click on chapter 1 (How Search Engines Work), the reader is taken to the subpage—which is split into yet more chapters so that you can easily hone in on a specific subtopic.

Subpage of "How Search Engines Work"

We’ve also included a hyperlink for each subpage to connect it back to our hub page.

Link that brings user back to hub page

Best practices

  • Map out a structure to ensure your content hub is well organized

Example of content hub in flowchart form: "Keto Dieting" is in the middle and branches out to pictures of different fruits and vegetables

  • If you have a topic in mind but aren’t sure how to structure it, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Enter your search term (e.g., “link building”)
  3. Look at the top results to see how other websites structure their content hubs/guides
Content Explorer search results

3. Expanded definition posts

Expanded definition posts are somewhat similar to how-to guides. The difference is they start by focusing on the what before the how—because sometimes, you want to understand a topic in greater depth before getting to the actionable bit (i.e., the how-to).

Here’s how it’s structured:

Infographic showing structure of an expanded definition post

Our blog post titled “What Is a Backlink? How to Get More Backlinks” is one such example of how this structure can be put to practice:

  • Introduction, then table of contents—bulleted summary of what you’ll learn
  • [H2] Why backlinks are important 
    • [H3] Rankings (elaborate)
    • [H3] Discoverability (elaborate)
    • [H3] Referral traffic (elaborate)
  • [H2] What makes a good backlink? 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • [H2] How to check for backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above; add screenshots where necessary
  • [H2] How to get more backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • Conclusion: Your final thoughts

It’s fairly straightforward. Tell the reader what to expect, explain why the topic is important and what they can do with it, then offer some steps on how to achieve a certain goal around the topic.

Best practices

4. Listicles, aka list posts

Listicles—also known as list posts—typically feature one tip, technique, or point per paragraph. They’re often used for non-chronological advice but, sometimes, have a poor reputation because many publications use the format for clickbait stories.

This BuzzFeed article accurately captures one instance of how the format is used:

Excerpt of a BuzzFeed article titled "32 Cheap Things To Treat Yourself To Right Now"

The descriptions below each subheading are kept short so that readers can quickly capture information in a concise manner without having to stay on a page for too long. Listicles may also be image-heavy.

Excerpt of an image-heavy BuzzFeed article

Despite the poor rep that list posts may carry, they can be useful for readers who are looking for quick answers to certain questions—as in the case of this Search Engine Journal blog post titled “21 Web Directories You’ll Still Want to Use.” This is a good example of how an SEO or marketing listicle should be written:

Excerpt of an SEJ article

Best practices

  • We recommend not using sensationalist wording in your headline (like this BuzzFeed article). Instead, ensure your headline captures exactly what the blog post is about.
  • You can learn more about the best practices of crafting listicles here.

An expanded list post mimics the format of a listicle. The difference is this format is better suited to more complex topics—so each pointer on the list is beefed up to better explain a tip or idea.

Example of expanded list post about copywriting

It’s also why we don’t publish all that many list posts on the Ahrefs blog; SEO is a complex topic to unpack when compared to “lighter” content, such as the “best cafes in Singapore.” 

The blog post you’re reading now is also an example of an expanded list post.

Best practices

  • Since expanded list posts are lengthier than listicles, use images and H3s (a subsection that sits under your subheading) to break your points up. This very subsection is a H3.

Newsworthy blog posts contain time-sensitive information that’s relevant to your business and/or industry. This includes industrywide changes or trends that may affect your readers (or be of interest to them), as well as company or product updates.

Naturally, the piece of news you’d like to share should be disseminated as soon as possible, and, ideally, before other publications. This is especially so if you’re covering industrywide changes.

For example, let’s say Apple intends to announce the launch of its Mac Studio and Studio Display via a press release.

That same press release is first shared with multiple publications and kept on embargo (i.e., not to be published until a certain date and time). Based on the information, media outlets can build a story and schedule the news for publication—in the case of “fastest fingers first.”

Except of Google SERP on Apple's Mac Studio

Being quick to publish a newsworthy story also puts you in good standing with your target audience, who may over time regard your blog as a reliable and credible source of information. To achieve this, you need to be consistent in publishing accurate and timely content. 

Best practices

  • Use the inverted triangle so your most important information is up top
Inverted pyramid. "Need to know" at top, then "nice to know" at bottom

Data studies are a great way to earn backlinks.

At Ahrefs, we’ve run more than a fair number of data studies over the years—many of which have brought us traction on our socials.

But don’t simply cobble data from multiple sources and claim it as yours. Instead, decide on what you want to first study.

One way to do this is by recreating outdated studies, which you can find using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer:

  1. In Content Explorer, enter a search term like [industry] + “study,” [industry] + “survey,” [industry] + “research,” or [industry] + “data”
  2. Set the filter to an In title search
  3. Set the Published filter to an older date range (e.g., 2010–2015)
  4. Sort the results by referring domains
Content Explorer search results

From here, you can identify popular and/or outdated studies to recreate and write about as blog posts.

Best practices

  • Create graphs so readers have a concise overview of your findings

Pie chart showing 7.4% of top-ranking pages have no title tags

More Examples

Case studies look at real-life experiments or businesses that have succeeded in using certain tactics or strategies. They’re effective because readers are more inclined to buy into information when it’s backed by proof.

In this case study of fintech company Wise, we explored five reasons why its SEO strategy is so admirable:

Except of an Ahrefs article showing five reasons why Wise's SEO strategy is good

We also weaved in our product—the Ahrefs toolset—where we could.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about content optimization for featured snippets

For your case study to be effective, it has to give the reader some “wins”—clear takeaways that they can apply to their business. Ideally, you should feature a business that’s either well known or has a unique enough selling proposition to entice readers to click on the blog post.

Best practices

  • Give readers some clear takeaways (e.g., Oatly SEO Case Study: 5 Lessons You Can Learn From the Oat Drink Giant and Its IPO) so they’re more likely to read your blog post

9. Cheat sheets and checklists

Cheat sheets and checklists are essentially the same thing and may include a clear breakdown of the steps required to reach a goal.

Unlike how-to guides, which may sometimes be ambiguous in explaining how something works, checklists and cheat sheets are effective because they tell you exactly what you need to achieve something.

Here’s a concise SEO checklist we crafted for a blog post. We later repurposed the checklist as a tweet:

In the above blog post, we shared that our SEO checklist helped grow our blog to over 640,000 monthly search visits. Then we shared that same checklist with users before going into a breakdown of each of the elements in the cheat sheet.

Best practices

  • Arrange your checklists/cheat sheets in chronological order so that the reader knows exactly how to reach a goal

Similar to what the name suggests, template blog posts include templates on how to achieve something—as in the case of this blog post on how to create a one-page marketing plan.

We recommend using this format:

  • What is [topic]?
  • Why is [topic] important?
  • How can I make [topic] work for me?
  • Template

You can share your template at the start of the article, which is what we normally do, or at the bottom of the blog post.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article about a one-page marketing plan

There are also multiple ways to let readers access your template: We usually offer it as a free, copyable template (via Google Docs), but you may decide to create a downloadable template instead.

Best practices

  • Keep your template simple and organized, with guiding questions or tips for open-ended fields
Example of a simple and organized template

Final thoughts

These templates are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to writing a good blog post.

Try to mix things up depending on what you think works best. For instance, this guide to creating SEO-friendly URLs starts with a step-by-step guide, then looks at some best practices in a listicle format.

It’s all about experimenting and figuring out what your readers want, so don’t limit yourself.

Have questions or comments? I’d love to hear them on Twitter



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Google’s Web Crawler Fakes Being “Idle” To Render JavaScript

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Google's Web Crawler Fakes Being "Idle" To Render JavaScript

In a recent episode of the Search Off The Record podcast, it was revealed that Google’s rendering system now pretends to be “idle” to trigger certain JavaScript events and improve webpage rendering.

The podcast features Zoe Clifford from Google’s rendering team, who discussed how the company’s web crawlers deal with JavaScript-based sites.

This revelation is insightful for web developers who use such methods to defer content loading.

Google’s “Idle” Trick

Googlebot simulates “idle” states during rendering, which triggers JavaScript events like requestIdleCallback.

Developers use this function to defer loading less critical content until the browser is free from other tasks.

Before this change, Google’s rendering process was so efficient that the browser was always active, causing some websites to fail to load important content.

Clifford explained:

“There was a certain popular video website which I won’t name…which deferred loading any of the page contents until after requestIdleCallback was fired.”

Since the browser was never idle, this event wouldn’t fire, preventing much of the page from loading properly.

Faking Idle Time To Improve Rendering

Google implemented a system where the browser pretends to be idle periodically, even when it’s busy rendering pages.

This tweak ensures that idle callbacks are triggered correctly, allowing pages to fully load their content for indexing.

Importance Of Error Handling

Clifford emphasized the importance of developers implementing graceful error handling in their JavaScript code.

Unhandled errors can lead to blank pages, redirects, or missing content, negatively impacting indexing.

She advised:

“If there is an error, I just try and handle it as gracefully as possible…web development is hard stuff.”

What Does This Mean?

Implications For Web Developers

  • Graceful Error Handling: Implementing graceful error handling ensures pages load as intended, even if certain code elements fail.
  • Cautious Use of Idle Callbacks: While Google has adapted to handle idle callbacks, be wary of over-relying on these functions.

Implications For SEO Professionals

  • Monitoring & Testing: Implement regular website monitoring and testing to identify rendering issues that may impact search visibility.
  • Developer Collaboration: Collaborate with your development team to create user-friendly and search engine-friendly websites.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest developments and best practices in how search engines handle JavaScript, render web pages, and evaluate content.

See also: Google Renders All Pages For Search, Including JavaScript-Heavy Sites

Other Rendering-Related Topics Discussed

The discussion also touched on other rendering-related topics, such as the challenges posed by user agent detection and the handling of JavaScript redirects.

The whole podcast provides valuable insights into web rendering and the steps Google takes to assess pages accurately.

See also: Google Renders All Pages For Search, Including JavaScript-Heavy Sites


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Google’s Indifference To Site Publishers Explained

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Google inadvertently reveals reasons that explain their seeming indifference to publishers hurt by algorithm updates

A publisher named Brandon Saltalamacchia interviewed Google’s SearchLiaison in which he offered hope that quality sites hit by Google’s algorithms may soon see their traffic levels bounce back. But that interview and a recent Google podcast reveal deeper issues that may explain why Google seems indifferent to publishers with every update.

Google Search Relations

Google has a team whose job is to communicate how site owners can do well on Google. So it’s not that Googlers themselves are indifferent to site publishers and creatives. Google provides a lot of feedback to publishers, especially through Google Search Console. The area in which Google is indifferent to publishers is directly in search at its most fundamental level.

Google’s algorithms are built on the premise that it has to provide a good user experience and is internally evaluated to that standard. This creates the situation where from Google’s perspective the algorithm is working the way it should. But from the perspective of website publishers Google’s ranking algorithms are failing. Putting a finger on why that’s happening is what this article is about.

Publishers Are Not Even An Afterthought To Google

The interview by Brandon Saltalamacchia comes against the background of many websites having lost traffic due to Google’s recent algorithm updates. From Google’s point of view their algorithms are working fine for users. But the steady feedback from website publishers is no, it’s not working. Google’s response for the past month is that they’re investigating how to improve.

What all of this reveals is that there is a real disconnect between how Google measures how their algorithms are working and how website publishers experience it in the real world. It may surprise most people to learn that that this disconnect begins with Google’s mission statement to make information “universally accessible and useful”  and ends with the rollout of an algorithm that is tested for metrics that take into account how users experience it but is 100% blind to how publishers experience it.

Some of the complaints about Google’s algorithms:

  • Ranking algorithms for reviews, travel and other topics are favoring big brands over smaller publishers.
  • Google’s decision to firehose traffic at Reddit contributes to the dismantling of the website publishing ecosystem.
  • AI Overviews summarizes web pages and deprives websites of search traffic.

The stated goal for Google’s algorithm decisions is to increase user satisfaction but the problem with that approach is that website publishers are left out of that equation.  Consider this: Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines says nothing about checking if big brands are dominating the search results. Zero.

Website publishers aren’t even an afterthought for Google. Publishers are not not considered at any stage of the creation, testing and rollout of ranking algorithms.

Google Historically Doesn’t Focus On Publishers

A remark by Gary Illyes in a recent Search Off The Record indicated that in Gary’s opinion Google is all about the user experience because if search is good for the user then that’ll trickle down to the publishers and will be good for them too.

In the context of Gary explaining whether Google will announce that something is broken in search, Gary emphasized that search relations is focused on the search users and not the publishers who may be suffering from whatever is broken.

John Mueller asked:

“So, is the focus more on what users would see or what site owners would see? Because, as a Search Relations team, we would focus more on site owners. But it sounds like you’re saying, for these issues, we would look at what users would experience.”

Gary Illyes answered:

“So it’s Search Relations, not Site Owners Relations, from Search perspective.”

Google’s Indifference To Publishers

Google’s focus on satisfying search users can in practice turn into indifference toward publishers.  If you read all the Google patents and research papers related to information retrieval (search technology) the one thing that becomes apparent is that the measure of success is always about the users. The impact to site publishers are consistently ignored. That’s why Google Search is perceived as indifferent to site publishers, because publishers have never been a part of the search satisfaction equation.

This is something that publishers and Google may not have wrapped their minds around just yet.

Later on, in the Search Off The Record  podcast, the Googlers specifically discuss how an update is deemed to be working well regardless if a (relatively) small amount of publishers are complaining that Google Search is broken, because what matters is if Google perceives that they are doing the right thing from Google’s perspective.

John said:

“…Sometimes we get feedback after big ranking updates, like core updates, where people are like, “Oh, everything is broken.”

At the 12:06 minute mark of the podcast Gary made light of that kind of feedback:

“Do we? We get feedback like that?”

Mueller responded:

“Well, yeah.”

Then Mueller completed his thought:

“I feel bad for them. I kind of understand that. I think those are the kind of situations where we would look at the examples and be like, “Oh, I see some sites are unhappy with this, but overall we’re doing the right thing from our perspective.”

And Gary responded:

“Right.”

And John asks:

“And then we wouldn’t see it as an issue, right?”

Gary affirmed that Google wouldn’t see it as an issue if a legit publisher loses traffic when overall the algorithm is working as they feel it should.

“Yeah.”

It is precisely that shrugging indifference that a website publisher, Brandon Saltalamacchia, is concerned about and discussed with SearchLiaison in a recent blog post.

Lots of Questions

SearchLiaison asked many questions about how Google could better support content creators, which is notable because Google has a long history of focusing on their user experience but seemingly not also considering what the impact on businesses with an online presence.

That’s a good sign from SearchLiaison but not entirely a surprise because unlike most Googlers, SearchLiaison (aka Danny Sullivan) has decades of experience as a publisher so he knows what it’s like on our side of the search box.

It will be interesting if SearchLiaison’s concern for publishers makes it back to Google in a more profound way so that there’s a better understanding that the Search Ecosystem is greater than Google’s users and encompasses website publishers, too. Algorithm updates should be about more than how they impact users, the updates should also be about how they impact publishers.

Hope For Sites That Lost Traffic

Perhaps the most important news from the interview is that SearchLiaison expressed that there may be changes coming over the next few months that will benefit the publishers who have lost rankings over the past few months of updates.

Brandon wrote:

“One main take away from my conversation with Danny is that he did say to hang on, to keep doing what we are doing and that he’s hopeful that those of us building great websites will see some signs of recovery over the coming months.”

Yet despite those promises from Danny, Brandon didn’t come away with hope.

Brandon wrote:

“I got the sense things won’t change fast, nor anytime soon. “

Read the entire interview:

A Brief Meeting With Google After The Apocalypse

Listen to the Search Off The Record Podcast

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20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

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20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube's Algorithm

Instead of counting the number of clicks or views a video gets, YouTube’s algorithms focus on ensuring viewers are happy with what they watch.

This article examines how YouTube’s algorithms work to help users find videos they like and keep them watching for longer.

We’ll explain how YouTube selects videos for different parts of its site, such as the home page and the “up next” suggestions.

We’ll also discuss what makes some videos appear more than others and how YouTube matches videos to each person’s interests.

By breaking this down, we hope to help marketers and YouTubers understand how to work better with YouTube’s system.

A summary of all facts is listed at the end.

Prioritizing Viewer Satisfaction

Early on, YouTube ranked videos based on watch time data, assuming longer view durations correlated with audience satisfaction.

However, they realized that total watch time alone was an incomplete measure, as viewers could still be left unsatisfied.

So, beginning in the early 2010s, YouTube prioritized viewer satisfaction metrics for ranking content across the site.

The algorithms consider signals like:

  • Survey responses directly asking viewers about their satisfaction with recommended videos.
  • Clicks on the “like,” “dislike,” or “not interested” buttons which indicate satisfaction.
  • Overall audience retention metrics like the percentage of videos viewed.
  • User behavior metrics, including what users have watched before (watch history) and what they watch after a video (watch next).

The recommendation algorithms continuously learn from user behavior patterns and explicit satisfaction inputs to identify the best videos to recommend.

How Videos Rank On The Homepage

The YouTube homepage curates and ranks a selection of videos a viewer will most likely watch.

The ranking factors include:

Performance Data

This covers metrics like click-through rates from impressions and average view duration. When shown on its homepages, YouTube uses these traditional viewer behavioral signals to gauge how compelling a video is for other viewers.

Personalized Relevance

Besides performance data, YouTube relies heavily on personalized relevance to customize the homepage feed for each viewer’s unique interests. This personalization is based on insights from their viewing history, subscriptions, and engagement patterns with specific topics or creators.

How YouTube Ranks Suggested Video Recommendations

The suggested videos column is designed to keep viewers engaged by identifying other videos relevant to what they’re currently watching and aligned with their interests.

The ranking factors include:

Video Co-Viewing

YouTube analyzes viewing patterns to understand which videos are frequently watched together or sequentially by the same audience segments. This allows them to recommend related content the viewer will likely watch next.

Topic/Category Matching

The algorithm looks for videos covering topics or categories similar to the video being watched currently to provide tightly relevant suggestions.

Personal Watch History

A viewer’s viewing patterns and history are a strong signal for suggesting videos they’ll likely want to watch again.

Channel Subscriptions

Videos from channels that viewers frequently watch and engage with are prioritized as suggestions to keep them connected to favored creators.

External Ranking Variables

YouTube has acknowledged the following external variables can impact video performance:

  • The overall popularity and competition level for different topics and content categories.
  • Shifting viewer behavior patterns and interest trends in what content they consume.
  • Seasonal effects can influence what types of videos people watch during different times of the year.

Being a small or emerging creator can also be a positive factor, as YouTube tries to get them discovered through recommendations.

The company says it closely monitors success rates for new creators and is working on further advancements like:

  • Leveraging advanced AI language models to better understand content topics and viewer interests.
  • Optimizing the discovery experience with improved layouts and content pathways to reduce “choice paralysis.”

Strategies For Creators

With viewer satisfaction as the overarching goal, this is how creators can maximize the potential of having their videos recommended:

  • Focus on creating content that drives high viewer satisfaction through strong audience retention, positive survey responses, likes/engagement, and low abandon rates.
  • Develop consistent series or sequel videos to increase chances of being suggested for related/sequence views.
  • Utilize playlists, end screens, and linked video prompts to connect your content for extended viewing sessions.
  • Explore creating content in newer formats, such as Shorts, live streams, or podcasts, that may align with changing viewer interests.
  • Monitor performance overall, specifically from your existing subscriber base as a baseline.
  • Don’t get discouraged by initial metrics. YouTube allows videos to continuously find relevant audience segments over time.
  • Pay attention to seasonality trends, competition, and evolving viewer interests, which can all impact recommendations.

In Summary – 20 Key Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

  1. YouTube has multiple algorithms for different sections (homepage, suggested videos, search, etc.).
  2. The recommendation system powers the homepage and suggested video sections.
  3. The system pulls in videos that are relevant for each viewer.
  4. Maximizing viewer satisfaction is the top priority for rankings.
  5. YouTube uses survey responses, likes, dislikes, and “not interested” clicks to measure satisfaction.
  6. High audience retention percentages signal positive satisfaction.
  7. Homepage rankings combine performance data and personalized relevance.
  8. Performance is based on click-through rates and average view duration.
  9. Personalized relevance factors include watch history, interests, and subscriptions.
  10. Suggested videos prioritize content that is co-viewed by the same audiences.
  11. Videos from subscribed channels are prioritized for suggestions.
  12. Consistent series and sequential videos increase suggestions for related viewing.
  13. Playlists, end screens, and linked videos can extend viewing sessions.
  14. Creating engaging, satisfying content is the core strategy for recommendations.
  15. External factors like competition, trends, and seasonality impact recommendations.
  16. YouTube aims to help new/smaller creators get discovered through recommendations.
  17. AI language models are improving content understanding and personalization.
  18. YouTube optimizes the discovery experience to reduce “choice paralysis.”
  19. Videos can find audiences over time, even if initial metrics are discouraging.
  20. The algorithm focuses on delivering long-term, satisfying experiences for viewer retention.

Insight From Industry Experts

While putting together this article, I reached out to industry experts to ask about their take on YouTube’s algorithms and what’s currently working for them.

Greg Jarboe, the president and co-founder of SEO-PR and author of YouTube and Video Marketing, says:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction. So, to optimize your videos for discovery, you should write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions. This has been true since July 2011, when the YouTube Creator Playbook became available to the public for the first time.

However, YouTube changed its algorithm in October 2012 – replacing ‘view count’ with ‘watch time.’ That’s why you need to go beyond optimizing your video’s metadata. You also need to keep viewers watching with a variety of techniques. For starters, you need to create a compelling opening to your videos and then use effective editing techniques to maintain and build interest through the video.

There are other ranking factors, of course, but these are the two most important ones. I’ve used these video SEO best practices to help the Travel Magazine channel increase from just 1,510 to 8.7 million views. And these video SEO techniques help the SonoSite channel grow from 99,529 views to 22.7 million views.

The biggest recent trend is the advent of YouTube Shorts, which is discoverable on the YouTube homepage (in the new Shorts shelf), as well as across other parts of the app. For more details, read “Can YouTube Shorts Be Monetized? Spoiler Alert: Some Already Are!

Brie E. Anderson, an SEO and digital marketing consultant, says:

“In my experience, there are a few things that are really critical when it comes to optimizing for YouTube, most of which won’t be much of a surprise. The first is obviously the keyword you choose to target. It’s really hard to beat out really large and high authority channels, much like it is on Google. That being said, using tools like TubeBuddy can help you get a sense of the keywords you can compete for.

Another big thing is focusing on the SERP for YouTube Search. Your thumbnail has to be attention-grabbing – this is honestly what we test the most and one of the most impactful tests we run. More times than not, you’re looking at a large face, and max four words. But the amount of contrast happening in the thumbnail and how well it explains the topic of the video is the main concern.

Also, adding the ‘chapters’ timestamps can be really helpful. YouTube actually shows these in the SERP, as mentioned in this article.

Lastly, providing your own .srt file with captions can really help YouTube understand what your video is about.

Aside from actual on-video optimizations, I usually encourage people to write blog posts and embed their videos or, at the very least, link to them. This just helps with indexing and building some authority. It also increases the chance that the video will help YOUR SITE rank (as opposed to YouTube).”

Sources: YouTube’s Creator Insider Channel (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), How YouTube Works

More resources: 


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