How do you write optimized YouTube Tags for video SEO? How do you appeal community guidelines strikes? How can you improve TrueView conversion? We answer these questions and more this week on ReelSEO TubeTalk: YouTube Video Marketing Tips with your hosts:

Tip #1: How Do You Optimized YouTube Tags for Video SEO?

Tim Schmoyer says YouTube's guidance on keyword tags used to be that you should cram in as many relevant tags as possible, starting with the specific ones and moving towards the general topics. But now they've come out with a Discovery Handbook that says the order of tags is no longer important, and that meta data, including tags, is only weighted when you first publish a video. Then after they've found better behavioral signals and data points about your video, including watch time, then Google is better able to rank the video without meta data.

Today when writing your meta data, Google recommends you simply ask yourself how you would describe this video to a friend. Tim said that you used to be able to re-optimize with new tags, but it doesn't re-set the watch time and other behavioral signals Google has accumulated. A behavioral signal means simply: if they watch this video first, what video are they likely to watch next? Google then relates the two videos.

When writing his tags, Gideon Shalwick works to understand what people might be searching on in YouTube.

Tip #2: How Do You Appeal Community Guidelines Strikes?

We received an interesting question last week from listener "KidsLearningVideo" last week in our show notes comments on ReelSEO. They wrote:

Hi Dane. Something that I've been noticing a lot recently on YouTube is a lot of videos getting "flagged" and placed in safety mode. I see the benefit for such a mode, but it seems like many seemly-innocent videos are ending up in that mode. For example, one of my children's educational videos ended up in safety mode (it was about animal sounds; showing a series of animal pictures with their corresponding animal sounds). Luckily for me, my channel is large enough so I could contact YouTube support and they were able to reverse it after a couple of days. Have you heard or seen any way to reverse this if your clean and safe video does get flagged for safety mode? What are your thoughts?

How To Appeal a strike

  1. Visit your Channel Settings
  2. Click the arrow next to the Community Guidelines section to show your strikes.
  3. Click the "Appeal this decision" link.

Dane looked at "The Animal Sounds Song" and it has more than 12 million views. This is clearly aimed at very young kids who, while they are not allowed to have their own YouTube accounts, are on YouTube in great numbers watching channels like this one and DisneyCollectorBR.

YouTube's content guidelines are based on community standards, but the community is, essentially, "Earth." But the video is no more offensive than the song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." So we can rule out people that are truly offended. So we have remaining is either jerks who are "flag-trolling," or accidental clicks.

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This might be due to accidental clicks since this audience is so young and there are a bunch of fun-looking buttons right in front of them. They could very easily want to click on the flag just because they're clicking on everything else on the page, entirely at random. This is going to be pretty difficult for you to prevent, but recently YouTube has put the flag icon under "More," which prevents accidental clicks.

Tim's VideoCreators channel recently got flagged for a community guidelines strike for a video that clearly had no offending material. YouTube automatically restricted his functionality in external annotations, live streaming, custom thumbnails, and other significant features. Tim appealed the flag and it took 24-48 hours to be reinstated. He believe's that each appeal is manually reviewed, unlike Content ID.

Here are the guidelines on appealing video strikes. You should also know what it takes to keep your account in good standing with YouTube.

Tip #3: How Can You Improve YouTube TrueView Conversions?

Gideon Shalwick says that the term TrueView is being used less by YouTube than the term "Video Ads." It describes YouTube's video advertising platform. These can help drive more views to your video, channel, or website. Gideon works on ad effectiveness and traffic driving processes. He looks at it as a system with different conversion touchpoints.

The Five Touchpoints:

  1. Impressions
  2. Views
  3. Clicks
  4. Leads
  5. Sales

By improving each touchpoint by a small percentage, you can improve the overall result of your video ads dramatically. And the larger your improvements are in the early touchpoints, the better the overall results will be. For instance, if you target your impressions better, you will get more qualified viewers. If the video ad itself has a better call-to-action, that will improve your clicks, and so on.

TrueView Placements Targeting

While you don't pay for impressions, the AdWords system does track your views-per-impressions (view rate), which may be used as a quality score for the ads. But if you improve your targeting by only specifically targeting certain channels and videos in the TrueView "placements" field (Gideon uses his Veeroll tool to do this). The video ads will thus only get shown to people who have a high likelihood of being interested. This has proved a much higher views-to-impressions rate.

Audience-Problem Match

For the ads themselves. Creating a hook in the first five seconds is key. You have to work the audience-problem match (tell your already-targeted audience what the problem is you're trying to solve). You want to create a single sentence that speaks directly to your audience while also stating the problem. Then the audience won't click off in the first five seconds.

Problem-Solution Match

Hint to people that you know how to solve their problem. Then move into a clear call to action to find out more, such as "click here to find out more," which leads the audience to your web page.