I’ve talked SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and your Twitch channel before. However I feel as if it’s a topic worth revisiting and give some deeper insight. We actually went over SEO this past Sunday on my stream and came to some pretty cool conclusions and did some research. I can preface this by saying that when I started this website and my Twitch branding service website I was on page 5 about 2-3 months in. A few months later I was on the first page but further down. For a long time now I’ve been the 2nd and 3rd result, and I’ve only been outdone by Twitch.tv itself. So I have a pretty good idea on how Using SEO for your Twitch channel can help you.
How important is SEO?
It’s pretty darn important. I don’t think enough streamers have seen the benefit of ranking high on Google can have — part of that reason is due to Twitch and part of the reason is the perception of SEO. While it might be true that a lot of people search using Twitch built in search engine there’s far more people using Google. Even if they’re not searching for a Twitch channel they might still be in your target audience but currently outside of the Twitch reach.
It’s this reach that you need to take into consideration when you start looking at SEO for your Twitch channel. The internet is vastly larger than Twitch and it’s safe to assume that your target audience might also exist outside of Twitch. That means that they need to find you in someway. They do that by searching for terms and concepts that are close to you content.
For instance a lot of people find my website by searching for “Twitch Branding” on Google and not by doing so on Twitch itself (even if I could up my SEO in the Twitch search engine as well). That means that similar keywords or phrases probably surround your content as well. If your stream for instance is about creating beautiful photos by taking screenshots in-game and then enhance with other tools. Then one of your keywords might be “photography” or “game photography” or “cinematic photography”. While these all aren’t gaming related they’re still related to your channel and that’s what will register on Google.
This is THE space that we have to fill in SEO content. While the big panels are great for quick information they’re not suited for SEO. There’s no way that Google can read that image properly. Do you know how Google image search works? It’s not by understanding the text on the image (even if that might be a thing in the future) it’s about looking at the meta data from it. Do you know where that metadata comes from? Your own entry. However that seems to get stripped when it’s uploaded to Twitch, that includes the name of the image file.
Here text is king (and in general that’s what Google will look for). I firmly believe that using various sizes of the panels with explanation text under and using linking to other pages as the strongest way to rank up your page. Links is another very strong thing that Google looks at and specially if it starts seeing a relation between all of the link on your page to another piece of your content.
To summarize use text wisely and precisely. A well crafted text can allow for both people on Twitch and outside of Twitch that uses Google (for really anything and don’t have to have a relation to Twitch) to find your content easily and high up in the page results.
You can try this it very easily by using this search string “1) Cohhilition Tattoo 2) Arcanum playthrough 3) Planescape: Torment playthrough”. In the result you’ll see that it shows that exact phrase highlighted and it goes directly to Cohh’s channel.
I brought up the linking thing. This is actually a lot more important than one might think. If your YouTube VOD don’t have a link to your Twitch channel (mentioning what that channel is) or your Twitch channel don’t have that for your YouTube. You’re missing out on a lot of “SEO score”. Every link that goes across to your different social media, websites, blogs is extremely important to Google. Google likes links in general and if you start adding in actual text Google will like you even more.
For instance on this page alone there’s at least 6 instances of the keyword “Twitch branding” there’s also at least 3 links to my Twitch branding website. All that together starts to connect them all together for Google. On the other sides there’s links back to this website. And there more other websites link to this website the higher I rank. So in short if text is king then the links is queen.
Title of VOD’s
Here we’re getting to another problem with Twitch. What should be a sure thing — really isn’t. Let’s start with an example. Currently CohhCarnage has a VOD named “Project Resurgence Update #9 – Nass Effect:”, and yes that spelling error is there. The reason why I picked this is since it should be pretty straight forward to find. It has a specific title and even a word spelled wrong. It also has over 2.000 views.
So what happens when we put that into Google? The first two results are to two different YouTube videos, #7 and #8. Not until result number 6 do we actually see a link to a Twitch VOD… however… that is not the video we searched for (it’s video #8). So what’s going on here? Well things aren’t really being tracked that well by Google and Twitch isn’t pushing the data out to Google.
It’s partially also on Cohh. His titles are great for when you browse his VOD’s, and that’s great for when you’re dedicated follower looking for specific VOD. However they’re not that great for when you’re searching for something more specific in-terms of interest. There’s an argument to be made here that you should/could out certain keywords into your titles that pertain to you and your content. As mentioned above with the photography. If all of your VOD titles has that in the title Google will have an easier time to show it.
That’s not to say that having a proper title is a bad thing. Google picks up on that as well. But when everyone has the same title or similar title and the end user is using 1 or 2 keywords there’s a higher chance that Google will pick those over yours. There’s a lot of things that you can play around with there and I recommend playing around with it until you find what works for you.
Pulse have gotten a lot of bad press. User don’t seem to like and streamers say it dosen’t really work for their content. Now that might be true. But what did I say about text? Text is king in SEO. A lot fo Pulse is all text. These things will hopefully start getting tracked on Google and your Pulses(?) will show up as search results. This however will take some experimentation to see what potential it will have. I’ll keep an eye on it and report back once I’ve actually started to use it (still don’t have the new frontpage).
It’s Monday. I’m sick. That’s cool. This was a topic that came up on my stream and I wanted to share some of the ideas that bubbled up during that discussion.
If you’re looking for some professional Twitch branding then check out my Twitch branding services.