SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the reason why when you search for “Twitch branding” my site is ranked right after the official Twitch Brand page. That’s the power of SEO and that’s the power of Google and how people search. For some I’m ranked number 2 and for some I’m ranked number 3 but in all cases the only one above me tends to be the official Twitch brand page.
Why should you care about SEO for your Twitch channel?
Why is this important to you? Well first of all I wanted to brag a little (let’s be honest) but secondly it’s so you can see that I know what I’m talking about in this article. It’s not random that my page comes up at the top of the search results. It’s not random that it used to rank at number 10 or number 5. The real reason is that I understand what Google looks for and what it dosen’t look for.
Now on top why that’s important to you! Guess what? Search engine optimization makes it easy for Google to actually understand your channels content. When Google understands your content it can deliver the results to those that are searching for it. Makes sense right? Then why are so few actually doing it? My guess is as good as your but after looking at a ton of top streamers they have no idea about it and to an extent that trickles over into smaller streamers that rinse and repeat.
How to use SEO for your Twitch channel
I wrote that Google needs to understand your content earlier, and that’s easy right? You have video content so that must mean that Google can find that and push it… No. Google can’t undertand your video and give results based on that, at least not yet… and probably not for a long time.
What Google do look for are text and images, Google loves text and images and it loves to show it to people. Sadly your video is neither text nor an image. That means that we have to look at other ways to make Google love our Twitch channel pages or videos.
Let’s start by giving you the bad news. Your title, for some reason, means nothing to Google. I would assume that’s on Twitch end but no matter what Google don’t give any results for the title of your stream, past streamers or highlights. I can understand that it won’t care about your current stream but that it dosen’t even care about your title is a bit odd.
While not the worst it’s still far from good. We’re not able to set alt tags or title tags for your Twitch panels. That means that it’s going to be harder for Google to understand them, after all Google likes text more then images… even if it likes images it LOVES text. Basically the alt tag allows you to describe what the image is and the title tag allows you to give it a title. Right now Twitch removes both the alt tag and the title tag completely. You can try this out yourself by right clicking on a image and do “Search Google for image” and you most likely won’t find the image but instead images that are similar or Googles best guess.
That’s the bad parts for using SEO for your Twitch channel. What’s the good ones?
Alright that was the bad out of the way and let’s instead focus on what you can do to actually make Google find your content.
I’m not going to go into exactly what you can write or how to write things to allow or “trick” Google into understanding your content better (hire me to do that instead 😉 or look it up, I promise it’s not that difficult). However what I’m going to do is give you all the places that Google actually looks at.
This is probably THE most underused feature on Twitch. It’s used heavily in highlights and that’s a good thing but for general VODs it’s almost non-existing. There’s an argument to be made that you might now want people to find your VODs since they’re har to organize and find the right content in.
Use that description to actually describe the highlight the best way possible. Hey if you feel gutsy get a bit “click baity” but there’s no need to really. As long as it actually gives a description of the video Google will start to figure out more and more about your Twitch channel.
Another place that isn’t that heavily used. I’ve only found a few that actually use them well and allows Google to find their content better. Again it’s all about describing you, your channel and your community the best way possible. You want people to find the right content and not be disappointing when they do so after all.
One tip is to pin point what makes your channel stand out so when people actually search for that term they’ll find your content. Also don’t why away from actually typing out livestreaming, Twitch, live etc. since people that are searching Google aren’t actually on Twitch yet and Google needs to piece that together and it works better if you help Google along the way (just a quick tip and works for all of the above as well).
I talked about panels and panel images under the bad headline earlier. While it’s true that the images themselves won’t register that well with Google something that does register very well is text. So while image only panels might look good they won’t aid your Google search results at all.
Instead focus on actually writing well thought out text in your panels. Don’t go over the top and don’t wander away from the content of the channel, something I see way too often and it won’t help Google to understand but instead actually misinterpret what it’s about.
No I don’t mean that your name is ugly! It’s a great name… probably. The reason why I bring it up is because that’s THE main way that Google find your channel. That’s by actually looking at the URL and sadly for a lot of streamers that’s one of the things that really can mess things up for them.
Not sure if it will work for you, since it’s based on location etc, but I searched for Streamer News on Google and what comes up first? Three different Twitch.tv channels that have news in their title. Now that’s how powerful the URL string actually is. That, in my case, it over took a big website like Streamer News.
I’m putting this under “The ugly” since the ugly part is that it’s not something you can change after you’ve created it (at least not at the moment). Who knows maybe that will arrive one day and you can really start to figure out what username you should go with.
One last thing
Doing SEO is helpful but by no means will it by itself help you grow. Doing SEO isn’t magic but it’s hard to do when you don’t have any control over the site beyond what’s provided for you. This is an outline to help you starting thinking but by no means is it a step by step guide. The key is always to understand who you’re writing for and understanding who you are and what content you’re providing.
A quick tip on SEO for your Twitch channel
Can you figure out what keyword I decided on using for this article? This article that’s all about SEO for your Twitch channel. A keyword is the core concept of either the site or the page in question. It’s not something you put somewhere but rather what you’re actually writing about on the page. If you’re still unsure about the keyword for this article you can check the alt tags for the images 😉
Finally a new week and that means a bunch of awesome streaming for you and a bunch of awesome jobs for me! This weekend I’m away to another city and that’s going to be awesome, it’s not job related. There won’t be any break in the articles I promise!