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Search Engine Optimization on Twitch (Twitch SEO) is one of the most significant things that you can do to grow your Twitch channel. This is the process of optimizing your Twitch channel to gain organic traffic without having to constantly promote it.
But I bet you didn’t even know that Twitch SEO was a thing?
Am I right?
Well, don’t worry because neither did I!
And to my surprise, a lot of my Twitch friends didn’t know either. So that inspired me to dig deeper into the topic and find out as much about SEO on Twitch as I could.
Considering that I plan on trying to stream in the future, it’s probably best that I try to know what I am doing before I begin.
So in this article, I will share all of the latest Twitch optimization strategies and tell you how you can implement them.
I wouldn’t be called the SEO Queen if I didn’t give you guys all the SEO tips and tricks that I could find!
So let’s get right into it.
What is SEO?
Before getting into Twitch SEO, it might be best to know what SEO is, to begin with.
I have a full beginner’s guide to SEO that you can read but let me try to condense it as best as I can for you.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing content to be able to show up in search results.
Depending on what platform you are on, SEO can have different processes. For example, the process for Google is different from the process on Pinterest.
But they all have the same end result: to show up in search results.
How do you do this?
By using keywords that will help you show up when people search for things.
Keywords are words or phrases that people enter into search bars.
Things like how to grow on “twitch”, “Twitch SEO”, and “Get more subscribers on youtube” are all keywords.
Generally speaking: you want to use keywords that have a good search volume and low competition.
This is really important and is the basis for understanding SEO so please take note of the aforementioned statement.
Good search volume means that it is a keyword that a lot of people are looking for. Low competition means that it is a keyword that is easier to target.
I highly suggest you read my beginner’s guide to SEO to get a better understanding of how you can start working with SEO.
You may be thinking. Why is this important for you?
We’ll get into that in a minute.
Why do you need SEO on Twitch?
People tend to equate SEO with Google not knowing that SEO is everywhere nowadays.
Think of it this way: If there is a search bar, there is SEO.
One of the fastest ways to grow on any online platform is to get organic search traffic.
Believe it or not, not only can you show up in search results on Twitch, but if you optimize your content enough, you can also show up on Google.
Google is the biggest search engine in the world with nearly 11 billion searches per month. So the possibilities are endless when it comes to the amount of traffic that you can get to your content.
Imagine being able to almost fully rely on search traffic alone and not need to spend hours promoting your content?
Getting search traffic means more views, subscribers, and engagement. All of which are major factors when it comes to growing on Twitch.
Thankfully, the same process that you use to optimize your content on Twitch will also get you ranking on Google.
So let me give you two other reasons why you should focus on SEO a bit more.
Twitch Discoverability Is Not Helping
I must say, from all of the platforms that I have done SEO for, Twitch is probably one of the worst when it comes to discoverability.
When it comes to optimization, there isn’t much you can do and you have to be live in order to be “discovered.”
This means saying bye-bye to getting views in your sleep.
Well…unless you stream yourself sleeping.
The closest thing I can compare this to is Youtube’s Home Page that proposes different videos according to the viewer’s watch history and what youtube thinks they will be interested in.
But where Youtube has them beat is that the creator does not have to be online in order to be discovered. Your channel can continue to grow without you being online.
Not only that, but if you stream on Twitch today, it will not show up in any search engine besides Twitch.
I am going to be VERY honest and say that focusing on discoverability alone is going to make growing on Twitch a lot harder.
Ranking on Twitch Doesn’t Last Long
You will have more luck trying to rank in search on Twitch than waiting to be discovered.
Because your live streams can show up if someone is searching for a specific topic and you have optimized your content for that topic.
However, there is a downside:
It will only show up if you streamed in the last 24 hours.
Twitch feels like the mean girl that will only be friends with you if you are wearing this season’s hottest outfit.
If you have not been active on the platform, you won’t show up.
I can imagine this being a headache for creators who give high-quality content every time they stream only to see that no one is coming back to watch.
But this still requires you to do some promotion outside of Twitch.
Why not just do everything on Twitch and let people find you anyways?
This is where SEO comes in.
What is the fastest way to rank with Twitch
So you may be thinking: Well if discoverability isn’t working well and ranking is only temporary, what else can you do?
Aim to rank in Google Search.
Yes. Google is going to be your best friend when it comes to Twitch and organic traffic.
But wait, because Google actually has a preference.
Brace yourselves, because I wasn’t prepared for this:
The fastest way to rank your Twitch content on Google is to make clips.
Google, for some reason, LOVES ranking clips that are optimized with keywords in their titles, tags, descriptions, and metadata.
Just look what comes up when I search Valorant Clips
Here is how well Valorant is doing right now in Google search:
Now yes, Youtube tends to show up more in search on Google. But that is not fully because of a preference for Youtube.
Obviously, since Google owns youtube, it is easier for the algorithm to crawl the content.
But Youtube also comes up more often because Youtube SEO has become more well-known and creators are putting in the work.
Now that you understand what you need to do, let me show you how to do it.
How To Do SEO for Twitch?
If you already know about Youtube SEO then you are already miles ahead because the steps are very similar.
The first thing you need to do is keyword research. This is going to be the foundation of your SEO work. If you miss this, you basically miss it all.
How to find good keywords for Twitch
You can do your keyword research for Twitch in several ways:
- Use Twitch and look how other people are tagging their videos.
- Use Google Keywords Planner to do keyword research.
- Use Ahrefs free keyword research tool to get keyword scores.
These are the easiest (and cheapest) ways to do your keyword research for Twitch. However, if you want to use more robust tools like SemRush of the paid version of Ahrefs then you can do that if you choose.
Where to Put Your keywords on Twitch.
There are 6 main places that you are going to want to enter your keywords in Twitch.
1. Channel Panels
This is going to be one of the first places you need to focus on. Having keywords in your panel is important because Google prefers text over images.
So create a nice “About Me” panel where you enter keywords that describe you and your channel but that are also searchable.
You can also have a “Hardware” or “Tech Specs” panel where you write what tech you use to make your videos.
2. Channel Description
I notice that many people on Twitch neglect their channel description.
I see things like this:
Hey! Welcome to my channel! I am a Twitcher and I like to play Valorant and Minecraft. Hope you like what you see.
Although there are some keywords, this is not going to help you much.
Here is a better option (keywords will be bolded)
Welcome to Minded Gaming! You can expect to see a lot of Minecraft gameplay, Valorant gameplay, and probably some funny Twitch moments! Last week, I killed the Ender Dragon with Redstone while doing a Minecraft speedrun. What will I do next? Tune in!
Now I am going to be very honest and say that I have no idea if killing an Enger Dragon in a speedrun is even a thing.
But you get the idea right?
You see how many keywords I placed in the second version versus the first one. Add a few keywords but make sure you do not do any keyword stuffing.
Just make it sound natural.
3. Video Description
When it comes to channel descriptions, you usually only need to do them once and update them every now and then.
Video descriptions on the other hand need to be done before every video that you make. I say before because it would be easier for you to know what kind of content you want to make before you push the record button
The same rule goes for descriptions as well: Add good keywords and make them sound natural.
In this video, I am going to do a Minecraft Speedrun! A true Minecraft classic. Let see if we can get through this without bumping into an enderman!
Again, I have no idea if this is even possible in Minecraft BUT the SEO is great for it.
If you are wondering where I am getting all of these keywords from, it’s from Google Keywords Planner.
If you want to learn how to use it for free, I have a full video tutorial on Youtube explaining the process.
4. Image/Thumbnail Metadata
This one is highly neglected but is also important. Any image that you are going to have on your channel page or panels should have the correct metadata.
For thumbnails, the metadata is the title of the image.
So do not upload an image named “IMG_206.png.”
Instead, rename it to something like “minecraftspeedrun.png.”
You want to add a keyword that can be found in both the title and description of your video.
It may sound weird, but Google is also an image search engine.
Anything that can help you show up on Google is helpful.
5. Video Title
Video titles on Twitch can be tricky because Google doesn’t seem to care as much about them.
Google cares more about the cohesiveness of your optimization.
Meaning that it can find similar keywords in not just the title, but also tags and descriptions.
You want to have good keywords but at the same time, you want to make the title sound click-worthy.
This is by far one of the hardest parts of Twitch SEO. It may also take some practice before you figure out what works for you and your audience.
But to help you understand what I am talking about, let me give you another Minecraft example:
Title: Minecraft Speedrun
This title alone is okay SEO-wise but not so great when people are on Twitch looking for something to watch.
So you can try something like this instead:
Title: This Minecraft Speedrun is going to make me lose my mind!
As you can see, the keyword is still there. But you also have a good title that would make someone want to watch.
You may also notice that my keyword is placed in a similar area in both titles.
That is another key factor when it comes to SEO titles in general:
Keep your keywords as close to the beginning as possible.
6. Video Tags
Dare I say that video tags are one of the most important parts of Twitch SEO?
Yeah, I dare.
It is almost uncomfortable for me to say, considering how unimportant tags are on Youtube ( or so they say…wink)
But this may very well be the case.
There are Twitch clips that show up in Google search that sometimes do not even have a keyword in the title.
Try doing that on Youtube and see how that goes for you.
Going back to the “Valorant clips” that I talked about earlier, you can see that none of the videos that showed up had any of those keywords in their title.
I am going to take a wild guess that these streamers had good keywords in the description, panels, and tags to be able to show up on Google only after a few days of putting out a clip.
So adding the right tags are crucial.
However, make sure you add tags that are only directly relevant to your content. Trying to trick the system by adding popular keywords that have nothing to do with your content is only going to get you blacklisted.
Twitch was even nice enough to give you a full list of tags that you can use as a reference.
Final Thoughts About Twitch SEO
I must admit, Twitch SEO has been a real mystery to me for a couple of months now.
But since I have a lot of people around me who are now streamers on the platform, I wanted to see how I could help them with their online venture.
I do also have to give a special shoutout to Dr.Bee for implanting this amazing idea into my head.
The beautiful thing about learning SEO is that, once you have the basic knowledge, you can easily navigate any online platform.
Sure the processes and strengths will be different, but you will quickly find yourself learning how to optimize your content no matter where it is.
Twitch has become a great place for online creators to content with their audience on a whole new level.
So make sure you put your best foot forward and allow yourself to grow organically with search traffic.
The reason why search traffic is the best traffic is that these are people who are looking for content. They know what they want, and if you provide, they will stick around and become some of your most loyal subscribers.