YouTube SEO : How to Rank YouTube Videos
1. Use Keywords in Video Titles and Descriptions
Using the right keywords can really help you with getting on top of the YouTube search page.
You need to find the keywords that are related to your channel’s niche. They need to be very popular among users. This means that you should focus on those that have a lot of monthly searches. Our advice is to stick to those of minimum 1000 searches per month!
But, that’s not the only factor that you should take into consideration. You also need to make sure that the competition for those keywords is low by searching for them on YouTube! Otherwise, you won’t be able to beat your rivals.
Once you’re done with the keyword research, it’s time to put them in the titles and descriptions of your videos!
A keyword-rich title will allow YouTube algorithms to find the video easier, but will also help potential viewers to realize if that’s what they’re looking for. Basically, optimizing the titles with keywords means informing both the search engine and the users what your video is all about!
The whole point of titles is to be descriptive, yet concise. That’s not the case with video descriptions. You can use them to provide additional information about your videos and engage the users to comment and/or check out other videos on your channel.
2. Use Keywords for Tags
Another way to improve the ranking of your videos is to use the YouTube video tags. The whole point of tags is to explain what the content of your video is all about. Keyword-rich tags will provide the search algorithm with all the necessary information.
The best thing about this is that using tags is pretty simple. All you got to do is type in the keywords exactly as they are. Make sure not to over-do this type of SEO and keep it as natural as possible.
3. Be a Brand
By taking care of the channel art and logo, you will be able to make it more recognizable. This way, the viewers will be able to remember your channel easily.
Apart from the logo and the channel art, you also need to pay attention to choosing the right name and tagline. Again, the key is to make it easily memorable, while also describing the point of the channel and chances of someone subscribing to your channel!
4. IMPORTANT: Use the Right Thumbnail Image
Picking the right thumbnail image can make a real difference.
Same as other graphic items related to your videos, the purpose of the thumbnail image is to make the users want to watch the video.
The importance of a proper thumbnail image is even higher knowing that it is going to be shown in the suggested videos section and the organic search page. Furthermore, each time you embed the video on the social media, the thumbnail image will be presented to the potential viewers.
5. Create Transcripts of Your Videos
Although SEO experts are still arguing whether making transcripts of YouTube videos can increase the ranking on the search results page, there’s no reason not to try it.
With closed captions, you will be able to attract a larger international audience.
If a person is not as proficient in English to understand everything that you’re saying in the video, a transcript will certainly come in handy for them.
6. Make End Screens for Your Videos
Using end screens is a good way of boosting your views for free. Basically, what you need to do is provide your viewers with more information about your channel, as well as inviting them to check out your other videos.
The best thing about this is that making an end video is not a difficult task. In fact, you can do it by simply following these steps:
- Step 1 – Go to the Video Manager
- Step 2 – Find the video to which you want to add an end screen and click Edit
- Step 3 – Click the option titled “End Screens & Annotations”
- Step 4 – Add an ends screen to the video
End videos do not have a direct impact on your videos’ ranking on YouTube search page, but they will certainly add to a more professional look at your whole channel.
7. Drive Longer Channel Sessions
This may seem like a no-brainer, but try to get people to watch more than just one of your videos. All channels want this of course, but not all of them actively encourage viewers to watch more videos. This tactic has more benefits than meet the eye.
If your channel consistently starts people off on long YouTube sessions (even if they go off and watch videos on other channels), your channel will be rewarded by YouTube’s algorithm, and your videos will be more likely to rank higher in search.
A good way to encourage viewers to watch more video is to use clickable thumbnails (called end cards) to drive multiple video views in one sessions.
8. Keep Your Content Consistent
YouTube (like its big brother Google) loves authority, and if you regularly upload videos on the same topic for a number of years, you’re much more likely to rank well for related search terms than the new kid on the block.
Unbox Therapy has been uploading “unboxing” and tech review videos multiple times a week for almost five years. Not only have they earned over 3 million subscribers to their channel, they rank second for a search of Apple’s latest gadget.
I always advocate tweaking styles and formats, but when it comes to topics, it’s best to choose as narrow a niche as possible and stick to it. That way YouTube recognizes you as a trusted source in that area and will favor you in rankings. If you make your content too diverse, you’re more likely to be overlooked by the algorithm. Remember that on YouTube, niche is king.
9. Encourage Off-Platform Embeds
As previously mentioned, YouTube is hot on authority. This is also reflected in the weight they give to off-platform links and embeds. If your videos are featured and getting linked to from high-quality places on the web, YouTube thinks you must be doing something right and will give you a boost in the rankings.
A good example of this is BuzzFeed’s videos. Their videos are embedded not only on their own hugely popular website and social profiles, but also on popular and relevant entertainment blogs.
This is doubly awesome, as it’s a sustainable and potentially huge source of views.
Think about how you can promote your content on external sites relevant to your market. Do active outreach to those sites so you’re being linked to and embedded instead of your competitors.
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