Rank Your Videos Higher With These YouTube SEO Tips!
So you’re creating these amazing YouTube videos but you just can’t figure out why nobody is watching them.
It’s all because of YouTube SEO. Yes, you heard that right.
It’s not just Google that uses SEO, YouTube does too.
If you want to find out how you can get all of your YouTube videos to the top of the search results, maybe even go viral, keep reading.
Because today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about YouTube SEO.
Read till the end to implement everything we talk about in this post, and your videos’ ranking will improve in no time.
Let’s dive in!
What Is SEO?
Before we can get into YouTube SEO, we need to make sure you know what SEO is.
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
It is the process that you go through to improve the ranking of your website or YouTube video for relevant searches.
The higher your ranking is on the SERPs, short for search engine results page, the more likely your site will be visited or your video will be watched.
How Does SEO Work On YouTube?
When most people hear the term SEO, they think it’s only talking about optimizing your website for Google or Bing.
What most people don’t realize is that YouTube is actually considered a search engine.
In fact, it is the second-largest search engine in the world.
Since it is a search engine, SEO can also be talking about optimizing your YouTube videos for searches on YouTube.
We’re not talking about advertisements on YouTube.
We mean the actual YouTube videos that you are creating as content for your business’s YouTube channel.
For people to watch your content, your videos need to rank well, which is all done through YouTube SEO.
Why You Should Be Marketing Your Business On YouTube
Since you’re reading this post, you most likely already have been, or are about to start, using YouTube as a platform for marketing your business.
But if you aren’t yet, you need to be using YouTube as a platform to market your small business.
YouTube is the second most visited site in the world.
And, there are 30 million active YouTube users every day. In fact, you might be one of those users.
So, 30 million people have the possibility of viewing your videos every single day. Why would you want to miss out on that?
We promise that promoting your business on YouTube will be extremely beneficial, and you will not regret it.
Why You Should Care About YouTube SEO
Now with that being said, choosing to use YouTube for your business is not easy.
There are 500 hours worth of videos uploaded every single minute, so you do have a lot to compete with.
That’s where YouTube SEO comes in.
These are the three most important benefits that come out of YouTube SEO:
The largest benefit that you’ll get is you build brand awareness.
Your YouTube videos are a place where you can let everyone know what your business is, and why they should be purchasing your product or service.
Everyone who watches your video will become more aware of your business.
Increased website traffic
The overall goal of your YouTube videos is to increase traffic to your business’s website or store.
Improving your YouTube SEO will increase the number of people who watch your videos, which will possibly lead these viewers to your website.
More clients and customers
Since more and more people are becoming aware of your brand and visiting your website…
…you will ultimately have more people purchasing your products or services.
We know these benefits sound great, so let’s get into how you can improve your YouTube SEO for your business.
10 Steps On How To Improve Your YouTube SEO
The best way to increase your videos’ views, likes, and comments is to make sure they rank high for relevant searches.
So how can you do that?
Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t specify what specific factors their algorithm uses to determine video ranking.
Luckily, there are plenty of search engine specialists who have conducted research to determine what factors play a part in YouTube’s algorithm.
According to Search Engine Watch, a leading search engine specialist, these are the biggest ranking factors:
- Audience retention
- Number of comments
- Number of people that subscribe after watching the video
- Number of video shares
- Click-through rate
- How many thumbs up and thumbs down
- Title tags
- Description tags
To increase your rankings, follow these steps:
Step 1: Research keywords
Step 2: Create a good title
Step 3: Create a good description
Step 4: Make sure your script includes your chosen keywords
Step 5: Use relevant tags
Step 6: Encourage people to take action
Step 7: Make sure the length of your video is appropriate
Step 8: Create eye-catching thumbnails that consistently represent your brand
Step 9: Include accurate closed captioning
Step 10: Don’t give everything away early on in the video
This is one of the first steps you have to complete when optimizing your YouTube videos.
Keyword research is the process you have to go through to find the perfect keywords for your videos.
The perfect keyword is searched often, but has a small number of video results, making the competition small.
There are many ways you can do your keyword research. There are even a ton of tools you can use, both free and paid.
The first way is just by using the search bar.
Start by typing in a keyword into the search bar and look at all of the suggested videos listed in the drop-down box.
The suggestions that are given are based on keyword phrases that are searched frequently.
The suggested keyword phrases may be good to use for your video, although they may have a lot of competition, making it harder to rank high.
Some tools you can use to go more in-depth with your research include Wordtracker…
…or Moz Keyword Tool.
These all have free versions, where you can get limited access.
But if you want even more features to make your keyword research as successful as possible, you could purchase their full versions.
When deciding on your keywords, you need to make sure you are using long-tail keywords.
These are phrases of about three to six words.
Also, you need to include supporting keywords. These will help YouTube understand your video’s context better.
Your video may even have a chance of ranking high on the SERP for the supporting keywords.
For a more detailed guide on this, check out our YouTube keyword research post next.
According to YouTube Creator Academy, titles should be concise, around 60 characters long.
You also need to include your keyword in the first few words of your title.
If the topic of the video is time-sensitive, make sure to include the year in the title.
This will help people find the videos with the most up-to-date info on the topic.
For example, if your video was about recent Facebook updates, you could make the title “Facebook updates in 2022.”
Your description is where you tell people what the video is about.
Don’t include too much info, giving the whole video away, but give enough to get the viewers excited about it.
These descriptions can be up to 5,000 words, although you should try to keep them around 150-350 words.
You also need to make sure you include your primary keywords three to four times within the description.
Include your business’s other social media handles in your descriptions so that viewers can follow if interested.
Lastly, you should ask the viewers one last time to like the video and subscribe to your channel.
Once you have chosen what keywords you are trying to rank for, and you included them in your title and description…
…you also need to say them out loud throughout the video.
YouTube scans through each video to see how relevant the video actually is to the keywords you are using.
This means that you have to include the specific keywords in the words you say in the video as part of your YouTube SEO.
We recommend saying your primary keyword within the first two sentences of your script.
Tags are used to give YouTube context about your video.
When ranking videos, YouTube pays the most attention to the first few tags you have listed.
That means that your first tag should be the target keyword that you are wanting to rank for. The other tags should include the rest of your keywords.
One strategy that you may want to use for your video tags is…
…including some of the same tags as popular videos that are related to the subject matter.
There are many different applications that you can use to see what tags are being used for other videos. TubeBuddy is a great one for this.
Once you find out which tags are used, including some of them in the tags for your video…
…will help your videos rank in the suggested section after people watch the popular video.
One last tip is to not go overboard with the number of tags that you include.
If you do, YouTube will have a really hard time telling what the video is actually about.
Actions that viewers may take could be:
- watching till the end of the video,
- giving it a thumbs up,
- commenting, or
- subscribing to your channel.
The more often these actions occur on a video, the higher it will be ranked on the SERPs.
If you actually ask your viewers to take these actions in the video, your chances of them happening will significantly increase.
A simple thing, like saying “If you enjoyed this video, make sure to give it a thumbs up to let us know.” at the end of your video will help.
The right length for your video depends on its topic.
It’s proven that as the length of your video increases, the number of people who watch the entire thing decreases.
Basically, people are more likely to watch an entire video from start to finish, if it’s short.
YouTube pays attention to how often your video is watched all the way through.
But it also pays attention to which video is providing the most value.
So try to find a happy medium between how long your competitors’ videos are on the same topics vs. how long you think viewers will stay tuned in for.
The thumbnail of your video is what will really catch the attention of people.
You should always design your thumbnails so that they stand out.
You should also try to make all of your videos’ thumbnails have a common theme or design.
This will make all of your brand’s videos easily recognizable.
Lastly, having a human, particularly in a “click-worthy” stance, helps to draw in more clicks.
We have a tutorial here on how to make a YouTube thumbnail, so be sure to check it out
Although YouTube does automatically transcribe your videos, it is usually only 70% accurate.
It often transcribes a bunch of random, inaccurate words that don’t make any sense.
This could lead your video to be marked as spam, which you want to avoid.
That’s why you need to provide accurate closed captioning for your videos.
You can do this by using the automatically transcribed text as a starting point.
And then, manually fix the mistakes, or you can develop the closed captions from scratch.
There are also a lot of professional video transcription services that can help you get the job done.
This will keep viewers from exiting the video before it reaches the end.
If you save some of the important information for the middle or end of the video, people will keep watching to find out about it.
Using A YouTube SEO Service
So if you’ve made it this far, you have learned everything you need to know to make sure your videos rank high through YouTube SEO.
And if you want to learn how to create a YouTube playlist, here’s our post for that.
Now you may be overwhelmed with all the info you just learned, but if that’s you, don’t worry.
So long as you take the time to do the research, you can knock it out one step at a time.
Or, there are a ton of great YouTube promotion services out there that can help you get the job done like what LYFE offers!
Contact us today to get started.