YouTube SEO: How to Rank Your Videos in 2018

  • YouTube SEO

When we optimize your content for search engines, we usually concentrate on Google as it is the most popular one out there. However, this means that we may be losing out on some traffic that is generated through other search engines like Bing or Yahoo.

Now, one of the most effective ways of content distribution is to repurpose your content to a different form of media like videos. Undoubtedly, the number one spot to watch videos online is YouTube. YouTube uses its own search algorithms to sort the relevant results for the users.

Therefore, if you make videos out of the content that you already have and then optimize those videos for YouTube, you will not only be increasing the conversion rates but also generating more traffic to your website.

Methods to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking on YouTube

At its very core, optimizing videos for YouTube is a lot like optimizing content for Google. There are a few things that you need to concentrate on to ensure that you at least appear in the first few search results. As you go through the list below, this fact will become more apparent.

Keyword Research

No matter which search engine you are optimizing your content for, keyword optimization will always come into the picture. When it comes to YouTube videos, there are several places where you can use keywords effectively to let YouTube know that content is useful for its viewers.

However, before you start using the keywords, you need to know which keywords to use. There are a few ways to do this.

Google it
Google loves to complete what you are about to say, and this feature is handy when it comes to keyword research. All you need to do is go to google videos and then start searching for something remotely relevant to your niche. Google will try to complete your phrases for your and voila! You should have a list of things that people search for.

Use YouTube for help
This method is similar to using google to fish for keywords. However, when you use the YouTube search bar instead, you will tend to get more relevant results as these search results are more specific to YouTube users and not people all over the internet.

Borrow from your competitors
If you are looking to make it big in your niche, you should already know the successful YouTubers in the field. Check out their videos and try to identify what keywords they are using. Once you find these out, you need to use a clever variant of it and start optimizing your videos accordingly for them.

Employ paid services
There are several sites like Ahrefs who make keyword research much more manageable. All you need to do is type in the niche you want keywords for. They will then give you a detailed report on which websites are using which keywords and just how useful those keywords are. Then depending on your content, you can choose the one that suits you the best with the highest search volumes.

Keyword Optimization

Now that you know which keywords you need to use, you need to start implementing them. However, remember not to overuse these keywords for two reasons. One, it makes the content very unappealing and two, you might be penalized for it.  

Create more catchy titles with key-phrases
The number one place where your keyword needs to appear is the title. This will let both YouTube and its users know that what they are looking for is there in your video. However, you need to be smart in its usage. You need a catchy title, a click bait of sorts while using the keywords.

Describe the relevance of your video to the content
Just like Google gives a great deal of importance to your meta description, it is essential for you to use a suitable length too. A good rule of thumb is to see that the whole description can appear right with the search results and the icon. Of course, you need to use the keywords in this and its variants for maximum coverage.

Add your keywords while you speak
As you are going for videos, I am assuming there will be audio too. In this audio, it is important that you say the keyword. The main reason for this is that there automatic caption in YouTube which might pick up this keyword and YouTube considers this transcript while ranking your video.

Sometimes, the automatic captions aren’t as accurate as you would want it. So, it is a good practice to create subtitles for your video with the keywords in place correctly so you can rank higher.

Change the boring file names
While this may not carry a great deal of weight with how your videos are being ranked, changing the name of the video file before uploading to contain your keyword can also help you, as it lets YouTube know what your content is about before it even reads your title.

Increase The Time People Spend On Your Videos

Dwell time refers to the amount of time that an average user spends on your site, or in this case, on your videos. This is a significant factor in SEO since it shows how interested viewers are in your content.  You can use the following ways to improve the dwell time of your users.

Make longer videos
The obvious way is to make longer videos. However, it is crucial that these longer videos should also have good content. If you increase the length of the video, but the content is good only for the first half, there would be no point in making the video longer. Thus, it is imperative to get the length of your video right and to populate it with great content to keep the user watching your video.

Link out to your other videos
This particular tactic relies on having great content. If your viewers like your stuff, they would want to watch more of it. However, YouTube doesn’t always queue your videos in order. So, if at the end of the video, if you give your viewers an option to view more of your videos by clicking on specific links, they’ll take it. Therefore, the dwell time of your entire channel increases.

Create playlists for people to binge on
Another great way to keep your users engaged in your videos is to create relevant playlists for them. For example, you could create a desserts playlist on your cooking channel. Thus the user will automatically keep streaming videos from your channel and increase the average user dwell time.

Start Your Promotions

While optimizing your content is a great way to get organic traffic to your channel (or videos), promoting your videos has its benefits too. It not only gets more people to view your videos, but it also has SEO benefits. You can promote your videos in the following ways.

Promoting your Videos
You can start promoting videos through various platforms. One option is to share these videos on your own blog posts or embed them. Otherwise, you can link to these videos in Quora to relevant questions. Of course, sharing them on your Facebook pages is also a great way to direct traffic to your videos.

Promoting your Channel
While promoting your videos is important, the goal is to direct people to all your videos and not just a particular one. This is similar to how you want readers going through your whole website and just single web page. You can do this in the same ways as you would publicize a video. Alternatively, you could even link your playlists on specific forums if it’s relevant to that site.

Getting the Audience to Interact

While getting more views on your videos is a great thing, getting your audience to interact with you is an even greater feat. The percentage of viewers who interact with your videos in one way or the other can directly be correlated with how successful you are as a YouTuber. There a few fundamental ways to get the audience to interact.

Get people to like you
The simplest way is to get audiences to like or “upvote” your videos and of course the easiest way to do this is to produce great content. However, sometimes your audience tends to forget to like your videos despite everything. So, a little nudge at the end of the video won’t hurt. However, you should be aware of downvotes.

While it’s common for every video out there to get a few downvotes, it’s essential that this red region never cross anything above 10% or 20%. It may seem somewhat trivial, but YouTube takes this into account as well while ranking videos and channels.

Ask your viewers to leave a comment below the video
The next step is to get your audience to comment on your videos. This is considerably harder because they have to put more effort into it or they don’t want to make a statement publicly.

A great way to increase the number of comments is an excellent call to action at the end. Asking them for their opinions or what they want to see next is an almost sure-shot way to get them to comment on your video.

Unfortunately, in this age of the internet, many trolls just want to demean people. It’s vital that you control your anger and not engage with these trolls as it might smear your reputation (and thus indirectly your ranking).

Ask people to subscribe to your channel
Getting people to subscribe to your channel can be a challenging task. People are generally averse to this as it is a kind of commitment. They hate getting notifications from stuff they don’t love.

The only proven way to get more and more subscribers is to have amazing updated content in the niche you are focusing on. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to nudge your viewers to click that button now and then at the end of a video.

Get your video shared by others
Getting your videos shared by others is probably the best thing that can happen to your channel. The simple reason for this is that the amount of exposure skyrockets.

When you are doing the sharing, you will get regular traffic flow to your site, but this would be the same 100 (or 1000) people visiting your site with no scope of growth.

On the other hand, when multiple people share your video, it is exposed to 100 or 1000 new people who might then share it further leading to an exponential growth in views and traffic.

Collaborate With Other YouTubers or Celebrities

Collaboration is a mixture of the some of the techniques listed above like promoting yourself, getting others to share your videos or just improving your content by working with another famous YouTuber.

The most common way is to of course make a video together with someone from the same niche as you (or an entirely different niche). Fans love it when their celebrity is revealing their human side on a topic or if they are doing something crazy. This gives a rise in the traffic to your website which can indirectly help you improve your SEO.

Wrapping It Up

At the heart of all these techniques lies the simple solution of producing better content. When you create better content, the task of marketing that content becomes infinitely more manageable. However, as you can see, there are several methods to improve the SEO of your YouTube channel. Unfortunately, trying to accomplish each of these may lead to poor quality content or wasting time that you may not have.

Thus, meeting with a professional marketing team can help you decide which of these techniques will suit your YouTube channel the best. Once you invest in optimizing your video, you should be able to sit back and watch the viewers (and the money) roll in like a massive wave. Click here to schedule a strategy session with us, so we can take your YouTube marketing to the next level.


July 18th, 2018|SEO, Videos|0 Comments

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