It may not be as easy to grow a YouTube channel following as it was 10 years ago, but the market potential is still impressive. If you know a little about SEO and can make engaging videos, there is no reason you can’t develop a thriving channel.
In this article, you’ll learn 7 SEO strategies teaching you how to rank youtube videos.
What is Youtube SEO & How It Works?
YouTube SEO involves preparing your video content in a way that allows it to be discoverable by YouTube viewers and improves your potential for ranking your videos, playlists and overall channel within the media platform’s search results.
The first priority of your video SEO is to tell YouTube what your content is using the title, tags, and description so that it can appear in relevant search results.
The second goal is to make content that is not only engaging but encourages interaction from your audience. By employing specific strategies that we share in this short video SEO guide, you can increase and improve the engagement of your viewers, further telling YouTube that your content is not only relevant but it’s also something that your target audience enjoys watching.
How To Rank Videos Step by Step
1. Keyword Research
Creating great content is obviously an important part of a successful YouTube channel, but if you create content that no one is interested in or searching for, it’s not likely to be found no matter how impressive it is. Keyword research will help you identify topics, niches, and interests that are popular and likely to develop a following for your channel.
There are keywords tools like Ahrefs and Semrush that can help you find the right keywords for your channel, but using YouTube Suggest can also be an effective strategy if you have the time to devote to doing the research.
2. Identify & Satisfy Search Intent
Once you’ve identified keywords with potentially relevant and large followings that you want to rank for, you can start planning the content you want to create to attract those searchers.
It is not enough just to use a keyword in your title and description. YouTube viewers are highly intentional in their searches. Your content must satisfy their search intent.
You don’t have to create revolutionary new content on YouTube to be successful. Instead, you need to discover what people are already enjoying, which is obvious by likes, comments and shares, and then create similar content so that viewers have more of what they love to watch.
3. On Page SEO
Once you have your relevant, engaging content, you will need to optimise the video so that it is found. There are 4 main areas you want to focus on when you load a video, before hitting publish:
- Title – The title should include relevant keywords and pique the interest of your target market enough to entice them.
- Thumbnail – The thumbnail is nearly as important as the title when it comes to getting users to click on your video.
- Description – the description gives you the largest opportunity to use keywords and phrases that tell YouTube exactly what your video is about.
- Tags – tags should also be used strategically, focusing on your most relevant keywords.
Every time you publish a new video you need to remember that you not only have to gain the trust of YouTube’s algorithm, but you also have to attract the attention of viewers.
4. In Video SEO
Creating quality content is more than just the video itself. There are additional ways you can imprint SEO onto your video. Consider the following:
- Accessibility – Including closed captioning, transcripts, described video, and other elements that make your video accessible to a universal audience can provide an opportunity to share your video with a wider market that many other YouTube creators are ignoring.
- In Video Cards – You can include cards throughout your video that link to relevant, related content or external links so that you can keep YouTube’s audience in your sphere of influence longer than a single video.
- End Screens – If a viewer makes it to the end of your video, you have an opportunity to keep them watching more by using end screens to tell them what video would be a great follow up to the one they just watched.
5. Market Your Content
The days of “build it and they will come” are long gone. If you want success within the ranks of YouTube you must market your content immediately after publishing it. The first 48 hours is the most important to capitalise on the additional buzz of having new content.
There are many free and paid opportunities to help you market your new content. Consider some or all of the following:
- Social media
- Social forums
- Collaborations with related creators
- Email announcements
- Paid advertisements
Most importantly, engage in the comments section. Not only will this encourage conversation and more comments, but it will help you build a more trusting relationship with your audience, which is priceless.
6. Track Your Analytics
Just as it’s important to track your website and Google ad results using analytics, so is it crucial to your YouTube success. YouTube has built-in analytics that will help you understand how your audience is interacting with your videos.
You can, of course, see how many times your video was watched, commented upon, shared and given either a thumbs up or thumbs down, but you can gain much more valuable insights as well.
The Analytics tool will tell you exactly how much of a particular video was watched, on average. You’ll be able to see where you’re losing attention. You can also see if viewers skip parts of your video or rewatch certain areas.
This information can help you improve current videos by adding cards or other elements, and it can help you improve the quality of future videos.
7. Optimise for Increased Watch Time
The longer your viewers watch your content, the higher YouTube will rank your content. This is true for individual videos as well as your channel’s content overall.
You can use the analytics previously discussed to improve the watch time of individual videos, but there are also a few ways you can optimise your videos to keep viewers on your channel for longer overall:
- Create Related Content – you may choose to do this as a structured series or simply as a type of content that you know your audience enjoys, but creating similar videos can help you keep your viewers watching from one video to the next.
- Use Playlists – place all related videos in carefully planned and organised playlists so viewers have the option to watch your content on autoplay.
- Maximise your End Cards – this has already been mentioned, but it’s important enough to mention twice. Make sure you’re using strategically chosen recommended videos in your end cards as a way to entice viewers to continue watching just one more video.
Technically speaking, optimising your YouTube SEO is more straightforward than many other types of SEO. The hardest part of growing a YouTube channel is creating the content that engages and entertains your audience, which is likely what you are most focused on. Leave the SEO to the professionals and get in touch Riordan SEO today.