Last Updated on July 2, 2020 by John Zakaria
Today, I will share with you 8 Working SEO Tips For Ranking Videos In 2018 & Beyond. In fact, this YouTube SEO Guide has helped me easily rank many videos in Google and other Search Engines.
First, Let’s Discuss The Power OF YouTube:
Did you know that there are over 6 billion hours of video watched each month on YouTube?
YouTube is one of the most powerful marketing platforms that you can use to sell your business and create brand awareness.
I know this did not come as a surprise or news to you, but I’m assuming you have an account on YouTube and you are probably marketing your business using videos on this platform .
I’m also assuming that your videos did not get wide coverage and possibly you are on the verge of giving up on your efforts.
This is common among many people. In fact, many clients have spent considerable time and money curating great videos with valuable content that doesn’t garner enough views, and thus they give up.
But today, I will reveal to you some techniques you can use to increase viewership by getting your videos ranked higher in both YouTube and Google searches.
When your videos rank high for certain keywords, you will get an automatic flow of organic traffic, and this will increase your brand awareness.
YouTube, which is the second most used search engine on the planet after Google, ranks videos based on a certain algorithm.
As an SEO expert, I know how these algorithms work, and despite them being not straightforward, when applied, you will get a significant increase in viewership and ranking.
So, let’s get to the topic of the day; YouTube SEO.
What is YouTube SEO?
Search engine optimization is an ever-changing practice and involves designing web content that will rank high in search engine result pages (SERPs). Search acts as a gate-keeper to your content, and thus optimizing your content and pages for search is necessary if you want to get organic traffic.
YouTube SEO involves optimizing videos, channels, Metadata, playlists, and descriptions for search both inside and outside of YouTube. One of the best ways to harness the power of your YouTube video is by optimizing your video text in the form of subtitles, closed captions, and form of transcripts.
How to Rank YouTube Videos in Google & Other Search Engines – YouTube SEO Guide:
At times, when you look at the enormous number of videos on YouTube, sometimes it can seem quite impossible to rise above all that competition. However, you can do so by employing a proven YouTube SEO strategy.
In this section, we will provide eight tips you can use to increase viewership and help your videos rank higher in YouTube and Google;
Tip #1. Video Length:
In the beginning, views took the greatest part of the ranking algorithm. In that, the more views your video garnered, the higher it was ranked. However, it wasn’t long ago before YouTube changed its policy.
While the number of views still counts when it comes to ranking, there are other metrics considered;
- Number of seconds viewed
- Social shares
These metrics help block channels that used to rack up millions of fabricated clicks.
Before these metrics, you could promote a lot of videos and make them rank higher without the focus on content.
However, when the approach focused on user engagement, this changed and you now have to create content-rich videos that give value to your viewers.
Although there are no guidelines as to what length a video should have, from my experience, an optimal video should be at least 1 minute long for these two reasons;
- The more time you can keep a user on your video, the higher your video will rank. Therefore, by adding more seconds to your count, the more time you will keep your viewers on your video
- YouTube bots see videos less than 60 seconds as spam. They view lengthy videos to contain more content.
The bottom line here is, create videos with great, valuable content.
Tip #2. Video Name:
One of the most common optimization mistakes I see with many people is poor naming system. This happens in raw video files and video titles.
YouTube videos cannot decipher what your video is about and therefore, its bots read your raw file to determine content.
If you are familiar with optimizing products on Amazon, you will find the process of optimizing raw video file quite easier since it is very similar:
- Right click on your video and click on “Get Info.”
- Add video keywords and secondary keyword to your video tags
- Give your file a name with your main keyword and secondary keywords. For instance, in my case, I could give a video of this article a title like How to Rank YouTube Videos- Ranking YouTube Videos In Search Engines
- Add a description or some comment explaining what the video is about
After uploading the file to your YouTube account, it will automatically name itself as per the raw file name.
Make sure to use this same title as the title of your video.
Tip #3. Video Description:
The first thing to do is to add a link to your website.
When doing digital marketing audits, I find a lot of my clients having neglected linking their YouTube videos to their landing page or website.
Your videos should encourage viewers to take action and that action should be to click on your website so as to finalize the marketing process- i.e., purchases, lead capture, etc. Therefore, make sure to incorporate links to your YouTube video.
Besides, optimize the rest of your video description:
- Make your description unique. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. In fact, it punishes you for that. Your videos should have a unique description.
- Descriptions should have at least 200 words
- Make use of secondary keywords in your description
- Keywords should only be used once. Otherwise, you will get punished for keyword stuffing
- If you can’t write a transcript of your video, outsource it to freelancers
Tip #4. Create a Playlist:
Playlists take the final step when uploading a video on YouTube.
They serve as an added explanation of what your video is about. Ensure to create new playlists for each of your videos and include synonym keywords.
Here is an example of how I implement the above four tips;
=> 1ST keyword:
- How to Rank YouTube Videos.
=> 2nd Keyword:
- Increase Views on YouTube.
=> Raw file name:
- How to Rank YouTube Videos- Increase Views on YouTube.
- Secondary keywords included are: ranking videos on YouTube, YouTube marketing, video SEO, video marketing, how to increase views on my YouTube videos.
=> Playlist name:
- YouTube Marketing, Video Marketing, Ranking Videos on YouTube.
Tip #5. Custom Thumbnails:
Once you upload a new video on YouTube, you will be given three screenshots from your video. You need to choose one that you will see impresses your user the most.
Add a custom thumbnail to make a good first impression.
You can add a thumbnail that tells your user what your video is about and why they should watch it.
This will boost your video’s click-through rates (CTRs).
To create a custom thumbnail, click on “Custom thumbnail” button located on “Upload” screen.
Here are four things to keep in mind when creating a custom thumbnail;
- Make sure to optimize the size of your image to 1280 by 720
- It must be less than 2MB
- Make use of bright colors or a blend of two bright colors. This helps it to standout against the blue links and white backgrounds in Google
- Must be .JPG, .BMP, .GIF, .PNG.
Tip #6. Optimize Your Channel:
Your channel page serves as another platform you can use to alert YouTube bots about your content.
Ensure to fill out all the aspects of that page. By optimizing your channel page, you will see a significant increase in rank.
Here are four things you should fill out in your profile channel;
=> Channel art:
- You need to have a background and profile picture to help users understand your page.
- The main priority of Google is to increase user experience.
- Therefore, when adding your images, ensure to follow the best SEO practices for images, i.e., your-channel-name-business-name-keywords.jpg.
- This offers another great opportunity for you to send signals to search engines bots to understand your videos.
- Be thorough in your description and use a couple of secondary keywords in areas you see fit.
- Add links to your website and social media pages to drive more traffic.
- Links also help search engines to associate your videos with your website or business.
- This is something we would call, rank by association.
- Subscribe to popular YouTube channels related to your videos with similar content and Google and YouTube bots will understand your video content more
Tip #7. Push to Social Media:
Traditional SEO involves on page aspects such as site structure, content, site speed, code, keyword density, and off page aspects such as links.
Due to the influence of social media, Google had to include social media influence as part of its ranking algorithm.
However, there are several things Google looks out for.
For instance, it checks relevancy.
As I mentioned before, Google main priority is on user experience, and that’s why it measures your videos relevance based on social signals.
If something is not being talked about by people on social media, then, basically, it is irrelevant.
If you want to get your videos to rank higher on Google and YouTube, you need to share its links on social media.
Here are several things I do to keep my videos relevancy;
- Auto-syncing my YouTube channel with my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts. This means that my new videos will be auto-pushed to these accounts every time I post them.
- I also post to my personal social media accounts
- Also, I share on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn groups. You can get a lot of shares, likes, and +1’s by sharing most of your videos on social sites groups
- Buy signals- there are a couple of services, but I find SERP Champion an effective one.
Tip #8. Build BackLinks to Your Video and Embed:
By implementing tips 1-7, you will help your video get indexed in Google in a couple of minutes.
In order to rank for competitive keywords, such as New York SEO experts, you will need to build links to your video URL and then embed the HTML on other sites.
Although a tricky endeavor, link building is a double-edged sword.
If you follow the right path and build the right links, your video will rank well for its main and secondary keywords you are targeting.
If you gather wrong links, your video will be marked as spam and removed.
My advice is;
- build a small number of links over a period. You can get YouTube video links on blogs, Pinterest, Tumblr, Web 2.0s, and Email signatures.Also, remember to add your videos to your personal blog.
Most of the above tips are about On-page optimization.
Let’s briefly discuss off-page optimization: Backlinks
After you have uploaded and optimized your video, it’s time to rank it.
The process of ranking a YouTube video is quite similar to ranking a website as the main determinant is the backlinks pointing to your video.
However, YouTube has one more factor, and that is the number of sites that have embedded your video.
Here are factors YouTube considers when ranking videos in order of importance;
- Links with an anchor text
- Links without an anchor text
- Social signals
Here are strategies I use to get backlinks and embeds;
1- Submitting to social site properties:
- such as sharing on Company’s Google+, Facebook page, Twitter account, and in your own account.
2. Submit to Onlywire:
- this platform allows you to manage close to 30 web 2.0 properties from one cpanel. I use it a lot to build links
3. Post on site:
- create unique content related to your video and add its link to the content.
- Make sure to use keywords related to the YouTube video.
4. Post on Blog Network:
- if you do not have a blog, it’s high time to get additional backlinks and extra exposure for your videos.
5. Submit to business directories and company profiles to get more embeds for your video
6. Guest Post:
- You can also write related guest posts for other sites and find ways to embed or link your videos to that guest post
7. Keep on linking:
- continue posting your video on forums, etc.
The more links you get to your videos, the higher it will rank on search engines.
If you follow all the above optimization tips and actively work on generating embeds and links to your YouTube videos, they will rank higher in Google and bring in a free flow of targeted traffic.
After Reading My YouTube SEO Guide, If you still have any questions about how you can easily rank your YouTube Videos in Google & Search Engines, then, go ahead and leave those in the comments section. I’ll do my best to answer as many of them as I can.