YouTube is one of the most popular and most preferred social media platforms for any influencer. With the rise in popularity of the platform, we have seen a huge growth in the number of influencers and vloggers across the globe. Such unprecedented growth has made the fight to be on top and the competition tougher. This calls for the need to tap into the domain of YouTube SEO. You see, SEO or search engine optimization is not just for website ranking, YouTube also has its own set of SEO tips and tricks that can be used strategically to rank your video on top.
SEO for YouTube involves both optimizing your video for YouTube’s own search engine as well as on other search engines like Google or Bing. Why the need for optimizing your YouTube video? As a YouTube influencer, video SEO can go a long way in increasing your reach and engagement, follower count, monetizing aspects, and whole other features that can help you stay on top.
Now that you understand the why part, let us help you get down to the how's. YouTube has its own algorithm in ranking videos based on a variety of factors such as keywords, click-through rate, video SEO, etc. Here is a guide on how to do use YouTube SEO for improving the rankings of your videos.
Yes, keywords are your holy grail when it comes to any kind of search engine optimization tactics; and it is no different for YouTube as well. Do thorough keyword research. Extensive keyword research can be undertaken with the help of YouTube’s own search suggestions as well as from the popular videos on the platform, from the category that is relevant to you. Once you identify the keywords that rank best, make sure you use them strategically in your videos as well, placing them in the title, thumbnails, description, translations, hashtags, links, and call to action, to name a few.
Another alternative aspect of keyword research is to identify the best ranking keywords that have the lowest competition and use the same in your video SEO. Low competition would increase the chances of your YouTube video ranking at the top of the search results.
While optimizing your video using keyword research, it is also important to note that you need to take into account Google search results and ranking as well. While search results on YouTube should be your highest priority, optimizing your video SEO for Google search would also go a long way in increasing the reach of your videos.
Once you have the keyword research done, the next step is to create a video that is unique, catchy, and has a high retention aspect for your YouTube channel. One of the biggest factors that determine YouTube ranking is Audience Retention - the amount of your video that people actually watch. In other words, your aim should be to target 100% audience retention i.e., people should watch your video till the end.
The key to creating a high retention video ultimately depends on the quality of content. No matter how much effort you take in YouTube SEO, if your content is sub-par you will not rank it. Nevertheless, there are other factors that determine how catchy and attractive your video is and improve its ranking - comments, likes/dislikes, click-through rate, subscribers, length of the video.
YouTube algorithm ranks those videos that have a higher engagement rate than those that do not. And what constitutes engagement rate? The number of likes and comments. Comments, whether positive or negative, shows YouTube that audiences are responding to your video. Another factor would be whether casual viewers get converted to subscribers or not. If your videos prompt viewers to click the subscribe button, then that automatically means your video has a high retention rate.
Click-through rate (CTR) is also a determining factor when it comes to ranking your video on YouTube. When one searches for a particular video or category, do they click on your result or do they go for another video? That is the CTR for your video. You can improve the CTR for your video SEO by creating thumbnails and titles that are catchy and attractive.
Last but not least, the length of your video also plays a huge role. Determining the ideal length of your video may be a gamble, but studies show that longer videos tend to rank better than shorter videos.
YouTube video optimization is another important tool that can better your ranking on the platform. Keywords play a huge role in video SEO as well. You can insert the keyword in your video while talking about the content which can help in two ways - one, the keyword will be “heard” by YouTube and they can know that your video is about the topic, and two, the subtitles or transcription will automatically reflect the keyword in its content.
You can also include the keyword in the video title as well as in the description, which can improve its chances of being ranked in the top results of its search. It is best if you try to include the keyword as the first word in the title and when it comes to the description, you can try to mention it 2-4 times. Finally, you can also improve video SEO by including the keywords in the tags as well.
The last but one of the most important steps in taking up YouTube SEO is to promote your video to increase its popularity and views. It is not merely enough to share the video link to your other platforms, there are a few other effective ways to promote your video on the internet. You can link the video to Quora answers, include it in your email signatures, embed the video in your blogs as well as optimize your channel page. Optimizing your YouTube page by updating your About page, including keywords in your About section, and creating relevant playlists can go a long way in ranking your YouTube channel.
These are just a few ways you can leverage keywords and other SEO tools to increase your YouTube channel’s reach and popularity. Let us know in the comments if this helped rank your channel better!