If you must succeed as a YouTuber, you need to master how to rank your videos for the best result. Let’s say you just finished shooting an excellent video that you believe will break YouTube’s record. Not only did you shoot an incredible video, but you also took your time to edit it. You poured your creativity and time into it. As if that was not enough, you created a fantastic thumbnail that is irresistible, or so you thought. Amidst fear, you clicked the published button as your heart starts to beat intensely against your chest.
You started waiting for the world to stand still, and for views to start pouring in. Hours later, you see only 11 views and 1 like. Heartbroken, you begin to wonder how your competitors are getting thousands and millions of views. At that moment, you start getting depressed. You even wonder if this is the right path for you. Am I wasting my time? You begin to ask yourself.
If you can relate to the above scenario, that is proof that you’re not alone. There are thousands of YouTubers like you, struggling to rank their videos on YouTube. You have incredible videos, why isn’t YouTube showing you some love? In this article, you’re going to learn how to utilize YouTube SEO to rank your videos high on YouTube. The only problem you will face will be your inability to implement my tips. But if you can read this guide and incorporate the tips, you will start seeing growth in your YouTube channel.
1. Have A Focused Keyword
Before you start shooting your videos, the first thing you need to do is discover the right keyword. You don’t need a competitive keyword, just something you can easily rank for without sweating. The way YouTube works is similar to Google, which is keywords. Google suggests a video based on the keywords a user used.
Take a look at top-performing videos in your niche and ask yourself; what is the focus keyword of this video? That would give you an idea of how keyword works.
There are lots of keyword research tools that you can use to find the right focus keywords. These tools would give you insight into the popularity of the keyword, and your chances of ranking for it. These popular tools include SEMRush, Keywords Everywhere, and KeywordTool.io.
As a beginner, I would advise using KeywordTool.io since its beginner’s friendly. With this excellent tool, you can find popular keywords in your niche. If your video is about “Breakdance,” input this term in the tool, and the keyword research tool would expose you to popular keywords around Breakdance. It is pretty easy and not technical at all.
If you have the money, I recommend going for the premium version of SEMRush, since it offers you more functionalities and insight. The key to ranking your videos very high on YouTube is first to discover the right keyword. The wrong keyword would break you, no matter how incredible the video is.
2. Focus Keyword On The Title
After discovering your focus keyword, rest assured that the hard part is gone. All you have to do at this stage is to optimize your video around your chosen focused keyword. The way to begin is to ensure that your keyword is included in your title.
When creating your title, you need to make sure it is compelling and captivating. You need something that urges the potential audience to click and watch. If your title is not that intriguing, it will affect your CTR.
Let’s say your focused keyword is “Breakdance,” your title could be something like:
- This 9 years old boy wows with Break Dance
- Learn breakdance in 10mins
- Breakdance tutorial for dummies
- Breakdance like Michael Jackson, etc.
Your focused keyword is something your potential subscribers are searching for. You need to create a title from that keyword that they won’t be able to resist.
One trick that works the most is promising your readers something new. Are you into entertainment? Your title should prove that the video is entertaining and worth their time. Something like this always works:
Breakdance: This 9 years old boy dance better than MJ
Every fan of Michael Jackson or breakdance will never resist clicking a video with this title. Your video title can make or mar you, so take your time to create something exciting.
3. Focus Keyword On The Description
Another incredible way to rank your videos high on YouTube is by optimizing your video’s description. Remember that YouTube is a machine, and uses tons of factors to understand your videos. When YouTube discovers the focus keyword on your title and description, it helps it understand the purpose of the video.
Just as you take time making your videos, do the same for your description. If you’re not a pretty good writer, you can hire someone to help out. I discovered that the majority of Nigerian YouTubers hardly pay attention to the description. You can write a 250 words description, but make sure your focus keywords appear in the beginning for the best result.
When you’re writing a description, don’t make the mistake of copying and pasting. Write something original and unique. I repeat, do not copy from anywhere on the internet. At the end of the description, you can include a link to your website or blog if you have any.
Your description is also an incredible way to link to your social handles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Apart from YouTube, your viewers also read your description. Take your time and write something great.
4. Focus Keyword On Tags
Now you have your focus keyword on your title and description. The next step is to include them also in your tags. Usually, your users don’t get to see the tags you use. Remember, the better YouTube understands your video, the higher you’ll rank your videos.
When you use the right tags, you don’t only rank high for that focus keyword. Your video would end up appearing as suggestions to similar videos on YouTube.
Since we’re working with the focus keyword “Breakdance”, your tags could look something like this #Breakdance, #MJ, #Dance, #Tricks, #tips, etc.
Take a look at some top-performing videos; you’re free to steal their tags. With your focused keyword on your title, description, and tags, nothing can stop you. Since YouTube doesn’t allow users to see tags used by creators, you can use a Chrome plugin like VidIQ to help you see the tags your competitors are using.
5. A Good Looking Thumbnail
The three core elements when it comes to YouTube SEO are focused keyword on title, description, and tags. But aside from these three elements, other factors also affect your ranking and views. One of them is Thumbnail!
Don’t allow YouTube to give you a random thumbnail, as it doesn’t always look good. You need to create one from scratch, something that stands out from the pack. The thumbnails below should give you an idea of how a good looking thumbnail should look.
If your video has you as the presenter, ensure you take a high-quality picture of yourself. Make the background somewhat blurry, or perhaps shoot on a plain background so that you become the focus. Make sure there is space at the left or right, where you can include a short, catchy title of your video.
A good thumbnail would increase your CTR, and skyrocket your channel’s views. But when reverse is the case, the video’s rank would drop since no one is clicking on it.
6. Video Length
Just like blogging, long blog posts tend to perform better compared to their short counterparts. The same also applies to YouTube. Longer videos tend to perform better, which is a trick you can use to outperform your competitors.
Creating a more extended video can be hard, but it is something you should do to rank your videos high on YouTube. If you can make it 20+ minutes long, please go ahead. The fact is, people will watch your videos if it’s exciting.
This trick will also help you increase your watch hours if you’re yet to monetize your channel. That is almost like killing two birds with one stone. After creating a long video, optimize it using the tricks in this article, and watch your videos rank very high on YouTube.
Don’t make a long uninteresting video just because you want to rank high. If the majority of your viewers are not watching past the first 30 seconds, it is sending a negative vibe to YouTube, which in turn affects your ranking. Keep it exciting and engaging.
If you want to give your video a head start, spread the word about your video using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have a blog, make a blog post and link to your video. You can also go the extra mile by posting on forums or platforms like Quora and Reddit. All you need to do is find boards in your niche and join. Then contribute and share your YouTube video, as it would help YouTube rank the video high on a search result.
You must not do this alone, encourage your friends to share the link and watch as you get your first few views.
The more links you have linking to your video, the better chances you have. If you want to rank your videos high on YouTube, then you shouldn’t neglect this tip.
8. Encourage Engagement
If you don’t ask for engagement, they would never happen. At the end of your videos, make it a habit to end with a question. Encourage your viewers to share their opinion or their take about a subject. Why am I talking about engagement, does that affect YouTube SEO? The answer is YES!
The more engagement your video has, it sends a positive signal to YouTube that this video is interesting. By so doing, it ranks it higher and also as suggested videos. The more likes, comments, and subscribers you get, the more likely you’re going to rank your videos high on YouTube. When asking for subscribers, don’t forget to ask them to drop a comment.
9. Create A Playlist
A playlist would help you organize your videos in categories; it would also help you get more views on other videos. How is that possible? A playlist is a collection of related videos about a particular subject or focus. When a user finishes watching a video on a playlist, the next video starts to play automatically, leading to more views. Since the aim is to get more views, this strategy helps you to get as many as possible. If you don’t have a playlist on your channel yet, now is the time to create one. Who knows, it might accord you more subscribers for organizing your contents.
Ranking your videos on YouTube doesn’t have to be an arduous task. It should be fun! Not just fun and adventure! Knowing all these tips about YouTube SEO would help you rank your videos high, you will start noticing a significant improvement in both traffic and engagement. Anything is possible if you have the right guide.
I am always publishing helpful tips and tricks about how to start, run, and manage a YouTube channel. If you enjoyed this article, don’t hesitate to subscribe by using the form below. That way, you won’t have to miss a new post that you will find helpful. If you have further questions, use the comment box, and I would respond. On that note, I wish you good luck and success in your vlogging journey!