Getting your YouTube videos to rank during search is something every youtuber craves for..The truth of the matter is that YouTube uses a special kind of algorithm that requires a good knowledge of Optimization skills in order for your videos to rank.
In this article, I’m going to teach you what you how to setup your SEO in order to rank your YouTube videos during search. Below is a list of seven proven strategies you can take to get your videos ranking in YouTube.
Rename your video file using a target keyword.
Just like you would when optimizing written content, you’ll use an SEO tool to first identify keywords you’d like your video to focus on (you can browse popular YouTube SEO tools below these tips, or just click that link earlier in this sentence).
With a keyword identified, the first place you should put it is your video file — before you even upload it to YouTube.
YouTube can’t actually “watch” your video to see how relevant it is to your target keyword, and as you’ll learn in the tips below, there are only so many places you can safely insert this keyword on your video’s viewing page once it’s published.
But, YouTube can read your video’s file name and all the code that comes with it when it’s uploaded.
With that in mind, replace the “business_ad_003FINAL.mov” file name (don’t be embarrassed … we’ve all been there during post-production) with your desired keyword. If your keyword is “house painting tips,” for example, your video’s file name should be “house-painting-tips” followed by your preferred video file type (MOV, MP4, and WMV are some of the most common that are compatible with YouTube).
Insert your keyword naturally in the video title.
When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling, but also clear and concise.
Although your keyword plays a big part in your video title, it also helps if the title closely matches what the viewer is searching for. Research conducted by Backlinko found that videos with an exact keyword match in the title have only a slight advantage over those that don’t.
So, while “using your target keyword in your title may help you rank for that term, the relationship between keyword-rich video titles and rankings” isn’t always a strong one.
Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to optimize your title for this keyword so long as it fits naturally into a title that tells viewers exactly what they’re about to see.
Lastly, make sure to keep your title fairly short .
Optimize your video description.
First things first: According to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters.
And while it’s okay to use all of that space, remember that your viewer most likely came here to watch a video, not to read an essay.
If you do choose to write a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text — that amounts to about 100 characters.
After that point, viewers have to click “show more” to see the full description. That’s why we suggest front-loading the description with the most important information, like CTAs or crucial links.
As for optimizing the video itself, it doesn’t hurt to add a transcript of the video, especially for those who have to watch it without volume.
That said, Backlinko’s research also found no correlation between descriptions that were optimized for a certain keyword and the rankings for that term.
Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
YouTube’s official Creator Academy suggests using tags to let viewers know what your video is about. But you’re not just informing your viewers — you’re also informing YouTube itself. Jolicity explains that the platform uses tags “to understand the content and context of your video.”
That way, YouTube figures out how to associate your video with similar videos, which can broaden your content’s reach. But choose your tags wisely. Don’t use an irrelevant tag because you think it’ll get you more views — in fact, Google might penalize you for that.
And similar to your description, lead with the most important keywords, including a good mix of those that are common and more long-tail (as in, those that answer a question like “how do I?”).
Categorize your video.
Once you upload a video, you can categorize it under “Advanced settings.” Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube so it winds up in different playlists and gains exposure to more viewers who identify with your audience.
Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video’s result link.
Your video thumbnail is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results. Along with the video’s title, that thumbnail sends a signal to the viewer about the video’s content, so it can impact the number of clicks and views your video receives.
While you can always pick one of the thumbnail options auto-generated by YouTube, we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail.
It is recommended that you use images that are 1280×720 pixels — representing a 16:9 ratio — that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files. If you follow those parameters, it can help to ensure that your thumbnail appears with equally high quality across multiple viewing platforms.
Use an SRT File to add subtitles & closed captions.
Like much of the other text we’ve discussed here, subtitles and closed captions can boost YouTube search optimization by highlighting important keywords.
In order to add subtitles or closed captions to your video, you’ll have to upload a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file. For the former, you can also directly enter transcript text for a video so that it auto-syncs with the video.
Adding subtitles follows a similar process, however, you can limit the amount of text you want displayed. For either, head to your video manager then click on “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Find the video you want to add subtitles or closed captioning to, and click the drop-down arrow next to the edit button. Then, choose “Subtitles/CC.” You can then select how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.
Also, Add Cards and End Screens to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership. Ensure you have the following YouTube SEO tools:
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- HubSpot Content Strategy
- VidIQ Vision
Finally, try to exercise a little patience in order to achieve your prime goal. The watchword here is persistence and consistency. Make sure you post videos that are valuable and standard. With this you will be amazed at the success you are gonna achieve.
Feel free to drop your opinions and questions in the comment section.