Digital Marketing has taken a different turn. While the rules remain mostly unchanged, search engine algorithms are constantly under review. What this means is that what worked a few years back or even some months ago, might not get you the same results today.
A lot of online marketers have realized that perhaps, the only way to reach out to a wider audience is by delivering top-notch quality content. But it doesn’t just end with creating quality content, it has to be optimized to make it discoverable on the web through search engines, and that is where all the work is.
Today, marketers are investing more in video content. And one of the best places to do that is on Youtube, because of its popularity and massive audiences. But despite its popularity, a lot of people still complain of getting less than a thousand views. The truth is, uploading a video on YouTube is not enough to get you views, there are techniques and strategies you must engage to optimize your YouTube videos if you want to rank higher on YouTube search engine.
So we are talking about how to get your contents to a wider audience, the question is, how do you optimize your YouTube channel for search? How does Youtube SEO function? How can you leverage YouTube’s Search Engine Algorithm to expand your viewership?
Before we proceed, one thing you might want to take note of is that YouTube SEO is a bit different from the regular SEO. A lot has changed over the years. Due to the explosion of video content, getting ranked in a YouTube search result might seem a lot harder for a lot of people. Even if you buy inorganic YouTube traffic, it is not a guarantee that you will rank organically.
So, the best way to get both ranking and views on YouTube; is to understand YouTube’s algorithm and take advantage of it to make your videos rank. If your videos rank well enough, then definitely, you will be getting a lot of views.
Let me reiterate the basics; as a rule, quality contents are the key. If viewers start watching your video and they quit in the first few seconds, this will affect your ranking negatively irrespective of what else you have done. So I suggest the first thing you need to do is to make sure your Youtube video content is compelling enough to engage a user.
Now let’s look at the best SEO practices that will make your YouTube video rank and help you get more organic traffic to your videos.
Top 8 YouTube Seo Tips to Rank Videos and get more Views
1. Use Keywords for the Video title
Your video title can help you rank for a particular keyword or multiple keywords. It is imperative that you carry out keyword research for your video title. Your video title has to be interesting and clickable, but most importantly, it has to be what people are searching for.
Don’t try to stuff your Video title with too many keywords. Don’t make it too long or too short. You can limit your video title to not more than 60 characters. That way, it doesn’t get truncated in the search results. But the most important thing is that you are using target keywords for your video title to make it clickable and that it is in perfect unison with your video content.
2. Optimize your Tags to Rank Youtube Videos
Tagging is one of the best SEO practices you can use to get a better ranking on your YouTube video.
Tagging your video with popular and common keywords related to your content topic will definitely get you more views.
By tagging your video, you are not just telling your viewers what your video is all about, you are also informing YouTube’s algorithm. That way, Youtube understands how to place your video alongside related videos or videos similar to your content.
When you are tagging your videos, I’ll recommend you follow these tips to get the best results.
- Only use tags that are most relevant to your topic.
- Specific tags should come first. i.e., Write your main keywords first.
- Write tags and matching keywords. If your primary keyword is “Digital Marketing,” your general tags could be “SEO tips,” ” Branding techniques,” “Content Optimization”, “Content Marketing” e.t.c
- Don’t flood your video with too many tags. About 8 to 12 tags are enough.
3. Optimize your video description
Youtube only displays the first two to three lines of your video description, which is about 100 characters out of 1,000 characters. Viewers have to click to read more. So what you do with your first 100 characters is super relevant.
When you look at your video in the search results, the first few lines of your video description is what comes next after your video title and thumbnail. So what I suggest you should do is to make sure your keywords are in the first sentence of your description. Make sure you try to rank for not just one keywords phrase, but multiple keywords phrases.
Do keywords research to ensure you are targeting keywords that people are actually searching for. Don’t try to flood your video description with keywords, it doesn’t help. Instead, try using longtail keywords for your video description to help you increase the ranking of your videos.
If a searched keyword matches the first line of your video description, your video is more likely to get a higher ranking.
4. Rename your video file using a target keyword
Youtube Search Engine cannot watch your video to know what it is all about, it is your file name that will tell the Search algorithm what is in your video.
With that in mind, after the post-production of your video file and you are ready to upload it on YouTube, rename it from the default title to your targeted keyword. e.g “default_name.mp4″ renamed to “best_seo_practices_2020.mp4”.
You will achieve better ranking by doing this because it will help the search engine to index your videos easily.
5. Use an eye-catching & interesting thumbnail
Your video thumbnail is the very first impression you give to your viewers about your video content. If they think it is boring or uninteresting, then they probably will not bother clicking on the video.
So basically, the image viewers see when they come across your video in the search results has an impact on the number of clicks and views your video will receive.
In that case, I recommend you upload a custom thumbnail image and make it engaging enough to attract more views to your video.
6. Add subtitles and closed captions in your video file
Using subtitles and closed captions in your video content has some great perks. Apart from the obvious fact that it helps viewers understand your video narration better, it also gives your videos a new way to get index by the search engine through the keywords present in the subtitles.
Adding subtitles and closed captions make your video rich in keywords, and this can boost your Youtube video search optimization because they are crawlable by search engines.
Youtube supports automatic transcription, but I recommend you edit those captions or add your own subtitles because that of Youtube is most times inaccurate.
7. Increase your view-time
If people spend a lot of time watching your video or they watch your video to the end, this will tell YouTube’s algorithm that people like what you are doing, and that will definitely help you rank well.
What you might want to do to achieve this is to make your video content as useful as possible. Don’t make your video too long or too short. The length of your video content should suit the purpose of the video.
Add a little bit of suspense to your videos, or you can engage your viewers by asking a question. If at the middle or beginning of your video, you throw in a question, a lot of viewers will be curious to know how you’d answer that, and you just might be able to grab their attention to the end.
8. Encourage your viewers to patronize you (Call to action)
YouTube prioritizes popular content. What this means is that the more comments your videos gets and the more subscribers you win, the more attention YouTube will give to your videos.
- Comments and subscriptions are important metrics the YouTube algorithm uses to rank videos.
- Subscriptions mainly reflect the amount of value you provide, and for YouTube, that is a big deal.
- Don’t hesitate to encourage your viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to your videos.
It is a great idea to ask questions at the end of your videos to trigger a discussion. But the most important thing is that you get more people to subscribe to videos. Make it your focus. If more people subscribe to your videos, YouTube’s algorithm will reward you by ranking your videos.
It is quite easy to generate views on YouTube. When you have unique content to offer your viewers, you will stand out. People are ever hungry for information, and it won’t stop, but you need to work on your content to solve their needs.
If you make videos that can genuinely help people and address their problems, you won’t have to struggle too hard to get views, a little exposure, and the views will come naturally.
Always remember to ask your viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel.
Never give up!