With billions of viewers (1.47 billion as of 2017), YouTube is considered to be the number one online video platform to date. And with this much traffic comes a bigger motivation for you to leverage such audience influx and improve your online presence. Just imagine how much organic traffic you can divert from this amount of platform viewership towards your YouTube channel.
Fortunately, if you are intimately familiar with search engine optimization strategies, then ranking YouTube videos through SEO should also be right up your alley. After all, at the core of every SEO tactic is a goal to reach a higher rank in both YouTube search results and that of search engines. And once your channel turns up on the top ranks, you can expect an increase in organic site traffic as well as a corresponding improvement in brand presence and visibility.
Just like how ranking in Google search results pages can be quicker and easier with the help of a link building company, ranking videos on YouTube can be handled by SEO experts too. Nevertheless, trying to do it yourself is not impossible. Here are some tips to help you improve your video’s rankings in YouTube searches:
Incorporate your target keywords in the metadata
Just like how Google’s crawlers search each webpage looking for keywords, YouTube crawlers also depend on the presence and frequency of keywords in your video post. But since overuse of keywords can also be penalized by search engines, you cannot be careless about how you use these keywords in your post. Do not make your YouTube video page look spammy by stuffing it with keywords.
If you must choose though, the most strategic places to insert them would be in metadata elements such as (1) your video title, (2) video description, and (3) tags.
First off, if you are to optimize your target keywords in your YouTube video title, creating one that is less than 50 characters in length will help boost your video rankings. Exact match keywords are also considered to be your best bet to attract more user search matches. So, try to phrase your titles as to how users would search for them. You can use the suggestions in the search bar of YouTube to have an idea on what words users are exactly typing to find the videos that they want.
Similarly, you can add your target keywords in your video description because YouTube’s search bots also crawl the description text of each video.
In the same manner, tags are also crawled by YouTube’s bots, so your efforts of typing in your target keywords in the tags section will have SEO value as well.
Improve content and video quality
User experience plays a very big role when it comes to SEO. And for YouTube SEO, specifically, this means that your videos should be aimed at audience satisfaction as you keep them engaged.
Just like how Google ranks any website, YouTube pays considerable attention to the content of your videos. Offer valuable information to your viewers through your content. As much as possible, create your video with the following things in mind – target audience, topic, visual, and sound elements. Any of these when done right can propel you high up in the results page. However, if you consider all of them at the same time, you increase your chances of keeping your audience’s attention. Maintain this practice then you are sure to keep your place on top of the results every single time.
Additionally, gain viewers and keep them engaged and satisfied with your video’s quality. Definitely, the video resolution is a contender. The higher and clearer the resolution of the videos you produce, the higher you rank in YouTube’s search results. Whereas videos with lower and poor resolution do not make it to the top ranks.
The analytics section of YouTube provides you some metrics that you can use to analyze your viewers’ response to your video. Aside from the number of views, you can take a look at viewer retention to figure out in which portions of your video your viewers stopped watching. This should give you an idea of what went wrong in your video, which specific segments you need to improve on, and how you should improve on your next posts. The more you attune yourself with what keeps your users satisfied, the better you become at optimizing your videos for better user experience.
Practice social sharing
YouTube is not the only platform where you can post your videos and gain views. You can extend your viewer range by sharing your videos on your own website or even your own social profile. So even if people are not actively looking for your content, they might chance upon your video on their social media newsfeed. This opens an opportunity for further social sharing as these other online users that you reached can also share your video’s link. SEO-wise, this activity is seen by search bots as social signals. And the more shares your video garners, the better its chances at a higher search result rank.
Maximize subtitles and closed captions
Subtitles and closed captions help your audience understand your video’s content, thus creating a better user experience for them. Aside from this, these video transcriptions can also be leveraged to your YouTube SEO ranking advantage. Because search bots of this video platform can also crawl on these texts, you can maximize them for SEO purposes. All you have to do is to incorporate your keywords in the video subtitles. Since your video is aimed at fulfilling the topic related to your target keyword, you can inject keywords in the lines of dialogues. You can even add them as some sort of narrative description (as when a video clip is being played and there is a line of text that describes what it is about).
If you feel overwhelmed with all of these, you can always turn to SEO companies for help with your videos. With more tools, strategies, and experience, these companies can easily turn things around for you – that is of course if you’re willing to spend on ranking your YouTube videos.