How To Rank Your Videos Higher With YouTube SEO


Youtube has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the second-largest search engine in the world. If you’re looking to promote your business, creating YouTube videos is a great way to reach your target audience. 

However, with so much competition on the platform, it can be difficult to get your videos seen and noticed. Here are a few tips to rank your videos higher in the YouTube search results 

Conduct Keyword Research

Just like with traditional SEO, keyword research is essential for YouTube SEO. Identify the keywords that your target audience are searching for and include them in your video’s title, description, and tags. Here are a few tips:

Brainstorm topics and terms related to Your video content – Start by generating a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to your niche or topic. Think about the types of content you want to create and the words that viewers might use to search for that content.

Use YouTube’s search bar to find related keywords – Start typing in a keyword or phrase related to your content and see what other suggestions YouTube gives you. This will give you a sense of the most popular and relevant keywords related to your topic.

Use keyword research tools – There are lots of keyword research tools available, some popular ones include Google Keyword Planner, Tubebuddy,  Keywords Everywhere, Ahrefs and SEMrush. These tools will help you identify relevant keywords and provide data such as search volume, competition and other useful metrics.

Analyse Your Competition – Look at the videos and channels that are ranking well for your target keywords and analyse their titles, descriptions and tags. This will give you an idea of the type of content that is performing well and the keywords that are driving traffic to their videos.

Choose Your Keywords – Based on your research, choose a primary keyword or phrase that accurately reflects your content. When choosing your keywords, focus on intent, search volume and competition. 

Intent– Does the searcher have the right intent to be interested in your content? Is this keyword going to bring people to you that are interested in what you do? Are they looking for the services / info you provide? Does your video provide what they are looking for?

Search Volume – Are enough people actually searching for the target keyword?

Competition– Whilst you want to target keywords that have a decent search volume, you don’t want to target keywords that are super competitive. Aim to target keywords that have a good combination of high search volume and low competition.

Optimise Your Titles and Descriptions

Include your keywords in the video title, description, and tags, as well as in the content of your video.

Keep your title and description short and to the point and use descriptive language to attract people and entice them to watch the video.

You can encourage viewers to watch your video by including a call to action in your description. This could be as simple as asking viewers to “watch now” or subscribe to your channel.

Use Relevant Tags

Youtube tags are simply keywords that you add to your videos. Tags help YouTube (and viewers) understand what your videos are about. Including relevant tags will help rank your content higher so it’s worth being strategic with the tags you use and including your target keywords. 

Adding tags to your videos is a simple process:

  • Click on the video you want to add tags to.
  • Click on the “Edit” button to open the video editor.
  • Scroll down to the “Tags” section and click on “Add tags.”
  • Enter the tags you want to add to your video.

Choose relevant tags that accurately describe the content of your video and use a mix of both broad and specific tags. Broad tags can help your video appear in more general search results, while specific tags can help attract viewers who are looking for more niche content.

Create a Custom Thumbnail

A YouTube thumbnail is the image that appears next to the video’s title and description in the search results as well as on the video page. Thumbnails provide viewers with a visual preview of the content which can help them decide whether to click through and watch the video.

Creating a custom thumbnail will help your videos stand out amongst all the other videos in the search results and creating your thumbnails in a distinctive style will help you to build a recognizable brand for your channel.

YouTube will automatically generate thumbnails for each video you upload. While these auto generated thumbnails can be useful if you want to do a quick upload, custom thumbnails tend to perform better because they can be specifically designed to attract viewers and grab attention. 

How To Create Thumbnails:

There are various tools you can use to create thumbnails for your videos. Canva, Snappa, Adobe Spark, Fotor and Picmonkey are popular choices (most of these options have free trials available). You can either create your thumbnail from scratch or use a ready made template. 

Use a high quality image that provides an accurate representation of the content of your video. Make sure the image is visually appealing and captures the attention of potential viewers. Add text to your thumbnails to give your viewers an idea of what your video is about. Use large, eye catching and easy to read fonts and keep your text short and to the point.

Keep your thumbnails simple and uncluttered. Avoid using too much text or too many images as this will distract from the point you are trying to convey. 

Create a consistent style for your thumbnails that reflects your branding. This will help viewers recognize your videos easily and increase awareness of your brand. 

You can experiment with different styles and designs for your thumbnails and track how they perform. Use the built in YouTube analytics to see which thumbnails are driving the most clicks and views and adjust them accordingly. 

Engage With Your Audience

When you respond to comments and messages it shows that you value your audience and are interested in building a relationship with them. People like to feel seen, heard and valued and are more likely to watch and share more of your videos when you interact with them.

Replying to comments will also help to increase engagement on your videos. When viewers leave comments or likes on your videos, it signals to YouTube that your content is relevant and valuable to your audience.

Include Captions

It’s a good idea to add captions to all of your videos. YouTube’s algorithm can crawl the text in your captions and use it to understand the content of your video. This will help your video rank higher in search results and make it more discoverable to new audiences. 

Adding captions also makes your videos accessible to everyone including those that are unable to hear or prefer to watch without sound.

You can either add captions within youtube or you can add them yourself during the video editing process before you upload them to the platform.

Use YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics will help you understand how your videos are performing and how they are ranking in search results. You can see where your viewers are coming from, how long people are watching your videos and what keywords they are using to find your videos. By analysing the data, you’ll be able to see what’s working well and where improvements can be made. 

No one knows exactly how the Youtube algorithm works and there are no guarantees that your videos will go viral, however, focusing on SEO will help your videos get seen and found by a lot more people.

As well as optimising your videos for SEO,  remember that the most important thing is to focus on creating great content for your audience. The more people enjoy watching your videos, the more likely they are to engage, share, comment, subscribe and return to your channel to watch more of your videos. 

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