Although YouTube is the second largest search engine, it still remains an untapped source of generating substantial traffic. Also, with a staggering rate of 5 Billion videos streamed per day and 300 hours uploaded every minute, YouTube has topped the charts when it comes to video marketing as well.
And adding to this, the fact that Google includes YouTube videos in its search results, it would be fair to say that optimizing your video content can boost your online visibility drastically.
Note: Looking for a video? Here’s my Webinar on Tips & Tricks to Video SEO, where I discussed 14 hacks to increase your YouTube video rankings.
In this post, I’ll discuss the top 5 optimization tips that can help you rank your video on the first page of Google.
But before we dive into them, let’s discuss the primary YouTube Ranking Factors.
YouTube ranking factors are similar to Google search ranking factors. So, if you’ve done your SEO homework, you’d find optimizing YouTube videos for better rankings easy.
Here are the 4 factors that affect your video rankings:
Now that you are aware of the ranking factors, let’s see how you can optimize your videos to rank better.
Similar to traditional SEO, keyword research marks the beginning of YouTube Video Optimization. You should aim to rank your video not only on YouTube but on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) as well.
Start your keyword research by creating 2 buckets of search queries:
You can get a lot of good keyword suggestions by using these three methods:
Now, compile the keywords that you’ve gathered from YouTube and Google in one excel sheet. Then, upload them on RankWatch via .csv file and discover more suggestions and gain insights into your competitor’s keywords.
The results will show you the search trend and the search volume of each keyword.
Also, there’s LHF (Low Hanging Fruits) that list the keywords for which you have higher rankings but aren’t tracking them.
Make sure your keywords have a search volume of at least 350 searches per month. Targeting these keywords can generate a decent amount of quality organic traffic towards your video and ultimately, your website.
But how to optimize your video with these keywords?
File Name: Instead of naming your video file randomly, place the relevant keywords organically. For example, I used the following file name for my webinar video: Tips, tricks, and hacks for Video SEO – Webinar. Here, Video SEO is the keyword.
Video Title: Make sure that the title of your video begins with a primary keyword.
For instance, I wanted to include 4 keywords phrases in my title:
After bouncing up a few ideas and copies, I came up with the following:
Description: Make sure to include the relevant keywords within the first 160 characters (as the message is truncated beyond that).
Tags: Tags are again a way of communicating the content of your video to YouTube, and these are only visible in the Page Source. Include your primary targeted keywords here.
HD enhances the user’s experience; therefore, YouTube prefers ranking HD quality videos higher. You can also try 4K, Virtual Reality (VR) and 360 Upload options. Since these have double the horizontal pixel count, they provide a better viewing experience.
Your thumbnail image creates the first impression of your video and can increase your click-through rates by 15%.
Therefore, it is crucial to invest a couple of minutes in creating an attractive thumbnail image which conveys what your video is about effectively.
Here are four ways to choose an appropriate image for the thumbnail:
Once you have your image, head over to Canva and create a customized poster with the following dimensions 1280×720 pixels, this will ensure that you get a high-quality image which can fit the 2MB upload size limit of YouTube.
Also, the thumbnail image comes out so small on YouTube, so you really need to sharpen it:
All these tiny hacks will make your image stand out. Have a look at the thumbnail I used for the webinar:
85% of the customers are likely to purchase a product after watching its video, so you should always include related links in the description. It can either point to your homepage or any other pages of your website.
The second most vital link to include in the description is your call to action “Subscribe here” link. Lastly, you can include links of your social media channels as well.
Did you notice the timings that I have added for each chapter?
These are links that will direct you to a specific portion of the video. They are especially useful for long videos when you want to keep the viewer engagement. Also, by doing so, you’ll make it easier for the viewer to head straight to the essential portions of the video.
Moreover, they are effortless to create – you just need to write the timing, and YouTube will automatically hyperlink it.
Another way to link in your video is through annotations.
Annotations are those clickable buttons that pop up within a video.
They prompt the users to interact with your video content and thus, help you achieve your goals.
Make sure you add the appropriate time frame (start and end time of annotation) while adding annotations to your videos. Otherwise, it can annoy the viewer.
You can incorporate the following call to actions in your videos through your annotations:
Playlists allow you to categorize all the videos in your channel based on relevancy so that they play out in a sequence. This helps keep viewers on your channel.
Here are a few tips to help you build an optimized playlist for your video content:
In the end, all you need to do is promote your videos as much as you can. Post it on your social media platforms, blogs and forums, and emails as well.
Apart from that, you can create content around the video and embed it in the posts for your blog and guest posts, too.
Traffic driven from through these mediums will be high-quality and can increase the total number of views received by your website. This boosts the popularity of your video on YouTube and eventually, its rankings.
Irrespective of your strategy, the key to ranking is creating excellent video content that adds value and engages the user.
Create a well-optimized video content calendar, use the tricks as mentioned above and establish a prominent YouTube presence.
Do you have some other hacks for ranking YouTube videos? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.