How to Rank YouTube Videos

If you spend any time at all searching in Google, you’ve probably noticed YouTube videos dominating the first page. If you’ve ever wondered how you can get your videos to rank in Google, and within YouTube’s internal search engine, this video is for you. I’ll show you how to create and optimize videos to maximize your videos’ search engine visibility.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up everybody? In this video, I’m going to show you some best practices for YouTube SEO and although I’ll be emphasizing YouTube SEO in this video, all of these same strategies apply to video SEO in general. So, if you want to host videos on your own website, you can still apply these same strategies.

Why would you want to create videos and try to rank them within the YouTube search engine and on Google? Well, the obvious answer is that it’s very easy to rank YouTube videos in Google and as you can see from this search result for “how to rank YouTube videos,” the top four results are all from YouTube. This is not an isolated keyword. Just one I randomly look for, “best web microphone.” Two here, above the fold, are from YouTube.

So, Google definitely gives a huge preference to YouTube in the SERPs, and if you can create a highly optimized video, you can usually rank with very little effort. Now, I’m going to show you how to do it. Your first step is to create a great video, and that’s important for ranking within the YouTube search engine, which just so happens to be the second most popular search engine on the internet, after Google.

It’s very important that you hit these user experience metrics and if you log in to your YouTube account and go to analytics, they’ll show you some of the important metrics that they look at under engagement. I don’t use this YouTube account very much, so I don’t have any. But if you were active on YouTube, you would see things like likes, dislikes, comments, shares, et cetera, and these are things that YouTube uses to figure out the quality of your video.

Another very important thing for YouTube SEO is audience retention. This is how long people tend to watch your video. All right, so this is your average view duration. This is how much of the video people watch, and the higher the better. If someone watches the first ten seconds of your video and clicks away, that’s not very YouTube SEO friendly.

You want people to theoretically watch the entire video and they give you a nice handy style right here, which is the percentage of time of your video that people watch, and 61% is quite good. Anything above 50% is very good. That means someone sat and watched more than half of the video, on average, and that’s very important for ranking within YouTube.

Once you’ve created a great video, your next step is to find a keyword to optimize around. The best way to do that is to use the YouTube keyword tool, and this is a tool that not many people know about, but it’s actually very helpful if you plan on ranking videos within YouTube. Just head over to the YouTube keyword tool and put in a keyword that is related to your niche.

Let’s say you just made a video about how to dance. This might be a keyword you want to check out and when you click on “Get Keyword Ideas,” you get all these results, and “how to dance” has an absurd amount of monthly volume, so this might be a little too competitive for you. You may want to choose something a little less competitive and you can play around with this just like you would with the Google keyword tool. You can even change match type to exact.

If you want to get really specific, Gangnam style, right, you’re probably not going to rank for that keyword, but maybe for something like hip hop dance, it’s a little less competitive. That’s something that you might be able to rank for if you create a great video about hip hop.

Once your video is made and you have a keyword that you’ve picked, your next step is to obviously upload it to YouTube. So, head over to YouTube, click on “Upload,” and if you have the file ready, click “File to Upload.” You can see here that I have made the file name the keyword. That’s very important because this is one way that YouTube and Google determines the relevancy of that video.

So, something like “how to dance mamba,” if that was my keyword, plus two. You don’t want to keyword stuff it. I like to add something at the end like video tutorial. What that does, it just tells Google that this is about how to dance mamba, but it’s not so over-optimized. So, pick that and upload it.

Once that’s doing it’s thing, uploading, the most important part of your video SEO, just like with on-page, is the title. It helps immensely to put your keyword in the beginning of the title.  You know, “How to Dance Mamba, Five Moves That Grab Attention,” something like that. You don’t want to keyword stuff then it have a just how to dance mamba. You want the keyword density to be somewhat low, but have the keyword in the beginning. So, that’s the title. That’s the most important thing.

Under the description area, I like to put a very long, lengthy description like, want to learn, with the keyword in the beginning and then I just describe, basically, what I have in the video. The first move we go over is the whatever. Then just keep writing. I usually like to have at least 300 to 400 words in there and put my keyword two or three times. That just really gives Google the idea that this is what the video is about, because at this moment, anyway, they’re not really good at interpreting the content of a video. They really rely on your file name, the title and the description to figure out what your video is all about.

You can also boost the relevancy a little bit by putting some tags. Now you don’t have to go crazy with tags because I don’t think YouTube uses them very much, but you can put things like, “dance mamba,” “dance tutorials,” and I don’t think this helps you rank within YouTube, but it can help you show up for related videos when someone is watching a related video, OK? Under the category, just pick the most appropriate category for you. They haven’t changed these categories since YouTube came out, so a lot of times they won’t really apply to what you’re talking about.

In this case, for mamba, if it’s instructional, put “How to [Install],” but if it was something that was just more entertaining, you’d want to put music. So, you do want to pick the most appropriate category, but the categories aren’t really ideal, in my opinion, for most videos. So, when in doubt, just put “How to [Install]” if you happen to be doing a tutorial-style video. That’s it for YouTube and video SEO. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.