How to Get Your Videos Ranking on YouTube

How to Rank on YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine?

Have you noticed that Google often shows Youtube video links on the first page for search phrases like

  • “How to format a table in google sheets”
  • “Best USB microphone”
  • “Setting up Apple TV”
  • Or “Spaghetti and meatballs recipe”?

Do you believe that people are generally lazy and would rather watch a video than read an article?

Then you should be considering using video in your SEO strategy. Videos are a great way for you to solve your customer’s problems and are another channel that you can use to get in front of them.
As advanced as the Google algorithm is, it can’t watch and understand videos. This is why it takes more than a great video to rank on YouTube.

If you are already creating great videos, here are some tips to help them rank better in YouTube as well as Google.

Get the right Keywords

YouTube Keywords should be slightly different than your website keywords. Google prefers to show YouTube videos on the results page when the videos are

  • How to …
  • Product reviews
  • Or tutorials.

Be sure to have your keywords matching these formats if you want them to be shown on Google. If you do not, then you will only be driving traffic when people are searching within Youtube.

Include your keywords in the right places

Make sure you include your keyword in the following places

  • Video Filename – for example lawn-mowing-tips.mp4 is better than VIDEO_456789.mp4
  • Video Title – the title should be at least 5 words long so you can include your full keyword. For example “5 Lawn Mowing Tips for 2016”.
  • Description – The description is something that is ignored on most videos. As I mentioned before, Google cannot understand your video. The description is where you can include a full recap for what happens in the video, at least 250 words. If there is a lot of talking in your video, but sure to include the transcript in the video. If there is text in the video, include that tool. Also include a link back to your website, ideally the page on your site that is most relevant to the video.
  • Tags – Tags don’t only help you rank for your target keyword, but they also determine when your video shows up in the related sidebar.

Build Links to the Video

Just like ranking factors for blog posts or other pieces of content, links matter. If you want your video to be ranking for competitive keywords, it will need to get more views than the competition.  Here are some ideas to drive traffic to your video

  • Embed Your Videos in Blog Posts – Every quality video should have a corresponding blog post on your site.
  • Post links in Q&A sites – People are already asking for the answer in your video on sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers. These are perfect opportunities for you to link to them.
  • Send to your email list – If you have a large email list, let them know about the video.

Following these steps should get you ahead of your competition in video ranking. There are other things to also consider such as engagement metrics (like, views, time spent watching, thumbs up), but as long as you are producing quality videos and people are watching, the engagement metrics will follow.

If you have any questions on YouTube SEO or any other online marketing topics please let me know.


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