SEO | April 25, 2014

Youtube Search: How to Make Your Video Rank Well

After Google, YouTube is the world’s largest search engine.  With 3 million different enquiries made every month and 1 billion monthly users, it goes without saying that the video sharing service is big news.

Therefore, YouTube represents a big opportunity for marketers. And if you’ve created a video that you think could go viral, you’ve got to give it the best chance of doing so. How can you rank well on YouTube? Let’s take a look:

First things first, know that YouTube isn’t very personalised

Unlike Google, which is becoming increasingly personalised thanks to the integration of Google+, search results on YouTube don’t depend on who you are or what you know. The search results you’ll find will be near enough identical whether you’re signed in or signed out.

That means the playing field is relatively level. Getting your optimisation right can make all the difference.

Get your tags right

In 2012, YouTube removed the visibility of tags from video pages, but that’s not to say they’re no longer there. Nor are they irrelevant. If you’re looking for your video to rank well on YouTube, it makes sense to tag it with relevant terms and keywords.

What’s more, you should also tag your YouTube channel name in every video you upload. This helps YouTube to link your videos with each other and give them a higher chance of appearing in related fields.

How to find the right YouTube keywords

Like Google, YouTube has a Keyword Tool which allows you to enter in keywords and see the search volume that they enjoy. This can help you to generate great ideas (for onsite content as well as video content) and see what people are looking for on YouTube.

What’s more, consulting YouTube’s Autosuggest feature, which works the same way as Google’s, can offer you inspiration and insight into how users behave on YouTube.

Write a decent description

YouTube spiders can’t watch a video, so it’s your job to tell them what it’s all about. Be detailed and compelling and give the reader plenty of reasons to watch your video. Make sure that your description is at least 200 words and include relevant keywords throughout – particularly in the first couple of lines.

The description is also a great place to put a link to your blog or social networks to encourage viewers to interact further with your brand.

Could you include a transcript?

Alongside a description you could also include a transcript, which states verbatim what your video as about. Again, this gives YouTube a greater understanding of your video and makes it more likely to rank well for relevant search terms.

Craft terrific titles

Titles are just as important in YouTube as they are in Google. The headline of your video is the most important aspect – so ensure that you’re including as many key terms as possible while, of course, still catching the eye of browsers online.

Like Google, a YouTube video title shouldn’t really exceed 65 characters or look spammy.

Build your own brand channel

As it strives to push the quality of its content up, YouTube wants videos from authoritative, respected sources. That’s why it makes sense to build your own Youtube channel. A popular channel will stand a greater chance of its videos ranking well for relevant search terms.

YouTube will take a number of factors into account when discerning the popularity of your channel, including:

• The amount of subscribers

• Your cumulative views

• The popularity of your playlists

• Video interactions

• Your channel’s title and description

• Your channel’s age

Remember, your channel will be your brand’s public face and you’ll be able to stay consistent with the aesthetics and written tone of your website, as well as other social networks and relevant marketing campaigns.

Get popular, stupid!

Tags, content, titles: YouTube optimisation all sounds very similar to Google right now. However, while Google doesn’t seem to judge a web page on its bounce rates and page view times, YouTube rankings do depend on the popularity of content.

If your video has high levels of engagement, with lots of views and a decent number of reactions and comments, then you’ll be more likely to rank well in searches.

What’s more, since 2012, YouTube has placed increased emphasis on how users behave when they’re watching online. Videos with a high ‘average watching time’ will enjoy better search rankings.

Sharing is caring 

The popularity of YouTube videos also manifests itself in sharing. Videos with plenty of organic links that have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ stand a great chance of ranking in YouTube.

In most part, the secret to ranking well in YouTube searches is markedly similar to Google. You can do the little things well and give your content a decent chance of attracting views, but it’s only through creating cracking content that you’ll get shares, likes and, as a result, increased ROI from the world’s second-largest search engine.

This infographic from Tag SEO shows all the many factors that go into ranking a YouTube video:

How to rank well in Youtube

(Image: Rego Korosi)

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