YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide to Ranking Videos in 2018
Video continues to play an important role in marketing in 2018. Thanks to YouTube, which is currently the second largest search engine in the world, and other social media platforms, content creators can conveniently share their messages to viewers from all around the globe.
On the other hand, the hype around video marketing and these online social hubs has brought about a highly-competitive business landscape. Creating meaningful content isn’t enough to get one to stand out. If brands intend to get ahead of the competition, it is imperative that they produce relevant content. More importantly, you should constantly seek out new ways and embrace new strategies that would get your videos to rank higher. Knowing the best SEO practices will enable you to optimize your channel, making it easier for viewers to find, watch, and share your content.
The Benefits of Video Marketing
Are you still unsure about the relevance of video content? Listed below are some facts and statistics that should prove that the practice is worth it.
Consumers love watching videos.
A survey conducted by HubSpot and Tubular Insights reveals that consumers spend as much as 1.5 hours a day watching videos. About 15% of the 570 respondents claim to watch over 3 hours’ worth of content on a regular day.
The survey shows that:
72% of consumers prefer watching video content to learn about a brand’s products.
81% of viewers admitted to buying products or services after watching an ad.
69% of viewers claimed to have bought software or application after watching an ad.
Marketers have benefited from this strategy.
The same study reveals that marketers who adapted video marketing have benefited from it.
The survey shows that:
76% of marketers saw increased sales.
97% of respondents claimed it boosted awareness of their products or services.
76% of respondents said it drove traffic.
Consumers are all about sharing content.
Cat videos aren’t the only type of content that can go viral. Anything that informs and evokes emotions will be shared by audiences. HubSpot’s study shows that 83% of consumers will pass on content that they like to friends.
YouTube is, as mentioned, one of the most viewed search engines in the world. It is second only to Google. It has more than 1 billion active users – nearly a third of the entire online community. More importantly, it is well-favored by the millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. The platform is so popular among millennials that it’s actually able to reach more audiences than TV channels.
How to Rank YouTube Videos
Now that we’ve established that video marketing is important and that publishing content on YouTube is absolutely necessary, it’s time to learn how to get more views, subscribers, and traffic from the platform. Here’s what you need to do to grow your YouTube channel:
Every great SEO plan starts with keyword research.
Come up with a list of search terms that you want to use to rank your content. Remember that the keywords you choose must have YouTube videos featured on the first page of the SERP or the search engine results page.
At times, you might encounter terms that don’t have videos yet. If you’re having a bit of trouble, you can always opt to browse Google’s preferred search terms. You will find that the following keywords will always have a video featured in the SERP:
Choosing a search term that has a YouTube video in the SERP allows you to rank the content you published not only on the said platform’s search engine but on Google’s as well. There are a bunch of tools you can use for keyword research. Programs like KeywordTool.io should make it easier and quicker for you to come up with a list.
These tools don’t often come free. You might have to pay a monthly subscription fee. So if you don’t want to pay for this step, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner. When you use this program, don’t forget to look at the number of searches a keyword gets each month. It should have at least 300.
Producing a Video
The next step in the process centers on the content itself. When you’ve selected the keyword, you should start planning for your video.
While getting the keyword right will make your content easier to search for, that won’t convince viewers to keep on watching. For your audience to be enticed to watch more of what you publish, the content you upload must be compelling.
In a statement, YouTube reminded content creators that audience retention will make a significant impact on ranking, that videos viewed until the end are more likely to pop up in Search and Suggested locations within the platform.
There are two aspects that make a YouTube video great. These are:
The way you tell a story.
The way you present facts and important information will determine your audience’s response. If the content is presented in a way that’s boring and dry, viewers won’t bother seeing the entire clip. Look for compelling ways to present the dullest subjects, and you will surely find an audience who will love to view your content.
Sometimes choosing the best format for your story will make its impact even bigger. For instance, if you want to move audiences, then you certainly can’t do it in a 10-second ad.
The way you edit it.
This step is perhaps the most exhausting of the two, but it is arguably the most important. Editing adds life to your videos. It’s how you can evoke emotion and entice consumers into purchasing products, subscribing to your channel or whatever it is you want them to do after watching your content.
Always strive to understand the type of content that your audience wants. You can determine their preferences with the help of YouTube analytics. This tool helps you assess the quality of your video and the impact it has made on your viewers.
As previously mentioned, audience retention is pretty valuable. You can actually check if viewers watched your videos until the very end. The tool also allows you to find out how much of your content they viewed before leaving. Knowing such factors should help you identify the parts where it got dull and the parts that were interesting.
How to Optimize Videos for YouTube SEO
After creating your video, there are a few other things that you need to keep in mind to have a better YouTube ranking. The factors that you should be paying attention to include:
The title of the video must be made up of at least five words. This way, you can use the keywords, and avoid stuffing. Much like in content writing, there’s an advantage if the keyword is placed at the beginning of the title.
“Video Marketing: How to Make Explainer Videos”
The description box is actually very important so don’t leave it blank. It helps YouTube, as well as Google, determine the type of content you published. If their algorithms can comprehend what you’ve made, the more likely your video is to rank higher.
A description must have at least 250 words. The keyword should be repeated two to four times within this summary. And one of them should be placed somewhere in the first 25 words.
Tags aren’t as important as the first two factors, but they can still help your creations rank better. By adding targeted tags, it can help rank your keyword, and it should make your content pop up in the related video section on the sidebar of YouTube.
The exact keyword you chose can be your first tag. The rest can be variations of that phrase or word. Other than that, you can tag topics that are covered in your video.
You can actually optimize your channel – and you should. You can categorize videos into playlists, making it even easier for YouTube to comprehend your content. By doing so, your profile can rank better. Plus, a well-organized and professional-looking channel should have a better chance of attracting subscribers.
When you’re creating the page’s description, sprinkle in a few words or phrases that you want to be ranked for. But never stuff it with keywords.
Once you’ve done all that, think about how you are going to promote your video. Although all those steps ensure that your content will be seen, you should never just sit around and wait for someone to discover them. You should be active in promoting your creations.
Share videos on social media, preferably on the platforms where your audiences mostly hang out. You should also target forums and other popular communities where people like to talk about the latest trends. Just remember that no one likes spam. Never overwhelm a platform with too many promotions as this can get you banned.
Remember the rules and you should be fine. Best of luck on your video marketing endeavors!