YouTube SEO Tips: How To Rank YouTube Videos Fast
You want to know- how to rank YouTube videos fast.
I have one word for you- views.
There’s a correlation between views and ranks on YouTube.
You need views to get top ranks and ranks bring more views.
SEO can help you obtain both at once.
According to Briggsby YouTube SEO ranking factor study, video views are the best way to rank on YouTube. Beyond that, you have subscribers, likes, comments, inbound links, keywords and more.
Keeping this study in mind, I have designed a list of 11 YouTube SEO tips to help you rank your videos faster.
So, let’s dive right in!
1. Choose an optimal video length for your channel
If you search YouTube SEO tips for video length, you will come across some reliable statistics.
According to a study conducted by Minimatters, top 10 most popular videos on YouTube had an average video length of 4 minutes 20 seconds. However, the video length range was pretty wide- 42 seconds to 9 minutes and 15 minutes.
But you can’t make a 4-minute long video if you have content that’s worth 10 minutes or more.
Even YouTube understands the diversity of video length. Which is why it gives video length filter options.
So, when you ask- How long should a YouTube video be?
Think about two aspects:
- What is the best video length for your content niche?
- How long can you keep your audiences interested?
The answers will depend on the content you want to publish on your YouTube channel.
TedTalks follow video length range of 10-20 minutes on an average.
Philip DeFranco runs his YouTube news channel with a video range of 11-20 minutes on an average.
Great Big Story has a wide video length range with 2-20 minutes on an average.
So, your goal should be to decide a time frame best-suited to convey your point most interestingly.
This means you can create:
- Short-length videos- 42 seconds to 4 minutes
- Medium-length videos- 5 minutes to 20 minutes
- Long videos- videos > 20 minutes
2. Be clear about what you want to offer on your channel
If you want to rank on YouTube, your channel has to find its own place.
YouTube algorithms need to know what sort of space you want to acquire for your channel.
For that, you need to choose specific channel keywords and include them.
Channel keywords are specific words that convey your channel’s context to YouTube.
This way, YouTube knows who should see your channel and videos. So, your videos reach the right audiences.
There are some YouTube SEO tips around channel keywords you should care about.
You can make a list of core keywords and include them on your channel’s information. Generally, 10-20 channel keywords are pretty standard to add.
If you feel confused about choosing these keywords, simply go to the “about” section of a competitor channel on YouTube.
Suppose you want to analyze Svet Fit Music for fitness music keywords.
Right-click and select “view page source”.
This search will open a new tab of code properties of that page. There you can find channel keyword ideas.
Follow the same process with 3 to 4 channels in your niche.
You will have some great channel keywords to use.
3. Start videos with a hook for high retention rate
The intro of your video is crucial to rank on YouTube.
No, no, YouTube doesn’t judge your creativity!
It just looks at the time people spend watching your video. The technical term for this is retention rate.
If you can’t engage people on your video, YouTube begins to push your rankings down.
So, what can you do to retain your viewers?!
Add a great hook.
A hook is a concept of storytelling used to engage viewers. You present an interesting fact, idea or promise in the beginning.
This narrative hook makes a viewer stay throughout the video to satisfy his or her curiosity.
For example, look at this video, in which, travel filmmaker Lost LeBlanc shares his experience of making travel vlogs.
You can see how LeBlanc starts his video with a sneak-peak. He doesn’t hide behind the great views only. He adds facts about the destination to induce curiosity.
First 30-second of his video is sort of a teaser. And that’s what you need in order to retain your viewers.
You can go to YouTube Help to see how to analyze your audience retention report.
4. Research keywords to rank in YouTube and Google
To rank in YouTube and Google simultaneously, you need to find a perfect video keyword.
Here are step-by-step YouTube SEO tips on keyword research you can use:
Step #1- Type a video idea in YouTube search box
If you have a fashion or lifestyle channel, “how to wear a suit” is a great video keyword.
But, this keyword is way too competitive to target when you have a growing channel.
In that case, you need to obtain more specific keywords.
So, for a new channel, you can use-
“How to wear a suit without a tie”
“How to wear suit for skinny guys”
“How to wear a suit jacket with jeans”
These are some pretty specific video keyword phrases you can target.
Step #2- Add a preposition in your core keyword
Write your core video keyword in the YouTube search box.
Then, add a preposition (to, in, of, for…) from the right side.
This will give you a whole new list of keyword ideas right there.
Adding “for” after “how to wear a suit” will give you new suggestions:
“How to wear a suit for interview”
This is a unique video keyword phrase to target, right?!
Or, what about-
“How to wear a suit for ladies”
This is how you can become free to choose high volume, low competition video keywords.
Step #3- Advanced video keyword research
Let’s get more advanced with this research.
How about you add a ‘_’, then, click ‘space’ in the prefix of your core keyword.
Do you see this?!
Some crisp new ideas for videos are possible with this search.
What if you do the same thing in the suffix of your core keyword?!
This simple trick will expose some great video ideas with keywords you can use.
Step #4- Search on Google
As you want to rank your videos on Google SERPs as well, research there too!
You just need to find out if Google considers a keyword video worthy or not.
For that, you can search your video keyword on Google search.
If you find a list of videos in the search result, you have a green light from Google’s side.
But don’t stop there!
Look at the top Google video SERP rankings to see the content type people want.
Topics that usually attract videos on SERPs are:
You can also explore current popularity of your topic via Google trends
You can even compare keyword performances.
5. Analyze competitors for video tags
Video tags or YouTube tags are keywords that convey video’s context to algorithms.
These tags are also used to create suggestion table on the right side of any video.
So, if you want your videos to appear more often in searches and suggestions- add relevant tags.
You can find relevant video tags from other similar videos.
VidIQ is a perfect Chrome extension you can use for this purpose. It automatically shows you video tags of a video along with more competitor analysis and SEO reports.
6. Write and say your keywords
Most YouTube SEO tips involve optimizing only 3 areas of videos:
- Video title
- Video description
- Video tags
But, there is one more area of YouTube keyword optimization. And that is- in the actual words you say in your video.
Google and YouTube algorithms can easily transcribe videos. This is possible even if you don’t provide transcriptions.
Suppose, those algorithms find a keyword in your video title, description, and tags.
But you haven’t said that keyword while recording your content.
This may confuse algorithms about the context of your video.
So, there are 4 keyword optimization areas to maximize your video SEO value:
1. Video title- an engaging title with 1 or 2 keywords
2. Video description- 250+ words of description with target keyword sprinkled. No overstuffing!
3. Video tags- 10-20 tags with target keyword and associated variations.
4. Video content- say your keyword in the first 15 seconds of your video.
With these YouTube SEO best practices, you can start speaking YouTube’s language and rank high.
7. Give your videos a professional appeal
Same content can look differently appealing, depending on how much work you put in it.
Maybe you want to teach, motivate or simply entertain your audiences.
No matter what you do on your YouTube channel, just do it best!
For a professional appeal on your videos, you need several YouTube SEO tips:
- Use good quality gadgets to capture video and audio.
- Look professional and sound confident when talking.
- Create an interesting background to engage audiences.
- Ensure a streamlined story in your whole video. (You can leverage Storyblocks to find video and audio blocks for commercial use)
8. Create custom thumbnails for high CTR
An image that pops out and talks to viewers is perfect for your thumbnail.
Why do you need to care about that?!
Even a top rank in YouTube won’t help at all if people don’t click to see your video.
In fact, if more people avoid clicking on your video link, YouTube will reduce its ranking.
Unlike Google search, viewers give less attention to the title of a link on YouTube. They look at the thumbnail first to decide whether they want to click or not.
So, the views on your video depend on how engaging its thumbnail is.
The best way to keep your CTR high is if you design custom thumbnails for your videos.
Here is a great tutorial from Video Influencers to make custom YouTube thumbnails:
9. Encourage viewers for interactive actions
YouTube wants to see interactions around your video.
If a viewer clicks on the “Like” button, it sends a positive signal to algorithms.
The same is with “Share”, “Subscribe” and “Comment”.
Though sharing and subscribing are more effective, you should encourage all kinds of interactive actions.
Always include a request to “Like, Share, and Subscribe” in your video.
If your video is longer than 5 minutes, don’t wait till the end to request these actions. You can initiate with 15 to 30 seconds of narrative hook, then, request your call-to-action.
10. Embed your videos on social media and web pages
YouTube marketing requires a balanced combination of content quality and promotion.
A new channel doesn’t seem credible enough to algorithms. You have to build a network around your channel to rank on YouTube and obtain consistent viewers.
This network requires inbound links from various resources.
Embedding video is one of the best YouTube SEO tips to obtain traffic initially.
You should create social media pages, sites, and blogs for your YouTube channel. Then, embed and promote your videos via social media, website, and blog.
This is the backlink scenario, YOU create for your channel.
However, consistent promotion will increase your viewership. And, your audiences will become inbound link providers.
If you create quality content consistently, your videos will eventually appear on other websites, blogs, and social media pages. All these platforms will direct links to your channel and videos.
Your videos will get top ranks on YouTube.
11. Divide videos into suitable playlists
Playlist is one of the most underrated YouTube SEO tips. People forget that YouTube is all about the comfort of watching videos.
So, the goal is to give your viewers as much comfort as possible. And playlists do just that for your channel.
With playlists, you give an organized collection of your videos. Viewers don’t need to search and click on videos one-by-one. A single click and they can watch the whole playlist.
Their comfort becomes your SEO advantage too. Your channel’s watch time increases, and that’s great to rank on YouTube.
When creating playlists:
- Make a list of topics you use on your channel.
- Find 3 or more videos related to each topic.
- Include them in one playlist and publish.
- Make sure you keep the playlists visible to public.
Did you find your favorite YouTube SEO tips?!
You have all the knowledge of how to rank YouTube videos fast. Hopefully, you have gotten what you were looking for.
Need more answers?!
Ask your questions in the comment section below.
Don’t forget to share this post with your Youtuber friends.