When i first started on YouTube, i was completely at a loss about what to do. I knew it was essential to rank well on YouTube because it’s the second-largest search engine behind Google. I knew that great videos could get amazing traction and even go viral, which really helps your brand and your business.
So I did what every other entrepreneur would do – I turned to Google to find advice. Unfortunately, I kept seeing the same tips over and over. Use keywords in the title, use lots of tags, and create great videos (aww, i was planning on doing terrible ones!) Blah blah blah – so generic, and very unhelpful.
After years of trial and error, I found what really works – and here are my seven best tips on how to do the same yourself.
1. Boost Your Clickthrough Rate
Your click-through rate is the number of people who see your video in search results and then click on it. YouTube has said that videos with a lot of clicks get moved up in rankings, so this is a great way to boost your YouTube SEO.
The very best way to boost your click-through rate is to use [brackets] or (parentheses) at the end of your title. Simply add a clarifying word or phrase. For example, you might have something that says “Top Gardening Strategies (Start Inside Today!)”
The brackets work because they give the person scrolling through results a sneak-peek into what’s inside your video, which makes them much more likely to click through. Research shows that you can get up to 38% more clicks just from using brackets at the end of your title.
2. Increase Engagement Signals
YouTube has stated that video rankings have a lot to do with how much engagement a video gets. After all, they will naturally want to boost videos that have a lot of comments, shares, and subscribers, right?
So how do you boost engagement on your video? There are several things you can do. First, instead of asking people to “share their thoughts in the comments”, ask a multiple-choice question instead. Something like “Which strategy do you want to use first?” is a great option. People love to share their opinion, but they don’t want to think too much. Make it easy to comment by narrowing things down!
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Also, ask people to subscribe but give them a good reason. Tell them a benefit they will get from your channel and go deeper than just “more videos.” What about more actionable advice, or more laughs,? Whatever you provide share the benefit and ask viewers to subscribe.
3. Embed Your Videos
One of the factors that correlates very strongly with high YouTube ranking is having a lot of embeds and links to your video. Top-ranked videos have 78% more embeds than average videos. How do you get embeds?
The easiest way is to use videos on your own website often. Use them in blog posts as examples of your point, or to give a more in-depth explanation of what you’re discussing. You can also embed them in press releases, guest posts, and other content.
4. Use the TSC Tagging Formula
A lot of people simply put in as many as they can think of, trying to tag every possible topic or keyword related to their video. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. YouTube uses tags to determine what your content is about. If you use a ton of them, YouTube gets confused and you don’t rank highly.
Instead, use the TSC formula. Your first several keywords should be your target keywords and variations of them. For instance, you might use “public speaking tips” “public speaking advice” and “speaking in public”.
Next, use synonyms of your target keyword. You might consider “conference speaking” or “keynote speaking” in the current example. Finally, use your last few tags to describe the larger, overall topic. For instance, you might use “public speaking”, “giving speeches”, or “conferences”.
When you do this, your tags will make sense and help you rank for exactly the topic you’re focused on
5. Rank Within Suggested Videos
Ranking in YouTube search is important, of course, but another important place to rank well is in suggested videos. Ranking in this list can often bring you more views than ranking well in search!
Suggested videos are based on what you’ve been watching and what video you’re currently watching. Find popular videos in your niche and use a few of their tags in your synonyms and category sections. When you do, you stand a good chance of ranking in the suggested videos for that video.
6. Increase Your Watch Time
Your watch time is the total overall time that people have watched your video. This metric, according to YouTube themselves, helps you get more visibility for all of your content on the platform.
How do you increase your watch time? The first step is to plan and script your videos. Don’t just wing it and risk losing people because you’re all over the place and not getting to the point. Second, make sure your video is interesting. No one wants to look at a static image or unchanging camera angle. Use images, shifts, music, and other content to make your videos more interesting to watch.
7. Optimize Your Video Description
YouTube uses your description to understand what your video is about. That’s why one-word or throwaway descriptions hurt your ability to grow on the platform. Instead, create an SEO-optimized video description with these steps.
First, make sure to write at least 100 words. You need enough content to really describe the video! Secondly, use your target keyword in the first two or three sentences. This helps emphasize it. Finally, use target keywords and synonyms throughout, but don’t keyword stuff. Just a few times is enough.