In this article I’m going to share 8 YouTube SEO tips to help you rank your videos number one on YouTube. These are the exact strategies that have allowed me to get 20k subscribers and over 1 million views in less than 6 months of starting a channel. So if you want to find out how to rank your videos number one then keep on reading.
1. Find good keywords
First, you need to understand that how YouTube decides which videos to rank is based on keywords. People are looking for different topics on YouTube and they’re also watching videos and seeing videos that are suggested in the sidebar. You need to use specific words that people are looking for, or interested in inside your videos titles, descriptions and tags, so that you will show up in the search and on that sidebar, thus more people will be watching your videos.
The first step to doing this is to make sure that you find some really good keywords that people are actually interested in and actually searching for. For this, you need to brainstorm for different ideas about what people might be searching for. Think about the real words that people will use if they were looking for a video like yours. After you’ve brainstormed a big list of words that people might be using, then it’s time to start doing a little bit of research to figure out which of those words are actually the most popular.
The simple way to do this is just to start typing these different keywords into the search bar on YouTube or on Google. When you do this you’ll see that a bunch of suggested keywords will pop up, and these are some of the things that people are searching for the most often. When you find these terms that people are using a whole lot, you’ll want to make sure that you use those words in your videos titles, descriptions and tags.
Another way to figure out exactly which keywords you should be focusing on is to use a free extension called TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy is just a browser extension that you can install on whatever browser you’re using, and it will give you data on different search terms when you’re doing research on YouTube. So with this extension installed, when I search on YouTube for a keyword I see this little box pop up over on the side of the page and it gives me a rank for that keyword, basically it tells me how good of a keyword that is based on how popular it is, how many people are searching for it and how competitive it is.
You want to be looking for keywords that have lots of people searching for them but aren’t very competitive. The reality is that most keywords that people are searching for are going to be fairly competitive, so you’re just looking to find a good balance. If you can find one that is moderately popular and moderately competitive then that’s actually probably a pretty good keyword to go after. But ideally you’re looking for one that is very popular and not very competitive.
As your channel grow in popularity, you’ll be able to go after more and more competitive keywords and you’ll be able to get better and better rankings for your videos. When you’re just starting out it’s better to target those less competitive keywords that maybe aren’t quite as popular, but at least you’ll be able to rank for and start to get some traction on YouTube.
It’s better to decide exactly what keywords you’re going to after with your video before you film your video, so that as you make your video you can actually talk about the keywords in the video because YouTube is listening to you. Their algorithm and software has gotten a lot more advanced and they can actually listen to your videos, even if you don’t have subtitles or closed captions on your video, they can still listen to try and figure out what your video is about. If you say your keywords in your videos, of course in a natural conversational way, then this will actually help your video rank better in the search results.
2. Use popular video titles as your video tags
This is a tip I haven’t heard anyone talking about, so if you do this you’ll definitely be ahead of the game. This is about using your competitors video titles as tags on your own video. Thus when you’re doing your keyword research and you’re looking at these different keywords that you will like to rank for, and the sort of videos that if people are interested in them they will also be interested in the video that you are making. So what you want to do is to copy the title of that video exactly, and then paste it into the tags section of your video and also into the bottom part of the description of your video.
That way when someone is watching that video on YouTube, your video will be much more likely to show up in the suggested video side column, and you will get a lot more views because of that. If you want to be even more sneaky about it, then you can open up a private browser in your computer, go to the competitors video and then see what videos are showing up in the side column when you’re watching their video, and then you could use some of the more popular videos that are popping up on that sidebar as even more tags on your own videos.
3. Spy on competitor’s keywords
The second video SEO tip is to use TubeBuddy to see what keywords your competitors are successfully targeting. Whenever you’re watching a video on YouTube and you have TubeBuddy installed, over on the right side you will see a list of all of the tags that are on that video, then TubeBuddy will even tell you how well the video is ranking for those different tags. If you see a video that’s very similar to the video that you’re making and the channel that made it has a similar number of subscribers as you do, and maybe their videos are doing about as well as your videos are normally doing, then that gives you a good idea that you can probably rank for those same keywords if you optimize your video around those keywords.
If you’re making a video about how to train your puppy and you go and watch a video that has that long-tail keyword (how to train your puppy) and then you look at the tags over on the side and you see that they are ranking number 5 for the keyword ‘puppy training tips’ then you know this keyword is probably a good one for you to go after.
4. Use your name as a tag
YouTube likes to reward creators who keep people on YouTube for longer, so when someone is watching one of your videos, if they then go and watch another of your videos right after it, then YouTube thinks that your channel is doing a great job because people seems to be interested in watching more content on your channel, and that means that they are interested in being on YouTube to watch this creators content. If you can do something to make people want to watch more of your videos right after they watch one of your videos then YouTube will actually want to give you a boost in the rankings because they want your channel to do better.
A sneaky little way to do this is to use your own name and / or channel name in the tags section of your video. Here’s what this does: this means that YouTube thinks your videos are even more closely related to each other because it can see they have these different keywords that are in common. It sees that your name is in the tags of multiple videos from your channel, and when someone is watching one of your video, your other videos are even more likely to show up in those suggested videos, which increases the chances for people to watch one of your videos after the first one.
Not only does this mean that YouTube will favor your channel by boosting it in rankings, but it also means you’re getting more views for your videos right there by only applying this technique.
5. Place your tags at the bottom of your video description
This is about not putting the tags only in the actual tag section where YouTube asks you to put your tags, but also copy them from there and paste them into the very bottom part of your video description. By doing that you get all of the keywords both into the description and into the tags for a better overall optimization. Rather than trying to stuff all those keywords and make them sound natural somehow in your video description, you could just place them all the way down at the bottom after you write ‘Tags’, so when someone seems them listed as Tags it will look more natural.
6. Embed your videos in your site
This is going to to multiple things, but basically when you embed a YouTube video into your website, it is telling Google that they should show preference to this content, because not only are you ranking or using those keywords on YouTube but you’re also using them on your website, and you’re giving this like cyclical effect of ‘same keywords here, same keywords there’..
Google loves Google and Google loves YouTube and you’re giving both exactly what they want. SO make sure whenever you upload a video on YouTube to be also embedded in your website.
7. Use the same keyword on the website / blog post as you are on YouTube
If you have a WordPress-based site/blog and have installed a SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, then you can make sure that you’re giving Google all the SEO it want and they will love you for doing so. Yoast SEO comes with plenty of features to help your site with SEO, and will also let you customize every post on your website with the description and keywords you wish to add.
8. Do title research
Another thing you want to do is search for titles in the search bar of YouTube before you title your video. This one seems really easy and elementary, but basically go to the search bar of YouTube and type in what you think you want to title your video. You may already have something that seems like a working title and you’re trying to see if it works or not, paste that title in the search bar and see what videos come up, then see if it’s actually something people really want to watch. If that’s not the case, re-think your terms and come up with another title that is more better.
If you will go to the search bar on YouTube and you will type in your key terms, what will come up as the first ten results are things that people are searching for, so you know that those top 10 results are decent, and you could use to be successful with. However, they all start with your key terms, so, let’s say your key terms were ‘YouTube SEO’ and you’re searching for this term in the search bar.. everything that comes up in that top 10 will start with ‘YouTube SEO’, so one of the results might be like ‘YouTube SEO for beginners’. Now, to go a level deeper once you’ve typed in your term key, you have to go back at the search bar and put your cursor before the keywords and type an underscore and a space. Doing this will pull up those same top 10 results but this time your keywords could be found anywhere in that title.
If your keywords are ‘YouTube SEO’ you might see that what you found before was ‘youtube seo x’, youtube seo y’ etc.. but now you’re seeing things like ‘how to heck youtube seo’ or ‘how I rank using youtube seo’. So now basically you have generated a list of possible good titles that you can use for your videos.
9. Do more of the videos that perform well in your channel
If you have a video that performs really well in your audience, and you’re getting subscribers from it plus a lot of watch time, it means that those are the things your audience wants to see. Take a step back, look at your content calendar and see how you can do more things like that in the future.
Let’s say you see an old video that you did maybe six months ago and it didn’t really perform well when you released, but now for whatever reason is showing up in a lot of people’s suggested videos. Maybe a larger creator than you put out a video similar and YouTube is suggesting yours. However you might be getting a lot of traffic from this old video, so if you start seeing that you might think: ‘actually I’m getting a lot of traffic coming in from people who want to see about that, so I need to put out another video about that while it’s kind of blowing up in my channel’. So you need to be attentive to what people are watching and what people are liking on your channel and do more of it.
10. Create good, valuable content that people will really like
This might seem really freaking is to put out good content that people want to watch. It doesn’t really matter how well you rank in search engines if your content do sucks when people do find it. Make sure you’re doing all the SEO techniques you read on this article, but also make sure your content is really good. It doesn’t matter if you rank number 1 if someone gets only 10 seconds into your video and doesn’t like what you’re saying. SO put out good content and make sure it’s rich, valuable content.