We live in the information age and have access to more ways to consume content than ever. Gone are the days when you had to read a long article to get the information you were looking for—now, you can just watch a YouTube video.
Video content is quickly becoming many people’s preferred medium for content consumption. According to market research, 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read a blog post, a statistic fueled by YouTube’s growing relevance on a global scale.
If you’ve been curious about getting your channel to rank on YouTube, you’ve come to the right place. YouTube is a search engine, and focusing on video SEO can be powerful for creators looking to get their content in front of the right audience.
In this article, we outline seven SEO-focused tips for how to rank YouTube videos fast in 2023.
1. Research Keywords
As in most facets of SEO, keyword research is the first step in establishing a strategy for improving your video reach. If you’re new to the landscape, targeting keywords can help you rank on both Google and YouTube. That helps ensure that when someone searches for topics in your niche, they find your channel.
To conduct productive keyword research, you can use online tools to help narrow down common search terms in your industry. Some of the best for YouTube specifically are:
We also recommend using the auto-complete function within the YouTube search tool. Once you come up with a topic, begin entering it into the search bar. After you type in a keyword, YouTube automatically displays a list of related searches, which is incredibly helpful as you develop topic ideas.
For more keyword inspiration, browse for other channels in your niche. Sort their videos by the most viewed and look at the titles and descriptions. Notice any patterns? Take note and use that information as a jumping-off point.
2. Place Your Keywords in the Right Places
After you have your target keywords, the next step is putting the puzzle pieces together. It all starts with using keywords to craft engaging titles.
YouTube video titles can be up to 100 characters long. This length differs from traditional SEO, where Google cuts off titles at 70 characters, but the practices are essentially the same. Put the most critical information at the beginning of the title, including the keyword.
Because YouTube is tutorial-based, the best titles are questions. They’ll also help your videos rank on Google SERPs because Google owns YouTube. So, you’ll see more success if you can rank on both platforms.
Ranking a YouTube video occurs when you put your keywords in the right places. In addition to including them in the title, make sure they’re in the description, tags, and end cards. Incorporating highly searched-for keywords is one of the most vital tips in this YouTube SEO guide.
You may not think to use your keywords within the video itself. Because YouTube creates its own transcriptions, spoken keywords in video content play a role in SEO.
3. Optimize Your Channel’s About Page
Along with incorporating keywords in your video content, descriptions, tags, titles, and end cards, it’s essential to include them in your channel’s about page. You should focus on your curated list of keywords for the best results.
On a website, you have more flexibility in customizing your about pages, including within the design, layout, photography, colors, and other elements. But on YouTube, you only have words to work with when creating an about page.
Determine which keywords from your list you can integrate naturally into your channel’s about page. Then, consider the level of impact of each by asking the following questions:
- Are they specific?
- Do they paint a picture in the reader’s mind?
- Do they answer a question?
- Do they solve a pain point?
Don’t rush through the process. Spend time with your content to ensure it best reflects your brand and is optimized properly for keywords.
4. Create Quality Content
When working with SEO, it’s not enough to perfect keywords and optimized content. If your videos aren’t high-quality, engaging, personable, and relevant to your audience, they will not rank.
Keyword ranking on YouTube differs from ranking on Google because YouTube doesn’t include tools like backlinking to prove the quality of a piece. Instead, the algorithm relies on audience engagement. One of the most important components of engagement is audience retention, or how long your viewers stay on your videos.
Bottom line: If viewers aren’t getting value from your content, they’ll click away. Engaging content is essential in getting your channel to rank on YouTube.
5. Engage With Your Audience
Another aspect of audience engagement relates to the creator’s interaction with viewers. When you engage with members of your audience regularly, it’s more likely they will continue taking in your content and returning for more. YouTube considers how often users like, comment, and otherwise interact with videos, and the most engaging creators get rewarded through the algorithm.
To keep your audience engaged, try the following techniques:
- Respond to comments
- Post regularly on social media platforms
- Create clickable thumbnails and titles
- Ask your viewers for subscriptions and likes
- Create polls in the comment sections of your videos
6. Promote on Social Media
Social media is crucial to any content creator’s overall marketing strategy. No matter which platforms you’re on, posting regularly and interacting with your followers is a great way to keep them engaged.
Promote your YouTube content on all your social media platforms. Use relevant keywords as you do so to keep everything perfectly optimized.
7. Create Enticing Thumbnails
Wondering how to rank a YouTube video beyond the use of keywords? Another trick is to create enticing thumbnails. Since YouTube is a more visual platform than other search engines, appealing thumbnails are essential in compelling people to click.
If you’re uncomfortable making your own thumbnails, you can outsource the task to a freelancer or a creative professional on your team.
Amp up Your SEO Game with Big Leap
As intimidating as it may be to dive into YouTube with video content, doing so can be incredibly beneficial as an additional marketing tool for brands across all industries. Optimizing video content for SEO can bridge the gap between channels while propelling your content toward the top of search results.
Here at Big Leap, we’re experts on all things SEO marketing, including video ranking. If you want to elevate your SEO game across all marketing channels, reach out to our team to find out how we can support your strategy.