According to Statista, at least 2.6 billion people globally use YouTube once every month. With thousands of hours of video uploaded every hour, it’s easy to get buried deep. See also, social media trends in 2022. To get your video content to appear on search, ensure your videos are high in quality and optimized for search.  You need a sure strategy for your YouTube search engine optimization.

This guide discusses what YouTube SEO is and what to do to show up on the first page of search results.

Keep reading to discover solid tips on getting your content to rank higher on YouTube.

YouTube SEO: What It Is

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is any practice designed to help web pages appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Similarly, YouTube SEO allows you to optimize your content to rank higher on YouTube searches. Google doesn’t fully spell out how the algorithm works. However, here are some known ranking factors YouTube Uses to rank videos:

  • How much time users spend watching a particular video?
  • The number of videos a user has watched from your channel
  • Video features like length and descriptions
  • How accurately your video descriptions match the user’s query
  • The channel’s growth index which includes the number of views and subscribers on your channel
  • How users engage and interact with your videos in comments, shares, and likes.

How YouTube SEO Affects Your Video Rankings

Search engine bots rely on provided text to rank your YouTube videos. If your content is well-optimized, it’ll give YouTube the necessary indicators to position your videos. Besides, if many people engage with your content, it is a sure indicator that the content is valuable and contains what people need.

YouTube SEO Strategies for Your Videos

With the continuing pressure to rank on the platform, you need a way to stay on top of SERPs. Here are six tips to help you rank higher on the organic search.

  1. Include Detailed Video Descriptions

Ensure you have detailed, optimized video descriptions. They should give relevant information to YouTube and point its users to what they expect. The first few sentences of your video descriptions should carry the most important keywords. According to statistics,  more than 50% of the videos that ranked at the first position have more than 50 words in their descriptions. So, you can work in that range.

  1. Encourage Viewers to Share, Comment, and Like Your Videos

Once you have uploaded your video, encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel and leave feedback. The comments, shares, subscriptions, and likes to indicate that people find your videos enjoyable. If they share your videos, it shows Google that people like your content. All these factors will earn you a higher rank on search.

  1. Do a Keyword Research

If you want to optimize your video for higher ranking, perform keyword research. By doing that, you can find out what most people are searching for. Doing keyword research will help decide which topics are the best for making videos. It also helps you create content around topics people have an interest in. Low competition keywords will help increase your chances of appearing higher in YouTube search. Apart from looking at the keywords on competitor pages, you can use keyword research tools, including Google, Semrush, and Ahrefs. On Google, go to search suggestions, the People Also Ask section and related searches. Start your research by typing keywords into the YouTube search bar to see what the common suggestions are. You can also use YouTube-specific applications like VidIQ, TubeBuddy, and YTCockpit.

  1. Provide Subtitles in Multiple Languages

English captions can make your videos accessible to a lot of viewers. But you can expand the audience and improve YouTube SEO through translations. Doing this will allow a global reach for non-native English speakers who watch YouTube Videos every minute. The translated caption files will allow search engines to index your videos in search results for the various languages. You, however, must have high-quality subtitles by ensuring accurate and comprehensible translations.

  1. Add an Accurate Transcript of Your Video

While YouTube automatically creates captions for your videos, they are often incorrect. Unfortunately, YouTube views most auto-captions as spam and you may end up losing your rank for your channel. Adding accurate transcripts is invaluable and will certainly impact YouTube SEO, improve engagement, and render a better user experience. If you’ve captioned videos, they’re more likely to rank highly since search engines can crawl the text. Also, ensure you include your target keywords in your transcripts. The keywords should contain relevant keywords to show search engines what your video is about.

  1. Optimize Video Titles

Seek to understand what your potential audience is searching for and include the target keywords in titles. Your video titles should be catchy and interesting enough to encourage viewers to click. You can add numbers to your titles to attract viewers. For instance, “8 YouTube SEO Strategies to Rank YouTube Videos”

  1. Add Target Keywords in Your Video File Names

Assuming you already have your target keyword, including it in your video file names is an awesome idea. Whenever you upload a new video, people can see the file name. Be sure to update the file name before you upload your video. You, however, need to take caution against keyword overstuffing. Incorporate them naturally to avoid getting penalized. Your most important keyword and information should be as close to the front as possible.

  1. Use a Captivating Thumbnail

Picking the right thumbnail image for your video can make a significant impact on the click-through rate. High contrast, high-quality images work best. Use facial closeups whenever possible. You want an excellent visual representation of your target keyword. You can choose from any of the 3 screenshots that YouTube provides, or you can select another image in the video or upload a different image. Whatever your choice, it should take your video further in relevant results. Now that we have equipped you with tips to improve your YouTube rankings, go ahead and jumpstart your video optimization journey.