Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the magic key to unlocking the secrets of high search engine rankings. Basically, learning SEO for your videos will help your content appear higher in the search results for all of your potential viewers. The more you incorporate SEO into your YouTube content, the more viewers you’re likely to reach.
Here’s how to boost your YouTube video rankings.
1. Focus your content in a narrow niche.
You’d probably find it easier to name popular ten YouTubers from certain online communities, such as gaming or beauty, than you may find it to name ten popular YouTubers who don’t create a specific kind of content. This is because creators who vlog in a specific niche have a much higher chance of building up a dedicated following.
Though a general interest channel may give you more creative freedom, focusing your content within a specific niche will help you capture the attention of a specific audience. Pewdiepie, for example, focuses on gaming videos, and he is the biggest creator on YouTube.
He built up a huge base of subscribers with videos like this one, which is about the viral mobile game Flappy Bird. After growing his channel, Pewdiepie was able to create a wider variety of content.
2. Pack your keywords as tightly as you can.
Keywords are the things that the search engine picks up on in order to determine your video’s relevance to a particular user’s search. Once you have your content niche narrowed down, make a list of the most popular channels and videos within that specific niche. Read the video titles- what words get repeated over and over? The hundreds or even millions of viewers on these videos likely found them by searching for these specific keywords.
You can pack keywords in all sorts of places for each and every video. Your video title should be frontloaded with a few of your most important keywords. Then, in your video description, you can write in as many keywords as you can fit. Your video tags are a prime place to pack keywords as well.
When twin vloggers Niki and Gabi rebranded their channel, they upped their game when it came to keywords. They design every video title with popular keywords related to their channel, such as “twins.” They also include keywords related to the specific video, such as “boyfriends” or “Halloween.” Their video descriptions are long, loaded with more generalized keywords related to their channel, such as “fashion” and “comedy.”
3. Hook viewers from the get-go to increase watch time.
Watch time has become a major discussion point for YouTube creators. Basically, the longer people are actually watching your video, the higher it’s likely to rank. More importantly, a viewer has to watch your video for at least thirty seconds in order for the view to count towards the total number of views.
You can increase your video’s watch time by hooking your viewers from the very beginning. Give each video a strong opening. You can also implement a cool video introduction, such as a short animation or a montage.
Vlogger Gabbie Hanna opens most of her videos with a quick clip from the middle of the video. She chooses ones that will excite and entice her viewers, thereby getting them to keep watching to find out what’s going on. She also starts each video with a cute animation that introduces new viewers to her channel. These help increase her videos’ watch time by making viewers wait a little bit to get to the most interesting part.
When it comes to higher search rankings, SEO is the name of the game. Focus your content within a specific niche and load each video with keywords in order to help more potential viewers find your videos. Making increased watch time a priority will also boost your videos’ search rankings.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.