YouTube is the 2nd LARGEST search engine after Google.
More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube every single month. That’s a lot of people, right? If you’re not focusing on YouTube SEO yet, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to build and grow your business online.
Here are a few YouTube facts that will mesmerize you:
Do you want to get higher rankings for YouTube videos in 2021? I’m going to reveal some of the best YouTube SEO tips in this guide so you can rank your YouTube videos fast. So what are you waiting for? Let’s jump in.
YouTube SEO 2021: How to Rank YouTube Videos Fast?
Table of Contents
- YouTube SEO 2021: How to Rank YouTube Videos Fast?
- 1. Increase watch time for your videos
- 2. Branding your channel is extremely important
- 3. Come up with a primary keyword
- 4. Learn how to optimize YouTube videos
- 5. Check out your competitors’ channels
- 6. Improve your YouTube videos metrics
- 7. Optimize around YouTube video keywords
- 8. Ask people to embed your videos on their sites
- 9. Create buzz around your videos
- 10. Attract more clicks with these Youtube marketing tips
- 11. Create a long term video marketing strategy
- Final Thoughts
1. Increase watch time for your videos
Whether you know it or not, video watch time is one of the most important ranking factor on YouTube.
So what is video watch time?
Video watch time simply refers to the amount of time people spend watching your videos. It’s similar to dwell time of a website. The more amount of time your audience spend consuming your content, the better it is for YouTube video’s SEO.
According to the YouTube Creator Playbook, “YouTube optimizes search and discovery for videos that increase watch time on the site”.
To put it simply, if you increase videos watch time, YouTube is more likely to promote your channel through search and recommended videos, which ultimately results in more leads, traffic, more views and sales.
An industry study by Justin Briggs found a strong correlation between Watch Time and rankings in YouTube search. Here’s the illustration of it.
That being said, here are 5 ultimate ways to increase your videos watch time.
1. Make your intro super appealing
The first 10 to 15 seconds of your videos should be really enticing to your audience. It’s better if you can convince your audience and viewers to teach what your videos all about within that 10 to 15 seconds time limit.
If your videos introduction is enticing, most viewers will be watching till the end. That’s how you can increase your videos watch time as well.
2. Outline your videos cleverly
One of the reasons few videos always get great reach on YouTube is because they outline their videos really cleverly. Make sure to find a proven format to outline your video content so you can make your videos engaging until the end.
Not only it helps in more engagement but your viewers will be spending more time watching your videos.
3. Create longer videos
A YouTube ranking factors study found that longer videos (more than 15 minutes) outperformed shorter videos in YouTube search. Have a look at it;
As you can see from the above illustration, if your video length is more than 15 minutes, your YouTube videos ranking will be getting better. It’s as simple as that.
4. Create playlists smartly
Did you know that you can dramatically improve your videos watch time by creating your video playlists smartly?
For example, if someone searches for something on YouTube and then watches a series of videos with yours being the first. Every video that is watched in that series (whether it’s your video or someone else’s), will be factored into the session YouTube watch time for that content.
Hope you’re getting the importance of creating playlists more effectively.
5. Find out what’s working well for you, then repeat
First, go to your YouTube Studio and click on “Interest Viewers” and then click on the “Top Videos” to see all of your top performing and most viewed videos on YouTube.
Once you know what’s working well for you on YouTube channel, you can easily create similar type of videos to create more buzz, drive more visitors and increase your reach with your videos.
2. Branding your channel is extremely important
If there’s only one thing you need to remember while doing YouTube videos SEO it is this: don’t create another YouTube channel, create a brand!
Nichify your content focus
Have you ever subscribe to a fitness YouTube channel and found completely irrelevant videos? Chances are very less, right? Focusing on creating highly related videos for your YouTube channel is so important especially if you want to take your branding to the next level.
And make sure to ask yourself what makes a video go viral online.
Here’s a simple point checklist to make your videos top notch.
- Create high quality audio and video
- Include the benefits of the video in the beginning itself (as people have less attention spans online)
- Get straight to the point with your videos
Build raving fans
One of the fastest ways to grow your YouTube channel is to build fans and subscribers as they always like, leave comments and share your videos with their friends.
Here are few ways you can build engagement on your videos and build raving fans around your YouTube video channel.
- Increase video comments: Always motivate viewers to leave comments on your videos. One way to generate comments is to ask your audience highly engaging questions about the subject discussed in the video.
- Subscribes: Ask people to subscribe to your channel at the end of your videos (if possible in between in your videos).
- Shares: Encourage your viewers to share your videos so you can get more views on your YouTube channel and also get more subscribers which is all great for your YouTube videos marketing.
Above all, make sure to get as many likes and dislikes as possible as they are seen as an engagement metric so, the more, the better the engagement, resulting in a better ranking.
Give an identity to your YouTube channel
Here are few things you can do to give an instant identity to your YouTube channel
- Create a logo which is both unique and appealing (so your fans and subscribers can easily recognise the videos are coming from your channel)
- Make sure to use a profile picture. Don’t use random images. It’s better if you can use your own pictures or make them something remarkable.
- Make sure to link your channel with your social media accounts
- If you’ve a blog which is related to your YouTube channel (if you don’t have it yet, create one), make sure to provide links to it as often as possible
3. Come up with a primary keyword
Both Google and YouTube search engines almost work the same way. They focus on various factors to place a piece of content (either an article or video) on their search engines. And keywords play a vital role here.
Most people who are doing YouTube video marketing don’t focus much on keywords. That’s why they fail to get more views on their videos.
Just like bloggers do keyword research before writing an article, you should also do the same before making a video.
Just have a look at the following screenshot and you will know what I’m talking about.
What did you notice from the above image?
If you type the keyword (in our case, it’s SEO), you will see the top ranking results using it within their title, meta description and even in their thumbnails.
That’s how YouTube determines the “concept of a video” (through keywords). That’s the reason why you should be doing primary keyword research before you begin creating videos for YouTube channel.
Here are some of the best YouTube SEO best practices that will help you do better with your videos.
- Make sure to come up with a primary keyword. Preferably with a long tail keyword as they generate the majority of the traffic.Instead of trying to rank for a broad term like “SEO”, you can get better rankings on YouTube by using a keyword like “SEO tips for New York agencies”.
- Use tools like Semrush for coming up with keyword ideas. Yes, you can use free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner but it doesn’t really show you potential keywords.Here’s where premium SEO tools like Semrush can help you in finding the most profitable keywords that drive more traffic to your YouTube videos.
- While doing keyword research for YouTube videos, make sure to analyze your competitors. Find out who are all already ranking on first page results on Google for your targeted keyword.Find out why they are ranking on #1 page results. Find out their average video length. This simple analysis can help you a lot while making videos to boost your online growth.
4. Learn how to optimize YouTube videos
If you’ve subscribed to Bloggers Passion YouTube channel (if not, please subscribe to it as we’ll be talking mostly about SEO, making money and blogging related stuff), you will notice that our videos are always optimized both for search engine crawlers and people.
If you want to get better rankings for your YouTube videos, make sure to focus on the following 3 things.
- Meta description of your video and
Let’s now talk about them briefly so you can easily optimize your videos for YouTube organic search.
Make sure to optimize your YouTube video title as it carries more weightage by crawlers. Include your primary keyword (see step #1) in your title. If possible, use your keyword in the beginning of your video title so both people and search crawlers can easily understand what your video is all about.
Youtube Video Meta description:
Just like title, the meta description (the description of your video) plays a HUGE role in YouTube organic rankings. So make sure you’re spending good amount of time in crafting the right description for your videos.
Use links to specific pages (either to your own websites or products) within your meta description and add them in the beginning of your description so people can quickly decide where to go after watching your videos on YouTube.
Most people ignore tagging their videos with keywords. If you want higher rankings for your videos on YouTube, you shouldn’t ignore your video tags.
Instead of using random tags, use relevant tags that are perfectly suited for your videos. For instance, if you’re talking about SEO tips in your videos, you can use tags like SEO tips, search engine optimization, how to get better rankings on YouTube etc.
There’s no rule of thumb in how many tags to use in a video but you can use tags anywhere around 5 to 10 for better YouTube optimization.
5. Check out your competitors’ channels
One of the easiest YouTube SEO best practice to get higher rankings and find PROVEN video ideas which go viral online is to perform competitor analysis.
Make sure to come up with a list of at least 10 to 20 of your competitors channels so you can easily analyse how you can come up with better content ideas for your Youtube channel.
That being said, here are two solid reasons to check out your competitors channels on YouTube.
- You can look at what keywords they’re targeting
- You can easily find out what kind of videos they’re producing
Let’s talk about the above things in brief so you’ll understand the value of competitor analysis and use it as one of the best video marketing tip to grow online in 2021 and beyond.
You can look at what keywords they’re targeting
By spying on your competitors channels, you will instantly get keyword ideas on how much visits they are getting and how they are ranking on YouTube and Google search.
You can also use tools like Semrush where you just need to enter the keyword and it will automatically suggest you long tail keywords and short tail keywords. Once you have found these keywords, then add them in the tag section of your videos.
You can easily find out what kind of videos they’re producing
Not all contents are the same. There are few content ideas that go viral in your industry. So you can easily figure out what kind of videos are getting real engagement by looking at your competitors video channels.
6. Improve your YouTube videos metrics
Here are some of the best YouTube video metrics which play a VITAL role in YouTube video optimozation.
- Total seconds users spend watching your video (average duration, also known as watch time)
- Number of comments your video receives
- Number of likes your video gets
- Number of times your video is shared on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on
- Number of times your video is embedded on other websites (which uses the tag <embed> to embed your videos)
- Number of people who’ve subscribe from a particular video
So how can you increase your YouTube video metrics?
To be able to increase your YouTube watch time and average duration (also time spent on your videos), make your videos as enticing as possible and make sure they are long enough so you can dramatically improve the average time spent.
To be able to get more comments, ask questions at the end of your videos and also make sure to ask your subscribers and viewers to leave comments as it work like a charm.
If you want to get more likes for your videos, you need to really do one thing well and that is to create engaging videos. If your videos contents are great, almost everyone starts liking your videos while watching your videos. You can also use call to actions and annotations like “give it a thumbs up” to increase your likes on your videos.
Pro tip: Sync your YouTube account with your social media accounts such as Facebook and twitter. That way, anytime you post a new video on your YouTube channel, it will automatically get published across your accounts.
7. Optimize around YouTube video keywords
One of the advanced video marketing tip used mostly used by YouTube experts is this: optimizing around video keywords. Ranking in YouTube is great but ranking your video on both YouTube and Google is even better.
Let us show you with an example. When you type in “yoga for back pain” on Google search, it will first show the video results. Look at the below screenshot.
As you can see from the above example, “Yoga for back pain” is a video keyword which means, you’ll not only ranking on YouTube but you’ll also be getting visitors from the world’s biggest search engine which is Google.
Finding such YouTube video keywords can literally change the game and generate a ton of visitors to your sites easily (as you’ll be getting traffic from world’s two of the biggest search engines which are YouTube and Google).
So how can you find such video keywords?
Here are few quick SEO tips for you if you want to find video keywords that rank both on Google and YouTube.
- Find topics which are focused on beginners. For example, beginner topics like “yoga for back pain”, “how to lose weight” etc will work like a charm in getting visitors from both Google and YouTube as they are mostly video keywords.
- Before deciding on a topic or keyword phrase to create your YouTube video, make sure to check if there are video results on the first page on Google search. If you find any video search results (as demonstrated in the above example), you should definitely consider such topics because you can easily get your video ranked in both the search engines Google and YouTube.
- Last but not least, use tools like Semrush to easily come up with video keywords as you can also find how many of your target keywords are getting featured snippets, backlinks etc at one place.
8. Ask people to embed your videos on their sites
One of the less known ways to get more organic reach to your YouTube videos is to get links from other sites. The best way to do that is to get more people to embed your Youtube videos on their sites.
Here’s a simple step by step tutorial on how you can do it right.
Step 1: Find a list of all the sites which are relevant
The first step is to find a list of all the sites which have related topics to your videos. The key here is to already have a list of sites along with the URLs in a spreadsheet so you can get in touch with the blog owners as soon as you publish videos on your YouTube channel.
Step 2: Start interacting with them
Always remember one thing when it comes to online “don’t ask for favours before you offer help”. You don’t get help from strangers. So you need to really spend some time with other bloggers and vloggers in your industry and start interacting with them. Make sure to promote them, leave comments and do everything you can to offer help.
Step 3: Send them a soft email pitch
Here’s a sample email pitch you can send to other bloggers who have posted similar type of content on their sites.
Hello [Author Name],
How are you doing buddy? I just read your article [Article Title].
The content is really top notch but I think there should be a little more to make it outstanding and valuable for your audience.
What can be better than a YouTube Video?
Well, I just want to share that I’ve made a video on the same topic and I would be glad if you can embed it within your post.
Here is the link: [Video Link]
Feel free to ask any questions. Looking forward to hearing more from you.
If you can see the above sample email pitch, it’s short and also to the point. As a rule of thumb, you can expect at least 5 links from every 100 email pitches you send to other bloggers to embed your videos on their site.
That’s it, you’re done. Once they start embedding your videos (most will do if your videos are relevant to their content and useful to their audience), you’ll start seeing organic growth for your search results both on Google as well as YouTube.
9. Create buzz around your videos
Want to practice the best SEO strategy to get higher rankings for videos on YouTube? Then, create buzz around your videos.
Why? The #1 reason is: the more people who talk about your videos (or who share your videos with others) the better rankings you can get.
If you’re wondering about how to create buzz around your videos, here are few places you can try.
Promote videos from your own blogs:
Even if you’re a YouTube marketer who is only using YouTube to create videos, make sure to create a blog. Why? Blogs are really helpful in getting top rankings.
You can use your blog to build an email list, to create buzz around your videos, to link to your YouTube videos and to increase traffic to your YouTube channel.
If you already have a blog, make sure to drive as many visitors as possible from your site to your YouTube channel. You can create specific blog posts around your YouTube videos or you can simple use your sidebar or footer to let your audience know that your channel exists.
Promote in discussion forums:
There are a ton of forums ranging from marketing to SEO to fitness. Simply use search strings like “your video topic” + “forums” on Google to find relevant forums in your industry.
You can also create free accounts in popular marketing forums like;
- Warrior Forum
- Digital Point
- Blog Engage
Forums are great places to begin with if you’re just starting out. If you’re new to YouTube video marketing, you know how important it is to get initial audience and feedback.
Forums give you an opportunity to really connect with other bloggers and YouTube marketers. That’s how you learn and implement successful marketing for your YouTube channel to grow your business online.
Reply to relevant questions on Quora:
Quora is the #1 platform for Question and Answers. You can find the best answer to almost any question on Quora. It’s the platform that’s been used by millions of people worldwide.
This platform also helps you find great topic ideas to create videos. See the image below to understand what I’m talking about.
Just find and follow topics on Quora that are relevant to your YouTube channel and start writing answers to help others. Occasionally, you can use links to your videos from your Quora answers to generate buzz online.
You can also use other marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc to drive more visitors to your YouTube channel to watch your videos. There are literally thousands of promotional ways to promote your videos if you have enough time.
10. Attract more clicks with these Youtube marketing tips
1. Use appealing thumbnails:
The thumbnails in your videos play a crucial role in getting more clicks. The more clicks you get the better rankings you get for your videos. So use appealing thumbnails.
Make sure to have a resolution of 1280 x 720 (with minimum width of 650 pixels) to give best thumbnail experience to your users.
Upload your images in quality image formats such as .JPG or .PNG. You can also resize your images before uploading them onto YouTube for better SEO.
2: Click-worthy headlines:
9 out of 10 people read your headlines before clicking on your videos. So don’t ignore them at all.
Here are few headline samples that work almost every time.
- How to’s
- How I Did [Something] (case studies)
- Lists (10 ways to reduce belly fat)
- Controversial type (How Donald Trump is wasting America’s money)
3: Increase your subscribers:
What’s the best way to get more views on your YouTube videos? Simple, increase your subscribers.
Find out ways to get more subscribers to your YouTube channel. As we discussed above, use forums, Quora, blogs etc to promote your channel to get as many people as possible.
4: Comment A LOT on other videos:
If you have just started creating videos, one of the simple YouTube SEO tips to get more attention to your channel is to leave thoughtful comments.
- Find popular videos
- Leave funny/thoughtful comments
That’s how you get the initial traction to your channel.
5: Ask people to share your videos:
Most people ignore this but the best way to get more exposure to your channel is to simply ask others to share your stuff. In the beginning and ending of your videos, ask people to share your stuff. Also ask your friends and colleagues to share your videos on other social media sites to get more exposure.
11. Create a long term video marketing strategy
Last but not least, make sure to create a long term strategy for YouTube videos.
I’ve been doing SEO for a long time now and I know one thing about SEO: you don’t get better results or rankings quickly. It takes time to get higher rankings for YouTube videos.
So it’s better to focus on 1 year strategy and keep a consistent video posting frequency (once a week or twice a month) if you want to really get the best results from YouTube.
Also make sure to acquire as many subscribers as possible to your YouTube channel as your subscriber count plays a huge role in following things.
Your subscriber count:
- Helps you increase your video watching time
- Helps you increase your video shares
- Helps you get more likes and comments
- Helps you ultimately get higher rankings for YouTube videos
So find out various ways to get as many subscribers as you can to your channel. That’s how you succeed in YouTube video marketing. Focus on long term goals instead of short term results.
Here are few important questions about YouTube videos SEO for 2021 which can be useful and can come in handy to get noticed with your videos.
1. What are the best YouTube tools I can use?
If you’re looking for the best tools to promote your Youtube videos, here are few of them which work like a charm.
- BirdSong Analytics’ YouTube Analysis
- Canva to easily create appealing thumbnails for your videos
- Semrush or Keyword Ranking Tool
- YouTube Custom Video Embed Generator
2. What are the Youtube SEO best practices for 2021?
One of the best YouTube SEO practices is to increase your Click-Through Rate (CTR). You can boost your CTR by having compelling titles and thumbnails. Pick something that makes your video search result stand out from the rest of the videos.
Here are few more quick YouTube SEO best practices for 2021.
- Try to transcribe your videos where you can provide a full, word-for-word transcription just like Moz does for their Whiteboard Friday videos. They really work like a charm and you can also include your primary and secondary keywords
- Make sure your video titles that are 55 characters or less and also use meta descriptions that are 155 characters or less. You can even write longer description depending upon your video and content type.
- Always spy on your competitors videos. Find out how they are promoting their videos, optimizing their videos and notice their video length as well to really find some interesting insights.
3. What are the interesting YouTube stats?
According to Tubular insights, 68% of YouTube users come to the platform for help in making a purchase decision. That’s the reason why you see both vloggers and advertisers doing a ton of product reviews on Youtube. In addition to that, Google loves YouTube. In 20% of cases, extended snippets of video are displayed in the search results.
Here are few more interesting stats about YouTube.
That said, here are few interesting YouTube stats you might want to know.
- Your video could have 50 times more chances to rank well in organic output than text content
Video has CTR 41% higher than text
- YouTube has more than 1.9 billion monthly active users
- YouTube has more male users (55 percent) than female (45 percent)
- The top 10 ads on YouTube generated 539 million views and 14 hours of viewing time, plus 3.6 million likes
- Daniel Middleton, known on YouTube as DanTDM, has more than 17 million subscribers to his channel of gaming videos. The top 10 highest-paid YouTube stars combined earned $127 million, according to Forbes.
4. What are the best video marketing tips?
Here are few quick video marketing tips you can use to amplify your marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond.
- Focus on mobile optimization (as more and more people are now using their smartphones to consume videos on Youtube)
- Optimize your video thumbnails (make them catchy so you get more clicks and views on your videos)
- Upload to multiple platforms (such as Facebook, forums like Reddit and so on)
Above all, make sure that your videos are long enough to keep your audience interested. According to statistics, videos that are more than 15 minutes long are ranked better on YouTube.
5. How to increase youtube rankings quickly?
Do you want to know how to increase youtube rankings really quickly? We’ve a quick tip for you: create longer videos. Longer videos rank higher on YouTube, probably because they are supposed to be insightful and provide extra value to the audience.
According to a study conducted by Backlinko, “the average length of a first page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds”. So start creating long videos to be able to increase youtube rankings really quickly.
Browse more SEO Tutorials:
- Everything You Need to Know About Meta Tags SEO in 2021
- Keyword Density: Does it Matter at All in 2021?
- Top SEO Tips and Tricks That Works in 2021
- Top FAQ’s around SEO Answered
- SEO Myths to Avoid at All Cost in 2021
- Most Effective Google Search Tips & Tricks for 2021
YouTube SEO is NOT easy. You need to learn latest YouTube SEO techniques and keep up to date yourself with trends to rank higher.
It’s also not a rocket science to get higher ranking for your YouTube videos. All the tips mentioned in this post are highly practical to implement and I guarantee you can get 1st page rankings on YouTube by following them.
So what are you waiting for? Have you already started YouTube video marketing? Do you have more SEO tips to get better rankings on YouTube? Share your thoughts in the comments.