1. Ranking Factors
Understanding YouTube Ranking factors is the foundation to starting a great YouTube Channel and getting viewers to watch your videos. Follow along with this step by step process to get you started ranking your videos in Youtube Search.
Video SEO Ranking Factors
How its different to blog based keyword research
A lot of your views will come from YouTube suggesting your video to their users
Yes we are going to optimize your video for youtube search but most creators only get around 20% of their video traffic from search. The rest come from suggested videos and browse features
People use Google and Youtube in completely different ways
Video Keyword Research Techniques
This works just like google suggest
As you type a keyword into the search field. Youtube will automatically give you a list of suggestions based on what everyone else is searching on the topic
Don’t Underestimate the power of this simple technique
Think of it this way, YouTube is literally telling you the exact keywords people are searching for right now. This is like Gold.
VidIQ and TubeBuddy Tags
These awesome tools show you the exact tags your competitors use for their videos
First go the the website sign up for a free account
Then download the free chrome extension
Go to YouTube and sign into your account
Go to a competitor’s video and have a look at what tags they are using and what they are ranking for these tags
If you can find a poorly optimized video that ranks well for a keyword, you can then use this keyword and create an amazing video that serves the audience for this keyword and is optimized like a champion
VidIQ and TubeBuddy Tags
This is one of the few keyword tools available that is designed specifically for youtube
To start enter a seed keyword
YT cockpit will give you a collection of possible keywords
The best part about this tool is that it checks the competition on youtube
And if you click on the keyword suggestion, they’ll show you a detailed breakdown of the Youtube SERP
What is this?
If you see that the first page is packed with massively successful videos, you probably want to scratch that keyword off of your list
It takes a lot of time and energy to make a video and you don’t want to create a video thats not going to get any views and not get ranked in search
This competition analysis helps you avoid your videos getting buried in a highly competitive search term.
YouTube Studio Stats
We have saved the best for last
Once your channel has a bit of traction YouTube Studio is your best source for awesome keywords
What do you mean?
YouTube Studio shows you keywords that you already rank for.
Let me show you how its done:
- Head over to your YouTube Studio Dashboard
- Click Analytics and Reach Viewers
- Click on Traffic Source: YouTube Search”
- Margic! You can see all of the keywords that you rank for:
You can do two things with the keywords that you find on this list…
- Optimize an existing video around that keyword
If you have a video that ranks for a keyword – but it’s not well optimized for that specific keyword – optimize your video for that search term.
With some video on-page SEO, you can usually blast your way to the top of the search results.
For example my video _____ ranks 9 for the keyword “______”
But this video isn’t well optimized around that keyword
- First I need to add the keyword as a tag on the video
- And mention it in my video description simple yet very effective
- Create a new video for that keyword
This is very simple
Instead of optimizing an old video around a keyword, create a whole new video.
This way, your video is laser-targeted for that keyword. Which means it’s likely to rank better than a video that’s only partially optimized around that search term
So now we have a great list of keywords in our spreadsheet
What’s the next step?
It’s time to create awesome videos. And that’s exactly what we will be doing in the next step
Total Watch Time as a Ranking Factor
Total watch time is one of YouTubes favourite ranking factors
What is Total Watch Time?
Total Watch Time or TWT as the creators call it is the amount of watch minutes that your video racks up.
You can check your TWT in YouTube Studio
How can you optimize your videos for TWT
Create Longer Videos
The easiest way to do this is to create longer videos
Let’s look at an example
If you publish two videos, Video 1 is 10 minutes and Video 2 is 2 minutes
On average people watch 50% of each video
If you checked your TWT in YouTube Studio
Video 1 would have 5 times the watch time of Video 2
The second way to optimize for TWT is to maximize audience retention lets show you how
My favourite ranking signal that YouTube uses is Audience Retention
Audience retention is the amount of your video (as a percentage) that people watch.
The more of your video people watch, the better.
Here is how you maximize your video’s audience retention:
Focus on the first 15 seconds
This is the most important part of the video
You need to hook the viewer and capture their attention
Even YouTube hint at this
Why should we listen to YouTube?
They have the most accurate data on drop off rates
If you can convince someone to watch past the first 15 second then you have managed to hook them into watching your video
Look for Peaks and Troughs
Spend a few minutes checking out the audience retention reports for your videos in YouTube Studio
Especially look for spots where the audience retention peaks and drops off
Then you can work out what you did or didn’t do in the video that created these peaks or troughs.
Use B Roll
B roll helps keep the viewers attention by changing the focus of the viewer to something different
Adding B roll even if it’s just text or photos can make a big difference in your audience retention.
B roll helps keep your viewers stay engaged and prevents them from clicking away.
Session Watch Time
Session watch time is the most important factor that you need to think about
It is how long viewers spend on the YouTube Platform after seeing your video
YouTube will reward creators that help them achieve their main goal
Earn more from showing ads by keeping viewers on the platform for longer
Unfortunately there is no way to measure Session watch time
So how can we improve our Session Watch Time.
This will increase your session watch time automatically when someone watches the videos in your playlist
Include Links to other videos in your videos
Make sure to add end screens linking to more of your videos and playlists as well as your channel
This will encourage your viewer to stay on YouTube instead of clicking away.
User Engagement is an Important Ranking Factor
YouTube doesn’t want their users to passively sit back and watch your video.
They want people to stay actively engaged with your video
Some of the engagement metrics that YouTube Measures:
- Add your video to a playlist
The more positive signals YouTube sees, the more they know that your video is keeping their users engaged on the platform.
Here are 3 tips to maximize user engagement metrics:
Ask Viewers to comment on your Videos
Viewers Love giving their opinions
But are always scared to make the first move, if you ask them to comment then the invitation is easier to accept
By extending an invitation you are increasing the odds that viewers will comment on your video
Tell them what to comment about
If you ask someone to tell you a joke you probably won’t get one because you are giving them too many options
But if you ask someone to tell you a Knock Knock joke then you are much more likely to get a response quicker.
Ask Viewers to Subscribe
Make sure you include a Call To Action (CTA) in every video asking people to subscribe to your channel.
In fact, I recommend adding a clear CTA at the end of your videos
I like to say, If you enjoyed this video and want to see more just like it consider subscribing to my channel.
Add a lower third text to prompt the CTA.
Engage with the comments on your videos
Start a conversation in the comments section
And Pin your favourite comment
The more comments you reply to the more engagement you will get on your videos.