YouTube SEO: Everything You Need To Know To Rank

Learn YouTube SEO to grow your YouTube channel and how to rank videos higher. Learn the tips and methods to find your YouTube success and make it last.

What Is YouTube SEO

With YouTube SEO, you can optimize YouTube videos and channels to tell the YouTube algorithm what your video is about, to rank it for relevant keywords, and to recommend it to users who would enjoy the content.

YouTube serves relevant content to its users that they want to watch. The combination of metrics such as recommendations, keywords, and prior engagement data is how YouTube serves its users’ answers to their queries, making it a compelling alternative search engine for growth.

A successful YouTube channel is a lot more than just optimizing its SEO, but it certainly can make a drastic difference in the growth rate you can achieve for your YouTube video views.

With YouTube SEO, anyone on the platform can start growing their viewership by engaging with their audience, which leads to ranking higher.

While keywords do matter in Youtube SEO quite a lot, engagement comes on top. Compared to website SEO, YouTube emphasizes engagement.

For example, with the use of keywords, you’ll get your first viewers, and by creating engaging content and keeping them coming back, you will have more success.

When in doubt: engage your viewers more. Content quality, consistency, and relevancy make your YouTube success last and make the impact you seek.

YouTube SEO is all about building a channel in the long-term. While you can achieve viral hits, consistency helps you receive more viewers and subscribers over more extended periods.

This guide is not short read: save it for later use, and take the time to improve your YouTube workflow.

Youtube SEO Checklist

Youtube SEO Checklist For Videos

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Optimizing the following with keywords and call-to-actions
    1. Titles
    2. Descriptions
    3. Video Tags
    4. Thumbnails
    5. Channel Page and its description
    6. Closed captions and translations
    7. Filename
    8. YouTube Cards and End screens
  3. Increase engagement and watch time
  4. Build connections and links
  5. Create playlists
  6. Collaborate
  7. Share and Promote every video
  8. Engage With Your Audience
  9. Follow YouTube Guidelines and Avoid Demonetization
  10. Analyze Data with YouTube Analytics
  11. Keep Improving Content

How To Future-Proof Youtube SEO and Your Channel's Success

After years being on YouTube and see how it’s changed and how it might change in the future. We’ve seen many styles of YouTube SEO implemented, some good, some bad, some hacky, but a couple of overarching themes that combine from the previous updates to probably to the future as well.

Is the content engaging and relevant to its target audience? Relevancy, Consistency, and Quality are how to future-proof your YouTube success.

Another thought, to future-proof your YouTube success, would be to understand why it exists and who owns it (Alphabet (Google).

YouTube exists as an advertising platform using user-generated videos to generate ad revenue to itself, and it’s content creators.

Any past, present, or future updates to YouTube algorithms will base on how it will make more money from ads. There will be exceptions, of course (For example, in case of an emergency or scandal of sorts.)

But generally, to start or future-proof your YouTube success, you need to optimize your content in a way that supports the smooth placement of YouTube ads at all times.

Spot any emerging trends early by being and watching content on YouTube. When compared to other search engines, YouTube algorithm changes affect how we engage, discover, and enjoy content on the platform, and we can experience and see changes quickly.

While you can rely on building your YouTube SEO strategy without keeping the advertising model of YouTube in mind, it will be harder to find success within it. Especially, consistent content creation without a steady flow of advertising income. It all depends on the goals you have set on your YouTube channels and its growth trajectory.

The YouTube SEO Basics

We will explain the basics of YouTube SEO and the core elements that will improve your video views, increase subscriber count, improve engagement, and eventually make more money with your YouTube videos.

All the methods listed below will increase the chances of your videos becoming more and more popular on the platform when combined.

Implementing these methods is up to you, and understanding that YouTube is a social platform that offers some extent of virality. YouTube SEO is a long process that takes practice, but with established methods, you’re increasing your chances of ranking high on YouTube and bringing much-needed traffic to your channel.

By doing the basics, you will grow your channel at a steady rate without the blessings of the YouTube algorithm and going viral. Even if you find yourself promoted, the consistency of your YouTube SEO will keep you on top.

The combination of longer watch times, high click-through rate, and viewer engagement make your channel and its videos rank higher than your competition.

Who will benefit from this article? We made it so that even if you’re just starting your YouTube career with the goal of monetization and never heard of SEO, you will benefit from this!

If you’re an experienced YouTuber, we hope you gained a couple of good ideas between the lines to improve your video SEO workflows and sustain growth for your channel.

Youtube SEO Basics is Consistency, Quality, And Relevancy

Keyword Research For YouTube SEO

The first step in YouTube SEO is to conclude proper keyword research. Well-done keyword research and deciding on the main keywords to use in the next steps is essential.

There are a couple of options for you to look for keywords for your videos.

There’s the opportunity to use keyword tools (Keyword ToolUbersuggest’s Free Keyword ToolKeyword Planner), and the search engines themselves.

Google Ads Keyword Planner For Youtube

A note for the use of keyword tools is that there’s no reliable tool to tell you precisely search volumes of a keyword on YouTube. You should use the tools with a bit of caution as the tools reflect search volumes from Google Search mostly.

In most cases, search volumes between Google search and YouTube might be similar, or with slight variation depending on demographics and topic. But the tools give some ideas on how popular instead a keyword could be, even if it’s not relevant on YouTube now.

The other benefit of tools is that they can provide an actionable list of keywords you can try to search for yourself on YouTube.

When doing keyword research for YouTube, always remember to list similar, synonyms, and long-tail keywords that match your video’s topic. While you don’t want to optimize for all of them at once, they offer you ideas on which you can expand on later with a video.

The most natural place to look for keywords is in YouTube itself, and to look for Google Search for keywords that show videos on its search results.

Find Most Relevant Keywords On YouTube

Search with a keyword in mind on YouTube and look at the search results carefully (these will be the most natural keywords and results you will find) Essentially, your biggest friend when looking for keywords in YouTube itself.

Carefully look at how YouTube suggests autocompletion on the keyword you’ve just written. The autocompletion is an excellent indicator of additional ways people search for the topic and might give you insightful ideas.

Look at the top video results and analyze the words they use in their titles and descriptions and take notes for your future videos.

When analyzing the top results, note that if all search results have a similar keyword in them. In some cases, you might find out that not every video will have the same keyword.

It might entail an opportunity for you. For example, if there are only one or two videos that match the keyword you’ve entered and rest are near the topic but not exact. Creating a video that matches the keyword query accurately might rank your video higher than the competition as it would match the users intent the best.

Use different filtering options in YouTube Search to find more ideas that could complement your keyword.

Youtube Search Autocomplete Youtube Keyword Research

Find Most Relevant Keywords On Google Search

While YouTube itself is more effective in finding relevant keywords on the platform, you can expand your research using Google Search.

A key benefit when using Google Search for keywords is that you can find keywords which results show videos on their top results.

Youtube Videos in Google Search

Think it like this: if your video can achieve a high rank on Google Search, that will bring more viewers to your videos. And that is an opportunity you can’t dismiss easily.

Depending on the nature of your video, these rankings can essentially become highly valuable for you in the long-term, and it expands your traffic sources to more than YouTube only.

It is the same as using YouTube Search, look at how Google Search autocompletes your searches and dig deeper with those keywords.

Google Search Autocomplete For Youtube SEO Keyword Research

Analyze The Competition On YouTube :

Competition in YouTube SEO boils down to how hard it will be to rank on these keywords. Going for highly competitive keywords for a new channel is not a good idea, but as you grow, you can start implementing more difficult words to your videos.

Your goal is to find keywords that you might have a real chance of ranking high and start building an audience for yourself.

Keep in mind when researching competitors, take note, if you get any new ideas, on how you could improve those topics further and offer a unique approach to something already ranked.

A tip on how to measure competition of a keyword in YouTube is to “insert your keyword here site:youtube.com” in Google Search and see how many results Google gives you.

While it’s hard to pinpoint how many results indicate high competition, as it will be relative to the set of keywords you choose. In a nutshell, the lower number of results means lower competition and a higher chance of ranking.

Using The Site Search For Keyword Research

Always Answer Search Intent

A crucial step in YouTube keyword research is to find out what kind of videos ranks higher on each keyword. Type of videos is essential because if your videos don’t match the general search intent of users, it will lead to a lower engagement even if you’d rank high initially.

When doing keyword research, do those searches yourself and see what kind of results you’re getting:

  • How-to and other guides videos
  • Listicle videos
  • Video essays
  • News video
  • Educational videos

Realistically speaking, if you want to rank for a specific keyword, you need to create similar content that you can already see ranking.

For example, if you want to create a video called “X” and searching the keyword on YouTube gives you “Y” results, you need to modify either your video or preferably the keyword.

Slight keyword adjustment can improve your search intent matching, so look for it.

The next steps in this guide are about how to use keywords in YouTube SEO after finding the best keywords for yourself.

Youtube SEO Search Intent Match Keyword With Viewer Intent

Optimize Video Titles For Higher SEO Rank And Improved Click-through Rate

A title has two functions in a Youtube video: Entice a viewer to click on it and tell YouTube that it’s relevant and searchable by users.

A title can be enticing for clicks, but without optimizing its SEO, you will only rely on people already in your audience or a push by the algorithm.

So when optimizing your video titles with keywords, keep in mind these two purposes, both being equally important.

To construct the perfect YouTube video title, you need to:

  • Include your main keyword in the beginning
  • Have long enough title (Short title with a keyword can look very spammy)
  • YouTube recommends using 60 characters or less in a title (about five words)
  • A too-long title will not show entirely in the search listing, and maybe cut off awkwardly, you want to have total control of the visibility of a title.
  • Have a title that is relevant to the search (always fulfill search intent!)
  • A good title is also natural and easy to read. For example, a complete sentence is better than just a random arrangement of keywords.
  • Enticing to click, in the end, you want the viewer to watch your video instead of the others, no matter how high your video is currently ranked.

An engaging and enticing title is your first chance to convert a viewer to watch your videos in the search results. Make sure you provide the viewer with the key points they need to click on your video, watch it through, and even engage with the video itself.

It all starts with a great title.

Optimize Your YouTube Video Descriptions

A description of a video helps YouTube understand what your video is all about. Inserting your relevant keyword naturally within it will make it clear for YouTube that your videos are all about the keyword.

Remember that the full description is not shown immediately to viewers in search results; in fact, it’s roughly 120 characters. It’s crucial to utilize the first 120 characters to explain to your viewer why they should click on your video and include your keyword within the first 120 characters.

A description helps YouTube understand more deeply your video, and writing a lengthy description helps you rank more widely. As well as naturally written long-tail keywords you may have missed earlier can form by writing longer descriptions.

A short description will not do you any favors, even though you used the correct keywords within it.

Another purpose for a good and lengthy description is to engage your viewers further. And in fact, including external sources like your website, or extra reading can be a very engaging experience for the readers.

Remember to have a clear call-to-action early in your video description, because your viewer will only see the first of three lines of description before a read more button appears. Give a reason to read more and even to click further links.

Write a lengthy description that covers your videos’ main points and offers more for your viewers, engaging them further. Strive for a keyword density of 1-2% within your description, never go beyond, and less is always better.

A longer description will always be beneficial. It doesn’t take away the viewer’s experience and offers more information for those who want it. A good description increases your engagement rate, so you need to take your time to develop it.

Youtube SEO - Title And Description Keywords

Optimize Your YouTube Video Tags

Tags give context to your videos and help YouTube understand your content and recommend it to new viewers.

Utilizing your primary keywords and relevant keywords that fit your video topics helps YouTube categorize your video better and recommend it to viewers interested in said topics.

Just make sure the keywords are always as relevant as possible and include long-tail keywords and synonyms that would fit the topic.

Viewers do not see tags by default. To see YouTube video tags, you will need external tools (like tags for YouTube or something similar).

While doing your keyword research using a tool, look for the tags used in the top searches of the primary keyword you want. Find the most relevant tags and use them in your videos.

While you should include more keywords in the tags of your video than your title, don’t add too many keywords as your tags. It’s easy to think that chosen keywords are relevant; most often than not, they aren’t.

Pick your main words and complimentary keywords that are relevant. Between 8 – 12 will suffice. Relevancy is the main thing. For example, your video is super optimized already, for keyword X, then don’t go crazy and add keywords that won’t matter.

Tags offer a convenient place to store keywords for later use. As you can easily find them from your old videos to produce new ideas that you might have missed or forgotten.

Tags For Youtube

Optimize Your Thumbnails; They Are Critical in YouTube!

Even more important than a title, when considering viewers, is the thumbnail you create. A good thumbnail can increase the number of clicks you’ll get, and gaining a higher CTR than your competitors will rank your videos higher than theirs.

The thumbnail in YouTube SEO is the most visible part that you can optimize, making it crucial for standing out from your competitors.

A thumbnail should include the topic of your video. The thumbnail of a YouTube video is your chance to convert viewers into your video directly from all the possible positions YouTube can display your video.

Think of it like this: if there are five to ten videos in a search result, eight videos in the recommended list (home feed), and five in the recommended list within a watched video.

There are many opportunities to make your viewer click on that thumbnail, and without optimizing it, you’ll lose clicks to competing videos.

You should make a thumbnail to help a viewer make a quick judgment call on if a video is worth their time. The more enticing it is, the more likely you’re to gain a click.

Consistency in thumbnails is also crucial. As you build your channel’s brand, you want your thumbnails to be as consistent as possible. Find your unique style, that brings the most results.

A viewer will more likely engage with a thumbnail which style they recognize. A branded thumbnail is especially important when trying to engage your older viewers and subscribers.

A quick warning though: If you’re trying to copy someone’s style, to make them click on your video instead of theirs, you will have a bad time.

As these viewers know what to expect from a thumbnail alone, and if your video isn’t from the original creator, they will likely just go away, tanking your engagement and future ranking.

Why A Branded And Engaging Thumbnail Is Important In Youtube SEO

Optimize Your YouTube Channel Page

Not only an optimized YouTube channel page is a good YouTube SEO practice. Its importance of building your brand on YouTube is vital. You want to make sure every aspect of your YouTube channel is fitting to the brand you want to create and establish on the platform.

A well-done YouTube channel page will increase the number of subscribers you can achieve, leading to more views and higher rankings.

Include the most relevant keywords on your channel page. You have to think more broadly here: the best YouTube channel page keywords tell YouTube precisely what your brand is all about.

Think about the keywords you would like to have a high rank. And remember not to use the keywords too many times, same as in a video description, a 1-2% will suffice.

Write a description that covers the most crucial things about your brand, and make it interesting for the viewers. A good description on YouTube can increase your subscriber conversion rate from the viewer engaging with the channel page.

When done correctly, viewers can find your channel featured on top of the first search results on relevant keywords.

How Optimizing Your Channel Page For A Keyword Is Worth It

Utilizing Closed Captions

Closed captions offer an almost a hidden opportunity for further optimization. While you can let YouTube automatically create the caption of your videos, they will never be perfect.

Optimizing the captions makes sure that everything you say in the video is portrayed perfectly to those who use them.

As YouTube crawls through captions, modifying them to match your video (which hopefully is mentioning the main keywords in the beginning) will help your video achieve higher ranks.

The essential benefit of using closed captions is that it can lead to higher engagement rates for viewers, at least for users who desire and enjoy their use. Making sure your captions are perfect every time helps your viewers enjoy the content you’ve created for them.

Looking for analytics about the use of transcripts and seeing how people use them can tell you how important it is to your videos on average. You might be surprised to find out how many, in reality, use captions.

A time-saving tip with transcripts is to have a video script with you created the video earlier.

Using Keywords In Youtube Captions With Graham Stephan

Optional: Optimize Translations

In the bigger picture, translations will not be an essential method to grow your video viewership, as original content in a specific language will probably rank higher. But using translations can make your video ranking easier in other languages.

But for further optimization, it could be worth it, depending on your channel scope and the part of the world it reaches, for example, in countries with more than one dominant language.

Translations are yet another place where you can submit keywords for titles, tags, descriptions. Beneficial if your audience isn’t mostly speaking the same language. A rarity, but can still happen.

If you can and have the ability and time to use different translations in your videos, go for it.

Optimize Your File Name

It’s an easy step to do before uploading your next YouTube video. For example, just change your file name to your title name (that has the relevant keyword on it!)

The impact of naming a video file on the ranking is on the lower end of importance, but as it’s an easy step to do, there’s no harm in doing so.

It’s all about signaling to YouTube what the theme of your video is. Same as all the other methods that involve keywords, its consistency between keywords in your video that matters.

Use the same keywords related to your YouTube video in every keyword-related method.

For reference, if you look at how Google Images  work, and how vital file naming is there, we might assume that it would work for YouTube as well, although to a lesser extent.

For example, changing the original filename of “2020N01C3.mp4” for “what_is_digital_marketing.mp4″

The added benefit is you will find your videos easier later.

Boosting CTR: YouTube Cards and End screens

Taking every step to increase the engagement within your video is essential and utilizing cards and end screens to promote your other videos to keep viewers engaged.

End screens and cards can boost your viewers’ ability to binge-watch your content, which is a critical signal for YouTube. That will lead YouTube to promote your video even further to people that are likely to do that.

You can increase engagement with the use of cards, as you can place YouTube cards at the right time when you mention a topic you have created a video already.

Importance of Youtube Cards In Youtube SEO In Action With How To Make Everything

YouTube Cards popup in the video where you’ve set it up to show and the user engages with the card by clicking it, revealing additional information about the card. With the right call-to-action, you can lead the viewer to watch another video of yours.

The same goes for promoting similar or other videos you have on your channel in the end screen. Same as cards, end screens’ purpose is to keep viewers watching your videos after watching the original video first.

The extra step of connecting your content with earlier content will increase the number of videos watched per viewer.

Youtube End Screen Example From Kurzgesagt

Build Links In YouTube SEO

While you should always link related videos that you published earlier on your new videos, you should try to achieve new backlinks to your channel and videos themselves.

A backlink you gain for a video of yours shows YouTube your authority on the topic of your video.

Building authority is a crucial step in YouTube SEO. Building links for your videos works as a cycle, as the more links you get to your videos, the more it’s seen; therefore, even more, links you’ll get, and cycles repeat itself.

And by collaborating with others, you will gain those essential links that boost your viewership directly and impact indirectly on how high you will rank.

Any mention of your YouTube videos and your channel from outside of YouTube can increase your search rankings.

Mentions from blogs and online media can be a massive boost to rankings, and of course, gaining a mention that refers to your channel will directly increase your video views.

Collaborate, Collaborate, And Collaborate With Other YouTubers

Collaborations can get you more views, subscribers, and engagement from a new audience. The partnerships then would signal YouTube itself, that your content is worth further promotion.

Collaborations with fellow YouTubers are a method that increases every metric you can imagine positively on YouTube.

Find YouTubers in the same industry and try to take the initiative and start building relationships.

Of course, collaborations at the beginning will be hard as to why would anyone want to collaborate with you if you don’t have an existing audience?

Think of ways to help your fellow YouTubers, either by creating exciting ideas and any other means that would be beneficial to them.

When building relationships, every party must bring something to the table. And partners need to be on the same level.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t try to achieve collaborations with YouTubers with larger audiences than you, but remember to bring something unique to them. Give them a reason why you’re worth it to them.

Also, don’t go in and expect to collaborate just because you’re larger than the other. Or if you’re the same size.

Take into consideration how you can be more helpful in your industry.

To conclude, the key is to contact with creative collaboration methods that are beneficial for all parties involved.

You will never achieve collaborations if you don’t try!

Create Playlists For Your Videos

Creating and including old and new videos into playlists is important for the engagement of your viewers, and YouTube ranks them as well. Giving you an alternative method to gain more views with YouTube search results.

On YouTube, viewers can easily find the keyword-heavy playlists, and for viewers searching them, playlists are often a great way to engage with videos.

For example, think of topics that cover many subtopics that, when combined, make a great series. With a playlist, you will drive more traffic to all of your relevant videos to gain increased watch time and more views.

Combine similar videos into a playlist. For example, a complete guide on X might include in total ten of your videos, but a playlist can connect them nicely together.

Using a playlist makes it easier for the creator to break down vast topics into more manageable experiences and encourage viewers to come back again.

Remember to have your playlist visible on your channel! It’s easy to forget to create a playlist, so take the time and combine your videos into relevant playlists that your viewers will enjoy.

A tip for the playlist is referring back to your keyword research: if there are the main keywords and many sub-keywords in your list that match content-wise to each other, it’s an opportunity to create a playlist that serves keywords and your viewers.

The Importance Of Creating Playlists For Your Videos In Youtube SEO

Increasing Viewer Engagement Is The Core Of YouTube SEO

Viewer engagement is a critical ranking factor for YouTube and, therefore, a crucial step in your YouTube SEO strategy.

Optimizing engagement will not only benefit your ranking, but a side effect is, your viewers will enjoy the content more and get recommended for your new uploads faster.

YouTube likes videos that have the potential to be popular, and user engagements are how it can determine if a video is engaging enough to recommend to similar users.

Engagement also plays a key role in bringing back viewers to watch your new uploads. Without user engagement in a video, it’s harder for even your fans to find your content if they haven’t engaged with your videos earlier. So remember always to try to engage your audience in every possible video, only that way, they’ll never miss an upload of yours.

All the possible ways a viewer can engage with a video includes:

  • Subscribing your channel
  • Clicking on the bell
  • Liking and disliking your video
  • Sharing the video
  • Engaging with cards and end screens
  • Watching your video till the end
  • Commenting
  • Binge-watching more of your uploads

The more engagement your videos receive, the more opportunities for growing view count you have.

You will have a better chance at ranking higher if your engagement rate is higher than your competition. Even if your competition’s YouTube SEO is in a much better state than yours, engagement will always rule.

Tips On How To Increase Engagement In YouTube Videos

You have probably seen your favorite YouTuber tell you to like, comment, and subscribe a couple of times in each video. The method acts as a strong call-to-action for the viewers to engage with the video.

Give your viewers a reason to engage: Promote discussion in the comment section, or some YouTubers have seen it effective to use a call-to-action like “comment for the algorithm” for showing support for the creator.

Try to answer comments and engage with your audience. Remember to have a new call to -actions within your video to promote commenting, liking, subscribing, and more.

How long do you need to answer questions and comments on your video? For as long as possible.

It’s undoubtedly not realistic to answer every comment you get, especially after getting traction and setting up a schedule that fits your brand, like answering every comment in the first hours of uploading the video.

Doing this, you keep building consistency with your audience. Listen to your community as it’s grown and learn how to make your audience engage further and find your style of implementing call-to-action.

While we won’t promote the use of negativity to promote yourself up, it might be something to take into consideration when wanting to extract more engagement from viewers. Something we have seen time and time again used all across YouTube videos.

Importance of Subscribers For Views Is Changing

The importance of subscribers for a YouTube channel and videos is changing. As your new videos won’t reach every subscriber by default, and usually YouTube takes more into account the interests of a viewer, and their view and engagement history.

For example, you can have a solid following on YouTube, and a user can watch every upload even if the viewer never subscribed. YouTube will serve and recommend videos based on interest and past activities.

This activity leads to many of your concurrent viewers not being subscribed, but still watching every video. You can find this data through analytics.

Subscribers overall is still a fundamental metric to grow in YouTube, even if it doesn’t quite make the same impact on views as it used to.

For example, you will need at least 1,000 subscribers to qualify for monetization.

Viewers can receive notification of new uploads from their favorite creators by engaging with the bell icon, displayed on every video next to the subscribe button.

Subscribing and then not engaging with your content, is a dangerous signal for your channel overall to have. It signs for YouTube that your content might not be as good as promised.

Any hacks that involve gaining subscribers fast without engagement from the new subscriber base (such as online ads, sub-for-sub, or even the worst thing: buying subscribers) is inherently damaging and will impact your channel negatively for a long time.

You can see this in effect also in YouTubers who might have changed their content style, which has led to a drop from subscriber engagement. This change leads to your videos not being promoted to your subscribers and not being recommended onwards. For example, it is possible to have a million subscribers and only 10,000 views per video.

Increase Watch Time Of Your Videos

An essential part of boosting your engagement rate is to increase the overall watch times of the videos. Keeping a viewer interested in your video till the end maximizes your ranking opportunity.

Increasing watch time will be different for every creator, and usually, every creator will find their way of keeping viewers engaged. Test new things, and eventually, you’ll find the perfect balance.

Track your watch time on YouTube Analytics, and find the perfect length of video for your audience and the topic. A lesson, though is, that lengthier videos tend to do better, especially for ad revenue. There will always be exceptions, mainly depending on your industry and genre of videos.

A balance is hard to find, but through analyzing your data, you can achieve a balance of video length that is unique to your channel.

It’s crucial when thinking about watch times, and video length is: you need to keep your content quality high. While you can extend your videos without the loss of quality for 10 % or so, going out of your way to increasing length will diminish video quality and lower engagement in your channel’s videos, and eventually, hurt your rankings.

When creating your videos, think about the viewer, will the content be relevant for them if they find your video with the keyword you intended to use?

And lastly, clever editing can decrease viewer fatigue, and instilling hooks within your video to keep viewers watching till the end.

Share Your Video For Initial Boost In Engagement

Make sure you get everything right in the YouTube SEO checklist the first time as the early hours of uploading are crucial to gain the initial views and engagements.

As we mentioned earlier that viewer engagement is essential for your video viewership growth with YouTube SEO, gaining the initial boost through sharing any traffic source you have available is a strategy you need to implement.

Learn the best time to publish a video for your target audience. Look for which times you receive the most views, and release around that time.

As YouTube measures engagement rate to figure out that if your content is worth sharing with other viewers, you can speed up the process by activating your social following to watch your video first.

Remember to share your videos through any owned channel you might have like blogs, websites, and email lists.

A relevant video on your blog post about the same topic can increase the video’s views and grow your blog post’s engagement, which would positively impact your blog’s ranking.

Promote Your Video Through Social Media

Use every social media you might have to have that initial promotion for every video. Every viewer you can attract to your video, in the beginning, helps your videos spread on the platform.

If you don’t have a following in the social media platforms, it should be a goal for you to increase your follower counts on other platforms as well.

Of course, having a social media following on other platforms can benefit you in more ways than just YouTube SEO, making it an essential strategy.

Share your video everywhere you can, for example:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • Reddit

Joe Scott - Answer With Joe Promoting His Youtube Video On Twitter

When sharing your content around the web, remember not to be a general spammer around different channels. You can share freely through owned channels, and you should do it the second you have a link to your video.

But when sharing on Facebook groups, quora, and similar platforms, you need to consider yourself first, is your video helpful to these people in this group? If yes, find a way to connect to the managers. When you’ve created original and relevant content, the users will go and watch your video!

Learn more about social media marketing.

Promoting your Video with YouTube Ads

If you don’t have an audience to get engagement from, you can try to achieve the same goal with YouTube Ads.

When using paid ads is worth it? It depends on your videos if you can and want to achieve an audience faster, ads can do that for you. But for most creators, it might not be the best strategy for growing a channel.

While you can grow with YouTube Ads, the audience might not be the best for engagement as they didn’t find you organically or through another trusted source.
The power of ads is mostly beneficial for companies that use ads to promote their products and services anyway. If your video is part of your sales funnel, then advertising is almost necessary on YouTube.

For example, you’re selling a defined product and service, and you’re creating how-to styled content around your services, promoting it with ads will get it further faster.

To conclude the use of ads is more important when the growth of a YouTube channel is not the primary goal, but a secondary one. To simplify, instead of an audience, you want sales.

Learn more about the benefits of YouTube ads.

Of course, if you include paid ads for video promotion, you should consider using other ad platforms too:

Of course, if you include paid ads for video promotion, you should consider using other ad platforms too:

Follow YouTube Guidelines and Avoid Demonetization

Demonetization can make your hard work in YouTube SEO nonexistent, in the worst case, or very least make ranking your videos harder.

Creators and channels can’t control how YouTube demonetizes videos. In some cases, demonetization feels targeted to certain topics, keywords, and language in videos.

YouTuber YouTube Analyzed – Andrew created a spreadsheet that tested on a scale how different keywords and search terms triggered demonetization instantly on a video.

It seems that YouTube won’t recommend certain types of videos that it might have demonetized earlier.

Demonetization leads to worsened engagements, fewer views, and all the future rankings, creating the cycle of a buried video.

Avoiding Demonetization

To avoid the demonetization of your videos can be hard as the factors in play are not entirely public.

Make sure your content always follows advertising guidelines

If you get demonetized and you feel that you’re in the right, dispute it immediately. Unfortunately, disputing takes time, which might be crucial in your videos earlier ranks.

But after your video green-lighted for ads again, your video has a chance to rank still and be promoted.

Not a perfect system, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Analyze Data From YouTube Analytics

A core method of improving your YouTube videos and their rankings is to utilize YouTube analytics and track key metrics. By analyzing key metrics of YouTube videos, you can more deeply understand how viewers watch your videos, how they found your videos, and how engaged they were in your video.

YouTube offers many points of view on collected data, which helps you grow your channel steadily by improving everything video by video.

Key metrics you need to track from YouTube analytics to improve your channel and videos:

  • Audience retention report
  • YouTube traffic source
  • Watch time report

Your best bet of succeeding on YouTube comes from understanding the engagement analytics of your videos. Testing new variables in every video help you discover the most optimal ways of communicating with your audience.

By testing and analyzing new ways to interact with your audience, improve your call-to-actions, and keep your audience’s retention as high as possible is a strategy, you need to implement into your workflow.

Some metrics are more crucial than others, but never neglect data as a whole as new opportunities may come unexpectedly.

Improve the following with the collected data:

  • Improve subscriber conversion rate to build an even larger audience
  • Improve content relevancy to top viewers
  • Improve call-to-actions
  • Learn who watches your videos
  • Learn who is likely to subscribe
  • Track your videos rankings
  • Find the keywords people searched to find your videos:
    • These keywords are probably used in your videos, but the point is to research any keyword variation you might have missed earlier. Especially looking through the traffic source report, you will discover new opportunities for videos for the future.

Connect your Google Analytics account to see YouTube analytics directly there if you’re tracking the performance of your websites, it comes recommended.

Learn the benefits of web analytics.

Youtube Analytics Traffic Sources

Conclusion

In this guide, we went through the basics of YouTube SEO to start your journey on how to rank on YouTube better. With these tips and methods, you can grow a YouTube channel and increase your video views sustainably.

Even if you find yourself going viral, utilizing the basic steps to find the keywords, optimizing titles, descriptions, and tags is what will keep you on top.

And it’s crucial to remember that search engine optimization in YouTube is not the only way to achieve growth, nor is it the path of success alone. But it’ll help you reach your goals faster.

Always improve your content for the better and look for ways to increase engagement with your audience as it’s the core of a successful YouTube video and channel.

Your main takeaway here is to implement a solid plan for content consistency, content relevancy, and content quality. Whatever your goals are on YouTube, achieve them by keeping these three things in your mind.