How To Rank In YouTube Search

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So you’ve started a YouTube channel and are wondering how to get your videos ranking in the search so you can get noticed?

You’ve come to the right place.

I have experience building up multiple YouTube channels to over 25,000 subscribers organically – and most of that was done through ranking in the YouTube search results.

I also give ranking high in YouTube for various search terms a lot of credit for helping my businesses generate a lot of revenue over the years.

Take a look at our Hockey Training YouTube channel ranking for the top 3 spots on a popular search term “hockey training”:

My YouTube Rankings
Ranking 1st, 2nd and 3rd below the paid advertisement

When you can dominate the search results for terms that your target audience is searching for you can gain a nice following, and ultimately make more money for your business.

Enough with the intro, let’s get into how you can rank your videos in YouTube’s search…

#1 – Title Your Video What You Want To Rank For

This is one is simple, but it’s the most important so I had to throw it in here first.

Want to rank for “Yoga For Shoulder Pain” with a yoga video?  Simply name the video “Yoga For Shoulder Pain”.

Want to rank for “Best Exercise To Increase Bench Press” – you’ve got your title already.  Pretty easy right?

You can always add more to your title if you’d like after the main keywords you’re trying to rank for, but I always recommend throwing your main search term at the very beginning.

If you’ve ever been told that you should name your videos something catchy (“clickbait” if you will), that is something that you would most likely want to save for video titles after you’ve built your YouTube channel up quite a bit.

It’s a good way to grab attention in the suggested or recommended videos, but not a good way to rank for your videos for terms that people are searching for.  Save it for when you’ve got a big following.

#2 – Create Good Content

I would say this is equally important to #1 and could be considered 1B.

You need to make sure you’ve actually got a good video that people who are searching for that term will enjoy.

This is important for two main reasons…

Firstly, YouTube will be looking at the percentage of your video people are watching.

If you put up an 8-minute video and most people are leaving within the first 20 seconds because the video isn’t compelling, YouTube won’t want to recommend that video to searchers.

But even more important is the fact that poor content won’t help you gain subscribers.

And one of the important ranking factors that YouTube takes into consideration is the popularity of the channel.  If two channels put out similar videos with similar metrics, it will almost always rank the channel with more active subscribers higher.

If you don’t create good content you won’t build up a following, and you won’t rank videos.

Put out quality videos and people will subscribe to your channel, giving you more ranking power in the YouTube search results.

Makes sense right?  Put some time into your video content.

#3 – Increase Watch Time On Your Videos

Another key ranking factor for YouTube is the total watch time on your videos.

YouTube is an entertainment website, and their goal is to have their users stay 0n their website or app for long periods of time.

Because of this longer videos can have a better chance to rank better on YouTube…

But here’s the important part: you need to get the viewer to stick around and watch the video.

Just because you upload a 30-minute video on a topic doesn’t ensure you will have a high watch time.

If your video isn’t quality your 30-minute video could have the same average watch time as a solid 5-minute video that keeps viewers attention for the full 5 minutes.

My strategy here has always been to make the video as long as I can while still providing value and being informative and entertaining.

I don’t sacrifice quality for length. If that means the video can only be 3 minutes long – so be it.

I’d rather have someone watch 100% of a 3-minute video than 5% (1.5 minutes) of a 30-minute video.

Try to increase watch time on your videos, without drawing out your videos to a point where they aren’t providing value or entertaining the viewer.

I can make an entire post on strategies for keeping engagement with YouTube videos and increasing watch time to help with rankings if there’s interest (let me know in the comments if you’d want to read that).

#4 – High Quality

Would you want to watch a video that looks like it was filmed on a Potatoe?

Would a crappy quality video make YouTube engineers proud?

Probably not.

So it only makes sense that YouTube would give a bit of a ranking bump to videos that are filmed in higher quality.

Right now, in 2018, that means that 4K videos most likely get a tiny bump over 1080p videos, and a larger bump over anything filmed on a 2007 flip phone.

I don’t think filming in 4K is 100% necessary (yet), but I do think you should filming in at least HD 1080p if you’re hoping to rank in the YouTube search results for years to come.

#5 – Upload Captions

YouTube allows you to upload captions for your videos.  You can use a service like that will do it for $1/minute at the time of writing this.

This will allow people without sound to watch your videos and know what you’re saying.

But, more importantly, it will also let YouTube know exactly what you’re saying in the videos.

If you’re trying to rank for “Best Exercise To Increase Bench Press” and you say some of those terms throughout the video a couple of times, YouTube will be able to recognize you’re probably providing some content around that search term and that should help you rank better.

Do yourself a favor though, and don’t try and cram keywords into the “script” of your video.  This is going to be unnatural and hurt the quality of your video, which is much more important.

The bump from captions is most likely small, but one to take advantage of if you’re trying to rank for some competitive keywords on YouTube.

#6 – Tags and Description

Lastly, you will want to include some of the keywords you’re trying to rank for in your YouTube video description, and as tags when uploading.

From my testing, it seems as if this isn’t a big factor with the YouTube search rankings at all, but it may help a bit and it’s very simple and quick to do, so it’s worthwhile for sure.

You will see a place to enter “tags” when you’re uploading your video, and in there you just want to tag your video with keywords that you’re hoping to rank for.

If your video was about increasing your bench press you could add tags like “bench press”, “increase bench press”, “best exercises to increase bench press”, “bench press exercises”.  And that would probably be enough to give YouTube a good idea what your video is about.

Within the description area you can start off with something like “In this video, I’m going to show you the best exercises you can use to increase your bench press…. etc”.

(Don’t spam your keyword way too many times in your description like I’ve seen some video creators do thinking it will help out.  If anything that could actually hurt your rankings.)

This is pretty basic and easy stuff here, but something that can help with the rankings.

Recap of Ranking In YouTube

Don’t stress too hard about creating videos that rank in the YouTube search.  Instead focus on creating quality, informative, and entertaining videos that can build a fan base and grow your business.

The rankings will come naturally when you provide high-quality videos that people are coming back for.

Your engagement, subscriber numbers, and watch time will increase over time and YouTube will start to notice and push you up in the rankings.

Make sure you check out the other articles here at Create Freedom for building your business and get creating!

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