TL;DR: Following YouTube SEO is important to rank your YouTube videos higher. Start by adding keywords to the title, description, and including tags. Follow it up with an interesting thumbnail, interactive video, and inviting viewer comments. Finally, promote your videos beyond the usual socials and leverage the power of playlists. 

Spending tonnes of time creating compelling YouTube content?

Yet you fail to rank your YouTube videos higher. It is because you are not following the right YouTube SEO practices

But, wait.

“Why do I need to follow them?

It’s simple. To rank your YouTube videos and reach a broader audience.

Best practices for creators to rank YouTube videos

Like website SEO, which is a process of ranking a site on Google, YouTube SEO ranks your videos on YouTube. It can be challenging, especially for new creators. But with the right strategy in place, your YouTube videos will be rising to the top in no time. 

With that, let’s jump into tips for maximizing views and boosting your YouTube SEO. 

1. Find relevant keywords for your niche

The most critical YouTube SEO practice is to find the right keywords for your niche. Most YouTubers make a mistake because they target only short-tail keywords or keywords with 1000-1500 searches per month. It is wise to target long-tail keywords as they have less competition and higher search volume. Also, you are more likely to increase the chances of getting higher rankings on YouTube.

So, how do you find the right keyword for your videos? 

There are many tools like Ahrefs, vidIQ, SEMRush, etc. for it. However, it is great to embrace a creative approach when finding the keyword. 

What does that mean? You shouldn’t solely depend on tools. We wrote a whole blog on how to research YouTube keywords. But here’s an easier way:

keyword research

Head over to YouTube, and in the search bar, type in your targeted keyword. Let’s say you search for “Instagram Hacks.” You will get a list of keywords people usually search for on YouTube related to Instagram hacks. Use these suggested keywords in your videos to get higher rankings.

2. Optimise the description

No matter how great your video is, it won’t rank until you infuse the keywords in your copy

  • Add the keyword to your YouTube video title. However, simply putting the keyword in your title won’t work. Make it compelling. Then follow through by ensuring your content is informative and entertaining.
  • Add 4 to 5 secondary keywords in the description. The character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 words. While it is great to use all that space, you should know that people come here to watch your videos, not read the description.

However, if you still use all that space, YouTube only shows the first 2-3 lines of your description, which is approximately 100-200 words. After that point, users have to click on “show more” to read the complete description. Due to this short limit, it is wise to put the keywords at the beginning of your description.

  • While writing your descriptions, make sure they are unique. Simply copying it from other ranked videos and pasting it into yours won’t work, and is a bad YouTube SEO practice. Also, make sure to include your website in your description.

Take a look at the example below:

youtube hacks

3. Create an interesting thumbnail

There are two things in your video that encourage viewers to click on it: your title and the thumbnail. The title we spoke about. Now on to thumbnails. 

YouTube automatically assigns one. A random shot from your video, but that will not work. You need to invest your time and effort into creating compelling thumbnails to grab the viewers’ attention.

Use Canva templates. Choose one that fits and just edit the text and the images.

4. Include the right tags

After optimising your title and description, it’s time to add keywords in the “Tags” section. These are not visible to your viewers. However, YouTube sees them and uses them to rank your videos higher. So, don’t hesitate to add tags and fill up the entire 500-word limit.

If we stick to the above “Shopify for beginners” example, here are some tag examples:

  • Shopify tutorial
  • Shopify guide
  • Shopify for beginners
  • Shopify guide 2022
  • Shopify tips for beginners

You can find these tags in other ranked videos using a Google Chrome extension – Tube Buddy.  Or rely on VidIQ to watch what tags your competitors use in their videos.

5. Keep people watching

The best way to rank YouTube videos is to improve your viewer’s retention rate. According to the YouTube algorithm, the higher the watch time, the better. However, if your viewers are not sticking around to see the whole video, YouTube considers them not worth watching.

To keep people watching your videos, you need to make them visually entertaining. Simply sitting in front of a camera and talking won’t work. Add graphics, pop-ups, fun animation, and other elements to make the video stand out. 

6. Promote your videos

Most creators share their videos on Facebook, Instagram, and other socials and leave it be. While promoting your videos on these platforms is great, you need to do something out of the box.

Apart from social media, one of the best ways to promote your YouTube videos is by leveraging Quora. It is a question-and-answer platform where users ask multiple questions related to different niches.

Quora answers

Source: Quora

You can promote your videos on Quora by simply answering a user’s question. However, don’t just put your video’s link. Instead, reply in a manner that looks “informative” and not “spammy.”

7. Encourage viewers to comment on your videos

Comments are one of the essential ranking factors. But how will you encourage your viewers to comment on your YouTube videos? By saying, “please comment below?” Of course not!

Instead, create content that encourages users to share their thoughts. For example, suppose you upload a video related to “Instagram Hacks.” Close the video with, “So these were some of the Instagram Hacks to get more followers. If I missed anything, drop your ideas in the comments.”

8. Create a playlist

Another fantabulous way to rank YouTube videos is to create a playlist of your videos. It also helps viewers watch your videos related to different topics in an organised manner. What’s even better is that you can increase traffic, manage time, and enhance retention.

Wrapping up on YouTube video ranking

In a nutshell, just uploading YouTube videos is not enough. You need to optimise your channel for YouTube to get higher rankings. And if you need more help on how to grow on YouTube, enrol to Sahil Gera’s course on it for some tasty tips.