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How to Optimize YouTube Videos for Higher Ranking?

YouTube videos are a great way to attract attention and market your products and ideas, albeit subtly. You don’t need to sell your products using YouTube but you can definitely create videos that address queries of your target audience. Tutorial videos have historically been a great hit with YouTube loyalists.

That is why it is so important to create videos that rank higher on YouTube as well as search engines like Google and Bing. There are two aspects to creating great videos that rank high on SERPs. You will obviously have to create great content that satisfies the expectations of the audience. But you will also have to adopt and implement some SEO strategies that optimize the video and make it rank higher in searches.

Importance of viewer engagement through your video

Engagement addresses both the first and second aspects of creating a great video. When YouTube has first launched, its algorithm could only rank and rate videos depending on the number of views that a video was attracting. But, it realized soon enough that this was not enough to ensure user experience or quality of the video. People can often be misled into watching a video only to realize that it doesn’t fulfill either their expectations or their needs.

They drop-out midway through the video screening. If too many viewers leave your video before it reaches the end, it will affect your SEO ranking as well as defeat your purpose of making the video as you can’t make the viewers see your call to action message which is usually placed at the end of the video. The length of time for which your video keeps your audience engaged directly affects the SEO as well as reputation. However, you will be too naïve if you expect 100% retention. 40-50% can be considered a good figure although the figure would vary with the type, content and purpose of your video.

Other important SEO factors for higher ranking of your YouTube video

1. Title

Video titles appear directly in search results and help the audience decipher the contents of the video. With limited plain text for search engine crawlers to crawl, the title of a video becomes one of the most important SEO factors. Try to keep it within 70 characters because longer titles may get truncated. Use long-tailed keywords if possible.  In any case, your core keywords should be inserted into the title to get better Google ranking as well as higher YouTube ranking. Use Google and YouTube’s auto complete feature where you type in one or more keywords and see the suggestions Google or YouTube have to offer. This way, you can create a title which will rank high.

2. Description

A proper video description is very important because this is also crawled by search engines to get an idea about the video as the video content can’t be directly crawled. Use a short 157 character first line which gives a brief idea. This will also appear as a snippet below the title on SERPs. Make your website URL the second sentence. You can then write a detailed description of your video with keywords to help search engines know more about the video and increase chances of higher ranking.

3. Get more subscription and likes

Social proof of user experience is increasingly being given more importance in Google and YouTube algorithms and the greater the number of subscription and likes, the better will be your chances of ranking higher.

Optimizing videos for higher ranking will not be difficult if you have basic technical understanding of SEO. However, you can’t mislead the audience with the video content or title.

That would lead to higher drop-offs and would hurt you more than you can gain. Get user feedback in the form of comments. Use analytics and paid services to improve your chances of user traction and higher ranking.

Can we help you with your YouTube channel and video content?  Give us a shout!  

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