By Published On: April 12, 2023

Note: The following is a guest post from our friends at Breadnbeyond.

YouTube gets more and more popular year after year. Although there have been competitors like TikTok and Instagram, YouTube remains the most significant video-based platform today. It has generated 2.1 million active users as of 2022.

That’s why we see the rise of YouTube marketing, where content creators and marketers leverage YouTube for business purposes. However, with the vast amount of content uploaded each second, the platform has become a competitive arena for creators.

YouTube SEO becomes the key to thriving on the platforms and helps your content rank high on its search engine. But only a few creators are aware of its practices. The following discussion will show you essential practices for ranking YouTube videos.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is optimizing your videos and channel to rank higher in search results. Working on YouTube SEO helps you improve video marketing metrics.

It involves techniques and strategies to optimize the video’s metadata, including the title, description, tags, and thumbnail image. Optimizing metadata is significant to make your videos more discoverable and relevant to users’ search queries.

Some key factors that affect YouTube SEO include the relevance and quality of the video content, the engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares, the watch time, and the number of subscribers to the channel. Some other factors are video length, keywords, closed captions, and transcripts.

Implementing effective YouTube SEO techniques helps brands and content creators increase their chances of getting discovered by their target audience. It also allows them to grow their channel and ultimately monetize their content.

How to Rank YouTube Videos

Pushing your video rank on YouTube’s search engine needs proper practice. Below we’ve curated some practical ways to make your video more visible and discoverable on the platform.

#1. Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of any effective YouTube SEO strategy. Consider using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and YouTube’s search suggestions to help you identify relevant and popular keywords your target audience is searching for.

Moreover, choosing keywords relevant to your video content is essential. Choose high search volume and low-competition keywords to make your content stand out. Use these keywords in your video title, description, and tags to increase your video’s chances of being discovered by your target audience.

You can also use YouTube plugins like TubeBuddy and VidIQ for more comprehensive keyword research. They can give you keyword recommendations and help you analyze video performance.

#2. Optimize Video Metadata

Optimizing your video metadata is crucial for YouTube SEO. Your video metadata includes your title, description, tags, and thumbnail image. Optimizing each of these elements using related and potential target keywords is essential.

Your video title should be descriptive and catchy. Keep it short, to the point, and keyword-friendly. Another important thing is to avoid creating click-bait titles, as YouTube discourages it.

Also, write an informative video description using target keywords. Additionally, your tags should consist of broad and specific keywords and use eye-catching and relevant thumbnails for your video content.

#3. Create Valuable and High-Quality Content

No one wants to watch cracky videos with low resolution, so ensure that yours are high-quality and well-edited. Invest in good equipment, including a camera, microphone, editing software, lighting, etc.

Also, create valuable or entertaining content for viewers to generate engagement. YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes videos that keep viewers engaged for extended periods, so designing relevant, informative, and entertaining content is essential.

Before creating your video, consider your target audience and what topics they are interested in. You should also research your competition to see what type of content is already available and find ways to make your content stand out.

You can try content ideas like reviews, comparisons, tutorials, reactions, and explainer videos. Once you’ve created your video, edit it thoroughly to ensure it’s high quality and delivers value to your viewers.

#4. Encourage Audience Participation

Encouraging audience participation helps enhance engagement metrics like likes, comments, and shares can help improve your video’s ranking. To encourage audience participation, ask your viewers to like, comment, and share your video in your video or description.

You could also ask your audience for feedback or ideas for future videos to increase engagement. Responding to comments and starting a conversation with your viewers can also help build a loyal following and increase engagement.

#5. Add Captions and Transcripts

Including closed captions and transcripts in your video can improve accessibility for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. It can also help with YouTube SEO. Closed captions and transcripts make it easier for search engines to crawl your video content.

They can increase the chances of your video being discovered by users searching for keywords related to your video. Closed captions and transcripts can also improve user engagement because viewers can follow along with the content even if they are in a noisy environment or watching the video without sound.

You can add closed captions and transcripts to your video by uploading a .srt or .txt file. YouTube also has an auto-captioning feature, but you may need to review the captions for accuracy and make any necessary edits.

#6. Promote Videos Across Platforms

Promotion is key to increasing visibility and driving traffic to your videos. Share your videos on your website, social media, and other relevant platforms where your target audience is active.

You can collaborate with other creators in your niche to increase reach and engagement. Another effective strategy is to run social media or Google Ads to target and reach your niche audience.

You may think that Google Ads are costly. In fact, there is an option that allows you to pay according to your ad performance. Besides, the price will always be worth it as you can grow your reach significantly.

Consider creating non-video content, such as countdown posts on your YouTube community. You can inform viewers of your upcoming videos and evoke their excitement.

#7. Analyze Video Performance

Analyzing your video’s performance is essential for optimizing your YouTube SEO strategy. YouTube’s Creator Studio provides detailed information on your video’s performance, including views, engagement metrics, audience retention, and more.

Use this data to identify trends and patterns in your audience’s behavior and adjust your content and strategy accordingly. For example, if your audience retention drops off after a certain point in your video, consider shortening your videos or improving the pacing to keep viewers engaged.

You can leverage tools like Google Analytics or third-party tools to analyze your content. They help you track traffic sources, user behavior, and demographics to understand your audience better and optimize your content for maximum impact.

Takeaway: Stay Consistent

The above point is a brief discussion of understanding YouTube SEO. Building a well-performing channel with massive subscribers won’t be a one-night battle. But if you stick to the above point, you’ll progress positively.

The last bit of tip is to stay consistent throughout your journey. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or content creator, constantly providing valuable videos to your audience is vital to thriving on the platform.

Also, keep yourself up-to-date on recent news and trends. You can discover new content ideas and optimization tricks to boost your video performance. This discussion can help you stay competitive in the saturated nature of YouTube.


Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).

Twitter: @breadnbeyond
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro

About the Author: cat-tonic

Born of curiosity and enthusiasm, we’re a scrappy group of smart, passionate marketers who work hard and play hard. We show up every day and fight for our clients who are making the world a better place. We listen with curiosity, explore deeply, ask hard questions, and sometimes put forth ideas that might make you squirm. Because we believe the status quo is good for growing mold but not much else. The way we see it, change is the way forward and the magic happens when curiosity, math, science, instinct, and talent intersect.
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