#12: Demystify Top-Ranked YouTube Videos With These Simple SEO Techniques

In this episode, we walk through the definitive guide to getting your videos found in organic YouTube search so you can get your videos found and build your subscribers — faster.

How should you research keywords to rank your video for more views?

  • Use Youtube suggest to find long tail keywords (and use “_” character to find words BEFORE.
  • TubeBuddy for competitor tag research
  • Tubular Labs for competitive research
  • YTCockpit shows avg video length for given keyword. Helps you avoid keywords with a packed 1st page of high-quality videos.
  • Best = YouTube Analytics. Analytics > Traffic Sources > YouTube Search

Major Key: Total watch time = YouTube’s #1 ranking factor.

  • Create LONG videos to maximize your watch time.
  • This will pay off across the board over time since it’s a core metric Google uses to determine your video’s value.

Audience retention (the % of your video watched) is also key.

  • The first 15 seconds of your video are critical. Nail your hook at all costs.
  • Use 1–2 pattern interrupts per video to avoid losing your audience’s attention.

Why you shouldn’t overlook session watch time.

  • YouTube rewards videos that keep people on their platform.
  • Use playlists to increase bulk watching. Keyword optimize them so they rank.
  • Include links to other videos and your channel on your video end screen.

Create raving fans with these user engagement rules of thumb.

  • Give viewers a simple, specific option to successfully prompt comments. Don’t make them think!
  • Add a clear “Subscribe” call-to-action to your script.
  • Reply to every comment in the first 24 hours after uploading.

Create a video title that scores clicks in 2 simple steps.

  • Step #1: Include your target keyword
  • Step #2: Maximize click-through-rate

Why video descriptions matter more than you thought.

  • Most people overlook this — but you should write 200+ word descriptions for every video.
  • Descriptions give YouTube more data to work with and increases the likelihood of showing up in suggestions.
  • The first 125 characters of your description will appear in suggestions. Make them attention-grabbing to support your title’s click-through rate.

But, how should I handle video tags?

  • Pick 5-ish that make sense.
  • Use your target keyword as one.
  • Honestly, they’re not as important as they used to be.

Quick wins that will boost your rankings.

  • Say your target keyword 1–2 times in each video
  • Upload a transcript using a service like Rev.com.
  • Always use a custom thumbnail to boost CTR.
  • Use a simple slogan so viewers understand your channel’s purpose at a glance. Feature it in your about page.

Create a channel trailer that answers these essential questions to convert new subscribers.

  • Who are you?
  • Why should I care?
  • What makes your channel unique?
  • Why should I subscribe?

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You can hit Matt Woods up on Twitter: @matopher

Connect with Jake on Twitter: @jakearenot