In seven and a half months, we focused our efforts on SEO for YouTube and positioned our videos for some of the most competitive keywords in our industry. SEO, Ecommerce SEO, Local SEO, SEO Tips, the list goes on. This led to a nearly 400% increase in YouTube search traffic and it continues to grow. Our channel is not huge. Our industry isn't exactly "exciting" either. And compared to our main YouTube competitors, our number of subscribers is microscopic. But that's what I love about YouTube. Anyone and everyone has the opportunity to entertain, participate and rank their videos quickly. So in this video, I'm going to show you exactly how to rank YouTube videos, from start to finish. Stay connected. [music] What's up creators? Sam Oh is here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you increase your search traffic, analyze your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, there is a lot to video SEO, so instead of trying to dive into every source of traffic in YouTube analysis, I'll focus on YouTube search rankings and sprinkle some tips to position your videos on Google as well. Let us begin.
First of all, what is SEO for YouTube? It is the process of optimizing your videos, playlists, and the channel to rank high in the organic search results for a given search query on Youtube. YouTube explains its discovery and search ranking in two sentences. "Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description, and the video content matches the viewer's query. So there are three important points here. First of all, keywords are important in the title and description. Second, you must match the search intent for a viewer's query. And third, you need to drive engagement for a query to rank on YouTube. But out of all these things, the key point to effective video seo is creating high engagement videos. So if you can't engage your audience, your chances of ranking your YouTube videos for a meaningful keyword will be little or no.
So the first step is to do YouTube Keyword Research. Unlike traditional Google search engine optimization, YouTube does not have an official keyword research tool. And many of these third-party tools are bombarding arbitrary numbers from Google Keyword Planner. But there are ways to get estimated search volumes. The first is to use YouTube suggest in conjunction with Google Trends. Just type a keyword in the search bar and you will see a list of relevant queries that contain your keyword. You can also add a star before or after your target keyword, which will act as a "wild card".
Now, since we don't have an official tool to view search volumes, we can launch some YouTube suggestions on Google Trends. But remember, Google Trends uses "popularity" to compare keywords. So take these estimates with a grain of salt. The second way to get keyword volumes is to use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. We have recently released our latest version of Keyword Explorer, which includes search volumes and metrics for search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, Baidu, and more. Just select YouTube as the search engine and enter a keyword or a list of keywords. Immediately, you will see country specific search volumes, click data, global search volumes and you'll have access to five keyword idea reports. You can also enter a list of up to 10,000 keywords that you want to analyze.
The best way to get a keyword list is to use TubeBuddy or the VidIQ Chrome extension. Just run a YouTube search and look for the right sidebar. You will see in VidIQ "related queries", or TubeBuddy "Most used tags". Just choose all the relevant keywords you want to analyze, click the Copy button and paste your list in the Keyword Explorer. Next, we will show you all the keywords that have YouTube Search Volume according to our database. Now search volumes are great and all, but the power of Keywords Explorer is in generating new keyword ideas. Let's say you want to start a makeup tutorial channel. Just type "makeup" in the Keyword Explorer. And I'm also going to include a couple of common variations like makeup and makeup.
Next, go to the phrase match report, which lists all the keywords in our database that contain your seed keywords. And you'll see more than 202,000 keyword ideas! Let's narrow down some more focused topics. So I'm going to click the "include" drop-down menu and type a list of related keywords like eye, face, Halloween, wedding, and bride. Finally, choose the "Any word" tab, which will show us all the keywords that contain any of these keywords. And we have more than 17,000 relevant topics to create videos. Bottom line: there's no shortage of great keyword ideas.
We have an in-depth video on YouTube keyword research so I'm going to leave a link to it in the description. Now YouTube search is great and all, but why not maximize your views by ranking your videos on google too? Don't you think it's so important? Think again. Google search is one of our main sources of external traffic and sent us more than 7,400 views in the last 28 days.
Additionally, a study by GetSTAT shows that SERP features on video increased by around 75% in 2017. for your example keyword list. Now, in 2019, it is difficult to navigate Google for more than ten minutes without seeing a video result. There are a few ways to find videos that have Google search traffic. The first is to search for the target keyword. If you see a video carousel or other SERP video, then you have a chance to position as well. Pay attention to the length of the video and the titles to get an idea of what Google wants to show. The second way is to use the Content Explorer, which allows you to search for any word or phrase and get all the relevant pages with your SEO and social metrics.
To find YouTube videos that rank in Google, I'll search: site: youtube.com inurl: watch title: unboxing, assuming that's the topic you wanted to search for. Then I'll sort the result by search traffic and you can see the estimate immediately, the amount of Google search traffic these videos get each month, as well as the titles, descriptions, and social statistics. Once you find a video that interests you, click the Details button, and then the Organic Keywords tab where you can see all keywords and rank for the video on Google. Looking into Google and YouTube search allows you to double dip your traffic sources and get more views of your videos. All right, step 2 is to identify the search intent. Search intent (or keyword intent) refers to the reason why a user searches a search engine for a query. Now search engines are usually good at doing this for you. You just have to search for the keyword you want to position on YouTube, analyze the content and lean over the top 3 results. For example, if you want to teach people how to make a website, then probably you may want to give them a step-by-step tutorial.
YouTube agrees But what if you want to rank for "Nintendo Switch Games"? YouTube will tell you that people want to see a "listicles" type video. Now, let's say you're a florist and you want to rank for "viola". Bad idea. All results show that someone searching for this term wants to know about the instrument. Neither the plant nor the actress. Let's move on to step 3, which is the most important.
And that's to satisfy search intent with high retention video. YouTube says its goals are to help viewers find the videos they want to watch and maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction. And if you are matching the reason with a user's query, then your chance of having a higher clock times for video increases. These are the exact steps we take to create high retention videos. First, plan your videos before you create them. If you're creating how-to videos, the last thing you want to do is stumble across your words or show sloppy displays. Proper planning helps keep your ideas on point and gives you the advantage of intentionally including keywords within your video that people think YouTube uses in its ranking algorithm. Second, you need to start with a strong hook. The first 10-15 seconds are critical for your video success. Hook your readers, and you'll have audience retention graphics that look like this. Give up the hook and lose most of your viewers before you even have a chance to deliver value.
Every niche is different and sadly, there is no one formula that works for everyone. Being in the how and information space for a B2B audience, I like to start with stats or tests so it's worth your time to keep looking. As in this SEO video for YouTube, I started by showing you how we rank first 3 for many competitive keywords.
I also showed them that our search traffic grew almost 400%. And most importantly, I tell you that I am going to show you the exact steps we use so you can try to replicate our results. Falls in the first 15 seconds are inevitable. But you can minimize the damage by giving your audience a reason to see and show you have a solution to that problem. Third, you need to edit your videos strategically. For every video we create, our focus not to impress you with cool tricks.
We care about engagement. So instead of going into a full tutorial edit, I'll leave you with some powerful tips. First, use jump cuts. A jump cut is a transition between two shots from the same position. Creates the effect of the scene "jump", "hence the name," jump cut ". These add dynamics to a video and help clean up mistakes. Second, draw your audience's attention to what you want them to see. Pay attention for a second. If you've never used our Site Explorer tool before, and I say something like: "Click on the linked domains report.
You saw it? Probably not. But I could easily draw your eyes to the linked domains they report by doing this, this, this, or even this. The effects don't need to be fancy, but it should help your audience follow along and avoid falls due to confusion. The last tip is to entertain with stories or narratives. YouTube is an entertainment platform. But entertaining is not easy. So while our main focus is teaching SEO and marketing, we do our best to make it a little entertaining without trying too hard. If you've looked this far then you've probably seen some examples, so I'm not going deeper into that. We have a full video on the workflow we use to edit our videos for YouTube, so We recommend you see that, which I am going to link. Alright, step 3 is to do on-page video optimization. On-page optimizations for YouTube come down to 4 things: We have the title, description, tags, and thumbnail. Each of these helps provide context to your video and / or will influence its final result: click rates. After all, no clicks, no views.
Here are some best practices for creating and clickable videos, according to YouTube. Tip 1 is to use your keyword in the title. YouTube suggests using the most relevant search terms in their titles and descriptions as long as they are accurate and not excessive. A Briggsby study also shows that more than 90% of the top-notch videos included in less part of a target keyword in your title. While it seems important to include at least fuzzy matches of the target keyword in your title, you don't want to sacrifice the "click-worthy" of it. Tip 2 is to keep your titles under 60 characters. YouTube recommends keeping your headlines concise with the most important information up front. From an SEO perspective, that will often mean using your target keyword near the beginning. of your title. For example, our target keyword for this video is YouTube SEO.
And you will see that we add the correct phrase at the beginning. Keeping your headlines short will also avoid missing clicks from search truncation, suggested, and navigate the functions. Tip 3 is to write catchy headlines that evoke curiosity or highlight a benefit. If you were to create a tutorial on hitting a tie, a keyword-rich title might look like how tie a tie? But that's not interesting at best. There are numerous angles you could take such as: How to tie a tie using the "007 technique?" How to tie a tie in 11 seconds flat? My 3-year-old son teaches you to tie a tie. The point is, boring titles are less likely to stand out in a competitive landscape. Tip 4 is to create a thumbnail that complements your title. In my opinion, this is the hardest part to execute consistently. Here is the thumbnail of our SEO Video mistakes. The thumbnail text describes the video from 91% is the majority. And if you look closely, there is a photo of the Google page numbers with the third part in circles saying, "You are here." You can also be inspired by things around you and use your image to speak undeniable truths like our video, "How long does it take to rank in Google.
And if you're stuck, try to get ideas from Google Images or stock photos. For example, I looked up the word "system" in Adobe Stock, and was inspired by this image. So I used the idea to create our thumbnail for our Link Building system video, but improved. The next video optimization tip is to write searchable descriptions. YouTube says that using the "right" keywords can increase views and watch time because they help your videos appear in search results.
But what are the "correct" keywords? To start, we include our target keyword in both the title and description. But we also include related keywords by analyzing the descriptions of the top-level videos. Just type in the keyword you want to rank for, then look through the description of keywords that are relevant to your topic. For example, this video uses language like "free traffic" and talks about traffic on the context of a blog. Another phrase used is "increases website traffic". These can be keywords that I want to include within my description or others closely related keywords where my video matches the content.
Next are the labels. And tags are another way to give your video context, which can help you rank on YouTube. search and suggest. YouTube simplifies this by recommending add keywords and phrases that are more descriptive of your video. You can also use tools like VidIQ or TubeBuddy to see the tags of your competitor videos in the sidebar. Look for common tags within competitor videos, and add them to your video when it makes sense to do it. And as an extra measure, I will normally copy all the tags from the top level videos, and I'll paste them into the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to see the search volumes on these tags.
Step 4 are video optimizations. Creating the video is 80% of the battle. There are additional optimizations that can increase the retention rate and create a better user experience for your viewers. The first thing is to add subtitles or Subtitles for the deaf. Many creators, including myself, believe that YouTube reads subtitles to improve the context of the videos. And your viewers most likely come from all over the world with a different native language. So it's worth using a transcription service or if your videos are scripted just go to the CC tab of your video, select your language, and create your subtitle file. To give you an idea, around 17% of our viewers use our English subtitles when watching our videos. The second thing to do is add cards to your video. These are an interactive feature that encourages viewers to take one of these 5 actions. You just have to select the time code where you want the card to be activated, select the type of card that you're going to use, choose an appropriate option, and you're good to go. Now when a viewer reaches that timecode, the video title will scroll as a suggestion.
Lastly, use the end screens. The end screens are similar to cards. The purpose is to keep viewers on the YouTube platform. For our channel, we have a Subscribe button as well as a suggested video that the viewer must see below. This can help you get more subscribers, viewers who consume your content and increase one of the metrics that YouTube uses in its algorithm, session time. I'm going to expand on this in a bit. For now, let's move on to step 5, which is to publish and promote your video. The first 24-48 hours after posting can make or break your video. So you need to promote your video as hard as you can right away. Here are some rapid fire tips to do that. First, promote to your existing audience. At Ahrefs, we post around 8:00 AM on Wednesdays. We then use an inapp alert to notify our customers of a new piece of content that we create. At noon, we tweet our video link, which sends more viewers directly to our video. And of course we send an email newsletter to our blog about 24 hours after the video it was live.
Now if you don't have an existing audience, some things you can do is post to niche forums like Quora. Simply search for your video topic, provide a helpful response, and include your video in the mix. You can also post on other platforms like Reddit, Facebook or wherever. The point is, you need to get involved where your audience hangs out. Last but not least is using YouTube ads.
Right now, from our experience, YouTube ads are super cheap. You can target by interest, keyword, or custom audiences. If you have a great video, set up some ad search based on your target keyword with the with the intention of winning your subscription. As your subscriber base grows, they will start receiving notifications with their future videos and Helps accelerate your growth without breaking the bank. The last and final step is to optimize your videos for watch time. The session playback time is the total time that a viewer watches YouTube videos without leaving the platform. YouTube said on its Creators Blog: "We have started to adjust video rankings in YouTube search to reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching.
As with the previous optimizations to our discovery features, this should benefit your channel if your videos drive longer viewing time through YouTube " Here are a few more ways to improve your playtime. First, create series. Think of series like #AskGaryVee or 490 episodes of Casey Neistat's Vlog. The series hook people and if they like what they see, they keep watching, which increases their total playing time of the session. We have created 3 series in total. One on keyword research, one on link building, and a shorter one on SEO for WordPress.
The first two were made to educate our clients, while the WordPress SEO series was meant to rank. And we did it. To encourage viewers to watch the next video in the series, add an end screen or add a card to the next video near the end. This will make it easier for viewers to find the next video in your series. Now the next part is where the magic happens. And that is to convert your playlist into Playlists series. A playlist is a list of videos that are played in the order they are set. While a series playlist is all you just said, but it is also a creator's way to tell YouTube that your video pool is a list of "official" videos. Think about how Netflix does it with the seasons and episodes of your favorite show. They are in a specific order and skipping a couple of episodes would probably not be a good idea.
Using series playlists helps YouTube understand order and increases your chances of claiming the "next" place. If you've made the card, the ending screen, and the playlist series, now you have 3 places where you next video will be recommended to viewers. The last and final tip to boost your video SEO is to use my channel page hack. Your channel page is likely one of your most visited pages so it's worth optimizing. This is how the channel page hack works. If you look at our channel, the first 4 videos in this streak look a bit random. But they are not. Each of these videos is the first series in one of the 3 series that we have on our channel. And the only reason the fourth video is in the same series as this video is because they don't have a fourth series. Now, since all of these videos are separated into series playlists, see what happens when click on them. The next video is always the next video in the series. So no matter which video you click on, it increases our chances of getting viewers to keep watching. videos on our channel.
While YouTube does not have a "watch time" in its analytics, I am a strong believer my channel playlist hack contributed to our massive increase in overall clock time from the day I added it. YouTube SEO from a technical perspective is easy. Optimize your titles, descriptions and tags. Then add relevant cards, end screens or description links and you're good to go. But the most challenging part of video SEO is engaging your audience. So take these processes and tips, focus your attention on these 3 things: entertain, participate and position.
If you liked this video, be sure to like, share and subscribe, if you have Any questions about our VIDEO for SEO process, leave a comment below and I'll be happy to help. So keep working, create your videos strategically, and I'll see you in the next tutorial..