Case Study How to Rank your YouTube Videos
In this article, I’m going to show you a case study for ranking in the top 7 results on YouTube. Today you’re going to learn the five most influential video SEO ranking factors to get your videos to the top of YouTube fast.
A few years ago, a YouTube channel was struggling. They consistently created high-quality videos that provided a ton of value but when the videos were published, they didn’t get many views. Needless to say, they were frustrated. They knew that video was a powerful way to grow an online business but learned the hard way that video only works if people actually watch your videos and your mom watching your videos doesn’t count.
Fast forward to today and their videos consistently gets tens of thousands of views and hundreds of people subscribe to the channel every single month. The secret, was to learn everything about video SEO. Unfortunately, most of the advice that you initially read about ranking YouTube doesn’t work.
You know the advice I’m talking about like put your keyword in your video description, put keywords in your video file name, write 20 tags for every video, sure this stuff can help but it’s not going to rocket your video to the top of Google or YouTube. Why? because everyone on YouTube is doing the exact same thing after trying all the generic advice that I read.
Getting nowhere, they decided to run a bunch of experiments and that’s when they learned what really works, specifically, they discovered YouTube’s five most important ranking factors and these are ranking factors that very few people know about. Once they applied these ranking factors to the videos, the rankings shot through the roof.
They started ranking for super competitive keywords like SEO link building, how to get traffic and more and now it’s time to share these five ranking factors with you.
Let’s start with step number one, which is to create and publish long videos.
You may have noticed that longer videos tend to perform better on YouTube. Well, YouTube’s most important ranking factor is your videos’ total watch time. As you probably know, the more of your video people watch, the better it tends to rank and that’s called audience retention which is an important ranking factor.
Even though audience retention is important, it’s not nearly as important as your videos total watch time, that’s because YouTube wants to promote videos that keep people on YouTube for a long period of time. The more total minutes people watch of your video, the more YouTube will want to rank it in the search results.
For example, let’s say that you just published two different videos. Video one is two minutes long and video two is ten minutes long and let’s say that each video gets 1000 views and the audience retention for both videos is exactly the same 50%. That means that on average, people watch half of your video.
The total watch time for the two-minute video would be 1000 minutes but for the longer video, that video watch time will be 5000 minutes, which means that video number two will have five times the watch time of video number one. That will likely outrank video number one, that’s the power of publishing longer videos.
In fact, many of their videos rank in the top 3 for finance and real estate are longer than 10 minutes, which is significantly longer than most videos on YouTube because these videos accumulate more total watch time than their competitors and they’re able to rank above videos with significantly more views.
Let’s move on to step number two, which is to master the hook.
As I said, longer videos tend to rank better because they accumulate more total watch time but there’s one big problem with this approach. You have to keep someone’s attention on YouTube. Fortunately, many experiments have taught me that if you can hook someone in the first 10 to 15 seconds of your video, you’ve hooked them for good.
In fact, YouTube recommends that you focus on the first 10 to 15 seconds of your video to maximize watch time. The question is, how do you hook people in the first 10 to 15 seconds of your video? Start your video off with the P formula, the P-P-P stands for preview-proof-preview.
Here’s exactly how it works, first, preview what your video is all about. Cut out any fluff and tell them exactly what to expect in the video.
For example, let’s say that your video outlines “7 unusual mistakes sellers make”, you want to start off your video saying “In this video, you’re going to learn the 7 most unusual mistakes sellers make” that’s it. Next, it’s time for the proof.
Here’s proof that you can deliver, you can mention that you’ve already accomplished what the viewer wants. That you have lots of experience in your fields or that you’ve researched a ton about your topic. For example, you could say “These are the same mistakes we’ve overcome for the past 3 sellers”
Finally hit them with the preview again. Reiterate what your video is about, now you obviously don’t want to just repeat what you said in the beginning. Instead, mention something specific from your video such as the results of a sale as a case study that demonstrates how you’ve overcome the problems.
This will make your viewers curious and want to keep watching. For example, you could say that today, you’re going to learn about the unusual mistakes that cost home sellers $10,000’s on the sale of their homes.
Next up, number three is we have to put your exact keyword in your title. There’s no question that Google and YouTube are getting smarter every day, which means the days of keyword stuffing your video to the top of YouTube are long gone.
That said Google and YouTube, both use your videos’ title to understand what your video is all about so make sure to include your exact keyword once in your title preferably at the beginning of the title. For example, let’s say you created a video that you wanted to rank for the keyword trenchless pipe replacement, so make sure to include the exact keyword at the beginning of the title and it will help you rank better in YouTube searches.
Now it’s time for ranking factor number four, which is to say your keyword in your video.
Let’s say your video is about disc brake upgrades for you Camaro but all of your on-page metadata says it’s about changing breaks, you won’t rack for either keyword. That’s why you always make sure to actually say the target keyword in every video. For example, in a video about disc brake upgrades, I made sure to say the words disc brake upgrades a few times, simple yet effective.
Last up, ranking factor number five, we have user interaction signals.
YouTube wants to see that people are actually interacting with your video. The more people watch, like, subscribe and comment on your video, the higher your video will rank in YouTube search results.
Now the strategies that I have shown you so far will help you naturally get more of these user interaction signals but there are two simple tactics that I use on every video to increase my video user interaction signals.
First, I add an annotation that asks people to like my video after a lot of experimenting, off-balance, this simple annotation significantly boosts the number of likes that my videos receive at the end of my video. I also ask people to subscribe and comment which also increases the amount of my videos user interaction signals.
A quick bonus tip for you, which is to optimize for click-through rate when someone searches for something on YouTube. YouTube pays very close attention to what video they click on. As you probably know, videos ranking number one through four get the vast majority of clicks but for some reason, lots of people are clicking on your video in the search results.
What do you think YouTube will think about your video? then It’s for a keyword and they’ll give your video a boost to make it easier for people to find your videos. So, how do you maximize your click-through rate?
YouTube displays three main pieces of information in the search results. Your title, your thumbnail and a snippet of your description. Here’s how to quickly optimize all three for click-through rate. The cue with your thumbnail is simply that it stands out.
That means that you want to create a custom thumbnail that looks different than the other videos that are on the first page. Like I mentioned before, you want to include your target keyword once. Other than that, your goal with your title should be to maximize your click-through rate.
And it should be emotionally compelling, plus include the current year so people know the content is still relevant. Finally, you want to write something compelling in the first few lines of your description. Most people put a link to their website or a channel here and it’s a huge mistake.
Nothing looks less enticing to click on that link to someone’s website, instead, write a sentence or two that includes your target keyword in a compelling way. I want to turn it over to you and I hope the five ranking signals from this will help you. Good luck!