Out of all the popular social media platforms, YouTube is the second-largest coming in at 1.5 billion users. Teens are highly active on the platform and majority say they use YouTube over all other platforms. That’s also why it comes at no surprise that digital ad spend surpassed television for the first time last year.
YouTube is fastly becoming the new TV.
How does YouTube rank videos?
YouTube ranks videos based on the following:
- Video quality
- Channel keywords
- Video watch time
- View count
- User experience metrics
If there’s one thing to note, YouTube strongly ranks videos on audience retention—how long users watch a video. Similar to high-traffic websites, if viewers are tuning into a video longer, YouTube recognizes the content as high-quality and shows it higher in search results.
Because people are spending more time on YouTube, it’s worth having a long-form video strategy in the mix to keep viewers engaged longer. While some content is suitable for shorter videos, don’t stray away from uploading longer videos.
YouTube videos also rank in Google search results. Here’s how you can increase the chances of ranking:
- Create “How-To” content
- Create Tutorials
- Incorporate humor
5 steps to increase organic views
With so many subscribers, channels and viewers on the platform, increasing traffic on YouTube has become a challenge for brands. We’ve compiled the following tips to boost organic reach of your YouTube videos.
1. Conduct thorough keyword research
YouTube’s algorithm takes into account keywords in the channel description, video titles, video descriptions and tags. Ask yourself: what is my audience searching for on YouTube? Now take that knowledge and research how your audience is looking for that content. Are they typing in “How to” or looking for something more specific?
YouTube auto-suggest is a great place to start. Let’s say your video is about styling ripped jeans. YouTube auto-suggest provides insights into what people commonly search and you can get a pretty good idea of what to title your video, too.
2. Optimize your videos (before and after uploading)
This is easily the most important step. Optimization is key both before and after uploading to successfully increase organic views.
Tips for optimization before uploading
- Shoot high-quality video and use premium editing
- Use a primary keyword to name your upload file
Tips for optimization after uploading
- Write clear, natural titles with 1-2 keywords
- Write titles no longer than 70 characters
- Use high-volume, low-competition keywords in descriptions
- Keep video descriptions between 100-200 words, using a primary keyword throughout
- Upload a custom thumbnail to stand out in search results
- Include relevant, on-topic video tags
- Keep information naturalto est realistic expectations for your viewers
3. Fill out the about section
Your company’s YouTube profile section is prime real estate for not only telling your brand story and describing your channel, but a great place to implement market keywords. Fill in as much information as possible, including social profile links and your company website. You should also utilize keyword meta tags to describe your channel, which is found under “Advanced” in channel settings.
Channels with complete information stand out and rank higher.
4. Follow a consistent upload schedule
YouTube recognizes active channels, and the more videos you upload, the stronger your channel will appear. This might mean posting once or twice a week or perhaps biweekly.
Upload schedule should remain consistent and posting should happen when your particular audience is most active on the platform.
5. Find smart ways to engage your viewers
Lastly, find unique ways to engage your viewers to keep them watching longer. As stated above, YouTube strongly ranks videos on whether or not people are watching videos. High view rate and audience retention are major factors in organic performance.
A few other tricks to keep your audience engaged:
- Request that they subscribe
- Add end screens and cards to direct viewers to another video
- Organize videos into playlists
- Hold engaging contests
Never stop optimizing
Optimization is crucial to attract more YouTube viewers organically. High-quality video and strategic keyword implementation across titles, descriptions and tags are major factors to stand out in YouTube’s competitive search results.