Some YouTube Tips to Improve Your Search Rank

Are your YouTube views falling?

Do you need to rank higher in YouTube search results?

Understanding how you can take advantage of YouTube’s algorithm will help your channel and videos be seen by more people.

In this article you’ll discover how to make your video rank higher in YouTube search results.

#1: Align Content Development With Viewer Searches

To get a leg up on your YouTube competition (which may be targeting irrelevant topics or subjects), find the exact words and phrases people use to search for content like yours on YouTube.

You can use both free tools (like Keyword Tool and YouTube Trends) and paid tools (VideoCents and vidIQ, for example), to get insights into what people are searching for on YouTube.

The paid tools give a bit more data, but their true value comes from providing a sense of how hard it is to rank for specific terms.

#2: Maximize Video Watch Time

Watch time is YouTube’s most important ranking factor. It’s a simple fact: If you don’t have strong watch times, your videos will be demoted in search. Remember that it‘s all about what percentage of the video is watched, not just total minutes (though it’s best to increase both).

Get people to watch more of your video, and YouTube knows that you’re providing value to those viewers. YouTube will reward you by suggesting the video to more people and ranking the video higher in search.

#3: Drive Longer Channel Sessions

This may seem like a no-brainer, but try to get people to watch more than just one of your videos. All channels want this of course, but not all of them actively encourage viewers to watch more videos. This tactic has more benefits than meet the eye.

If your channel consistently starts people off on long YouTube sessions (even if they go off and watch videos on other channels), your channel will be rewarded by YouTube’s algorithm, and your videos will be more likely to rank higher in search.

A good way to encourage viewers to watch more video is to use clickable thumbnails (called end cards) to drive multiple video views in one sessions.

#4: Keep Your Content Consistent

YouTube (like its big brother Google) loves authority, and if you regularly upload videos on the same topic for a number of years, you’re much more likely to rank well for related search terms than the new kid on the block.

Unbox Therapy has been uploading “unboxing” and tech review videos multiple times a week for almost five years. Not only have they earned over 3 million subscribers to their channel, they rank second for a search of Apple’s latest gadget.

I always advocate tweaking styles and formats, but when it comes to topics, it’s best to choose as narrow a niche as possible and stick to it. That way YouTube recognizes you as a trusted source in that area and will favor you in rankings. If you make your content too diverse, you’re more likely to be overlooked by the algorithm. Remember that on YouTube, niche is king.

#5: Encourage Off-Platform Embeds

As previously mentioned, YouTube is hot on authority. This is also reflected in the weight they give to off-platform links and embeds. If your videos are featured and getting linked to from high-quality places on the web, YouTube thinks you must be doing something right and will give you a boost in the rankings.

A good example of this is BuzzFeed’s videos. Their videos are embedded not only on their own hugely popular website and social profiles, but also on popular and relevant entertainment blogs.

This is doubly awesome, as it’s a sustainable and potentially huge source of views.

Think about how you can promote your content on external sites relevant to your market. Do active outreach to those sites so you’re being linked to and embedded instead of your competitors.

#6: Cultivate Audience Engagement

Comments, likes and shares are great for social proof, and comments are especially good for getting feedback and insight from your audience. But mixing up your calls to action to encourage engagement (rather than just subscription) has another benefit, too: a healthy boost in the search algorithm.

Again it all comes down to providing value. If people are giving your videos a thumbs up, sharing them with friends and talking about you, these are all positive signals to YouTube that the channel was right in sending searchers your way.

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