YouTube SEO

How to rank higher on youtube

As Google owns YouTube, a video can’t go viral if Google can’t understand what it is about. Therefore, search engine bots rely on text data to index.

YouTube has got:

  • 2+ million users (1/3 of the internet)
  • 30 million visitors
  • 1. 30,000 uploaded videos each day
  • One billion hours watched daily


How to rank higher on YouTube?


1. Use your Keyword in the Title, Description and Tags

How to do that?

Using Google Trends, type the chosen keyword, and check what keywords are mostly used by the public. Make sure to choose the country that you are targeting.

If you are a beginner and your videos do not have a lot of subscribers yet, go for long-tail keywords.

  • Title – use keywords at the beginning, and try using captivating text e.g. How to tap birch sap
  • Meta Description – use keywords as if you are writing a blog post
  • Tags – Use double quotes (“) to surround phrases so your video is an exact match for a long-tail keyword phrase.

WRONG – ”Helping” and ”Marketing”

RIGHT – ”Helping Marketing”

IMPORTANT FACT – write for people, not for bots. Google will understand whether you are writing for only SEO benefits. Also, always use the keywords that your video is about.


2. Add A Transcript to Video Description

Bots first read the title, and then the description field, that index and crawl your video. The description field fits 4,850 characters including spaces, which is usually enough to fit a transcript for a dialogue-heavy video. 

How to create a transcript for a video?

  • To force the start of a new caption, use a blank line.
  • To designate background sounds, use square brackets. For example, [music] or [laughter].
  • Add >> to identify speakers or change of speaker.


3. Use your Keyword in the Video

Search engines can only crawl text, they can’t watch your video, therefore YouTube can read your videos through transcripts and captions to rank your video accordingly. Although sometimes YouTube’s Closed Captions aren’t always correct, thus editing video’s CCs is advised.


4. Add accurate Closed Captions

Although auto-captions work quite well, they might still impact your SEO. Thus, changing the CC to the proper way can get you higher up on the search results on YouTube.

Closed Captions in multiple languages

How to add accurate CCs?

  1. Go to your Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you want to edit captions for, click the drop-down next to “Edit” Subtitles/CC.
  3. Click the caption track you want to edit.
  4. To change the timing, click Edit above the video, then drag the bars on the caption track.
  5. Click Publish edits.


5. Translate your videos and offer subtitles in different languages

Google loves localized websites, thus YouTube also likes it when you localize your videos. Take a look from where your viewers are coming, translate the subtitles and you will start ranking in different countries as well.


6. Change your Thumbnail

A catchy Thumbnail works the same as a poster – if it looks interesting, people will take a second to read about it.

Google uses image recognition to automatically filter out certain imagery, such as a logo or a thumbnail, therefore having an image that is a great visual representation of your target keyword will help you video to rank even higher.

Also, a good thumbnail will increase user engagement. The more people click on your video, the more visible your video will be on YouTube.


7. Increase User Engagement

This is by far the most important element when it comes to ranking. Google cares most about how viewers respond to your videos.

How to increase user engagement?

  • Post content consistently
  • Encourage shares, likes and comments
  • Engage with your audience
  • Grow the number of subscribers
  • Increase the time spent watching a video with a teaser
  • Do not let a person leave your video at least before mid-way.


These are only a few ways on how you could increase the number of views organically through SEO. However, there are so many more! Our team created a YouTube channel from scratch and started investigating which practices work the best.

Would you like to know the results?

Contact us and we will let you know! 🙂

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