The short answer, of course, is yes! YouTube is a powerful video search engine (in fact it’s the largest search engine behind Google with 3 billion searches a month!) Establishing an effective presence on YouTube can be a great way to promote your company and a greater brand reach. YouTube content marketing is worthy of your consideration.
YouTube also offers additional benefits such as relationship building with your customers (if an image is worth a thousand words then imagine how much video resonates?) and product explanations. Customers are likely to click away or become bored with lengthy or complicated product whitepapers or blogs but if you can offer an interesting, succinct and personal video this can capture attention and convert.
Grumo Media is a company dedicated solely to the production of these videos and they work for their clients!
YouTube can also help with your search rankings on Google indirectly. YouTube, like many forums and blog comments, follows a strict “no-follow” code for your videos so is not an efficient backlink strategy (see more in our backlinks blog article) however any additional traffic from YouTube to your website will certainly help you rank well!
How do YouTube Rankings Work?
YouTube is owned by Google and the video ranking algorithm is highly guarded and highly complicated. But we do know a few things about how it works and what video metrics it uses to rank videos:
- Watch Time. This is simple and similar to bounce rate on your website. The longer someone spends watching your video, the more engaging (algorithm assumes) the video is. Longer watch times = higher rankings.
- Keyword Relevance. Is your video relevant to the keywords you’ve used in the title and description? If you’re a real estate company with a video on the top 5 detached houses in your neighbourhood and your video title is “real estate for sale in Canada” you probably won’t rank well. It seems intuitive but there are a lot of poorly named titles and descriptions out there! Be accurate!
- Number of Subscribers. Your channel subscriber number affects your rankings. The more people subscribe to you, the more each subsequent video has a headstart. So ensure you include CTAs to your channel subscription!
- Customer Reactions. Have you noticed you can up or down vote YouTube videos? This is similar to Reddit’s forum post voting system. Besides ranking your video with this simple system, videos also rank higher the more comments they have.
- Social Shares.
- Clickthrough Rates. You can influence this with compelling titles and thumbnails.
- Video length. Typically, longer videos outrank shorter videos but ensure your focus is on quality and all the previous factors as this isn’t a major factor.
Essential Steps for your YouTube Video Promotion
Below are the 12 essential steps that will help your video best satisfy YouTube’s ranking algorithm
- Keywords & Title (include keyword you want to rank for – this requires keyword research)
- Use YouTube search suggest!
- Go to video channel of your keyword, sort by popular on their channel, look at their description and title for keywords.
- Pick low competition keywords (e.g. about 505,000 in search results)
- Look at Google for more traffic – make sure keyword shows video. Also use Google keyword planner and look for at least 100-1k average monthly searches.
- Title at least 5 words long.
- Create full description – at least 250 words or 2000 characters (length of short blogpost)
- Put your keyword in first 25 words
- Include your keyword 2-4 times
- Keep an eye on your video length. If you have the opportunity to add length without sacrificing quality this is probably a good idea!
- Playlists. Make sure to create and have well-organized playlists that contain videos with similar themes. This not only helps viewers track down the videos they want to see on your channel but also encourages them to view multiple videos in the same category.
- Use keyword tags (character limit of 400). These aren’t super important but help you show up in a related section for other videos.
- Promote and share through your website blogs and social media.
- Create a great Thumbnail (Adobe Spark or Canva is a good tool to use for this)
- Ensure you are in the correct category (A good way to discover this is to find a high ranking video on your keyword and see what category they used. For example; a recent fitness video I produced was better off in the “how-to & style” category rather than the “sports” category I originally had intended.)
- End Screen (with subscribe & next video – link website once approved). This helps promote subscribes!
- Comment on videos similar to those in your niche.
- Track your data in YouTube studio! By seeing which videos work and looking at video viewer rention data you can change, discard and iterate on video production.
- Optimize your channel page.
- Keywords in about section
- Professional banner
- Your own picture in profile circle
Essential Steps for YouTube Video Production
Alright, so now you know how YouTube ranks videos and what you can do to better promote and rank your own video.
- Start with a summary of your video.
This will greatly impact your viewer retention which, like bounce rate, will help rank your video. A summary will let the viewer know they have found the correct video and it contains the info that they need.
- Open loops.
So you might be wondering why a lot of high ranking videos contain the statment, “so you might be wondering [some topic] – I will explain this later in my video”. It’s simple! These open loops help retain viewers with the promise of engaging content to come.
- Say your target keyword.
YouTube uses voice analysis and automatically transcribes your video. Saying your target keyword in your video is important for rankings, and say it near the beginning.
- Make your video educational and don’t be overly promotional.
You want to educate and engage not come across too salesy.
- Can a YouTube Video Help Your Google Ranking?
- Video Optimization: Do Not Underestimate The Power Of YouTube
This article was last updated on Monday 23rd September, 2019.
Ira Thomson is North Shore Digital’s Co-Founder and current Director of Analytics & Insights