If you’ve been on YouTube for some time, you may be wondering how to rank highly and how to generate more views. YouTube’s search algorithm relies heavily on the number and concentration of niche keywords you incorporate into your videos. Using actionable keywords, therefore, is the key to getting more traffic, more conversions, and ultimately, more attention to you and your brand.
First, you need to understand that YouTube’s number-one ranking factor is keyword concentration. Using specific words that people are looking in your video’s title, description, and tags will allow you to rank highly in the YouTube’s search. Users looking for different topics on YouTube see videos suggested to them in the sidebar. The first step to achieving a sidebar ranking is to ensure the strategic placement of keywords that people are interested in and are actively seeking. So, first, brainstorm some ideas. Think about the real words people might use if they were searching for a video like yours. After you’ve brainstormed a list of keywords people might be using, then, it’s time to do a little bit of research to determine whether those keywords are as popular as you think they might be.
The simplest way to perform keyword research is to begin by typing your intended keywords into YouTube’s or Google’s search bar. When you do this on YouTube, you’ll see a variety of suggested searches pop up that showcase the searches people perform most frequently. When you find these terms that people are using, you want to ensure that you use those words in your video’s title, description, and tags.
Another way to figure out which keywords to zero in on is to use a free browser extension called TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy functions to give you data on different keyword search terms when you’re doing keyword research on YouTube. With TubeBuddy installed, a little pop-up box appears over on the side of your YouTube channel, giving you a rank for whatever keyword you type into the search bar. It will indicate keyword value based the keyword’s competitiveness ranking, how pervasive the keyword is, and how many people are searching for it. You want to be using keywords that are associated with high search volumes and low competitiveness. What does low competitiveness mean? It indicates that more YouTubers are using those keywords in their titles, descriptions, and tags, which means you’ll have a tough time standing out from the crowd if you use these terms yourself.
You can also use TubeBuddy to scout out which keywords your competitors are successfully targeting. With TubeBuddy installed, watch one of your competitor’s videos. Over on the right-hand side, you will see a list of tags associated with that video, and TubeBuddy will tell you how well that video is ranking for those different tags. So, if you see a video that’s similar to the one you’re making, that has a similar number of subscribers as you do, plan to optimize your video around those same keywords displayed in the tags section.
Now, the reality is that most keywords that people are searching for are going to be somewhat competitive, so aim to find a right balance. If you see a keyword that is moderately popular and moderately competitive, then that’s the keyword to go after. Ideally, you should be looking for those highly popular, low-competition keywords. As your channel grows in popularity, you’ll be able to target more competitive keywords, and you’ll get better rankings for your videos as a result. When you’re just starting out, on the other hand, it’s better to target less competitive keywords that aren’t quite as popular. The goal at the beginning is to rank in a foundational sense and to start getting some traction on YouTube.
You may have great video content, only to suffer from poor rankings as a result of the lack of keywords in your titles, tags, and description. Ranking for YouTube is not rocket science, and the judicious placement of keywords can play a large role in your success.