I know that’s a lot of information to process, so let me give you the Cliff’s Notes of the most important signals that YouTube uses:
Title tag information
Keywords in description tag
Number of subscribers after watching
Likes and dislikes
With that, it’s time to show you five ways that you can leverage these signals to get more traffic to your videos…and ultimately to your site.
Write Super-Long Video Descriptions
Remember that YouTube and Google can’t watch or listen to your video (yet).
That means that they heavily lean on the text surrounding the video to understand your video’s topic. That’s why it pains me to see extremely brief video descriptions like this:
Why is this such a crime?
Well, the more YouTube knows about your video, the more confidently it can rank it for your target keyword.
But more importantly, YouTube uses keywords in the description to rank you for super-long tail keywords.
For example, I published a video on YouTube a few months back called “SEO Strategy 2014: How to Rank in Google Today.” My description for that video is a hefty 291 words. Almost an entire blog post, really.
That long description – along with some other techniques I’ll show you later – helped the video rank quickly for it’s target keyword, “SEO strategy” (currently number three in YouTube).
But it’s also ranking for quite a few long tail keywords, like “infographic seo strategy” (number one), because the keyword-rich description includes words like “infographic” and “seo strategy”:
Optimize Around “Video Keywords”
Ranking in YouTube is great, but ranking your video in YouTube and Google is even better.
Although Google gives YouTube videos an inherent edge in the SERPs, that’s only true for certain keywords.
These keywords are called “Video Keywords” because they tend to have video results on Google’s first page.
For example, any keyword that includes “cute cats” will almost always have a few video results: