Video SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos on the First Page of Google (Fast)

By | February 28, 2020


Last year, our channel got over 172,000 views
from Google search alone. And it wasn’t just luck. We focused heavily on video SEO. Now, there are 3 reasons why you should try
and rank your YouTube videos on Google. First, it’s much easier to rank high for competitive
terms compared to web pages. Second, the traffic you get is free and pretty consistent. And third, the extra things you need to do
aren’t that difficult or time consuming. So today, I’m going to walk you through the
step-by-step process to rank your YouTube videos on the first page of Google. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up creators? As I’m sure you know, videos have been appearing
more and more in Google’s search results. In fact, video carousels nearly doubled in
the SERPs in 2017. Now, video SEO is a bit different from YouTube SEO. Video SEO is the process of increasing visibility
and ranking in search engines like Google. Whereas YouTube SEO is the process of increasing
visibility and rankings in YouTube search. The good news: properly optimized videos for
Google can also rank in YouTube and vice versa with just a few additional things. So let’s get started with the step-by-step process to get
more views to your YouTube videos through search. Step one is to find video topics with ranking
and traffic potential. Google ranks content that best serves a user’s query. And generally speaking, if videos are ranking
high OR are prominent in the SERP, it’s a sign that creating a video on this topic has
potential to get views from Google. For example, if you search for “best iphone cases,”
you’ll see all results are more or less blog posts. So trying to rank a video for this keyword
would be pointless because you won’t rank and therefore you won’t get views through
Google search. Now, key in something like “iphone x unboxing,”
and you’ll see all results are from YouTube. So in addition to YouTube search traffic, there’s
potential to get views from Google’s audience too. To measure the total traffic potential of a video
topic, just copy and paste a top-ranking video URL in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and you’ll see the estimated
amount of monthly search traffic it gets. Now, just because a video ranks high in Google,
it doesn’t mean it gets a meaningful amount of search traffic since some keywords rarely
get searched. So there are 3 ways to find video topics with
both ranking and traffic potential. First is to use Content Explorer, which is
a searchable database with over a billion pages. To find YouTube videos with traffic, just search
for site:youtube.com which will narrow results to only YouTube.com. Then add inurl:watch, which narrows it down
to just videos. Finally, add title:your topic, which will
search all YouTube videos in our database with the word or phrase in the title. Alright, let’s sort the results by organic traffic. And there are tons of relevant topics that have
high potential to send more views your way. It’s also worth looking at the organic traffic
graphs to look for consistency of traffic. So I’ll set the trends graph to the past three
years and you can instantly see which topics would likely result in consistent views from Google. The second method is to search through YouTube’s
organic keyword rankings. Just enter youtube.com in Site Explorer, then
go to the organic keywords report to see all keywords the site ranks for. Next, use the Include search box to search
for a broad keyword related to your niche. To see the total search traffic potential,
click on the caret beside the URL you want to investigate and you’ll see an estimation
of total monthly search traffic for that video. Again, if you find a topic that seems like it’s worth
going after, click through to the Overview page, and click on the Organic traffic tab. Ideally, you’ll want to see somewhat consistent
traffic like this rather than inconsistent spikes and drop-offs like this. The third way is to scrape and analyze Google
search results. You’ll need a Chrome extension called “Scraper”
to do this efficiently. Start by going to Google and search for
site:youtube.com and then a title related to your niche. Next, click on Settings, then Search Settings, and
make sure that you set the results per page to 100. Click Save and you’ll be taken back to the
search results page. Now, you can right-click on any link on the
page and click Scrape similar. From here, you should have all of the YouTube
URLs you can copy to your clipboard. And if it doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to copy
and paste some code into your XPath Reference. I’ve left the code for you in the pinned comment
just in case so you can copy and paste it yourself. Let’s clean this up by removing all columns
except the href column. I’ll click Scrape one last time and then copy
the URLs to the clipboard. Finally, go to Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool
and paste your list of scraped URLs. And after you run the search, you should be
able to see how much traffic each of these videos get from Google. You can click on the Traffic column to sort
them in descending order and click through to the videos you want to analyze. Awesome, so after using these three methods, you
should have some great video topics with ranking and traffic potential. Let’s move on to the next step which is to
create an optimized video. It goes without saying that your videos need
to engage your audience, meaning long watch times, high audience retention, and
boast-worthy session watch times. But you probably already knew that. Now, something a lot of creators forget is
that the Internet is more or less text-based. So if Google, YouTube or whatever search engine
can’t interpret the text attached to your video, then you’ll never rank. So optimizing videos aside from engagement,
is all about giving as much context as possible to search engines. And the way you do that boils down to the
words spoken in the video, matching visuals, and metadata. All of these are easy to implement but they
require some planning. Let’s go through some strategies. For speech in video, I highly recommend
scripting your content or outlining them in detail so you don’t go off on tangents. Plus, YouTube is able to extract some meaning
from the audio and video. And I believe this is how auto-generated closed
captions happen. Scripts and outlines help you to be concise,
and they also allow you to mention specific keywords you want Google to pick up. For example, in the beginning of this video, I said: “Last year, our channel got over 172,000 views
from Google search alone. And it wasn’t just luck. We focused heavily on video SEO.” My goal is obviously to rank this video on
both YouTube and Google for “video SEO.” But don’t get me wrong. You’re not going to start magically ranking
on YouTube or Google because you said your primary keyword. There’s more that goes into this. In fact, the words and phrases you use can
contribute massively to earning big features like suggested clips. A suggested clip is a featured snippet in Google
that’s time-stamped to a YouTube video. They attract a ton of attention considering
the amount of space they take up in the SERP. Based on Google’s research paper they parse
instructions using automatically processed transcripts. They then analyze the steps within videos
using transitive verbs, which are action words about an object, i. e. “mix the eggs” or “grind the beans.” Also, since they originally tested their
technology on recipe videos, they state: “any recipe step that is missing a verb
is considered noise and discarded.” So if you’re creating step-by-step instructional
videos, use transitive verbs for your steps and keep them concise. More on this in a bit. The second thing you should do is match your
visuals with your speech. And this can all be done using planned b-roll
clips in post. For example, if I was creating a video on how
to make perfect aeropress coffee, I’d say: “Grind your beans using a burr grinder. Add the beans into your aeropress . Boil your water to 183 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, pour the water slowly in a circular motion.” You should’t say… “grind the beans with
a manual hand grinder. This is mine which I got for Christmas. It grinds decently, but, boy, can it get tiring!” This is also a key factor to earning suggested clips
as indicated in the same Google research paper. Third, you need to optimize your metadata. This includes things like your title, description,
and, I guess, tags but as a less valuable component. Generally speaking, you’ll want to include your
primary keyword in both the title and description. Also based on my own observations, I’ve found
that adding a detailed description of the video helps us rank for more keywords. There’s more information on optimizing titles,
descriptions, and tags in our YouTube SEO video, so I’ll link that up in the description. Now, these are the basics of video optimization,
and in my opinion, the three most important things you should do for every video you create. By using these tips and creating an engaging
video, you’ll heighten your chances of getting in video carousels and earning suggested clips. But there’s still work to be done. The next step is to add closed captions to
your instructional videos. Remember: we want to help YouTube and
Google understand the contents of our video as much as possible. And since the words that are spoken can easily
be transcribed to text, this is probably the best and easiest way to add context to your video. So if you’ve scripted your video, it’s a cinch. Just add your transcript to YouTube and sync
them with your speech. Now, if your videos aren’t scripted, YouTube
will automatically generate closed captions if your video is in English. It’s gotten pretty good, but it’s not quite perfect. For example, in this video, Tim is saying: “Hey guys, this is Tim Soulo from Ahrefs and
right now you’re watching episode number 3.” So bottom line: polish those auto-generated
captions or upload your own. In addition to context, YouTube says in a
Creator Academy video that text on screen has proven to be so engaging that it increases
the watch to completion rate. These two factors lead to a monumental gain
in SEO ranking and engagement. So by using closed captions, you’re creating a better
user experience for people with hearing loss, non-native speakers, and for those at
work or in a noisy coffee shop. Alright, step 4 is to create an enticing thumbnail. It’s no secret that great thumbnails lead
to more clicks. So I have a few tips to help you out. First, don’t use a screenshot or a still from your video. Instead, create a custom thumbnail that contrasts
from both Google and YouTube’s SERP. As you can see, we use blue and orange which
makes our thumbnails standout. Now, compare that to a thumbnail that uses
Google’s colors and you’ll see it doesn’t create the same effect. Tip two is to make your images congruent with
the video title. Here’s one of ours on long-tail keywords. When possible, we try to go beyond the typical
“business smile and title,” which in my opinion, makes our thumbnails stand out from
competing videos. The final step is to add timestamps to your videos. And this can help you get the “key moments”
feature in Google. Google explains: when you search for things
like how-to videos that have multiple steps, or long videos like speeches or a documentary,
Search will provide links to key moments within the video, based on timestamps provided by
content creators. As far as I’ve seen, key moments are only
shown on mobile at this time. But as you can see, this video is spliced
up with screenshots and timestamps to different parts of the video. To do this for your own video, just add timecodes
along with a short description beside it. We try and keep it simple with basic phrases
and an easy-to-read format. It’s estimated that video will represent 82%
of all IP traffic in 2021. And the fact that video is starting to dominate
Google’s SERP is a good indicator that it’s time for you to up your video SEO game. We have a bunch of videos on YouTube SEO, video SEO, and getting more views to your YouTube videos. So I recommend checking those out. And if you enjoyed this video, make
sure to like share and subscribe for more actionable marketing tutorials. So keep grinding away, get your videos
on the first page of Google and YouTube, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

24 thoughts on “Video SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos on the First Page of Google (Fast)

  1. Ahrefs Post author

    Here's the XPath code used in the video. Enjoy!

    //*[@id="rso"]/div/div/div/div/div/div/a

    Reply
  2. Osiris Márquez Post author

    Nice Tips! YouTube playlists are relatively easy to rank and bring a ton of views. Keep that in mind!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Ashvani Kumar Post author

    How much should you write the maximum post in the micro niche blog? Ashvani kumar

    Reply
  4. Business droid Post author

    I want to create a website in the wordpress. Tell me a good hosting company .?

    Reply
  5. SEO Tools TV Post author

    Ahrefs uses paid ads to get more subscribers with a video for SEO beginners. I like this approach when you create a lot of videos and analyze which one works the best, then set up paid ads. I often see this video advertisement even by using Russian keywords. I promoted my channel with the same approach before getting 10K subscribers and stop it.

    Reply
  6. Jason Darren Post author

    Does anyone know how to set video to rank higher for YouTube search results?

    Reply
  7. RUN GUYS Post author

    Love this video! Every helpful 📈 We just made a video very similar showing some awesome video SEO strategies for YouTube leveraging free keyword research tools. If you wanna check it out head on over to our channel 📲 we know you’ll get a ton of value just like this video. 🔥

    Reply
  8. Slava - Money Post author

    I've tried once to add subtitles to my videos, but once I've added – they lost positions and traffic.
    Then, I've removed subtitles and got the positions and traffic back.

    In my experience CC and subtitles hurt my SEO, not sure why.

    Reply
  9. Ulvis Post author

    𝖜𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖎𝖘 𝖉𝖎𝖋𝖋𝖊𝖗𝖊𝖓𝖙 𝖇𝖊𝖙𝖜𝖊𝖊𝖓 𝖜𝖍𝖎𝖙𝖊 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖇𝖑𝖆𝖈𝖐 𝖘𝖊𝖔 𝖎𝖓 𝖞𝖔𝖚𝖙𝖚𝖇𝖊 𝖛𝖎𝖉𝖊𝖔𝖘 𝖘𝖊𝖔 /𝖌𝖔𝖔𝖌𝖑𝖊
    𝖛𝖎𝖉𝖊𝖔𝖘 𝖘𝖊𝖗𝖈𝖍 𝖘𝖊𝖔?

    Reply
  10. ljwebs2000 Post author

    I love how you detail or break down SEO Videos. Most videos I have seen don't break it down to the tee! It's why I subscribe.

    Reply
  11. InnovativePriya Post author

    I watched your previous video of ranking videos as well and tried tubebuddy. But its actually not helping. Please respond if possible

    Reply
  12. SEOBUDDY Post author

    It's not nice to troll Tim in your Video, I'm sure at the office when you email him now it's "Hey Team" :))
    We love you both equally !!!

    Reply
  13. Abdul Basit Ansari Post author

    Hey Team, You did such a great job and thanks for sharing your valuable information with us.

    Reply
  14. Chad B Post author

    Great advice!
    And, funny 😂 ☕️ Grinder Comparison +Dig the eye roll 🙄 too.

    Reply

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