YouTube SEO 101: How To Rank Videos on YouTube (Optimize & Rank higher)

YouTube SEO 101: How To Rank Videos on YouTube (Optimize & Rank higher)

YouTube SEO 101: How To Rank Videos on YouTube (Optimize & Rank higher)

YouTube SEO Tips

Want to know what are search engine ranking factors for YouTube videos?

Read on to learn everything about YouTube SEO?

We all know that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet after Google. It generates an estimated 92 billion page views per month, which also provides enormous traffic to various websites and blogs.

It is a platform where 400 hours of video is uploaded every minute!

YouTube also offers you ways to monetize the content of your videos.

If your content gets enough views, you can make good money from your YouYube videos.

However, uploading a video is not enough to get views on YouTube unless you are a big brand, for example, a music company.

There are techniques that you could follow to optimize your YouTube videos to rank higher on YouTube search.

In this mega post, I have shared how to rank YouTube videos higher.

Ok, so your video is uploaded on YouTube, but you are still not getting views?

If you did not know yet, YouTube videos also need to be SEO optimized just like your content in order to get ranking in the search result.

I assume you have good quality content and that you will share and promote your video to get more views.

In this article, I will talk about how you can get organic traffic to your YouTube videos and also how to work on SEO for better search results. These tips are implemented and tested by myself.

I’m a YouTuber with good views per month. I also make a fair amount of money from YouTube ads every month by targeting countries like the USA, along with implementing robust video SEO.

Recently, I crossed 65K followers milestone on YouTube by following exact strategies that I’m sharing with you below:

So, I know what I’m talking about and chances are it will help you as well to improve your overall SEO of YouTube channel and start ranking videos higher.

YouTube SEO Guide: Nailing the YouTube Search Ranking

Before I share these tips, you need to understand that YouTube has its own algorithm to rank a video. Even if you buy inorganic YouTube traffic, it will not ensure that you will rank higher organically.

One of the well-known factors of high ranking YouTube video is view-time. If a user starts watching your video and quits in the first few seconds, your ranking is likely to go down. So, I assume you are already working hard on creating compelling YouTube videos and using a catchy thumbnail to get more CTR from related and embedded videos.

 1.  Title Of The Video – Use Keywords

The video title is how one will know what your video is all about. A title which perfectly matches your video content will be very friendly to the viewer and also to the YouTube algorithm for SEO.

Take advantage of  Google and YouTube auto-complete feature. This will give you an overview of what people are searching for on Google and Youtube and will help you optimize your content accordingly.

Youtube Title Tips

Here, you can notice that once I have typed a few keywords, YouTube begins to suggest results. This is because these are most searched queries regarding your keywords.

Similarly, you can use Google’s auto-complete feature to populate more keyword ideas.

Google's auto-complete feature

Another way, which is my favourite is using TubeBuddy. This tool is a complete SEO tool for YouTube which let you research topics for YouTube.

Here is how it works:

  • Install TubeBuddy chrome addon
  • The click on toolbar icon

Then click on Keyword explorer

Enter the Keyword or topic that you want to make video on, and TubeBuddy will show you the topics along with traffic and related keywords.

Now, use this keyword to create a meaningful Video and title to improve your chances of ranking higher in YouTube search.

2. Description Of The Video

Write a description of your video content. The first couple of lines play a major role in your video’s ranking in the search engine.

You can also use the search engine’s autocomplete keyword phrases as your description.

If the searched keyword matches the first two lines of your video description, the video is more likely to get a higher ranking.

YouTube Video Description Tips

In the image above, you can see that my search keyword matches the video description which is in the first two lines. Using longtail keywords as your video description will also boost the ranking of your videos immensely.

Here are 6 Awesome Tools To Find Long Tail Keywords For Any Niche.

Enjoy the read and write your video descriptions wisely so that it can match the search keyword.

3. Naming Your Video File

You have created and edited your video and it is ready to be uploaded on YouTube, but you rendered your video file as mov001.avi or random_name.mp4, make sure you rename your video as your_keyword.mp4.

Naming your video file as your focused keyword actually tells the search engine as to what is in your video, Search engines cannot look inside video content. It is the file name that tells search algorithm what your video is all about.

Having the video title as your video file name helps search engine index videos easily, thereby aiding in achieving a higher ranking. So put your targeted keyword into the video file name.

4. Optimizing existing videos using search data

This is the golden nuggets of optimizing existing YouTube videos.

This will bring up the page as shown in the below screenshot.

Click on the video that you wish to optimize. This will bring up the analytics page for your selected video.

Click on traffic source and select the YouTube search.

This would bring up the page that shows all the queries that users are using to find your video. Now, you need to optimize your video title, description and tags based on these queries.

Treat these queries as a keyword which your video should be optimized for.

If you see a query and your video is not explaining that part, that is the idea for your next YouTube video.

5. Use The Closed Caption (CC) Feature In Your Video On YouTube.

Use the closed caption (cc) feature of YouTube. This shows your text over the video which helps viewers understand your video narration better. It can also be translated into different languages thereby reaching out to more people. Upload the transcript also helps.

Transcripts contain the text of what was said in the video. YouTube’s new algorithm automatically converts your voice into a transcript which makes it easier to activate it.

You can also write a closed caption if your video doesn’t contain voice.

CC - Closed Caption on Youtube

Using closed captions gives the video a new way to get the index into the search engine since it has keyword written in there.

Also, write your transcript into video description. Doing so makes your video keyword rich which is very friendly to the search engines.

You can also take advantage of service like Rev, to create captions for your uploaded YouTube videos.

6.  Tagging & Keyword Research For YouTube Videos

Tags are another important way to get a better ranking in YouTube search. Here are a few tips to put tags in your videos:

  • List specific tags first: Write your main keyword first. Doing this will put weight in algorithms.
  • List general tags: Write general and matching keywords. For example, if your main keyword is “Shoutmeloud”, general tags can be “Blogging tips”, “Harsh Agrawal”,” WordPress help” etc.

You can use the Tubebuddy tool which helps you find the right tags to be used with your video.

It also shows your ranking for the particular keyword. This tool is used by many pro YouTubers and is highly recommended for your YouTube channel as well.

TubeBuddy in action
  • Also, include the misspelling of your tags: For example, if you have a keyword as “Real SEO”, also put “Reeal SEO”. Go to TouTube analytics and check for traffic resources to see how people are searching for you.
  • Include singular and plural of your tags: If your keyword is ” Tattoo Art”, also put “Tattoo Arts”,  and separate your keyword into different tags like ” Tattoo” & “Art”.
  • Include phrases into tags such as your longtail keywords.

Keyword Research For YouTube Videos

Getting the keyword idea is one of the important parts of SEO. You cannot think of all possible keywords to include in your video. I have already shared a strategy above (#1) about finding keywords for YouTube videos.

Here, I’m using the Google Display Planner tool to get keyword ideas.

Google has two such tools – Keyword Planner and Display Planner. I recommend you to use Display Planner in order to get relevant keywords.

Google display planner

Also Read: Killer Keyword Research Tools For Dominating a Niche

Display Planner not only gives you a huge number of keywords but also provides an insight to the searched keyword.

Download these ad group ideas into an excel file and include these keywords and phrases into your tags, title, and description.

Having the same targeted keyword in the video title, description and tags will index and rank your videos higher in search engines.

Best Keyword research tools for YouTube

 1. TubeBuddy

This is the most popular youtube keyword search tool that you can use right away. This is available as a chrome extension and also available as a mobile app (iPhone and Android).

The interesting angle of this tool is, it shows you how tough or easy it is for you to rank on a Keyword based on the existing content of your channel.

2. YouTube Studio

Using YouTube Studio you can find the keyword which are driving traffic to your existing videos. Using this data, you can optimize your existing videos to make them rank higher in YouTube search.

Just follow the steps as mentioned below:

  • Click on Traffic source > YouTube search
  • Click on any Keyword to reveal more data.

Once you have the keyword that is driving traffic to your existing videos, you can start optimizing them.

  • Make your YouTube video description more targeted to Keywords you found in the above step.
  • Add the Keyword as a tag on your YouTube video

3. VidIQ

Many of you might not be knowing this, but VidIQ is also a keyword suggestion tool for YouTube.


There are more features offered by VidIQ which will help in improving the overall ranking of your uploaded YouTube videos.

4. Ahrefs YouTube Keyword Research

Ahrefs is a popular search engine marketing tool and they have recently integrated YouTube Keyword research tool. If you don’t have an account, get an account here (they offer trial account).

Once you are inside the dashboard, click on Keyword explorer and start doing keyword research.

I will add more tools for YouTube Keyword research as I find them to be eligible enough to add it. For now, the above tools are the best ways to do YouTube Keyword research.

In the end, it’s up to you on creating compelling and interesting YouTube videos, especially when you are working on tutorial videos.

You should focus on a target audience, and prepare your script targeting those audiences.

Ensure that you ask your viewers to like and share your videos on favorite social-networking sites.

Another good YouTube SEO tips are to embed your videos within the blog post.

It helps you get links to your YouTube videos and more views.

I religiously follow all the above SEO tips for my YouTube videos, and I recommend you to do the same.

If you know of any other SEO trick for YouTube, feel free to share with us via comments.

Don’t forget to share this useful resources with other YouTubers on your Facebook and YouTube community profile.

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YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

I guess a lot of marketers have wondered about this. How often should you post on YouTube? Is there a formula for success that famous YouTubers are using? Is there a minimum that I should look out for? Is it possible to post too much?

What if you need to choose between posting more with not that great videos and posting less with great quality videos?

This is a no brainer, always go for the quality. However, it’s not this simple. Theoretically the more you post, you should have more views and better exposure.

For example, if you post one video a week and get 100 views, then if you post two videos you should get 200. In effect, you should have doubled your weekly viewer’s amount.

Your reach opportunity would be bigger. Like, that second video may convince some people to take a look at your channel and find more videos. So, now your first video has 115 views.

It sounds good in theory but there are some things to consider. So, let’s see if there are some rules for posting and scheduling videos.

YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

Post as Much as Possible Without Sacrificing Quality

Look at it this way, rate your video on a scale from 1 to 10. Think about how your 8 or 9 or 10 looks like. You are putting a lot of time and energy into it, that is your best content, top advice that you can give, you simply love how that video turned out! Those are your best videos possible. It takes a lot of personal energy and sacrifice to hit that high level and achieve that 9 or 10.

So, if you add one more video a week, you don’t want to drop it below 6, on your own scale. But if you add the third video that is 5 or 4… well, your branding and the quality of the whole channel will suffer.

Also, remember what athletes like to say: ‘’You are only as good as your last result’’.
Every time you put out a video, people will judge it. It’s also normal for people that discovered your channel to look at your latest videos first. That is how YouTube is structured. Also, it is expected that you have more experience and knowledge now than when you started.

The worse thing that can happen is that new people see your videos as bad or boring. Your long-time followers will say he obviously significantly dropped in quality. The obvious consequence is that they will start leaving your channel.

In my opinion, it’s ok if your quality drops a little. It’s natural that you can’t kill it every time.

Post One Video a Week

This is not a rule but I think it should be a minimum. There are always exceptions of course. Channels with high video production can have a long pause between videos. Still, they will post short previews and update you on where they are in the shooting process. Just so people won’t forget about ..say… fanfic movie that is coming. So, even their pause is not that long.

YouTube favors recency. That means that they will give you more channel authority, your videos will rank better if you have consistency. So, try to target once a week and go from there.

Experiment With Different Types of Content

I know that this contradicts my talk about content quality. Just hear me out! Let say that you spent a lot of time and effort in research, shooting and writing content for one video. Then on the next one, to keep up with the schedule, you can answer questions from the comments on the first one. This content is fast to produce and you didn’t sacrifice much in terms of quality.

Another thing to take into consideration is that your channel functions similar to a TV network. Many of your subscribers are there just for one type of show. Just like people who watch ‘’Better Call Saul’’ on AMC but are not interested in other content. So, understand that your audience is segmented and see what type of content is doing best. Again, like TV networks, they will put a spotlight on their best content. Also, listen for the feedback and what would your audience like to see in the future.

Try different content types, Youtube live or music for example. Just look at it as creating different shows for different audiences.

This will increase your posting frequency and your audience.

YOUTUBE TIPS: The Right Time and Amount of Videos to upload on youtube every week

Can You Upload Too Much?

Again, it depends on the quality of the content and the type of the channel. If you are creating news or reaction content to some entertainment or gaming events, then posting often or not having an established consistency is normal. With that type of content posting a few times a day would be quite normal and expected.

Vloggers are posting a lot of content. Most are active 7 days a week, multiple times a day. It’s awesome because your content is always near the top of the feed. Whenever someone logs into YouTube, your video is among his subscribed recommendations.

All in all, you should always go for quality. Your content will always work in your favor then. With a good Youtube rank, your videos will be constantly recommended by YouTube. Whenever someone types a search term related to your content your video will be out there. It will get multiple views. People will watch your video weeks, months, years later. So, the effort that you put into creating a quality video will pay dividends in the future.

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YouTube Affiliate Marketing: Making Money with Your Videos

YouTube Affiliate Marketing: Making Money with Your Videos

There’s no question that a good portion of the internet’s attention ends up squarely at YouTube.

There are over 2 billion users according to Google. At least half of those users are consistently active. That means billions of hours of videos watched every single month. If you consider YouTube a search engine, it’s the second largest search engine in the world.

That means it is only right behind Google itself. That’s impressive! That much traffic means plenty of opportunity. YouTube affiliate marketing is one way to harness traffic not only to build brand awareness but to make money through the traffic to your videos.

There are a few options you have when it comes to making money through YouTube via affiliate marketing. You need to learn the right way to go about it to see the most success.

What Is YouTube Affiliate Marketing?

One of the first things to understand is that making affiliate money on YouTube is not the same as YouTube ads. Those are two completely different methods for making money via online videos.

Using affiliate marketing involves the use of special links in the description or even in the video itself to drive sales you make a commission off of. There are many different strategies to make your videos more effective.

Generally, there will be two major strategies that most affiliate marketers use when working to make money from YouTube:

  • Push visitors to click on an affiliate link in the description of the video
  • Drive traffic to a website where a better affiliate funnel can be created

These are the two major methods for marketing with video content. There are many marketers who will use both methods quite effectively. We’re going to look at both strategies here so you have options on how to get started as a YouTube affiliate marketer.

Using YouTube can be a great way to leverage the power of their platform. They are a potentially massive traffic source that will bring many more opportunities for your affiliate links to actually earn for you.

There’s a lot more here to cover, so let’s dive into the world of working YouTube as an affiliate. By the end of this post you’ll have the tips, tools, and tactics to make money Vlogging and smart marketing with your YouTube videos.

Monetizing YouTube with Affiliate Marketing

Actually monetizing your videos is pretty easy. The moment you have a YouTube account set up you can upload a video and drop a link in the description. It’s that easy. This doesn’t mean you should spam videos.

Those videos still need to get attention and they need to be good enough to convince a viewer that you are a trustworthy source to buy from. After all, if you don’t convert any of the visits into sales then all the traffic in the world isn’t going to do you much good.

Affiliate marketing on YouTube requires the promotion of a product or service using great video content. If people like what they see, they might just buy. It is easy to get started, but that doesn’t mean it is simple!

Links in Description

You will want the ability to shorten longer affiliate links into one that is less intimidating. Label them clearly (after all if your video sold it well they should be interested or at least open to buying), and that also takes care of character limitations.

The highest conversion comes if you can fit the affiliate link in the small part of a YouTube video description that is above the fold. This keeps it in view of anyone watching the video, scanning the information, or even heading down into the comment section. Like so:

YouTube Description Screenshot

Having a clean link at the top gives it the best chance of being seen by the most eyes. This is the most popular method of adding affiliate links because it’s available to everyone and it generally works.

For those using YouTube who are mainly YouTubers or vloggers in nature, they may have the links further down in the description. These almost certainly won’t convert as well but for large channels with a big subscriber base, YouTube ads may make more sense so asking to subscribe is more valuable.

In those cases, they have the pull to ask for viewers to look further down in the description to click on any affiliate links.

The one potential advantage to this strategy is that by pushing the link further down you do have the ability to write some really killer copy at the top. If you’re an excellent copywriter, or want to work on being a great copywriter, that space might be best used piquing a reader’s interest.

A great hook that will pull more readers in could result in more clicks.

If you have trouble writing snappy descriptions, do yourself a favor and make sure to check out the Earn More Writing course. While the focus on YouTube is rightfully video, the written description could be the difference between pulling someone in for the click and not getting that sale at all.

Here’s an example of a channel that has one link appear above the fold, then a list of them that they point viewers to from the video itself.

drop down affiliate links screenshot

Affiliate Links in the Video Itself

This is another method of making YouTube affiliate marketing profitable. Everyone has watched a YouTube video and seen a link pop up. This often comes at the end in the form of a picture or “card” that then links to a website, another YouTube video, or points somewhere else that the video creator wants to drive traffic.

However, a link can be added at any point in the video. In fact, for very long videos there can be several places where a link can be placed in the video itself. This allows a great video creator to get multiple chances to put his or her affiliate link in front of viewers.

This picture, word, or other feature that is linked is an “external annotation.” YouTube doesn’t set this up automatically for most video creators. Look for the highlight:

YouTube creator screenshot

The step by step process to make sure these are on and then add them goes:

  • YouTube Settings
  • Click on View Additional Features
  • Click to Enable External Annotations (towards the bottom left of page)
  • Go to video manager
  • Click on the video to edit
  • Click on “Linking Annotations” and put in your affiliate link with whatever insert you want to pop up in your video

This can be used alone to put relevant affiliate links in your actual videos. This can be done as your sole strategy or it can be done in conjunction with putting links in the description.

Best YouTube Video Formats for Affiliate Sales

There are certain types of videos that can be very effective when pushing affiliate marketing via videos on YouTube. While it can definitely be worth experimenting with different ideas or formats, many videos follow these formats for a reason. They are among the most popular because they have been proven to work!

Product Review Videos

Product review videos not only often rank well in many niches, but they are a great video format for pushing a sale. Whether reviewing a product that you can then link to as an Amazon Affiliate, or an online class from Udemy, or a specialized paid training program like Income School’s Project 24, you do an honest review and put in a link.

A good video can review a single item, program, or course. There are also comparison videos. These can be another great way to do a deep dive on one or more products and give your take on them. Make a connection, give a first-hand account of what the viewer is interested in, and possibly make that affiliate sale!

“Best of” Videos

Pushing beyond a single product review, best of videos work just like product list articles on a blog. In these videos you’re looking at the very best few options in a specific niche. Five best pellet smokers might be an example of a good best of video.

Usually the list will be small. Three to five items allow you to cover several products and add affiliate links to all of them while still keeping that personal experience touch. Any more than that and it generally goes very listicle which is great for a blog but generally does not work as well for video.

How-to Videos

How-to videos aren’t what most people think about when they think of affiliate marketing videos, but there are some outstanding opportunities here. When people are looking for step-by-step or how-to instructions, video is usually the way to go.

Would you rather read text trying to describe what to do, or would you rather see it?

Most of us would rather see it. A great how to video showing clearly how to do something many people want to learn about is not only a potential traffic magnet, but it can give you a chance to offer products that are needed to do it.

Let’s take some inspiration from Spencer’s Niche Site 4 Project: Suppose you have a first time home owner or even someone renting their first house. What do they know about yard work? How to cut grass by the fence? How to trim the grass by the landscaping around the house?

You can recommend weed whackers, gardening gloves, sheers, or whatever other tools you need based on the specific task and include affiliate links for each of these things. If your how-to video gives clear and precise directions you’re going to leave a very good impression. That trust and authority makes the chances of people buying that much more likely because of the quality of your content.

There is plenty of room for more good how-to videos in almost every niche. If you have a wide array of skills and an ability to explain things clearly, this could be the best video format for you to see some success with your affiliate links on YouTube.

Getting Eyes on YouTube

YouTube doesn’t pick which videos get views at complete random. Building a strong channel is a crucial part of this process.

This means having a fully filled out “About” section that gives plenty of information on where to find you, an original banner at the top of the page, channels that organize your videos into categories, playlists, and essential contact information. You want your channel to give a good impression.

This gives a good impression, and then it’s up to you to provide really high quality content on a consistent basis. Bad videos aren’t going to get positive reactions. Even if they somehow rank temporarily, they won’t in the long run.

Good videos that provide value, are well-shot, and answer the questions that searchers have are going to do well. If you have a channel that is absolutely chock full of these types of quality videos, then you are setting yourself up for success.

Increase your chance of affiliate sales by creating every single video with care. Great camera work from the best equipment and careful attention to every detail make for engaging videos that will help you build a very impressive vault of videos on your YouTube channel.

Learn the importance of on-site YouTube SEO. This means understanding tags, using keywords in the descriptions, and how to chain videos to encourage long view times and the watching of multiple views on the channel.

All of this is part of creating a channel that will get YouTube’s attention in a positive way and make them more likely to share you with their billions of monthly visitors.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

This is actually the top way that the most successful YouTube affiliates make money. While putting links in the videos can lead to sales, there’s a reason websites jump to mind when someone mentions affiliate marketing.

A website gives more opportunity to sell. Not only that, but you have flexibility in how to present topics, articles, or otherwise deliver the information you’re trying to get across. This naturally means less restraint on how to set up your content as well as more opportunities to sell.

The combination of a solid YouTube channel and a great website are impossible to ignore. A blog builds your authority and your brand. In addition to this while YouTube might be the second biggest search engine in the world, that means Google is still first.

Having a blog that you can build into an authority site allows for more organic traffic from Google.

Optimize your content not only rank for main keywords, but secondary topics and keywords, too. This also allows you to set up many quality posts that can be optimized for affiliate marketing. It’s not unheard of to get 10-15% conversion rates on some niches on affiliate websites.

You will almost certainly never see anything close to that from affiliate links in YouTube videos.

How Much Can You Make as an Affiliate on YouTube?

Money Magnet to Laptop

This is going to depend a lot on traffic, click thru rate on the affiliate links, and then conversion once you get to the site to buy. These numbers are going to vary greatly from niche to niche as well as even from video channel to channel. Getting more traffic to your videos is the best way to make more sales as there’s definite truth to the “numbers game” mentality.

The truth is that there’s no way to accurately predict a range. Some niches are going to make more money than others. If you’re in a niche that allows you to sell $500 or $1000 items at 10% you’re going to make way more per sale than a niche that only sells $15 items at 4%.

So there’s a lot of variance.

The affiliate programs you are promoting will also make a difference. Look for trusted programs and the best possible payouts. This will help increase your earnings and also generally steer you to better products and programs. These are all good things.

Beyond that earnings are going to depend on traffic and that only comes from producing outstanding videos consistently. You can’t give up before your efforts pay off.

YouTube tends to be a long-term game for most people. While the strategies are different, the place to start is the same. Finding good products you want to promote, creating great video content, and then making as many great videos as possible.

Does This Work for Small Channels?

Do you need to have a giant channel to make money as an affiliate on YouTube? Can small channels really make money, or at least any decent amount? The short answer is yes.

There are plenty of niches where a small but dedicated following can still make you a lot of money. Especially if you’ve built yourself as a brand that your audience can trust.

When you get started you’re going to be a small channel. Unless you’re already a widely recognized name or brand. For some people there will be some early victories that make it easy to keep going. The rest of us will need to keep refining our techniques, our pitch, and our videos while seeing a more gradual revenue build.

While there are very successful small channels, there’s no question more traffic is going to mean more clicks on your affiliate links and that means more sales.


No one should be surprised at this point by the idea that YouTube can be a major money maker. When you’re talking about the second largest search engine online, that’s one heck of an audience. There are multiple ways to make sure every single video is touting affiliate links that get you paid.

YouTube affiliate marketing takes time. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort.

However this is a great way to get money from the video content that you are producing – or should be.

By Shane Dayton

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