Optimizing for YouTube Search

Optimizing for YouTube search is extremely important as it gives you exposure to viewers who are looking for content like yours.

YouTube Search

 

How YouTube Search works:

When determining whether or not a video is supposed to show up in search, YouTube  determines whether the video is relevant to the search query. The most viewed videos may not necessarily win a spot in the search results. Besides the ranking factors mentioned above the following is also important.

To determine whether or not a video is relevant to the search query, YouTube looks at:

  • does the search query (or related keyword) appear in the video title?
  • does the search query (or related keyword) appear in the video description?
  • does the search query (or related keyword) appear in the video (meta) tags?
  • does the search query (or related keyword) appear in the video transcripts?
  • “where” do these keywords appear? As a rule of thumb: The earlier in the title / description / tags / transcript, the better.

 


 

Optimizing for Homepage Exposure

Where it shows:   youtube.com

YouTube Homepage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How the YouTube Homepage works:

This one is a bit more tricky for YouTube, so it’s subject to a lot of tests. Here’s what YouTube fills this space:

  • best guess at what the viewer might enjoy today
  • new (and popular) videos
  • videos watched by similar viewers
  • videos from channels the viewer subscribed to (but not all show up here — however, they can be found in the subscriptions tab)

To determine whether or not a video is eligible to show on the homepage for this particular viewer, YouTube looks at:

  • performance (how well the video has engaged similar viewers)
  • past watch history of the viewer
  • past search history of the viewer
  • how much the viewer watches videos from a particular channel
  • how much the viewer watches videos about a particular topic
  • how many times YouTube has already shown the video to the viewer.

What to do to increase your chances of showing up there:

  • upload on a regular basis
  • keep viewers engaged (encourage likes, shares, comments, etc. – see below)
  • research currently popular topics in your niche and create videos around them – research keywords thoroughly before you embark on the filming

 


 

Optimizing for “Suggested Videos”

Where it shows:

  • suggestion after a video has ended
  • on the right hand side of the video that is currently playing (below the video if watching on mobile device)

Suggested YouTube Videos

 

How “Suggested Videos” works:

To determine whether or not a video is a good candidate to show in the “suggested videos”, YouTube looks at

  • what this viewer has just finished watching and if the video might have satisfied the query (e.g. when watching a how to
  • video, the viewer might now know how to do this and might no longer be in the market for another how to video)
  • whether this video is related to a certain topic that the viewer has shown interest in before
  • whether the viewer is subscribed to the channel and based on search queries/behaviour interested in watching the video
  • from this channel
  • the past watch history of the viewer
  • videos other viewers found interesting after watching this particular video

 

Increasing your chances of showing up:

  • Use similar tags to those videos that you might want to show up alongside
  • Use consistent tags in your videos, e.g. branding tags.
  • In your video, use an end screen or card that suggests related videos from this channel
  • Suggest watching a video on a playlist from this channel (and why)

 


 

Optimizing for “Trending”

This is a hard one to rank for. For niche markets, this is next to impossible. The topic and video needs to have very broad appeal to a large audience.

Trending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How “Trending” works:

What’s showing here are new and popular videos that have very broad appeal and are specific to a viewer’s country.

 

To determine if a particular video is allowed to show under Trending, YouTube

  • considers view count, especially view velocity (growth rate of views)
  • where they views are coming from
  • engagement with the video (e.g. shares, likes, comments)
  • includes “Creators on the rise” (each week YouTube features up-and-coming artists there for a full day).

 

What to do to increase your chances to show up there:

  • make broadly appealing videos
  • make shareable videos
  • have channel growth