What’s a more staggering number than the number of YouTube videos that get millions of views? The number of YouTube videos that don’t. It can be a discouraging notion to think of making a video that sits in obscurity, with no one but relatives (bless ‘em) to tell you how good it is. At the same time, we know how compelling a video can be. Watching a video is the preferred practical method to self-educate. It’s more convenient, and more entertaining than reading a blog post (this one, excluded, we hope!) In fact, in some Google searches, videos are rising above blog posts. That means, a video that gets attention on YouTube will help you get noticed, and rank higher in a Google search. Here are some clever tips to get you closer to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page), using YouTube (aka “The Second Largest Search Engine.”)  

Let’s reestablish. The better your YouTube channel performs, the more Google will notice it, and when Google notices it, the higher up the search engine list it will rise. In order to make this happen, you need to understand how YouTube ranks its content, as well as Google’s preferences. 

Start by seeing what else is out there by Googling the subject your videos would be about. This will allow you to see which videos are ranking. Look at the top menu to see where the Video tab is positioned. The closer “Video” is to the left, the more valuable video is for that search, and the more Google believes video is the best way to deliver results for that search. For instance, if you Google the word “Ballet”, video results are positioned on the far left, because videos are of course a popular way to enjoy the art of ballet. If you Google the word “Taxes”, videos rank fourth from the left, for obvious reasons. That doesn’t mean, however, that a video wouldn’t be a very enjoyable way to learn about the subject of taxes, it just means there are less of them. This is useful information to position yourself to be seen. 

Focus on educating. The types of videos that Google values most are ones that seek to do just that. These may be in the form of How-To content, Tutorials, Reviews, and Product Hauls. When you structure your videos in a format that’s deemed educational, Google recognizes that it’s there to help the searcher. If your video fulfills the promise to educate, it will be ranked higher. A cunning way to move ahead more quickly, is to use the Keywords Everywhere plugin! It allows you to see which related keywords your audience is searching for and see all the relevant search volume data in real time. Check it out.

With the video content you’ve produced ready to upload, do a search on YouTube to find the top videos you perceive as your competition. The goal is for you to get anyone who would watch those videos to see yours as well. Of course you’d like your video to come up first, but the silver medal would be for yours to be the “Up Next”, or a contender on the “Suggested Videos” list. Note your competing videos’ keywords. A great tool for this is VidIQ, which allows you to view all the tags a video is currently using. Take those keywords and use them in your own video tags.

When it comes time to name your video, it can be tempting to come up with something clever, like “Bob” for instance, but take advantage of the situation by optimizing the name of your video to help your cause. Name your YouTube video the same thing as your video file. After you upload the video onto the platform, the raw file name coupled with a title of the same name tells YouTube and Google clear information about the content, and is therefore easier for them to use.

Another useful tip is to arrange your videos into a playlist. You can actually find video tutorials on YouTube to teach you how to do this. Isn’t that amazing? A playlist helps lend authority and relevance to your videos. Optimize the videos further by using key-phrases and a description rich with keywords. All of this gives your videos a greater chance of appearing on a Google SERP.

The next step is to promote your video. Share it, share it, share it. When viewers find your video to be useful, Google will recognize that and send it on up the rankings. Share your educational videos on other platforms too, such as Reddit, Quora, and Google Plus communities. Embed your videos in blogs and build links to them. Remember that Google treats your YouTube videos the same as it does a webpage. The more links leading to your videos, the greater the likelihood Google will rank them, the same way they rank your website or blog posts. 

So, raise your Google Search Engine ranking by raising your YouTube presence, and raise your game. We’ll be watching for you!