While there are a number of different websites around that allow users to upload their own content, YouTube is easily the most recognized and thus the most popular. According to YouTube statistics, every minute there is literally hundreds of hours of videos being posted. Each month, there are over six billion unique views, and millions of users subscribing to channels or adding videos to their favorites. A large part of what makes YouTube so popular is the fact that creating an account is an incredibly simple process. Anyone with an existing Gmail account can simply use that same account for YouTube without even having to take extra steps. There also aren’t any fees for uploading videos or creating accounts.
Because there are so many videos constantly being uploaded though it can be difficult to improve YouTube rankings. This is especially true for any new users that are just getting started, since they have to compete with not only all of the other new users that are constantly making accounts, but also all of the veteran users that already have loyal followers and a whole library of videos. There are some SEO tips that both new and old users can use to help improve their rankings.
Generate Likes and Favorites
Many videos will usually include a message at the very end of the uploader asking their viewers to like and favorite their videos, as well as subscribing to their channel. The reason for this is because all three will have an influence on YouTube ranking. Likes and favorites basically tell YouTube what videos are popular and generating interest, and thus will help to determine where the videos show up in searches and can even help to determine what will get display on the front page.
It can be very difficult for new users to keep uploading videos if they aren’t generating a lot of views. In order to stay relevant in terms of ranking though it is important that new users keep putting out content. YouTube viewers are also more inclined to subscribe to channels that seem active and have a decent amount of content as well.
Fresh Content Generates Views
YouTube uses a number of different factors to generate ranking. While videos being liked certainly help, general views are important as well. A channel with more videos has that many more opportunities to generate more views.
A mistake that some YouTube users can make is not putting detailed titles on their videos, or by making a title that is too long. The best titles will have a few keywords in the front and then have some kind of branding at the end. Trying to cram in too many keywords in the title though will just make it an incomprehensible mess, so try to just put in enough keywords to get across what the video is.
Unlike with the title, a large number of tags can help to improve video rankings. Users need to make sure that the tags they are using make sense though. For example, it wouldn’t make any sense for a video about animals to be loaded down with tags for video games or movies.
If users want to encourage views on their channel they should consider putting links to some of their other works in the video description. Try not to leave the video description blank, but don’t overload it with information either, otherwise it will take away from the video itself, if it even gets read at all.
YouTube will naturally favor videos that encourage additional traffic to YouTube. A simple way to do this is including annotations that link to other videos. This can be something as simple as a link to a previously posted video.
YouTube ranking also favors videos that have been put into a playlist. In addition, there are specific searches that enable users to find only playlists, so this is just another way for uploaders to advertise their content.
This is unfortunately something that users aren’t always able to influence, but generating video responses will improve YouTube rankings. Uploaders can put their own video responses to other videos which might encourage those video owners to make responses. Users can also just ask or encourage viewers to make video responses, but this obviously won’t guarantee success.
Update: YouTube discontinued this feature on September 12, 2013.
When a video is generating comments it is also generating ratings. Uploaders can encourage comments by quickly responding whenever they see that comments are posted. Obviously this also means that comments will have to be enabled on the video.