Great tips. YouTube is huge and video is a great way to break into competitive searches for those searches that included blended results. Thanks for sharing your experience on the blended triggers Markus Allen. Like  steviephil I never realized that YouTube transcription was driving search results. Motivating indeed. I did know that YouTube compares music to it copyrighted material database and can provide feedback before a video is even uploaded on whether its protected so they have powerful pattern matching. Learned this from uploading video from an open, outdoor Kansas concert here in Albany, NY last summer. They alerted to the protected material, allowed but use ads that revenue share with the artist (I hope/presume). Pretty amazing when you think of it from a computing / algorithm standpoint.
Quick question: You say you don’t recommend payed views (i.e. fiverr) which is understandable for various reasons. However, would you say that if you start from scratch (no social network whatsoever and a brand-new video) it could be beneficial to buy maybe 2,000-5,000 views, a bunch of likes/subscribers/etc. just to get it started and then let it grow organically?

Just for the record I make a substantial living from YouTube marketing and I also run my own SEO firm with over 250 clients with Google Front Page Rankings. Now I use Fiverr for my YouTube rankings and I agree with Brian but would also like to add a little more value. After you do what Brian suggest visit Fiver and find someone that dripfeeds views for 20 days. 100 views a day for 20 consecutive days works wonders with the right backlink profiles. I’ve ranked for several medium competition keywords without any backlinks. Google will rank your video with social signals from just YouTube. Here is my formula 100 likes, 50 comments, 10% dislikes, 100 subscribers driven from the video, 50 video embeds and about 250 Facebook shares and likes, then build backlinks. There is a link to my Youtube channel feel free to Google search any of my keywords.
Subtitles & Closed Captions. YouTube allows you to add closed captions for videos that have spoken-word content. This feature opens up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers or those who speak languages besides the one spoken in your video. The captions are crawlable by the search engines! This takes your video to the next level from a ranking perspective. By enabling the closed captions feature, you will increase the video’s rankability. Note that the YouTube automatic captions feature is not perfect, and you will have to make corrections. You have the option to upload a closed caption file. More details here.
I have a similar philosophy.  The videos on my site are hosted on S3 with jw player but we are in the process of switching to Wistia.  The value of SEO and direct traffic outweighs the synergy that you get by embeding the youtube videos on our site.  I then use Youtube to try and capture traffic that I am not getting already and to try and build our brand.
So, when you are setting out to create a video for YouTube, the title is probably the most important thing. You want a title that's going to draw people in, but then you also want to make sure that you deliver on that title. If you are going to say that you have the best video on SEO ever, you better make it the best video on SEO ever. Otherwise, people are going to say, "That's lame." They're not going to click through. They're not going to respond. They're not going to do anything. So title is your first and most powerful tool. You're going to want to do the keyword research and make sure you have a call to action in your title.
Hey Brian and Alex, the backlinks doesn’t necessarily help your YouTube rankings, but backlinks from other videos and channels are a big part of the YouTube algorithm and Google rankings is a part of YouTube algorithm as well. What really helps is higher PR backlinks and front page Google rankings, that will naturally help your video rank better on YouTube. If you have good rankings on Google, your YouTube rankings also get better. Then the obvious, high retention views is what dominates YouTube search results. Ex. Google search “draas” without quotes, my client video is number 5 on Google and number 1 on YouTube. How? Everybody has more views, likes, favorites and comments. But my video is properly optimized, and my Google presents is evident.
I totally agree that CTR is significant.  However, unless you are a Youtube partner (the old school type) you don't have all that much control over the thumbnail for your video (that is why I didn't included it in the list).  For most of us mortal Youtubers or ones that don't want to monetize our channels we have to live with the couple of choices that Youtube gives us for thumbnails.

Reviewing cars is good if you can put it on your website and it’s useful to potential customers, otherwise yes keywords like chevy dealership o’fallen il will definitely be the ones that get you appointments. And that is local SEO which has different ranking factors (Google My Business, citations, reviews). I have a guide for WordPress local SEO in my navigation menu but most everything is the same even for non-WordPress sites.

Great article about youtube videos, but I have a question. I see that you start link building within a few days. What types of links are you building to your site? I heard some people are even spamming links to youtube. I would think that even if google is ok with that now, in the future they might not like it at all and punish you badly. I know you aslo mentioned social signals, is that your only link building? Thanks
Well you always write about the keyword “SEO” while giving YouTube examples. How can it help to YouTubers who don’t have any blogs or website (in step 3 – description part)? You could have given examples of YouTubers who are in entertainment industry as well because the people who visit your site are not necessarily webmasters. They could be anyone.
Keyword research is the next most important thing I would say – like any blog post you should research the competition in YouTube and Google’s search results. Adding a good amount of content in the video description helps, but the video creation + keyword research (and writing a nice keyword-rich title + designing a nice custom thumbnail) are probably most important.
And that’s how you rank YouTube videos higher in both YouTube and Google! I’m a 1-man show so 100,000 views between my videos is a good amount for me. Surely if you have a small business and people to help with this, you can do it too. If you have questions, leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help you out. And if you found this helpful, please give it a share.
They're looking at the quality of those views. That's why I put attention as the second part of number one. They're looking to see, how well are people receiving that? I don't know if you've ever logged in and looked at a specific video in the engagement report that you can get on YouTube. It's really cool. Basically, what you can see is how long people watched, where they fell off. So maybe you have a trailer on the end of your video. You're going to watch this nice graph, and everybody's following, following, following. Bam, they're gone. They got to the advertisement. They say,
Great video. Thanks! This is a pretty basic question, but still one I'm interested in hearing your opinion about. Does the description REALLY need to be unique from the site / page where the video is embeded? I'm writing great, detailed blog posts and then making videos to supplement those posts, but when it comes time to write the description I don't really know what else to say. I'm basically just making the information in the blog post easier to comprehend with the videos...
Glad you like it! Sorry for the late response I’ve been in the moving process to Denver. I don’t think there is an value in that though, all the descriptions, tags, etc are handled by Youtube. And yes! For sure about the file name… once you upload it the file name is what it is but surely the video can’t be about a completely different topic (keyword) so there there shouldn’t be much to worry about? Love your feedback Mark!
Glad you like it! Sorry for the late response I’ve been in the moving process to Denver. I don’t think there is an value in that though, all the descriptions, tags, etc are handled by Youtube. And yes! For sure about the file name… once you upload it the file name is what it is but surely the video can’t be about a completely different topic (keyword) so there there shouldn’t be much to worry about? Love your feedback Mark!

Overall you really don't want people only viewing your video for 5-8 seconds because although the view will count and help with that ranking factor the attention/engagement on that view will be hurt and will hurt your rankings.  It makes sense.  Youtube would rather display a video that is watched all the way through 1,000 times rather than a video where 10,000 people leave after a few seconds.

So, when you are setting out to create a video for YouTube, the title is probably the most important thing. You want a title that's going to draw people in, but then you also want to make sure that you deliver on that title. If you are going to say that you have the best video on SEO ever, you better make it the best video on SEO ever. Otherwise, people are going to say, "That's lame." They're not going to click through. They're not going to respond. They're not going to do anything. So title is your first and most powerful tool. You're going to want to do the keyword research and make sure you have a call to action in your title.
Quick question: You say you don’t recommend payed views (i.e. fiverr) which is understandable for various reasons. However, would you say that if you start from scratch (no social network whatsoever and a brand-new video) it could be beneficial to buy maybe 2,000-5,000 views, a bunch of likes/subscribers/etc. just to get it started and then let it grow organically?
This is fantastic information and really useful for starting a new YouTube channel. I have a question regarding the length of the videos: I have heard that YouTube does not promote videos that are less than 5 mins in length as “Suggested Videos”, is that true? Some of the YouTubers I have interacted with suggest me to go for videos longer than 5 mins and I was wondering if that would have any impact.
I totally agree that CTR is significant.  However, unless you are a Youtube partner (the old school type) you don't have all that much control over the thumbnail for your video (that is why I didn't included it in the list).  For most of us mortal Youtubers or ones that don't want to monetize our channels we have to live with the couple of choices that Youtube gives us for thumbnails.
Thanks for sharing and explaining the Ultimate Youtube SEO guide, very helpfull! I have a question, is it better to rank hosted videos (for example Wistia) which don’t show up in Youtube or to rank Youtube videos? Hosted videos show up in google video and take the visitor directly to your page while youtube does not (only in description). Which video platform would you advise?
In terms of results I’m confident on, I use a combination of the strength of the correlation, statements from YouTube about what they value, and my own experience. And my experience is pretty much in-line with the data. The only one I was surprised to see was the effect of views as I see videos with fewer views outrank videos with significantly more.
Great content! I’m just wondering about the minimum length of 5 minutes. Do you have any numbers on how many people use the filter ‘short < 4 minutes' option when searching? I use it a lot myself. For me, that is a reason to keep my videos under 4 minutes where possible. Also, if you make your video longer than 5 minutes just for the sake of length, it can hurt the user experience. What are your thoughts on that?
Thanks for your response. So if I understand correctly kewords like-chevy dealership o’fallon il, used cars o’fallon, il and others like that for the towns I want my videos to rank for would be the ones to use. So as I review different vehicles my choices of keywords will run short. Do I just try to spread them out over the different towns in my market area ?
careful tho, once you have uploaded a video, youtube creates the URL and video ID, so you will be unable to change the filename of the video that you have already uploaded and you cannot swap it out with a fresh copy with your KW in the filename, you will have to start over to achieve that particular SEO enhancement, but just about everything else is doable and can be tweaked…. sorry just thought I would share my 2 cents and previous frustrations . . . .i will leave it to the expert ! ! !LOL
Some great stuff here. Especially your 17 powerful back-links post which I learned a couple of new things which is awesome. Thanks! My question is Bluehost allows you to have your (Hxxp://backlinko.c0m/bluehostdiscount) redirect to your Bluehost affiliate lander? Or is it you just can’t have your PPC URL as a redirect? I am not sure that I totally understand Bluehost terms. Thanks Brian.
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