It’s just not enough to put a video up on YouTube and hope it will rank to the top of search results because it’s so awesome. It won’t.

It takes giving your video some SEO attention, just like you would with an article or a web page you were trying to rank in Google’s search results.

These are YouTube SEO tips that allowed Brian Dean to rank his videos for hundreds of terms, including the keyword phrase ‘video SEO’.

NOTE: these are not the SEO tips that everybody else is giving. Oh no. He tried those. They didn’t help. These are tips he came up with himself after diligently testing EVERYTHING he could think of to test; different keyword combinations, different video lengths, changing the introductions and tags and much, much more. Nothing budged his views.

After several months, he figured out a formula that finally began to increase his views, ranking, traffic and subscribers. He discovered something that actually worked. In fact, he discovered 9 different strategies that work incredibly well and are extremely easy to apply, even for beginners.


YouTube SEO Strategy #1:

Frontload Your Keyword

You may already know it’s a good idea to have your keyword in the title of your video. But did you know Google gives you even more SEO love when your keyword is at the beginning of your video title?

For example, let’s say you want to rank your video for the phrase, ‘cold brew coffee’.

“My 7 Best Tips for Cold Brew Coffee”

Not bad. But even better, SEO-wise is:

Cold Brew Coffee – My 7 Best Tips

See how that works?


Strategy #2

Boost Video Engagement Signals

What does that mean exactly? Well, engagement signals are things like shares, likes, comments and subscribes. Videos that have more of these, rank better.

Also good to know… comments correlate more with rankings than any other engagement signal. And there’s one specific way that seems to work best at getting more comments on your video. (He talks about it in the video and it’s so simple you’ll smack your head and wonder why you didn’t think of it.)


Strategy #3

Use the Tab Formula for Video Tags

While tags are not as important as they used to be, they still make a difference. Sadly, most people use tags completely wrong.

Tags are supposed to help YouTube understand the content of your video. So when it comes to creating tags for your videos, more is not necessarily better.

Brian recommends the Tab Formula, which stand for Target, Alternative and Broad. And in the video (which is at the end of this article), he explains exactly how to use this formula to help your video rank higher.


Strategy #4

CTR Magnet Thumbnails

It probably comes as no surprise that click-through rate (CTR) plays a role in your video ranking. If your video gets an above average amount of clicks in the search results, YouTube will bump your video up in the rankings.

So how do you get more clicks?

With CTR Magnet Thumbnails. These are thumbnail images of your video, specifically designed to attract and get more clicks. Using simple things like strategic use of color and text, Brian outlines the easy steps to apply to your video thumbnail that will turn it into a CTR Magnet.

You can even use free tools like Canva and create attention-grabbing YouTube thumbnails fast. 


Strategy #5

Write Mini Blog Posts for Your Video Description

Most people don’t take advantage of the video description section. Brian did lots of testing, and it showed that long descriptions help videos rank better.


Because a longer description helps YouTube better understand what your video is about, and they reward you for that. In the video below, Brian outlines how to create a longer description that YouTube will love.


Strategy #6

Boost Video Length

Brian and his team analyzed 1.3 million videos, and determined that longer videos tend to outrank shorter ones. The average length of videos on the first page of YouTube results is almost 15 minutes.

YouTube loves videos that keep people watching for a longer period of time. Brian recommends 8-15 minutes as the sweet spot for video length.



Strategy #7

Use Brackets and Parentheses in Your Video Title

(Who’da thought?)

A study commissioned by Hubspot found that videos with brackets or parentheses in the titles boosted click-through rate by up to 38%!

Brian now uses parentheses in almost all his videos and gives you several suggestions of specific terms you can use right now to boost your video’s CTR.


Strategy #8

Rank in Suggested Video

YouTube SEO is more than just ranking in their search results. You can get just as many views, if not more, as a “suggested video”.

Suggested videos are the ones that show up in the side bar, next to the video you’re currently watching. If you can get your video to show up in the side bar next to a really popular video, you can get some of their views.

How do you do that? Brian gives you the exact steps in the video at the end of this post.


Strategy #9

Turn Donkeys into Unicorns

Why do some videos seem to outperform better than others? After analyzing millions of videos, Brian discovered one common thread in all videos that do well… they all have loads of watch time. Watch time is the total amount of time people spend watching your video.

He discovered a way to increase the watch time on his videos. He calls it turning donkeys into unicorns. It starts by going into your YouTube analytics and clicking on Audience Retention.

That shows you just how much of a video was watched and exactly where most people tend to drop off. By analyzing one of your own videos that’s done well for you, you can find out some of the strategies you need to be implementing in future videos.

Brian walks you through how he analyzed one of his best performing videos.

SIDENOTE: If you want many more valuable insights for your and you want to take your video marketing to a whole new level, check out vooPlayer. Some of our users are calling it the Swiss army knife of video marketing, and that’s because vooPlayer not only works with YouTube videos but it also works with (almost) all other video platforms including Vimeo, Facebook, Amazon S3 and many more.


You’d need 10 pieces of software to have HALF the power of vooPlayer. 😉


SURPRISE! Bonus Strategy:

Include the Current Year in Your Video Title

This may seem like a no-brainer, but YouTube viewers want to know that the content they’re consuming is up-to-date and relevant to what’s happening today. So when you add the year to your title, it makes it stand out in YouTube’s search results as well as in the side bar.

Plus, lots of people search for “keyword + year” in Google as well as YouTube. Having the year in your title lets people know your content is current with what’s working right now. And you could find your video listed in the Google search results as well as in YouTube. Double win!


Want to watch the video tutorial on how Brian is using these 9 strategies for ranking videos?

Did you enjoy this easy tutorial on how to rank YouTube videos?

Leave a comment below and let us know which one of these 9 video SEO strategies in this video is your most favorite? Do you have any other video SEO tip you’d like to share? Share it with us and we’ll give it a try. We love video marketing and helping businesses grow their business with video.

That’s why we created vooPlayer.