How YouTube SEO works ?

23 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 09 Apr, 2022
Table of Contents

Not many people know YouTube is among the most visited search engines. Second to Google in the number of searches conducted daily. And just like Google, YouTube has SEO practices, which is a bit different from Google’s own or other search engines like Bing.

Therefore, you need to know How YouTube SEO works for your videos to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPS).  

But before elaborating on how YouTube SEO works, what is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO

YouTube SEO is dynamic and involves using proven strategies to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership, watch time, engagement, and user experience. Hence, making your videos and channel rank high in YouTube searches and possibly, Google search engine.  

These strategies include and are not limited to; optimizing videos, playlists, video titles and descriptions, good video production, finding a suitable video length, including key terms in captions, subtitles, and transcriptions, and promoting your video on social media.

How YouTube SEO Works

Many components define how YouTube SEO works. In this post, I will show you how the YouTube algorithm works. Also, how YouTube videos pop up on specific tabs and how to get your videos featured there. 

Let’s consider them. 

YouTube Algorithm

Many videos are posted on YouTube every single minute, and no workforce can boast of being able to watch every video while matching them to suit viewers’ requests.

Therefore, YouTube uses a sophisticated algorithm to match users’ queries to videos they likely want to view. The algorithm is a real-time feedback loop that assists a viewer get the desired videos and keep watching what they love.

This algorithm works with data. It looks at the keyword searched for by a particular viewer and looks at previous videos watched by that viewer. It also look at how long they watched them and what they possibly avoid watching.  

The algorithm then matches the keyword searched for to videos having titles, thumbnails, and descriptions with the same or similar keywords.

It also looks at the assessment of past viewers of each video, mainly their likes and number of comments, and how long these videos engage previous viewers. 

Thus, the catch is you have to make your videos align with the way the YouTube algorithm works by producing videos that can gain more likes, good comments, more watch time. Also, inserting relevant keywords in the video title, description, captions, transcription, and thumbnails. 

That is how YouTube Algorithm basically works. But, let’s look at how videos appear on different tabs on YouTube. 

YouTube Search

YouTube looks at the keyword term inserted in the search box and matches with the most relevant videos by checking if the key term is present in the title and description and video thumbnail.

The description can be two or three paragraphs. It also checks the engagement and watches time of each video; thus, YouTubers that trick viewers into watching their videos have their channel performance go down in no time.  

YouTube suggested videos

YouTube considers what viewers have been watching, their previous history, and related topics. To make your video appear among the suggested videos on the right tab, make a call to action in your videos, use playlists, cards, and links to suggest the following video.

Home Screen 

Videos that appear on the home screen of viewers depend on the followings, the viewer’s subscriptions, and similar videos to what the person would love to watch. A similar video on what the person will like to watch is chosen based on the video’s performance and watch history and how a viewer focuses on a particular channel or topic.

Therefore, for your video to appear on the home screen of people that use your channel or videos, you need to post consistently.  

Trending tab

There is little you can do about this. Videos shown on the trending page depend on the viewer’s home country. This trendy video would be a novel and popular video, with massive increasing views—for instance, a music video of a fast-rising artist.    

Subscriber Tab

YouTube shows an array of recent videos uploaded on the channels a viewer subscribes to. It also arranges them based on analytics of how much time you spend on a particular channel.

To get subscribers, Ask your viewers genuinely to tell them about the benefits and what you stand to gain. 

With this, you already know how YouTube SEO works and how best to produce videos likable by the YouTube algorithm. You can also check out how to Rank YouTube Videos in our next post. 

Here is where we wrap it up on how YouTube SEO works.

Laxman K.

Veteran Social Media Growth Hacker & Digital Marketer.