So, you’ve decided to do a cool video about your newest product or service. You publish it to all your social media channels and your website and the viewers’ reactions are positive. But after the initial momentum dies off and it seems like you are not benefitting from the video as much as you had hoped.

This is a common situation companies face as they try to promote themselves through video. The good news is that it can easily be remedied with some simple SEO techniques that will bring your videos to the top of Google’s and YouTube’s rankings and get them in front of your target audience. Let’s get started…

Do keyword research

When people search for text content, they use completely different keywords than when they are looking for a video. Especially on YouTube, many people start entering their search term but then go with one of the suggestions YouTube offers. This is why the drop-down suggestions are the first place you should look for possible keywords. Another good place to do research is in the tags section. You can check which tags your competitors have used or test terms you found in the suggestions.

If you already have some traffic but want to boost it, try using YouTube Analytics as it will show you which keywords you rank for, even if you did not deliberately optimize for them. This can be a great opportunity to increase your video’s rank as YouTube analytics will help you find plenty of untapped keywords.

Keyword optimization for your video

Once you have decided which keyword to use, of course, you will want to put it in the video’s title. It’s also important to put it in the video’s description. This will not only help grab people’s attention but also give YouTube a better chance to understand what your video is about. Try to write long descriptions of at least 200 words. That will make it more credible and once again boost your rankings.

Also, make sure you use your main keyword in your video at least once. This is important because YouTube understands about 90% of the words you say on a video and if it picks up your keyword this will boost your ranking. If you want to make sure YouTube understands every single word in your video, you can even upload a transcript.

Finally, add a few relevant tags once you have uploaded your video. They can include the broad topic it falls under, a subcategory and of course your main keyword.

Engage and retain your audience

YouTube rewards videos that are high-quality and keep people engaged. You can achieve this in several ways. It goes without saying that your videos need to be interesting, but that alone will not do it. Capture your audience in the first fifteen seconds of the video by giving them exactly what they came for and you will have a great chance they will stick around till the end. This is where you add a strong call to action, telling people to like, comment and subscribe. Each of these three actions will help increase your video’s ranking because it sends YouTube the message that your video is valuable to their users. If people comment, reply! When others see that you actively engage and value contributions they will be more likely to add a comment, which again will boost your ranking.

Build your channel’s authority

Especially when you have a new YouTube channel this can seem challenging. But there are a few simple steps you can take to create authority from day one. Start by deciding on a suitable slogan. Why are you on YouTube? What will people find on your channel? Show people they have come to the right place by using a slogan that answers these questions well. Also, add an animated banner. Show your logo, a picture of you or your product, anything that will set you apart from your competition. And finally, be consistent with you branding throughout your channel. Use thumbnails for your videos that reflect your style and attract viewers, and make sure your videos match your overall theme and contribute to building a solid reputation on YouTube.

Ranking your videos on Google

As mentioned above, people search for videos differently than for text content. Google has caught on to that and will only display videos in the search results if people enter “video keywords”. They are usually longer than normal keywords and can include entire sentences such as “how to clean an iPhone 6”. If you test your keywords and a few of the top results are videos, you’ve found a good video keyword. If no videos come up, it will be very hard to get your video ranked and you would do better using another one.