So you’ve made a video – great! But if it is languishing on page 17 of Google, nobody will find it. Here’s some steps you can take to get it working for you.
This is not intended to be a technical, detailed, step-by-step of exactly how to do each of these things. It is more of a checklist to tell you how to get your video ranking on page 1 of Google. If there are any steps you don’t know how to do, you will need to do some further research. Or, we do offer a service in which we can do the video ranking for you – details are at the end of this post.
Before you upload your video
First, you need to decide the keywords you want it to be found under. If you aren’t sure what I mean by keywords, I refer you to my post about how to choose keywords. For this example, let’s assume you have a blog site about gardening, and you have done a post and a video about how to prune apple trees. You want to be found for a search for “How to prune apple trees”.
A good first step is to do a Google search and see whether there is already a video on page 1 for that phrase (without the quotes, always without the quotes). On my Google search I did find a video, in position 5. It has 62,000 views at the moment, and 240 subscribers to the channel. So it would be hard to beat. But not impossible, and not as bad as if there were several videos on page 1. In that case, you might try ranking for a less-popular, but related, keyword phrase that doesn’t have as many videos on page 1.
Once you have decided on your keyword, make sure you use it in the audio of your video when you make it. Preferably at least twice. You will see why shortly.
Name the video file after your keyword phrase, for example HowToPruneAppleTrees.mp4. You can also (if you know how) change the properties of the file so that it has that phrase in the properties of the file.
As you upload your video to YouTube
Then upload it to your YouTube channel. Ideally, the name of the channel would be “How To Prune Apple Trees”, but you probably have plenty of videos you want to upload (eventually) and they won’t all be about that same topic. So your channel could be named after your web site instead.
Basic Info tab
When you upload it to YouTube, The title of the video needs to be your exact keyword phrase – How To Prune Apple Trees. The description needs to start with that phrase too. Then you can put in a link to your blog post – which of course has the keyword in it, because you followed the suggestions in that other post of mine, didn’t you? 😉
Next in the description, you need to tell the reader what the post is all about. One way you can do this is to actually put the transcript of the video (the words of what was said) into the description. Remember how I said you want to say your keywords a couple of times in the audio?
Another cool thing you can do within the description is include links (1 or 2) to authority sites like wikipedia, for related stuff. Google likes it when you refer to other sites, and since you are never going to out-rank wikipedia, you might as well ride on their coat-tails a bit and get some benefit. In fact, this works on blog posts too – I just did it by putting in that hyperlink. But on a video of course you will put in the full URL to the authority site.
At the end of the description, end with a call to action. Something like “If you would like to know more about How To Prune Apple Trees please visit us at…” with your web site address.
One word about web site addresses. ALWAYS put the full address, with the http:// at the front. Otherwise it will not be clickable, and will not count as a backlink as far as Google is concerned.
Then go to the Tags section. Put your keyword phrase How To Prune Apple Trees as the first tag. Then put 2 -3 variations on that, like “pruning apple trees”, or “apple tree pruning”, or “pruning instructions for apple trees”. Then put your web site name (not the URL, the name). Then whatever else you can think of that people might want to find you under.
By putting your web site name as a tag in all your videos, you increase the chances that YOUR videos will appear on the right side in YouTube when people have watched one of your videos.
On the right side of the Upload page, make sure you have selected Public, and then put your keywords phrase again in the “Add a message to your video” box. If you have linked your Twitter and Google Plus accounts, tick those boxes for a share.
Under that, you will find a Playlist option. You should have a playlist for your broad topic – maybe in this case it would be something like Fruit Trees. You can create that playlist in that drop-down, or you can tick the box(es) for existing playlist(s) to add your video to them. This is all more information that tells Google “this video has something to do with fruit trees”.
Advanced Settings tab
Next, switch over to the Advanced Settings tab. You can do this while your video is still uploading. (There is one more step on the Basic Info tab, but we can’t do that till the video has finished uploading, so I normally jump over to Advanced Settings at this stage).
I don’t know why, but I always start on the right. Bear with me. At the top of the right column, you will find a drop-down where you can choose the Category for your video. There aren’t many to choose from, but choose whatever you think fits your topic best.
In the Video Location, type where you are. You don’t have to give your exact address – I put “Melbourne, Australia” for example. Then click the Search button. It will work out the geo-coordinates of that place.
For recording date, I usually click the Today button. If that is wildly wrong, put the proper date. Clickon on that box brings up a calendar so you can choose a date.
The only other thing I normally change here is under the Caption Certification (left column) I go for “This content has never been aired on television in the U.S.” (of course, if yours has, choose something else). Check the other boxes in the Advanced Settings page to see whether there are any others you want to change, but I normally go for the defaults on everything else.
Basic Info tab again
Now back to the Basic Info tab. Once your video has finished uploading, you might see a button labelled “Custom Thumbnail”. If you do, you can upload an image that will appear as the thumbnail for the video instead of whatever YouTube selected from the video itself. If you are going to do this (and it is advisable if you have this function), use a jpg file that has your keyword phrase in the name (like HowToPruneAppleTrees.jpg) and also in the properties, like you did for the mp4 file.
It is also good practice to make sure your thumbnail image is quite different to the others on the Google search page (if there are any there) and is eye-catching. Exactly what you need will depend on what audience you are trying to attract, but make sure it isn’t something that (while eye-catching) might be offensive to some people. You know what I mean.
One the video has finished uploading and processing, click Publish to make it go live.
After uploading your video to YouTube
At this point, you might find the video goes straight to page 1. But don’t be fooled.
How to REALLY check your video ranking
If you are logged into YouTube (and you are if you just uploaded your video), you are also logged into Google. And Google likes to show you results it knows you will like. So there is a really good probability that when you do a search, you will find your web site, your Google Plus posts, your video, etc, on page 1. But not everyone is you – they will see different results.
What you can do is use the Google Chrome browser. In the top right corner you will see a little button that says “You”. Click on that. Then select Go Incognito. Now, when you do a search on Google, you are not logged in, and Google is ignoring your previous browser history. So it gives you a much better idea of where your video actually ranks.
On page one already?
Great! If you are already where you want to be, buy yourself a drink. In a lot of cases, that is all that is required. But.
Quite often, when a video goes to page 1 soon after uploading it, it will be there for a couple of days, then it will disappear. It is like Google is having a good look at it, and deciding whether it deserves that position. You might have done only the steps above, or you might have continued with some of the steps I am about to describe. But basically, as soon as your see your video on page 1, using an Incognito browser, stop. Don’t take any further steps – yet.
What might happen – in fact what nearly always happens – is that the video will disappear off Google, and will come back a while later. I had one disappear for an agonizing three weeks. If you are doing this video ranking because you are trying to achieve something according to a timetable, you will need to take this into consideration. It is not uncommon for people to upload a video to promote an event that is happening in a few days, and the video disappears off Google just at the wrong time. So you need to plan ahead.
Next steps in video ranking
When your video is uploaded, the first thing you really must do is watch it. Make sure you watch it all the way through, and that it has no unexpected problems. If there are problems, delete it from YouTube, fix the problems and start again. But let’s assume it was fine.
Next, get a few friends to watch it too. Now I do NOT mean you should pay someone in a third world country a paltry sum to get 500 views using some automated tool. That is pretty much suicide, as Google will know it is not for real and you are trying to cheat the system. You could get your whole YouTube channel shut down for that. I mean get maybe half a dozen people to watch it (all the way through). Ask them to click the Thumbs Up button to show they like it, to subscribe if they haven’t already done so, to leave a comment if they want to, to share on social media. You can do the same for their videos. Just a few people. Nothing too drastic.
Another way to get people (real people) watching the video is to tell your mailing list about it, if you have one. Ask them, in the email you send out, to click the thumbs up, share, leave a comment, etc.
Also, embed the video on your blog, on the page with your related blog post. This shows Google that someone (you) thinks this video is so worth watching that they have put it onto their web site. There are places you can pay to embed your video on their sites, and maaaaaaaybe you could try that later if you still aren’t ranking, but it needs to look very natural. Like maybe only half a dozen embeds, tops.
If you use Facebook, post it on Facebook (use the link to the YouTube video, I don’t mean to upload it as a Facebook video). If it is good content, people will share it. Google loves that.
These are all things you can do, and should continue to do, even if your video disappears off Google. If the activity all stops as soon as your video is not on Google, it will look very strange.
Going a little more advanced with video ranking
So far, pretty much all of these steps are things that most video marketers will do. The next steps are what will get your video ranking on page 1 and STAY there, out-ranking other videos. Again, I am not going to be giving tons of detail in these steps, as I figure they are either things you know how to do or you don’t, and it is more of a checklist.
I do NOT recommend doing all of these steps at once. I usually do one a day, until the video is where I want it (page 1) then I back off and let it “bounce” off Google and come back again. Later I can do, or re-do some of these steps if it slips.
Once your video has been Published, you will need to go to your Creator Studio in YouTube to find some of these tabs, when you edit a video.
- In the Annotations tab, add a Note annotation near the start of the video that has your keyword in.
- Add another annotation near the end of your video that is a call-to-action. This can include a link to subscribe to your channel, or (if you have external links enabled) a link to your web site. Use the keyword again.
- In the Cards tab, create a card. I like to use the Associated Website card, but you might choose another one. Again, use your keywords.
- In the Subtitle and CC tab, first select the language your video is in, then upload the transcript of your video. YouTube will work out the timings, and you will have a written version of your video (including your keyword phrase, which you included in the script, remember?). Note that YouTube will sometimes create a transcript for you if your video has been there for a while and you haven’t uploaded one. I don’t know whether other people have the same problem, but YouTube has no idea at all about my voice, and makes some amazing errors in transcription. So I upload my own before they have had a chance to mangle it.
- Create an RSS feed of your video and your channel, and ping them (this makes Google aware of them). Only do the channel ONCE. If you don’t know how to do this, I recommend you do a Google search, because it changes often. Or, this is something I offer at a low cost through fiverr at https://www.fiverr.com/geckogully/do-video-ranking-magic-with-rss
- Create variations on the YouTube video URL and ping these too. Again, I can do this for you on fiverr.
- Go to OTHER channels on YouTube, while you are logged into your channel, and make comments (nice ones) on other peoples’ channels and videos. These all count as backlinks to your channel. Don’t be spammy and add links, or even mention what you are doing. Choose channels and videos that rank high – they don’t have to be anything related to your topic.
- Write a press release to tell the world about how to prune apple trees (make it newsy) and include a link to your video. Submit that to press release sites.
That’s it! Yes, it is a lot of work. But the results can be amazing.
Want to learn how to do this for other people?
Want us to do the video ranking for you?
Sure! If you would like all this done for you, get in touch. We charge between $200 and $300 (we’ll quote you a price) to get your video ranking on page 1 of Google initially (we reserve the right to refuse if we think your keyword is too tough, or the content is not what we are comfortable with). You pay half up front, and if we don’t achieve page 1 within a month, you get it all back. If we do, you pay the remainder.
Once it is there, we can do nothing if you want to look after it yourself, but it might slip from its position. Or you can pay us $50 a month to keep it above the agreed position (normally top half of page 1). We set up a monitor so we can keep an eye on it for you, and take action as soon as anything happens to make it move. If it does slip below the agreed position for more than 24 hours, you pay us nothing that month, and pay us nothing until we get it back up.
So, what are you waiting for? You did all that work to make a video, or get it made, and it is doing nothing where it is. Get it ranked!