Sometimes, Youtube seems a bit chicken-and-egg. How do people find your Youtube videos if you have 0 subscribers? And then, how do you gain subscribers if no one knows about your channel or your videos?
It’s all about that search traffic, baby. It wasn’t until I started focusing on creating videos optimised for Youtube search that my channel Love and London started to gain subscribers, and it was also then that all of my videos were actually being found in search, being suggested by Youtube, and most importantly, watched.
That being said, it’s not enough to follow SEO best practices and apply them to your videos AFTER you’ve created them. You need to, from the beginning, be planning and creating content that you know will be picked up by Youtube’s search engine algorithm.
So, how do you find video ideas that will actually rank in Youtube’s search engine?
Think about what your ideal viewer or customer is looking for
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is to sit down and do a brainstorm of topics and problems that your ideal viewer or customer will be searching for on Youtube (don’t worry, if you keep reading, I’ve got a super-useful freebie that will help you do this.)
What I mean by this is to put yourself in their shoes, and think about what they are popping into that Youtube search box in order to solve their problems related to your niche.
So, here’s an example of how to do this. If you’re a personal trainer and your target client is people who are looking to get in shape that live in London, then think about what these people are going to be scouring the internet for in order to get healthier and fitter.
- Best healthy restaurants in London
- Best workout spots in London
- Where to ride a bike in London
- How to find a good trainer in London
- How to workout in your small London flat
- 5 healthy lunch spots in London
- Top health food stores in London
- How to cook healthy meals in your small London flat
- 5 Workouts to Do in London Parks
Notice how “London” appears in all of those titles? That’s because you want to make sure that you’re reaching “qualified traffic”— drop the London off of any of those titles and you could have people from all over the world finding your content, and while you’ll get a lot more views, if the goal of your channel is to generate leads for your personal training sessions in London ONLY, you won’t do so successfully if you don’t get niche.
See what others in your industry are doing
Take a peek at channels related to yours and see which of their videos are their most popular. Can you do something similar? Don’t be a copycat, but get some inspiration and if you can think of a better and more interesting way to communicate a similar message, then do it.
You can also use a tool called VidIQ (I use the free version at this point) to see what tags that their videos are performing well for— it might be something totally random, and in that case, you can create a more relevant video for that tag/keyword that will beat out their less-relevant video. Essentially, plan to fill a need for a video that isn’t filled at the moment.
The above shows you what VidIQ shows you when you have the Chrome extension installed. This is one of my own videos, but you see the same information for other videos as well. If this was a related channel’s video, and I saw that it had over 35,000 views, I can use VidIQ to see which tags (which are, essentially, keywords) the video is ranking well for and I could create something better or even more relevant than this competitor has already done.
Use YouTube search suggestions
Here’s an easy way to see what the most popular search terms are for your industry– type in a general keyword related to what you do, and see what suggestions YouTube pops up with. For example, when I type “London tips” into the search bar, suggestions like what’s shown below show up– and now I have some new ideas for London videos.
Because these are usually the most popular search terms, or the hottest are the moment, just be sure to take a look at the competition you’ll be up against if you create a video optimised for one of those suggestions. It may be that you should niche down so that you have a better chance of your video ranking higher in search results. An example — instead of just “London tips”, try something like “London travel trips with kids”.
Take everything you’ve learned from this blog post and generate 50+ Youtube video ideas that will rank in search with my FREE worksheet!
Use your YouTube analytics data
If you’ve already made a few videos that are being discovered through YouTube search, this is great insight that you should tap into. Take a look at each of those videos’ analytics to see what search terms are driving the most watch time — you may be surprised. For example, I published a vlog-style video of my trip to Florence last year, and because it was more of a way for me to practice my filming and editing skills as opposed to being a video that I wanted to rank well in search results, I didn’t go crazy with optimising it for search.
However, I noticed that even a couple of months after I published the video, it was gaining traction and views, so I looked into where this was coming from. I was surprised to see that the top traffic source was Youtube search.
I then looked at the search terms that the video was being discovered for, and the majority of watch time was coming from the term “Florence Italy”. I mean, how much simpler can that get? I hadn’t done much to optimise this video for that term (or any term), however it was getting lots of traffic from people searching for Florence, Italy.
So, what does this mean? It means that people are looking for videos about Florence but they might not be finding exactly what they’re looking for, which is probably travel tips. Looking at the some of the other keywords the video has been ranking for, it looks like there’s definitely an opportunity for creating some travel tip videos for Florence— a general one, in order to rank for “Florence, Italy”, would be perfect, especially considering that many of the videos on the first page of search results for that term are over two years old, and Youtube loves fresh, new content.
So— do the same kind of analysis for your own videos and you’ll find new keywords and topics to create content around. You might find that one of your videos is ranking for some random search term that isn’t very relevant, so you can create a more relevant video around that keyword and optimise for it.
Brainstorm ideas around hot topics
What’s going on in the world that people are talking about? Think about how you can naturally create content around it, and that content will have a better chance of ranking when people are searching for the topic. What are people in your industry discussing? What are your customers or viewers thinking about because of the current season, holiday, time of year or events happening? This should be in your content strategy already, but if you’re not tapping into the higher search volumes for hot topics and trends, you’re missing the boat.