How To Rank For Competitive Keywords On YouTube

Is it possible for a small YouTube channel to rank for competitive keywords? In the video below (and this article), I’m going to show you a step-by-step strategy on how to rank for competitive keywords on YouTube.

When you’re growing a small channel on YouTube, it’s hard to compete with the larger channels because have more authority, they have tons of more videos and have tons of more subscribers. How can you compete with their rankings? Here are the seven steps to rank for competitive keywords on YouTube.

1. Identify the competitive keyword phrase that you wish to rank for.
For example, if I choose a very competitive keyword phrase like “how do YouTubers make money” and enter it into the YouTube search box.

I can see there is a lot of competition. As you can see, the top YouTube channels ranking for that phrase have over 200,000 subscribers. You can see it’s a very competitive keyword phrase to rank for.

2. Identify long-tail keyword phrases.
If I remove the Y from the keyword phrase, how do YouTubers make money, I get a bunch of other suggestions. For example, an alternative keyword phrase is, how do YouTubers make money without ads? This is called a long-tail keyword phrase because it consists of multiple words. I’ve also got “how do YouTubers make money from videos”, “how do YouTubers make money from YouTube Red”, et cetera.

The key is to finding long-tail keyword phrases that contain your competitive keyword phrase you wish to rank for. I can also see that the search volume for “how do YouTubers make money without ads” is 70 per month. According to TubeBuddy, it has a keyword score of 72 over 100.

Another way to identify alternative keyword phrases is to look at the YouTube tags of your competitors. You can easily do this when you have the TubeBuddy extension installed.

Here’s a link to the free Chrome extension…TubeBuddy

For example, for this channel called Bright Side, I can easily view all the video tags it’s using, using the TubeBuddy extension.

3. Check out the competition.
If I enter the keyword phrase, “how to YouTubers make money without ads“, I don’t see any videos that contain that exact same title. This would be a good keyword phrase to go after because it contains the competitive keyword phrase, “how do YouTubers make money”

4. Create an engaging video.
The key to creating an engaging video is to solve the pain point of your viewers, in this case, I’m offering a solution to small YouTube channels on how to rank for competitive keywords. You can then outline the steps that solve the problem.

The longer you keep viewers engaged on a single video or successive videos in a row, the higher probability, your video will be suggested on other people’s channels. As they’re watching the video on the channel, they’ll see the suggested videos on the right side of the watch page. These are called suggested videos or recommended videos, that may also appear on their home screen or on the subscription feed.

5. Optimize the video.
Make sure you add the long-tail keyword phrase that you identified in your keyword research is placed in the title, description, and tags of your video. When your thumbnail, title, description, and tags, all relate to the content in your video, it makes it easier for YouTube to rank your videos.

6. Add your video to an official playlist.
When you add a video to an official playlist rather than a regular playlist, YouTube will use the information to modify how the videos are discovered and presented. This means that YouTube will surface those videos in your playlist based upon the browsing behavior of your viewers.

Keep in mind that a video can only be added to ONE official playlist (also called a series playlist).

The beauty of an official playlist is that all the videos in that playlist are related to each other. When somebody watches one video, they’ll see the related videos in the playlist on the right-hand side. This will motivate them to watch another video in the series. When someone watches successive videos in a row from your playlist, YouTube will surface more of your videos to the viewers. This will result in more rankings to your videos and more traffic.

7. Repeat steps one to six for related keyword phrases.
Repeat the steps that I outlined above (or in the video) for alternative long-tail keyword phrases.

What kind of results can you expect by following these 7 steps?

  • You’ll begin ranking for less competitive keyword phrases.
  • YouTube may modify how your videos are presented or discovered based upon your viewers browsing behavior.
  • Your videos will begin ranking on YouTube amongst the competitive keyword phrases of larger channels.
  • Your playlists can also rank on YouTube because it has a different URL than a regular video.

Here’s the BIG takeaway….

If there’s a topic you wish to rank for that has a ton of competition, create a series of videos tagging long-tail keyword phrases for your titles, then add them to an official playlist so YouTube will modify the way that your videos are presented based upon a viewer’s behavior.

Let me ask you a question…

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