How to Rank Business Videos on The Top of YouTube (Case Study)
Ranking on Google is becoming harder and harder as time goes by. In fact, the competition on the SERPs is so high right now that it takes 600 days on average for an article to reach the top 10 results.
That increase in competition can be seen as a risk, but also as an opportunity. An opportunity for ranking other forms of content, with video content being the forefront leader.
YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. Over 100 million people use it every single day to find answers to their questions in a much more visual form than basic search.
And unlike Google, with YouTube it’s entirely possible to rank new videos at the top of the search results in an extremely short time frame. In this article, I would share with you exactly how to do it.
How to rank videos on YouTube
In early 2020, I wrote an article about invoice software comparison on my blog. As usual with Google, the article did not rank at all over its first year. Most business owners would leave it at that, but I have decided to take my chances elsewhere and turn this article into a YouTube video.
I uploaded the video to the platform on January 04, 2021. 10 days later, it was ranked number 3 on YouTube for the term “best invoice software”.
To understand how it’s possible and how you can duplicate that kind of success, we need to dive deeper into the logic behind the YouTube algorithm.
How does the YouTube algorithm work?
When it comes to views on YouTube, there are 3 major internal sources:
• YouTube Search – Users who search a keyword on YouTube and find your video.
• Browse features – Views from users who directly click on your video on their homepage, watch later or subscriptions page.
• Suggested views – Views from users who find your video showing up as a suggestion on another related video.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on views from YouTube search.
Unlike Google, YouTube’s search algorithm is much easier to understand. Beyond standard on-page SEO practices, it relies heavily on the following two parameters:
- Click through rate (CTR) – The number of users who click on your video’s thumbnail compared to the number of impressions it gets.
- Retention rate – The average view duration of your video.
If you have uploaded videos to YouTube and looked at their stats during the first few days, you might have noticed that usually the number of impressions tends to go up by a significant margin right after the video is published.
This is happening because the YouTube algorithm is actively testing your video to determine its metrics. If the video would perform well in comparison to its competitors – YouTube would maintain the video’s ranking and you’d get more consistent views.
Coming back to my video, we can clearly see this trend happening. On its first day, the video generated merely 2 views. However, its metrics were good enough that YouTube decided to continuously push it, up to 36 views per day 3 weeks later. All of those views came from search.
To some of you, this number may still seem very low. But considering the fact that this is business video – 36 potential customers per day can be more than enough.
3 pro tips for ranking on YouTube
If you’d like to start a YouTube channel for your business or need help getting more traction for your videos, make sure to follow the next 3 tips to improve your production process:
1. Do (good) keyword research
The worst thing you can do when it comes to business videos, is to select topics based on hunches and personal biases. If you take your video production seriously (and you should!), then you must perform keyword research before deciding which topics to cover on your channel. YouTube doesn’t have a keyword research tool like its Google counterpart, but there are still ways for you to get estimated data.
My favorite method is utilizing the YouTube autosuggest feature. Simply head over to YouTube’s homepage, and start typing the beginning of a keyword in the search box. You would be greeted with an extended list of search terms. These search terms are based on real queries YouTube users have searched for before. All those terms can be used as potential video ideas, and they are backed by real YouTube data.
2. Produce a quality video that people would stay to watch
I personally know creators who used to produce crappy SEO videos for years and still managed to rank them. Fortunately, this strategy does not work anymore.
Nowadays, because retention time is such an important parameter in YouTube’s eyes, your videos have to be top notch and well produced if you’d like your viewers to stay engaged. That means you must put time and effort into quality video production, which is something most small business owners would struggle with.
That conundrum between high-end visuals and saving time is why I love whiteboard animation videos so much. Using software like the simpleshow video maker, you can produce stunning explainer videos quickly and without compromising on quality. Viewers find whiteboard videos to be much more engaging than usual videos, and thus they fit perfectly for business oriented channels.
3. Design custom thumbnails for your videos
The importance of a custom thumbnail for ranking on YouTube cannot be overstated. More than any other feature, your thumbnail is what determines the click through rate of your video.
If your CTR is low – your video won’t rank and won’t get any views. That’s as simple as that. To avoid that, I have a personal rule of never uploading a video without a custom thumbnail. Creating a custom thumbnail is not very hard. You can always use a tool such as Canva or an online thumbnail maker to craft one yourself.
My personal favorite solution for creating custom thumbnails is outsourcing the work to a designer. You can easily find affordable artists via platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.
About the author – Chris Moore is the founder of SMBillion.com, a blog about helping small businesses grow online while staying remote. He created his first YouTube channel in 2010, and since then managed over 20 successful channels in a variety of niches.