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If you want to really leverage the power of YouTube you need to get your videos to reach as many people as possible.  Assuming your videos are full of great and engaging content, let’s look at the other things you can do to get your videos to rank on the first page of YouTube searches.

1: Know what people are looking for

If I utter the phrase ‘Search engine optimisation’ you’re probably already groaning.  I’m exactly the same.  Keyword generation tools are a bit like disappearing into a black hole; you start with one word and end up with thousands.  However, if you don’t know what people are searching for, your videos will only get found by accident.

Tools like and, along with the Keywords Everywhere plug in for Chrome will help you to get focused.

I particularly like as it gives you all the questions around your core subject that people ask.  You can do one search a day with the free version, but it does give you lots of information and you can download the csv file to pore over at your leisure.

Also remember people don’t search on a word, but usually type a sentence – a key phrase, that’s what you’ll focus on.

Keywords Everywhere is a handy little tool that, once installed, pops up information on any search you do.  There is a limited number of free search data when you first download it, but for $10 you get thousands of sets of results.  This helps you find popular searches that have zero cost to reduce your competition.

2: Set up a dedicated channel

You can have more than one channel so make sure that all the videos in each channel are all around the same subject.  Don’t mix your IT advice up with your diving videos – they’re two completely different subjects and mixing them just dilutes your efforts to get known as an expert.

Choose a channel name that reflects the subject of your videos and make it look professional with a good banner, your headshot or logo and a clear description to help visitors know what they’ll be getting.

3: Optimise your video file before you upload

The first step is to ensure the title of the file is your key phrase.  So, if your key phrase is ‘How to fly a kite’, the file title would be How to fly a kite.mp4.

Before you upload your MP4 video to YouTube, make sure you’ve attached your key phrase (that you’ve researched) to the file properties, wherever you can. 

You can’t do this after you’ve uploaded the file, so make sure it’s done first.

If you’re creating a thumbnail do the same with this file, so that when you upload the image it’s reinforcing your key phrase.


4: Stay focused on your key phrase

When you upload your video, you’ll need to complete all the ‘forms’ to upload it.  Wherever it asks for the video title, tags, description – just put your key phrase.  Nothing more. 

It may be tempting to add more description, but all that will do is muddy the water.  Providing your video title is clear and self-explanatory, you don’t need to add anything else.

If you’ve done all the steps thoroughly, you can publish your video to the public.  When you’ve published it, go and watch it from end to end, like it, add a comment to promote it, including your video title (key phrase) in the comment.

Like the comment when you’ve published it too.

5: Start a mutual appreciation society

Now you should be able to log out of YouTube, search for your video title (which is your key phrase) and it should appear on the first page of searches – regardless of how many views it’s had.

However, it’s worth getting together with other video publishers and forming a mutual appreciation society.  The one I’m involved with operates on WhatsApp – everyone adds the link to their latest video and all the members of the group go and watch the video, subscribe to the channel, like the video, comment on it.

It doesn’t have to be on WhatsApp, you could do it by email or text, but we find having the chat all in one place with all the links makes it easy to catch up if you’ve had a few busy days.

Good luck getting your videos top of the charts!