How to Get Your Video to Number One on YouTube Search

So you’ve worked hard scripting, filming, editing and now you have an awesome video that you’re super proud of and ready to upload to YouTube. The question now is, ‘How do I get people to watch my video?’
YouTube is the #1 video sharing platform in the world. With over 1,300,000,000 users, there is a huge potential marketplace of hungry viewers ready to watch your video.
But with 300+ hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s no longer as simple as uploading your video and getting thousands of views.
However, there are strategies that you can put in place to help rank your YouTube video higher in YouTube search than your competitors.
One of these is utilising long tail keywords over short tail keywords. This method has allowed me to rank a lot of my YouTube videos in the number one spot for multiple long tail keywords.
And the best part? It takes only a few minutes to do!
Here’s a video from my comedy channel in the number one spot on YouTube for the search phrase ‘why movies are better than books‘.

Types of Keywords

Short tail keywords

A short tail keyword is a search phrase with only ONE word.
As an example, if you made a YouTube video about how to bake a cake, the word ‘cake’ would be a short tail keyword.

Long tail keywords

A long tail keyword, on the other hand, is a keyword with more than one word (usually 3 or more). These keywords are more specific and receive less search traffic.
So going back to the example before, ‘how to bake a cake’ would be a long tail keyword.
 Long tail keywords graph

So if long tail keywords get less search traffic, then why should I use them?

They’re more specific and weed out the competition!
If we go back to the baking a cake example, the keyword ‘cake’ is relevant to not only cake baking tutorials but any other type of video with cake in the title such as the 2014 film ‘cake’ and the 2015 song by DNCE ‘cake by the ocean’.
Chances are, all of these different types of videos are using the short tail keyword ‘cake’, meaning that you are not just competing with other cake baking tutorial videos, but also Hollywood and Joe Jonas’ new band!
So unless you have a million YouTube subscribers or are a famous celebrity, your video is going to be pushed down into oblivion by these larger creators, and your video won’t get nearly as much traffic as it deserves!
But not all hope is lost! Long tail keywords are here to save the day!
Luckily for you, the long tail keyword ‘how to bake a cake’ probably isn’t being used by DNCE because it has nothing to do with their song. Since long tail keywords are more specific, there may be less search traffic for them, but also less competition. So now you’re only competing with other similar videos to yours.

How I used long tail keywords to rank my video number one on YouTube

As another example, on my comedy YouTube channel, I uploaded a video called ‘Aldi VS Brands Blindfolded Taste Test’. In the first few months, it didn’t get many views at all. This was because I was only using short tail tags such as ‘Aldi’, ‘brands’ and ‘blindfold’.
When I learnt about using long tail keywords, I updated my tags section and these are the results I saw:
The green number indicates what spot my video ranks in YouTube search when someone enters that keyword. As you can see, adding long tail keywords such as ‘aldi vs brands’ and ‘aldi vs brands taste test’ has made my video go from not ranking at all, to ranking number one for 12 different keywords as well as ranking some more competitive keywords such as ‘aldi brands food review’ in the top 10.
Quick Tip: the green numbers aren’t a YouTube feature. They are included in a free browser plugin I used called ‘Tube Buddy‘. It’s such a handy tool for business that want to utilise YouTube in their marketing strategy.
This simple trick took my video from less than 100 views to over 13,900 views. And the best thing about it is, this video is still bringing in over 1,700 additional views per month. 
This long tail keyword method took my video from going nowhere to reaching thousands of more people, and it took only a few minutes to implement.
As you can see, the short tail keyword ‘aldi’ is still in my tags and it still isn’t ranking at all.
This is because ALDI is a huge multinational corporation. There is no way that my little taste test video can compete with their commercials and other marketing videos.
Notice when you search for the short tail keyword ‘aldi’ there are about 990,000 results.

That’s almost a million other videos that I’d need to compete with for that front page ranking!

However, when I utilised long tail keywords that ALDI wasn’t using since they aren’t relevant to their videos, I’ve narrowed down the competition and am ranking at the top of YouTube search for a range of long tail keywords.
Notice that when you search for the long tail keyword ‘aldi vs brands’ there are only about 3,170 results, and my video is at the top!!
But even if you are using long tail keywords, if you’re a new YouTuber just starting out, it may still be difficult to rank your video using phrases like ‘how to bake a cake’.
This is because this search phrase would still have a lot of competition and YouTube tends to favour creators who have been uploading for a long time and already have a large, active subscriber base.

So what can I do to make my long tail keywords more effective?

Take it one step further and be even more specific!

Instead of ‘how to bake a cake’, try ‘how to bake a chocolate cake for beginners’. By doing this, you are attempting to weed out the competition whose videos are similar but not identical to yours.
Now I’m not saying you should ignore short tail keywords entirely, and I’d certainly recommend not going too specific with your keywords. When creating your keywords, make sure they are something that people would type into the YouTube search bar.
Because although it’s specific, is anyone really going to search for ‘how to bake a chocolate cake with sprinkles for beginners who have never baked a cake before tutorial video 2017’. I don’t think so.
When you’re creating your YouTube keywords, you need to find a healthy balance between too short and too long.
But now that you know what long tail keywords are and how to use them, you should soon see your video on the front page of YouTube search in no time!
So go update the tags section for all of your YouTube videos with some long tail keywords, and get that video you worked so hard on to the top of YouTube search where it deserves to be!