How to Rank your YouTube gaming Videos higher with SEO

We have all heard that SEO is extremely important for website ranking and google searches.

But that’s for bloggers and eCommerce people, right?


SEO is important for YouTube content creators too!

If you are a YouTube content creator, you need to make sure your videos are being recommended to people who might be interested in your content.

Keywords and keyword placement are the backbones of YouTube SEO and SEO in general.

You need to use the correct keywords to make sure that the right audience is channeled (pun intended) to your videos.

In this article, I will teach you how you can rank your YouTube gaming videos higher using SEO so it can reach millions and millions of enthusiastic gamers online looking for the content that you are making!

But before we move on to how to rank your YouTube gaming videos higher with SEO, let’s take a dive into what SEO really is and why is it important for a YouTube gaming channel?

Let’s jump right into it!

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a collection of tactics for improving a page’s or website’s ranking in search engines with the end goal of increasing incoming traffic volume and quality.

It includes programming, design, content creation, and relationships with other sites, such that search engines deem that page to be the best result for the user’s search.

Of course, when it comes to SEO, you want to be at the top of Google Search or YouTube Search.

After all, this internet behemoth controls more than 90% of global searches.

Bing, Yahoo!, and Baidu are the other search engines that account for the remainder of that market share.

Now that you know about SEO for search engines, let’s see what SEO for YouTube is.

What is SEO for YouTube?

There are thousands of search engines on the internet.

When you visit a website, for example, there is generally a search function that searches for internal material.

There is also an internal search engine on social networking sites.

This also occurs on YouTube, which has its own search function to help viewers locate the channels and videos they’re searching for.

When a user enters a search phrase on YouTube, the platform’s AI examines all channels and videos and matches the phrase’s intention to what the search engine thinks is the best set of videos to match that intention.

And, in order to decide which outcomes are optimal for each individual, the algorithm takes into account a number of parameters.

User search and browsing histories are crucial factors in tailoring the results page, much as they are on Google.

However, people who upload videos on YouTube should be aware that the algorithm uses channel engagement and optimization parameters to rank the results.

A video that properly fills out the title, tags, and description boxes, for example, is more likely to be placed higher than one that does not.

A YouTube channel that receives a lot of comments and likes shows youtube that this video gets a lot of engagement. So Youtube Ranks the video higher on the search results.

The main factor is relevancy. For a video to show up in the search results, Youtube needs to know that the video is relevant to the search phrase typed in. 

SEO is a set of techniques to make Youtube’s life easier and help it figure out what your video is about and that it’s relevant to the keyword typed in. 

So, with SEO, you can incorporate keywords and tags in your description so that YouTube knows which category your videos and channels fall under and rank accordingly.

Anything YouTube can read, even text in images and throughout your video, will be used to determine the video’s content, and therefore its relevance to the search phrase. 

Let’s take a look at how you can increase your viewers and your watch time with the following SEO tips for your YouTube gaming channel.

SEO tips for YouTube Gaming Channel:

The only thing as important as making the content on your channel is using YouTube SEO to make sure that content is ranking in search.

Good SEO is crucial if you want viewers to land on your videos and your channel.

Such viewers will contribute to increasing your overall watch time and help you get closer to monetization.

Here are crucial SEO tips to help rank your gaming videos and gaming channel higher:

1. Choose a video category

When posting your video, it is critical that you contextualize it with categories so the Youtube search algorithm knows what overarching topic the video comes under. For example, your video may come under the gaming category. This may seem obvious to you, but setting the correct category topic is a crucial first step in helping YouTube correctly display your video for the right keywords. 

YouTube offers a wide range of category possibilities, so you should be able to choose one that fits your YouTube videos.

When uploading your video, you have the option of selecting a category.

Make sure you select ‘Gaming’ in the video category of your channel settings.

2. Improve the description of your YouTube video

Ensuring you have an optimized video description is one of the most significant ranking elements for YouTube SEO.

YouTube will review the video whenever you modify or update any YouTube video aspect, including video descriptions, subtitles, closed captions, and video thumbnails.

This may be beneficial or detrimental… so make sure you get it right the first time!

YouTube suggests that you add your most significant keywords in the opening couple of phrases of your description — and that your description be no more than 200 words long.

In general, make your description helpful. It should describe exactly what the viewer’s problem is and the solutions you cover in the video. Basically, it should be a summary of the video’s content. 

If it isn’t useful to the viewer, rewrite it.

YouTube provides some wonderful materials on the YouTube Creator Studio, which is constantly updated with new information.

It includes a useful checklist that walks you through the stages of creating a good video description:

1.   Include a natural-language introduction of your film, rather than merely a list of keywords.

2.   Put your most crucial keywords at the start of your description.

3.   Choose 1–2 key phrases to characterize your video and use them prominently in both the description and title.

To uncover popular keywords and synonyms, use keyword tools such as Google Trends and the Google Ads Keyword Planner. You can even use YouTube’s own search bar which will suggest different searches depending on what you type into the bar. 

Including these phrases may help you increase search traffic.

Irrelevant terms in your description should be avoided since they produce a bad viewing experience and can violate Google’s regulations.

3. Make use of video hashtags to boost YouTube search results

Hashtags (#) are now widely used on social media to assist consumers when locating the information that answers their inquiries across a variety of platforms.

In video descriptions, you may include relevant hashtags (#) to assist people to locate your video when they search for a certain hashtag.

Tags, in particular, assist to boost search by making relevant trends more evident.

When you include a hashtag in the video description, it will appear above the title and get hyperlinked.

It’s also vital to keep in mind where you insert video hashtags in this section.

If you include a hashtag in the video title, hashtags from the description will not be shown next to the video title.

4. Single out the best keywords

You can use YouTube’s Search Bar to find good keywords.

Conducting keyword research is probably the single biggest factor in whether or not you will be successful on YouTube.

The reason for this is simple, keywords essentially represent groups of people that are actively looking to solve a particular problem. They are like little micro audiences all waiting for a solution to be served to them. For example, a keyword could be “How to replace the SSD in the PS5”. That keyword could be typed in by 5,000 different people each month. Each of them looking to have that particular question answered. 

Now, if you make a video targeting that particular keyword, there’s a good chance you’ll rank and pull in some search traffic. SO, you should always make videos that target specific keywords.

The problem is, most people who join Youtube don’t realize this. They make videos that they think are cool such, as “Watch me pull off a sniper shot from 800m in Call of Duty”. The problem is, nobody is really searching for this. And so your video has targeted a non-existent audience, and it’ll sink without a trace. 

Keyword research isn’t easy. But fortunately, there are tools that can help you out. 

You may utilize the same keyword research tools that you would for regular search engines.

Which include:

However, considering keyword research is so important to youtube success, I’ve been putting together a new course that runs you through my exact keyword research method that has helped CareerGamers grow from 0 to 150,000 active users per month. The course isn’t live yet, but as soon as it is, I’ll post it here and let you know. 

5. Make your thumbnail image unique

Thumbnails can make or break your YouTube videos.

When consumers look at YouTube search results, thumbnails are the first thing that catches their eye.

A great thumbnail may result in more view time, which can have a significant impact on YouTube ranking.

Make something that catches people’s attention and stands out from the crowd in order for your video to get recognized.

The easiest method to see results is to create a bespoke thumbnail—showing people what your video is about and how it will benefit them is the actual key to success.

Navigate to my guide on creating a custom thumbnail for your gaming YouTube channel, or…

6. Use keywords in the title of your video

Understanding your audience’s search intent is the first step after doing keyword research.

The most prevalent categories of search purposes are informative, commercial, navigational, and transactional.

As a consequence, connecting what your video is about with the purpose of your consumer will be critical for having your video visible in search results.

Second, make certain that you understand WHY you want to produce a YouTube video and who your target audience is.

For example, if you want to highlight easter eggs in Elden Ring, include the game name in the video title and description.

It may seem to be an easy step, but many YouTube channels skip it, resulting in their videos ranking poorly in Google and YouTube search results.

7. Incorporate the keyword in the video file name

Simple enough, however, YouTube may utilize this as one of the ranking elements when displaying your video in search results.

If the keyword is in the file name you’re uploading, your video has a significantly greater chance of getting ranked—and receiving more search traffic.

You may view the filename when you upload a new video.

YouTube needs this to guarantee that the video is relevant, so make sure your file name is up to date before uploading!

8. Add Subtitles and closed captions in your videos

While video subtitles are intended to convey video conversation to viewers who do not understand the video language, closed captions are intended to transmit the message to viewers who cannot hear the audio.

Subtitles and closed-caption files, like transcripts, include the text of what is stated in the video.

The file will also include timing codes for when each piece of text should be presented in the film, so that it may correspond with voice or another visual element.

Videos with CC are more likely to be ranked higher than those without because of added accessibility to viewers.

9. Content really is king

If your not taking the time to make high-qualty content that serves your audiences needs, you don’t have a Youtube channel. It’s that simple.

I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but the quality of content you make really is massively important to your chances of ranking high on YouTube. 

But what do I mean by quality? Well, most people make the mistake of thinking that quality means having Hollywood-level production values. That your sound and vision have to match or exceed the latest Bond film in order to have any chance of success.  

Yet that view of quality couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Instead, in my eyes, the quality of the video is the ultimate measure of how well your videos actually serve the real person watching your video at the other end of the internet.

Here are a few signs of quality content: 

  • The Video delivers on the promise of the Video’s title and thumbnail 
  • The video delivers on the intention of the keyword phrase used by the watcher 
  • The video is watched nearly all the way through. 
  • The watcher interacts with your video, either by clicking on a link, subscribing, clicking the bell icon, commenting, or a combination of all these. 
  • The video gets the watcher to take some positive action that is measurable by YouTube.

Think about it, the goal of all forms of content is to, in the end, get the person experiencing the content to take some form of positive action in order to add value to the content maker. 

Imagine somebody walking up to a clothes store. Outside, the windows are stuffed full of mannequins wearing the latest and greatest from Armani and Tommy Hilfiger. When inside they are struck by the beauty and elegance of the clothes (the content). Plus, there’s 50% off everything! They walk around the store for 45 minutes then they take the positive action of buying clothes and recommending the shop to their friends.  

Now imagine another clothing store. Outside, the windows are stuffed full of mannequins wearing the latest and greatest from Armani and Tommy Hilfiger. The shopper walks in expecting to be stunned by the latest fashion, yet all they find is dust-caked clothes messily heaped on the floor. The quality of the experience is so low compared to what the shop’s windows promised, they turn around and leave almost immediately to go to a different store. 

It’s exactly the same with your content. You want it to deliver exactly what the watcher wants in a way that is so good, the watcher can’t help but take positive action. 

Google keeps track of these positive actions. They track how long a video is watched, whether people have subscribed through this video, liked it, commented on it, or whether people have clicked on links in the video.  

Google uses all these interactions as signs that this video is high quality as it drives action amongst its viewers. 

The SEO tips above will get you on the Youtube Search results page for your given keyword. But it’s the quality of the content that makes your video rise to the top of the search results.

Now that you know how to rank your videos higher using SEO on your YouTube gaming channel, it is also important to be aware of ‘Bad SEO’.

Read on to know what ‘Bad SEO’ is. 

What exactly is Bad SEO?

Bad SEO, or “Blackhat” SEO should be avoided at all costs. Google is getting better every day at detecting bad SEO, so focus on creating great content and the good SEO techniques listed above.

Unethical, obsolete, or beyond the bounds of Google webmaster rules are deemed BAD, thus the phrase ‘bad SEO.’

While SEO is concerned with optimizing your website and YouTube channel for search engines, poor SEO may have the opposite effect.

So, what are these practices that might harm your rankings, read on to find out.

1. Plagiarism

YouTube doesn’t take kindly to plagiarism.

Stealing other people’s clips and ideas can have severe repercussions on your channel.

If you copied someone else’s content without giving them credit or taking their permission.

YouTube will not only take your video down but also lower your ranking.

Non-unique material is detrimental to SEO.

The fundamental reason for this is that if search engines already have the same information in their index, there is no need to index your web page since it offers nothing new.

If you must have some duplicate material in your videos for the benefit of your viewers or the nature of your gaming channel, you should take permission from the owner and give them their due credit so that they do not harm your SEO.

2. Stuffing Keywords

Repeating the same keywords again, not because they are important in the content, but because you are required to optimize your content, is a terrible SEO technique.

It not only discourages your visitors from engaging with or interacting with the video.

But it also signals to search engines that you are attempting to manipulate (fool) their algorithms.

It is sufficient to include your keywords in the title, description, tags, and a few more times organically throughout the content.

But over-expression of keywords in your video can be unappealing to viewers and YouTube’s AI will push you down in ranking so it’s a self-destructive method of SEO.

3. Click baiting

I know click-baiting is a common technique used by many YouTube channels to get clicks.

While click-baiting is not directly bad for SEO (unless you stuff keywords, as mentioned above).

But click-baiting won’t convert your viewers into subscribers.

The YouTube algorithm will notice that people click on your videos and don’t subscribe.

This will transmit the message that people don’t actually enjoy your content and they are introduced to it by YouTube.

In this way, you might get a boost initially in your videos but as you progress, YouTube will take action and derank you.

So, avoid click-baiting unless you have quality content for your viewers.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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