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Dominate Youtube Rankings with Top 6 YouTube SEO Optimization tips to Feature as Suggested Videos

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You put in the hard work creating an amazing new YouTube video.The editing is smooth, information is helpful, and production value is high.You publish it, excited to see those juicy view counts roll in.But after a few days, the numbers are surprisingly low. What’s going on?The issue is that your video lacks proper YouTube SEO optimization. Without it, YouTube’s algorithm has no clue that your video should be suggested in the sidebars and recommended sections. Optimizing your videos for suggested placements allows you to tap into a massive source of passive viewership.

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to utilize YouTube SEO to boost suggested video performance.

Let’s dive in!

Why Suggested Videos Matter with Youtube Seo

Here are some key stats on why suggested videos represent huge untapped potential:

  • Over 70% of views stem from YouTube recommendations
  • Suggested videos drive over 30% of total watch time
  • Videos recommended by algorithm convert 30% better
  • Appearing in sidebars can drive 100K+ hourly impressions

Clearly, dominating the suggested video real estate leads to massive view counts.

But you have to strategically optimize your content to appear more prominently in those coveted placements.

Let’s explore how to make it happen.

Step 1: Understand the Suggested Video Algorithm

The first step is understanding the key factors YouTube considers when recommending videos in the sidebar:

  • Watch time – Videos that keep viewers engaged longest get a boost. Long average view duration signals relevance.
  • Click-through Rate – Videos frequently clicked as suggestions rank higher. Appealing thumbnails and titles that convert clicks matter.
  • Session history – Videos related to a user’s recent viewing history suggest more often. Optimizing videos by topic/keyword helps.
  • User targeting – YouTube personalizes suggestions based on a user’s interests and behavior over time.

Knowing these core algorithm dynamics allows you to better optimize. Now let’s see how.

Step 2: Optimize Your Video Content

Start by optimizing the content itself for higher suggested video potential:

  • Trending topics – Create videos about currently hot topics people are engaging with. Timeliness counts.
  • Length – Aim for videos over 8-10 minutes long if possible. Longer duration drives more watch time.
  • Pacing – Use brisk pacing without slow sections so viewers don’t lose interest. Frequent cuts and b-roll help.
  • Interactions – Polls, comments questions that make viewers engage raise your watch time metrics.

Take the time to craft content tailored for suggested videos. It pays dividends in the long run.

Step 3: Perform Strong Metadata SEO 

Dialing in your titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnails is also crucial for suggested video SEO:

  • Target popular keywords – Include relevant high-search-volume keywords in titles and descriptions so you rank well as a suggested video for those terms.
  • Well-written description – Craft an engaging, benefit-focused description to entice viewers to click from search and suggested.
  • Custom thumbnail – Create thumbnails that make viewers excited to click and watch your video. Bold text and compelling visuals.
  • Relevant tagging – Use tags that cover head keyword terms as well as longer phrases with added context.

Optimized metadata checks the boxes so YouTube understands your video topics.

Step 4: Amplify Your Videos

Actively promoting your videos also boosts suggestion potential:

  • Share on social media – Posting on relevant social platforms expands reach and builds engagement metrics.
  • Pitch to influencers – Getting co-signs from influencers in your niche provides authority signals.
  • Run YouTube ads – Buying TrueView ads builds subscribers, comments and watch time numbers.
  • Optimize on-page – Embedding videos on high-authority domains leads to referral traffic.

Promoting videos wider makes the algorithm take your content more seriously.

Step 5: Analyze Your Suggested Video Performance

You need to closely monitor key metrics showing how well your videos suggest:

  • Suggested video impressions – Track total daily impressions your videos get in the sidebar.
  • Suggested video CTR – Calculate click-through rate for your suggested videos. Higher is better.
  • Traffic sources – See how much traffic is direct vs. suggested vs. YouTube search etc.
  • Top suggested/recommended video playlists – Which playlists feature your videos prominently?

Crunching this data allows you to analyze the impact of optimization changes over time.

Step 6: Continuously Test and Iterate

Like any YouTube strategy, you have to stay agile and keep testing new suggested video optimization ideas:

  • Try different types of thumbnail styles and text
  • Experiment with keyword variations in titles and descriptions
  • Check how adding end screens impacts watch time
  • See if promotion via ads influences suggestion rate

Analyze the metrics to identify what works, then double down on those winning approaches.

Start Appearing “Suggested” More Consistently

As you can see, dominating the coveted YouTube suggested video placements isn’t easy.

But taking the time to methodically optimize your content and analyze performance data pays massive dividends.

Not only in terms of increased passive viewership.

But also proving to the YouTube algorithm your videos resonate with audiences.

Make suggested video SEO a priority in your overall strategy. The long term gains are invaluable.

Now it’s your turn. What unique optimization tactics have you found effective for suggested videos? Let me know in the comments.

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