In this article, I’m going to reveal some of the top youtube ranking factors and why Google wants to rank your videos…
I know it may seem strange, but Google actually wants to rank your videos and the reason is simple… as you know by now Youtube is nothing more than a search engine and it is actually the #2 search engine in the world – but its search engine for videos.
The way Youtube makes money is by showing your videos and keeping people on their platform…
So as long as you understand that, you just need to give them what they want.
Today, I want to go over my top 9 YouTube Ranking Factors that you need to be considering — if you are trying to rank on the top of the search results.
One important tip to keep in mind…. What you do to optimize your video in the first 48 to 72 hours is critical to the success of your video and how it ranks.
If you get it right, your video could shoot to the top when people search for your video topic. Get it wrong, and you’ll sink like a rock.
So lets dive into it…
#1 Find “Video” Keywords
Keywords for Youtube are actually different than they are for other search engines such as Google or Bing.   So one of the best places to do keyword research is on youtube itself… Use Youtube autocomplete
This is a great tool because Youtube actually tells you which keywords are the most popular… therefore, auto complete suggestions make great keywords to optimize your videos around.  Another tool is:
This is a paid tool, which i only use for FREE to get some ideas for keywords.  For example, if I type in “how to make chicken soup” it gives me a bunch of suggestions.
From there you can use your preferred keyword tool or Youtube autocomplete….
#2 Optimize Your Video Title
In the same way you optimize your headline for articles and blog you need to do the same for your video titles.
Titles play a large part in the ranking of your video, so make sure they are at least five words long and include the keyword that you want to rank for.
The video title should grab the users attention and relevant to their search. It shouldn’t be too long — You want to keep your title length to 60-70 characters otherwise, the title will get truncated.
In order to choose on your title, you need to make sure you do your keyword research as in step 1, it’s also a good idea to take a look at your competitors for those keywords.
These are the videos you’ll be competing against, so you want your title to be as good as theirs, if not better.
#3 Optimize Your Tags
Tags are considered an important ranking factor in YouTubes algorithm. because it allows you to enter relevant keywords that ultimately help your videos get more views.   The best practice for tagging is not to go overboard with a million tags — this will only confuse Youtube… Instead you want to use about 5 – 8 tags — and you want to use a mix of broad and focused tags.
Most importantly, the first tag you use should be the exact keyword you are using for your target keyword.  There are lots of tools that can help you with research for tagging..  Tubebuddy is an example as you can see (watch video).
#4 Encourage Engagement
People need to be told to like, comment and subscribe.  This is really important because if your video gets lots of comments, it tells Youtube that your videos are popular.
One tactic you can also use is to end the video asking a question and telling them to leave comments below.
#5 Make Eye-Catching thumbnails
Ok, so using a video thumbnail isn’t a direct ranking factor, but it still has a huge impact on your SEO.
The reason is that having a good thumbnail means you’ll have more clicks and more views, which means better SEO.
Make sure your thumbnail stands out and instantly tells viewers what your video is about.  Many people choose videos they will view based from looking at thumbnails so make sure you do not skip this step.
If you are not good with graphics, you can outsource this on for $5 or you can do it yourself easily with a site called
Let me show you really quick how easy it is to create.
#6 Name Your Filename Your Keyword
This is an easy step that is often missed, but it’s important to name your file to the exact keyword that you want to target for you video
#7 Add Closed Captions
Youtube supports closed captions and this can give you an added edge when it comes to YouTube rankings…
When you toggle this option, you’ll see the captions appear on your video.  These are meant for people who are deaf or hard of hearing,
but they have a great SEO benefit because they are crawlable by search engines.  This means you get a nice SEO boost by enabling closed captions.
Youtube does support automatic captioning, but it is not perfect.  I would suggest editing the captions or adding your own.
#8 Embed Your Video
Embedding your video just means putting your video anywhere outside of Youtube.  It’s a great idea to embed your video on a blog or website.  This is especially easy to do if you have a website as part of your brand already.
Embedding is great for optimizing your youtube videos for 3 reasons:
1:  It provides a valuable backlink to your video
2: It gets your video in front of more people
3:  It increases user engagement as a direct result of more exposure
#9 Share On Social Media
In order to maximize YouTube visibility and SEO, you’re going to want to share your video on every social channel that you can.
You want to post your videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – anywhere that you can will help you.  Not only will it get more exposure but it is definitely an important SEO factor.
So there you have it, my top 9 recommendations on  Youtube ranking factors and why Google wants to rank your videos.
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