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November 21, 2017

How To Get Your YouTube Videos Ranking

So, you’ve made your video, you’re ready and raring to upload it and you’re on the upload page. You’re faced with making a title, a description and tags, and you’re excited to get your video published.


This is where our guide comes in. Social media may seem easy as a concept, but if you really want to be good at it, there are a lot of things to consider first. If you want successful YouTube videos that rank on YouTube, and on Google, there are a few steps you need to take in order to kick-start that process, and continuing it to ensure ranking success. Keep reading to find out how you can effectively optimise your YouTube videos so you can see your video content ranking.


Keywords are the bread and butter of your entire marketing process – or at least, they should be. As tempting as it can be to simply tag ‘chair’ if you’re selling chairs, a little keyword research can go a long way. What is keyword research, you ask? Well, let us explain.

Keyword research is the process of finding out which keywords you need to focus on to promote your services, products or business. First of all, you need to find out what competition each keyword will face, and which you’re more likely to rank for. As horrible as it is to admit to yourself, using the keyword ‘toys’ for example, probably isn’t going to get you to the top of page one on Google when competitors like Argos, Toys ‘r’ Us and even Amazon are out there dominating the toys market. However, if you’re a toy shop in a little village somewhere, using the keyword ‘toys in (insert village name here)’ will help you rank for your local area who will ultimately be your main client base.

Google has its own tool call Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which is available to anyone for a fee. Despite the need to pay, this tool is one of the best on the market, and if you’re serious about ranking your videos, it could be a worthwhile investment. However, there are plenty of free options out there if you just want to start simple.

You may know of using keywords in an SEO content capacity, but video is very quickly becoming the new type of content – so the concept of implementing thoroughly thought out keywords within your video’s description is the same. The more researched the keywords, the better your chances of ranking.


While you may not think a title does much more than give a name to an otherwise identity-less video, the name and the structure behind it can actually play quite a significant part in the ranking of your YouTube videos – in a similar manner to how titles can help with a site’s SEO success. YouTube’s algorithms can’t see what your video is about by watching it, and so this algorithm will look at the raw file to determine the content of the video. Optimising your video’s raw title is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and can be done fairly simply in just four steps:

  • Right click on the video in the file on your computer, then select “Get Info” on a Mac or “Properties” on PC. On PC, you’ll then need to click into the ‘details’ tab in the pop-up.
  • Add tags to the video relating to the keywords we discussed in the point above.
  • Now, from these tags, make your title! Use your primary keyword, and then a relevant secondary keyword to bulk it out. For example: How to get your YouTube Videos Ranking – Ranking Your Videos.
  • For extra ranking opportunity, enter some information into ‘comments’ relating to what the video is about.


The description of your video is an amazing tool for helping to not only rank your videos, but give them a purpose too. If you’re running a business, for example, and this video is in relation to your business or on your company’s YouTube account, then don’t hesitate to add a link to your website in the description! Aside from links to bring potential customers to your site, however, your description can be optimised further.

First of all, you should make sure the entire description is unique. Duplicate or plagiarised content will be caught out and held against you by Google, and as a penalty, your video may not be listed at all. Content should be completely unique, and of around 250 words or so. Keywords are important, but don’t use keywords more than once or twice to avoid it looking spammy. It HAS to be natural! To help, you can use longtail versions – for example, if a keyword is ‘blue chairs’, you could use the term ‘chairs that are blue’ or ‘blue chairs in London’ to help boost your rankings on YouTube.

Video Length

In the past few years, YouTube have changed their policy about how they rank videos. When they first started out, videos were often ranked through popularity – or, in other words, views. But in the past few years, this has changed. YouTube still counts views, but they count this as part of an ‘engagement metric’ which includes the number of seconds viewed on a video, the amount of comments and likes, and the social shares your video gets.

For this reason, engagement-driven content has been more important than ever, and this is reflecting in video length. Content-rich videos tend to run a little longer than previous trends in shorter, almost spammy videos, and it’s not hard to see why. Put it this way – the longer your video is and the more seconds you keep a user engaged, the higher your video will rank. Of course, the content of your video genuinely has to be engaging too, so make sure that every second of your video is well thought-out.

Optimise Your Channel Page

Your channel page is the prime opportunity to get YouTube’s attention, and alert their algorithm to your content. Every aspect of your page needs to be filled out, from your details, to links and an epic description. Channel art is a prime way to help users understand your page, and will keep Google happy. After all, Google’s main aim is to keep users happy and ensure that they have a good experience, so an image on your channel as a header, profile picture and background could bring your channel more attention. Just make sure you name it something useful! Similarly, adding links to your social media can help any search engine, not just Google, associate your YouTube to the links you’ve posted, and vice versa. For example, including a business link on your channel can drive customers in that direction, and having a link from YouTube to your business could improve your website’s rankings on Google too.

The description isn’t quite as important as those on your videos, but this gives you a great opportunity to tell your viewers, as well as YouTube’s algorithms, just what your channel is about. Try and include keywords as much as possible without looking keyword-stuffed, and make sure that the content is good. Finish off your page by subscribing to powerful YouTube channels that have similar content to yours. It’s not much, but this subscription will send little signals of association to YouTube.

mobile-phone-1917737_960_720Social Media

Since the rush in social media, Google – and therefore YouTube – are having to add a whole new criterion to their SEO standards: relevancy. No matter what, Google will always focus on the user rather than the site, or in this case, video, and it’s important that any business or video maker takes note of this before they even begin filming. Outside of YouTube, videos are found all over Facebook, Twitter and countless other social media sites, and businesses and channels need to take advantage of this. The question is – how?

Auto-sync your YouTube account to your social media accounts for your businesses, and make sure you post the link on your personal accounts too. Even try and post in groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ too. If you’re part of any, this is a great way to get your links out there, and potentially have them spread too – for free.

Link Building & Embedding

Now, if none of the above have worked for you yet, this is where we start to tackle competitive keyword searches. It’s much trickier, but it’s important if you want to rank on Google as well as on YouTube. Link building is the process of having your link posted on other websites. It sounds simple, but if it’s not done right, it can be far more damaging than good. If you get too many links in a short time, or the links you get are from bad websites with low Trust Flow, you could be considered a spam link, and your video will be removed. Try and focus on blogs, other social channels like Pinterest, or even magazines and newspapers if you’re lucky enough for your video to go viral or to hit a trend that people are wanting to talk about and share. This will naturally provide you with trusted and valuable links.

Ultimately, ranking your YouTube videos comes down to the content of the video, how competitive the market is, and how much work you are willing to put into each video and your channel as a whole. The level of effort you make is entirely your decision, but hopefully our guide gave you a quick insight into where to start! If you’d like any information on how we can help, or would like to know more about our social media services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.




Sophie Brannon

With a background in multimedia and music journalism, Sophie’s writing is as rich and varied as her iTunes library. While her passion for writing led her to seek the challenges of writing for a broad range of industries, Sophie continues to refine her skills with her camera in hand. Whether that’s pursuing her travel journalism or interviewing bands at festivals and awards, Sophie’s musings can be found across the web. When Sophie isn’t behind a keyboard, she can often be found jetting off around the world, or cuddling her collection of pet reptiles.

Email s.brannon@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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