How to Rank Videos on YouTube

Read this article to know how you can rank your videos in the top in YouTube search results. Know the most important points you should focus on to get the maximum visitors for your YouTube videos.

YouTube remains one of the largest online platforms with the highest number of videos, followers, channels, and subscribers. If you are on YouTube, anyone and everyone can search and find you. However, with the millions of people, the main question remains, how do you get to reach more followers and audience?

Ranking on YouTube has shown to be the biggest driver of leads and sales for most brands. Well, YouTube function is overly simple. The more times a video is searched and viewed, the more it comes to the top. Like and share functions also play an essential role in video rankings. YouTube algorithm analyses the views, brings the video on top and list it as trending.

That said, how can you rank your video on YouTube? Follow the tips highlighted below to get a gist of how you can succeed in this.

1. YouTube Keyword Research

Like normal SEO, the first step to rank your YouTube videos better is keyword research. There are several ways to find keywords for your videos, but here is the best way to find the right keywords to use in your YouTube videos. The first step is generating a list of potential keywords.

For YouTube videos, the best way of generating keyword ideas is by using YouTube's Search Suggest feature. Head over to YouTube, type a word or phrase, and the search feature will list a bunch of keywords related to what you keyed in.
YouTube Search
The suggested keyword ideas are impeccable as they highlight what people actually type when searching for such ideas. You can as well find a popular video related to your niche and copy the same keyword the video is optimized around. You can also generate keywords from YouTube's Traffic Source.

What follows is you should find the best keyword from the gathered ideas. With your big list of keywords, it is time to find the best keyword to use from your list. Specifically, go for low-competition keywords. Such keywords work best especially if your channel has few subscribers. If you go for high-competitive keywords, your video will be buried in the competitor's search results.

To find low-competition keywords, search for the keyword and look at the "about results" section. The number displayed indicates the total number of videos using that keyword in their topic. The higher the number, the more competitive the keyword is. Therefore, consider one whose "about results" number is low.
Competition for YouTube search
Finally, search for the keyword in Google. Certainly, most YouTube views come from within the platform. However, this doesn't stop here. You can get more views if you can rank well in Google. The trick here is basically to optimize your YouTube video around keywords that rank well in Google.

2. Upload a High Retention Video

If you want your YouTube videos to rank high, you need to keep followers and subscribers watching. The length of time people watch your video is termed Audience Retention. YouTube has gone on record saying that Audience Retention is a key ranking factor. In other words, if your YouTube video keeps people on YouTube, the video will be ranked better in search results.

That said, the main challenge falls down to you as the content creator. First things first, creating high retention videos don't require fancy cameras and microphones. However, your video should be interesting and valuable to your subscribers. Unlike Google that uses backlinks and other signals to gauge the quality of content, YouTube lacks such luxury. They rely solely on audience retention.

Apart from audience retention, other YouTube ranking factors include:
  • Video comments – if users leave comments after watching your video, it signals YouTube that they probably enjoyed your content. Therefore, encourage your viewers to leave short comments on your video if they enjoyed. Also, make a point of replying to the comments.
  • Subscribers after watching the video – YouTube receives a huge signal if someone subscribes to your YouTube channel after watching a video. The best way to do this is to ask viewers to subscribe if they haven't.
  • Video shares – the number of viewers who share your video to social media sites including Twitter and Facebook is another ranking factor. For sure, people won't share crappy videos. Therefore, if they share your video, YouTube is signalled that your video is of awesome quality, giving you a rank boost.
  • Click through rate – this is the percentage of people clicking on your video among other search results if the platform realizes that a significant percentage clicks on your video, they give it an automatic boost. On the other hand, if many people are skipping your video, your rankings automatically drop. The best way to boost your click-through rate is by creating compelling thumbnails and titles.
  • Video length – just like text-based articles, long videos rank better. However, how long should your video be? There isn't a specific recommended video length but focus on creating an interesting video.

3. YouTube Video Optimization

If you don't know, YouTube automatically transcribes videos. Therefore, if YouTube finds that you are mentioning your target keyword within your video, your video will be optimized around the keyword. Some of the key aspects of video optimization include:

Video title – your YouTube video title should have a maximum of 5 words. For better ranking, have the keyword before the other words in the title.

Video description – descriptions are overly important. They help Google and YouTube understand the concept of the video. The better they understand your video, the better it ranks. In your description, include the keywords 2 – 4 times, make it at least 250 words and include the keyword within the first 25 words.

Tags – tags aren't as important, but they help. To use tags, make your exact keyword the first tag. You can then have a few variations of the keyword phrase.

4. Promote Your Video

Creating YouTube videos that bring about maximum audience retention is important. However, for YouTube to analyze the signals, your video must get views. Some of the strategies to increase your views include:
  • Mention your video on Quora and other sites – forums such as Quora and other Q&A sites are the best place to market your video. Post the link to your video in a place where people are asking for questions that can be answered in the video.
  • Link your YouTube video in your email signature – as it suggests, add a link of your latest video upload in your email signature.
  • Embed videos in blog posts – finding a perfect place to embed your video in any blog post you write is another great promotional strategy.

Final Thoughts

Ranking videos on YouTube is quite easy. Having done the tough work of identifying your niche, creating the content, recording and shooting the video, it shouldn't be a problem to get your video to the top. Follow the guidelines outlined above to ease your ranking strategy, and check out the best add-ons for YouTube analytics that can take you to the next le


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