10 YouTube Ranking Factors To Build a Winning Video SEO Strategy

In this post today, we will reveal The 10 Crucial YouTube ranking factors that will help you rank your videos on YouTube. If implemented, these factors will help you achieve greater success.

YouTube is undoubtedly the 2nd largest search engine, and it’s continuing to gain popularity.

Recent figures released by Google has shown that YouTube is one of the fastest growing search engines.

There has been an increase in searches of “how to” on YouTube.

With video content being preferred by many thanks to it being more engaging than text, this has led to an increase in the popularity of YouTube.

However, despite a rise in popularity of video viewership, many people are still struggling to rank their videos high….

With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, competition is stiff, and so, it is harder than before to rank videos.

Therefore, you need to learn techniques of getting your videos rank high on YouTube.

YouTube Ranking Factors

The 10 Most Important YouTube Ranking Factors For Building a Winning Video SEO Strategy:

[1] Channel Keywords:

This is quite obvious, but we have to insist on its importance.

Without properly optimized YouTube channels, your videos will never rank.

You need to understand your video content and look for keywords related to your videos.

Optimization means integrating these keywords in your video description, video titles, video URLs, and anywhere you are describing your videos.

Having a one or two sentences describing what your channel is all about will give an idea to your viewers of the type of video to expect in your channel.

YouTube algorithm values channel keywords and metadata when it comes to ranking videos.

The one or two-word description on your channel that gives your users a snippet of what your content is all about is highly valued by YouTube.

These can be added in the advanced settings of your Creator Studio right from your YouTube dashboard.

When used correctly, channel keywords can be very effective in terms of ranking videos on YouTube.

Conduct thorough research to ensure the keywords you are using are related to your content, and they have significant search volumes.

You can use Rank Tracker and Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get these keywords.

[2] Video Title:

When it comes to YouTube videos, the title is the 2nd most important thing after video content.

You want not only a title that draws peoples’ attention, but also one that describes what is in the video.

If you are going to say that you have a secret to ranking content on Google, you better make the things you explain in the video unique.

Otherwise, your viewers will disregard you saying the title was just click bait. You are going to have a high bounce rate.

Therefore, the title you give to your video is a powerful ranking tool.

You need to include your main keyword in the title and also a call to action if possible. Ensure the keywords are relevant.

Titles give you a first impression of video to YouTube, search engines, and your viewers.

A well-titled video will help increase your views as it will attract more people.

When coming up with video titles, make them short as longer titles can be cut off depending on the device or browser a viewer is using. Therefore, limit your video titles to five words; less is better.

[3] Video Description:

In addition to video titles, another important YouTube ranking factor is the description of videos.

It is true that YouTube and Google can crack and understand what your video is all about, but this is not accurate all the time.

With video description, it will be easier for them to determine what your video is all about.

If your videos don’t have a description, then you will be leaving search engine bots to determine that for you.

This can take time and make your ranking suffer.

Great video description should never be less than 250 words, and just like your title, you need to include suitable and relevant keywords in your description.

To have the upper hand, use the main keyword in the first 25 words of your description.

Also, link to external URLs such as related blog content or social media channels.

[4] Video Tags:

Your video should have at least 10 tags, and they need to have the main keyword in them.

After doing keyword research and identifying the relevant keywords to use, integrate them in your video tags.

Tags are the one or two-word description that offer YouTube bots a further insight into your video content.

While they may not have a greater impact on your video ranking as your video title and description, they help with ranking as well.

When tags are keywords, they can help users to find your video. Therefore, think about the different phrases people use to search for your video.

For instance, if your YouTube is talking about ‘on-page SEO, you can use tags such as ‘on page SEO’ or ‘Optimizing blog posts.’

Also, YouTube is quite different from Google as it doesn’t do semantic matching.

If you fail to spell the keyword well, then YouTube will not rank it.

Therefore, if you are using plural keywords, make sure to use them in singular form as well.

[5] Transcription:

This is something many people don’t know, but I will reveal this to you today.

YouTube has a feature where it can transcribe your video for you, but the results are always horrible.

If you read it, you will see that it is machine generated and doesn’t make sense most of the times.

However, what YouTube doesn’t tell you is that they use these transcriptions to rank your video for keywords.

Therefore, instead of YouTube transcribing the video for you, why not do word by word transcription.

Upload the text file, and definitely it will match up the words.

This will not only increase click-through rates but will also make your video rank better.

[6] Video Quality:

Video quality is undoubtedly one of the most important ranking factors.

You will find High-Definition videos ranking better than videos with a low-quality definition.

In fact, you will find YouTube highlighting High-Definition videos in its search result.

However, besides being YouTube friendly, HD videos have a huge positive effect on the user experience.

Irrespective of how great your content in your video is, if the video is of low-quality, then your viewers will bounce back before they even watch what you have for them.

Unlike Google and other search engines which use backlinks and other factors to determine the quality of content on a page, YouTube cannot do this.

This means that they focus on user-interaction with your videos to determine if it has quality content.

If your videos get negative user-engagement and high bounce back rate, this sends a bad message to YouTube bots.

Therefore, keep your videos in HD quality because without that, no matter how great you have optimized them, they may not rank as high as you could have wished they would rank.

[7] Channel Authority:

You have control over your content, and since content determines the authority you have, this means you can control your authority.

YouTube and Google always give priority to YouTube channels with great authority. They use that as a basis for ranking videos.

This is why people with more authoritative channels have their videos ranking high as compared to people who are starting out.

Of course, this is never fair, but you have to spend time to grow your authority.

You grow authority by posting quality videos with great content regularly.

Also, the number of subscribers is another measure of authority. On top of these, the traffic your videos get helps in growing your authority.

Therefore, if you want to rank your YouTube videos, you will want to make sure that your channel has a couple of quality videos.

This way, YouTube will start noticing your authority in your respective industry.

[8] User Experience:

As we have discussed above, YouTube uses user engagement to rank videos. Check Neil’s 4 Easy Ways to Increase Your YouTube Engagement

In fact, it places a lot of importance on user experience as that, to them, shows the quality of your videos.

Since it doesn’t use backlinks, it analyzes user engagement metrics such as people who subscribe to your video after watching, the comments your video gets as well as likes, shares, and dislikes you get.

This is what it uses to gauge the quality of your video. If it sees a video with high engagement rates- that is, a video with many comments, a high number of likes and shares- it ranks that video better than one with a little or poor engagement.

Also, if you gain subscribers directly from a video in your channel, YouTube knows that the video that is getting you subscribers has amazing content.

Video retention is also another important YouTube ranking factor.

This means the percentage or number of your videos that have high viewership duration.

For instance, if you have a 10-minute video and people only watch a minute or two of it, then bounce back, this sends a bad signal to YouTube that the content of your videos is poor and unsatisfactory.

Essentially, if someone likes your video enough, they will watch it to the end, like it, and even leave a comment.

If many users do all these to most of your videos, this is an indicator that your videos are great and have great content. Therefore, YouTube will rank the videos higher.

One of the best ways to get comments is to ask an engaging question in your video.

Also, ask people to subscribe to your channel and give your video a LIKE. This will help you get more engagement from your audience.

You can use YouTube Analytics Views Report as well as the Audience Retention Report to see which videos are doing well in terms of watch rate and viewership.

This will help you know why and what is leading to this. It will help you to plan your future video content accordingly.

View count is also another factor, and that’s why you need to increase the number of views on your video.

Take your video to other platforms to increase their visibility.

An easier way to increase Your YouTube videos viewership is sharing your videos on social media, forums, and other sites such as Quora.

[9] Inbound Links:

One of the most popular phrases in SEO world today is inbound linking.

Essentially, YouTube uses inbound links to videos as one of its ranking factors.

I know this has come as a surprise to many because we only know they are used by Google and other search engines.

Inbound links are important YouTube ranking factors for Building a Winning Video SEO Strategy, and thus you should look for ways to build links to your YouTube videos and YouTube channel.

YouTube videos with great content and HD quality get natural links as you will find blogs and people sharing it in their social media and website.

Therefore, make sure you share your video to on your blog and your social media platforms.

Also, you can approach blogs with related content and request them to link back to it.

If the video has more information that their audience will find beneficial, they will link to it.

Therefore, don’t just sit there and wait for your YouTube videos to get inbound links; you will need to build links to them.

For instance, include a link to your channel when you are sending emails, doing press releases, or on your website.

Many people ignore inbound links when it comes to ranking videos on YouTube, but they are really important.

[10] Social Shares:

As the owner of the video, you can easily share your YouTube videos to your social media platforms.

You can request viewers and your fans on social media platforms to share the videos as well.

You can share their content so that they can share your videos as well.

Google and YouTube use the number of shares a video gets to determine the quality of videos.

The logic behind this is that if your users are sharing your videos, then it has quality and satisfactory content. Social signals for your videos are important YouTube ranking factors.

The more people share your video, the higher it will rank. Again, this is another factor in the basket of user-engagement.

Bottom Line:

Ranking videos on YouTube is not down to video content alone.

You also need to focus on other factors such as video quality, the number of views, inbound links, engagement, and optimization using relevant keywords in your video description, titles, and tags.

If you pay attention to all the YouTube ranking factors we have discussed in this article, you will begin to see your videos ranking better.

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