Did you know YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world? True story. You probably wouldn’t think that since it’s a video platform. But it’s highly likely that you went and searched for a video on there today. Or maybe this week. Even though YouTube is a Google company, it has a unique algorithm to help you find the right video that you’re looking for. 

Video marketing is a massive opportunity to reach new people. It’s been shown in several studies that videos bring in more attention than pictures, which bring more eyes to a site than just text. So it’s a huge chance to build your brand and bring in new customers or attention to your company if you utilize video marketing.

Today we’ll go through how to get your video ranking on YouTube.

The YouTube Search Algorithm

According to YouTube, the algorithm is basically a “real-time feedback loop that tailors videos to each viewer’s different interests.”

When thinking about your videos, think about optimizing your content — just like your website. All content has similarities and YouTube is no different. If you want your videos to rank, you need to keep people watching. But how do you do that? My suggestion is to start off on the right foot.

What ranking signals does YouTube use?

  • Video Comments
  • Subscribes
  • Shares
  • CTR and Impressions 
  • Thumbs Up/Down
  • Video Length
  • Watch Time
  • Popularity/Snowball

As you can see YouTube prioritizes different aspects of videos to dish up best results to their users.

YouTube Keyword Research

Use your keyword research to figure out what people are searching for in your niche, and create playlists based on those topics. If you don’t have much content, you can even create playlists using other people’s videos to drive viewers to your YouTube channel page.

Use these two(free) tools to get started with your research:

Google Trends

Google Keyword Planner

YouTube’s algorithms are notoriously unforgiving. When you upload a new video, make sure you have all your optimizations ready to go. Come out of the gate strong, or not at all. Don’t publish a video with the intention of optimizing it sometime later. If YouTube can’t get a clear picture of what your video is about you’ll suffer in the rankings — and it will be hard to recover that lost ground.

While it is possible to go back and fix poorly optimized videos by revising the titles, description, tags, thumbnail, transcript and so on, much of the damage will have already been done after the first 48 hours have passed. It is incredibly hard to come back in this setting from being buried once the algorithm has judged your content as unworthy.

Needed Video Elements

  • Title – 5+ words long with keyword included
  • Thumbnail – Attractive, well-lit image
  • Description – 250+ words long with multiple instances of keyword usage
  • Transcript – Include your own time stamped transcript
  • Tags – Target keyword and a few variations
  • Links – Include other social channels you own and resources for your viewers
  • CTA – Include one click options for people to subscribe in outro

This is a list of must-have elements that need to be ready before you upload your video to YouTube.

How to Create a Great Video

Many people find video to be intimidating to undertake. But they don’t have to be high dollar productions in order to be successful. In fact, most people have really good video cameras right on their phones or tablets now, so you can record high quality videos right on your device. So don’t let video marketing intimidate you. You can post videos on social media, your website, and email campaigns, plus much more. 

And if you’re not sure what to create a video about, think about what makes your business unique or special. Make sure that is demonstrated in the video and that your fun personality and brand comes through. Check out some of our ideas:

  • How to videos about your products or easy ways to do a task you specialize in.
  • Unboxing video when you get a new product.
  • Behind the scenes videos where people can see how you do things and get to know some of your employees.

There’s also several platforms you can use to create these videos. Do some research to see what will work best for you and your editing skill set. There’s dozens of services online you can try. Both Mac and PC computers come with some form of video editing software built in. You can take the time to learn a new platform or try these free ones. It just depends on how often you want to create the videos and what you’ll b\e using them for. 


Mike is a former SEO Manager at Boostability and has been in the online marketing industry since 2012. He has extensive experience with SEO, email marketing and link building campaigns for in-house and agency teams around the country.