YouTube SEO: How to Increase Rankings for Your Videos

7 min read

Do you want to improve your rankings on YouTube? In this article, we will discuss what YouTube SEO is and how to better improve your rankings. We will give you effective tips on how to optimize videos and the best practices you can do for better rankings.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO involves the strategic enhancement of videos to attain higher rankings in both YouTube’s internal search results and Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Just as website SEO optimizes webpages, YouTube SEO tailors videos to secure superior rankings for specific keywords to bolster visibility and reach.
Video optimization involves refining key elements such as titles, thumbnails, descriptions, transcripts, tags, links, calls to action, and even multilingual translations. Achieving optimal outcomes necessitates optimizing individual videos and fine-tuning channels and playlists to elevate rankings further.
Various variables influence the functioning of YouTube’s search algorithm. Videos earn their position based on how well their content, title, and description align with users’ search queries.
While crafting compelling titles and descriptions remains crucial, it’s vital to underscore that robust viewer engagement is the cornerstone for heightened visibility on YouTube. High engagement metrics augment a video’s prominence within the platform’s search landscape.

Engagement metrics include comments, likes/dislikes, average watch time, card clicks, audience retention and end screen clicks. When you publish a video with good content, you are likely to engage your audience.

We’ll show you how to be successful with YouTube and improve video rankings.

How to Optimize Your Videos?

You can significantly improve your rankings when you work on the things we discuss below:

Keyword Search 

Next to Google, YouTube is the second most visited site on the web. It works as a search engine so it would help to find out what keywords your target audience are using on YouTube.

The key is to target keywords with search volume to get more traffic. You will need to utilize other third-party tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Google Trends because YouTube does not have its own keyword tool.

Fortunately, YouTube’s search engine works similar to Google. When you type in certain keywords in the search box, you will see a list of relevant queries containing those keywords. Use this for finding out what users are searching for a certain topic.

With Google Trends, there is a YouTube Search option that gives you search volume data in percentages. You can use this to find out how popular a certain keyword is on YouTube.


Titles should be under 60 characters and should grab a user’s attention. It should be witty enough to pique a user’s interest. Also, make sure that you use the main keyword in the video’s title.

If you’re not confident about writing good titles for your video, hire a copywriter to help you craft a short yet punchy title for your video.


First impressions last. Keep in mind that the title and the thumbnail are what the users will see first. If you have a good thumbnail image for the video, users are more likely to click on it.

Use fun graphics for the thumbnail or perhaps get professional shots for it. You can also take advantage of stock photos or Google images for your thumbnail. The key is to make it not just captivating but also intriguing for the users.

Never use texts as a thumbnail image and avoid intrusive images.


Both Google and YouTube work similarly especially when it comes to helping your website or video show up in search results. You need to have the right keywords not just in the title but also in the description.

If you know the keywords you’re optimizing for, check out the top ranking videos for these keywords and read through the title and the descriptions. Check for common keywords that they use and consider incorporating them in your descriptions.

Apart from the description, tags can also help you rank in the YouTube search. Add related phrases and keywords to the tags to optimize your videos.

Transcript and Translations

The transcript is also considered in YouTube’s algorithm. While the website has its own automated transcription process, it’s always best to either write it yourself or hire a 3rd party to do it for you. Keep in mind to time-stamped the transcript.

If you want a global audience for your video, why not add a foreign translation to it? It helps with rankings and it also increases your chances of getting more subscribers to your channels.


YouTube has interactive features that let users stay on the website. When you add a card, it will let users:

Discover another YouTube channel
Visit and external link
Answer a survey poll
Donate to an organization
Watch another playlist or video

You can add these to keep users on your channel too.

Promoting Your YouTube Video

Merely uploading content on YouTube falls short of an effective strategy. To optimize your potential for garnering an expanded subscriber base, proactive video promotion is imperative.

Commence by identifying the optimal time to release your videos. By analyzing your metrics, discern patterns that reveal peak viewing hours.

Upon uploading content to YouTube, extend promotion efforts across all your social media channels and to your pre-existing audience. Capitalize on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which serve as advantageous venues for video promotion.

You can also add a link of the video to your newsletters or email marketing campaigns. If you don’t have an existing audience, you can embed the video to your Quora answers. Just find a related question and then post an answer along with your video.

Promoting your video to other platforms also help with engagement and increase your chances of getting more subscribers.

Engaging with your audience

Elevated engagement is a pivotal catalyst in achieving heightened rankings on the YouTube platform. An effective strategy for enhancing engagement involves maintaining a consistent and interactive presence in the comments section of your videos. By actively getting involved with your audience, you cultivate a robust rapport that fosters a positive relationship. This, in turn, heightens the likelihood of viewers connecting with you and exploring your broader catalog of YouTube content, thus contributing to improved rankings.
Strategic prompts can also be employed to proactively stimulate engagement. Encouraging viewers to comment, subscribe, or like your videos amplifies their active involvement. Inviting suggestions for future content or gauging interest in similar video topics spurs interaction and instills a sense of co-creation. Additionally, soliciting feedback about specific aspects viewers appreciate in your content is a personalized engagement tactic, further augmenting overall audience interaction. Implementing these practices can notably propel your engagement metrics to new heights.

YouTube Best Practices for Improving Rankings

Viral videos can improve your rankings but remember that the goal is to acquire an enormous subscriber base, form a good relationship with your audience and build your credibility.

You can achieve this by consistently publishing high-quality content. Commit to a regular schedule for posting and stick to it. As much as possible, never skip a scheduled post to gain your subscriber’s trust.

Avoid Publishing Short Videos

Ideally, you should publish videos that are at least 5 minutes in length. They tend to perform better as YouTube can run more ads with them.

Plan Ahead

Remember that the first 48 hours after publishing a video is the most critical. Do make sure that you have already figured out the keywords you are trying to rank for, have written punchy titles and descriptions for it. Your video optimization plan must be ready when publishing the video. Otherwise, you may have already missed your chances of getting better rankings. You can still fix it but it may be more difficult to rank after 48 hours.

Measure YouTube Metrics 

Tracking and analyzing key performance metrics holds a paramount role in the endeavor to enhance your rankings. Vital indicators demand vigilant observation, encompassing watch time, average view duration, percentage views, engagement, click-through rate, playlist engagement, and audience demographics.
Vigilantly note the videos that exhibit exceptional performance and leverage this insight to craft analogous or even more exceptional content. Furthermore, remain attuned to the diverse viewership segments engaging with your videos. By deciphering gender, geographic origin, and age demographics, you gain invaluable insights into your engaged audience, enabling you to ascertain whether your targeting aligns with your intended audience.
The systematic analysis of these metrics empowers you to fine-tune your content strategy, optimizing it to effectively resonate with your core audience and thus drive a potent impact on your rankings.

Create Playlists

Do you want a larger subscriber base? Consider creating a playlist. You can use the keyword search to find out what your audience wants and start publishing videos centered on the topics. This is a good way to build credibility and engagement with your audience

Never Forget a Call to Action

A call to action would motivate your audience to do something — either to buy a product or a service or to subscribe to your channel.

You could say something like, “If you think this video is helpful, kindly subscribe to our channel.”

Remember that the more subscribers you have, your watch time also increases. As a result, you are more likely to rank on YouTube.

Final Thoughts

At its core, prioritizing the publication of high-quality content lays the foundation for success. Subsequently, the quest for appropriate keywords ensues, entailing their strategic integration within the video’s title, description, and tags.

Should you require further assistance in optimizing your videos, we trust this article has provided valuable insights. Feel free to reach out if you seek guidance in this endeavor. Explore our comprehensive monthly SEO packages, curated by industry experts, designed to alleviate any challenges you may encounter along the way.

Sarkar SEO
[email protected]

Mohit Parnami aka Sarkar is an entrepreneur, marketer and Co-Founder of SarkarSEO. He is passionate about SEO and lifelong learner to learn new things. He has been in the internet marketing industry for 10+ years.