Top 11 Ranking Factors For YouTube Videos

Posted on 7 March, 2018 by Rachel in

youtube logo on a light background with a red box under it containing the words ranking factors

I’m sure by now you’re putting a lot of time and effort into your Google SEO ranking, but If you regularly post vlogs or accompany your posts with videos then it’s time to get clued up about YouTubes. This search engine works in the same way as Google (using key words) but this one pulls up videos. With 65,000 YouTube search results and growing it’s time to dedicate some effort to this area of your business.

Our Comprehensive Guide To YouTube Ranking

We put together a handy list of factors that you may want to use as a guide when it comes to ranking with YouTube:

1) Views

As expected the most obvious factor is views. There is a positive correlation between the number of views your video receives and its ranking. Your video needs all the exposure you can get to get it ranking high! Aim your video at your target audience. If there are social network groups that match your target demographic, then try posting your video there.

2) Likes

How many of those people watching your video are liking it? To increase your likes, make sure you’re releasing interesting and engaging footage of good quality. The topic should be aimed at the previously mentioned target audience.

3) Shares

As with ‘Likes’ there’s a positive correlation between ranking and ‘Shares.’ Shares are a double bonus as they’re also encouraging further engagement and exposure among groups of peers you may not have access to.

4) Comments

Another factor YouTube looks at when ranking your video is how many comments it’s gaining. When releasing footage think about hot topics, what are people debating right now? Is there a scandal or a major event unfolding? If it can be made appropriate and relevant the comments will flood in with passionate views and conversation.

5) Subscriptions Driven

You’ve got the view, likes, shares and comments, but how many of these watchers are subscribing to your page? To maximise your subscription potential you will need to release consistently interesting and good quality footage. It may be a good idea to have a weekly time frame. For example releasing a video at the same time each day or a particular day each week so that your audience can anticipate the next one.

6) Subscribers

Fortunately the number of subscribers is a moderately low factor in YouTubes ranking. YouTube seems to favour ‘The little guy’ more than googles SEO. That’s because some of the best quality videos can come from anywhere but a large company may have millions of subscribers on the back of it’s name alone.

7) Length

Although the average video length on YouTube is just under 15 minutes, it’s not the length of the video itself that is a ranking factor. It is the length of time your viewers spend watching your video. Do they watch right to the end or tune out after a little while? It’s a good idea to keep videos no longer than they need to be and don’t let the interest or entertainment level drop throughout as it may lose you ranking points.

8) Keywords In Tags

Tags aren’t as important as they once were. However they remain a factor in YouTubes ranking system, albeit a very small one. You don’t need to over tag your videos anymore as YouTube has the ability to take every spoken word from your video and figure out the topic, enabling it to pull it up in relevant searches. Although it doesn’t hurt to use tags, it’s not massively necessary.

9) Exact Match Title

Another small factor is exact keywords. YouTube searches for synonyms of any keywords when conducting a search so your video is pulled up in relevant searches that don’t include any of your keywords. Despite this exact keyword matches do make a small positive dent on your rankings.

10) Keyword In Description

One thing YouTube doesn’t rank are your description keywords. There’s no correlation between a keyword rich description and high rankings. It doesn’t hurt to use them but your efforts may be better spent elsewhere.

11) HD Quality Video

We’ve discussed how important content quality is. Well the quality of the actual footage itself is equally as important. HD videos appear higher on YouTubes ranking than SD videos. This may be down to viewers wanting to finish HD through to the end as opposed to SD or it could be YouTubes preference, but it certainly pays to invest in HD equipment.

infograph consisting of eleven factors which affect your YouTube ranking


Did This Help?

These tips should be a handy basis for your YouTube ventures. We’d love to know what you think of our list. Is there anything you think we’ve missed or have you found a new anomaly that disagrees with one of our points? We’d love to here from you! Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below and let us know how you’re getting on!

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If You Enjoyed this Article

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