Rank YouTube Videos on Google – Your How-to Guide

Last updated on January 30th, 2018 at 04:59 pm

If you have ever used the google web search for any of our random query, you most probably must have noticed some videos ranking high up there in the first page of google search engine listing. Does that ever make you wonder, how do these guys rank youtube videos on google ? Have you also wished to rank YOUR YouTube videos on Google as well and enjoy massive targeted traffic from Google to your website. Get your Products and Services right up there in front for YOUR prospective customers .

If you follow my steps you will learn how to Rank YouTube videos on Google and increase your Youtube videos search engine visibility dramatically.

# Your Youtube Profile

Yotube Seo Optimized Channel Profile


If you ignore this, there is no need for you to read the rest of the articles.  Your Youtube Profile gets a lot of “weightage” by google search algorithm, so this is something you have to work hard on. To build a reputable youtube profile , you must engage in writing comments, subscribing to channels even outside your niche. The idea is to connect with a wider audience within youtube community. I personally use Smart Tube Assistant to manage my profile and channel, it works extremely well, but you are free to use any tool or no tool. Use of Real Profile Image has its own advantage. Do not create multiple or fake profiles. Also use a professional header banner for your Youtube Channel can improve your credibility remarkably.  Most Youtube users often forget to reply to the comments posted by others on your video. I suggest you don’t do anything stupid like this. Always respond to comments on your videos. It connects you to your viewers. For the added boost ensure that you connect your other social profiles to your Youtube Account.

#Video Keyword Research

Like anything related to seo, your Keyword selection plays a very crucial role. Picking up a wrong Keyword phrase can ruin your entire campaign and  surprisingly this one of the key reason why so many people fail in seo. Ranking your video on Youtube is really nice, but if you get a decent ranking on google web search as well, is even better. With Google search, not every key-phrase has a video listing in the top 10 SERP, nobody knows knows the real reason behind this except for google. So Keyword research becomes even more important if you want to Rank YouTube videos on Google. From my experience and observation I can give you examples where Google tends to display video listing in the SERP :

Click on the thumbnail images to get and idea of what exactly we are talking about in terms of Video Keyword research. If you had a good look at the images above in the gallery, you must have seen that for all those keywords, there is a youtube video ranking in top 10 of the SERP. So you have to find keywords that google preferably gives an edge to videos. Keywords related to tutorial, reviews, sports, music, how-to, funny stuffs,guides, discount and promo codes  generally have a video listing on the normal SERP of google. Why is this important, well if you optimize your keyword for Google SERP instead of just Youtube, you will have a very wide audience. You will no longer be limited to only Youtube users . This way you can get direct targeted traffic from google’s first page.  Once you have the list of keywords , try to find ones that have less competition and atleast 2000 average Monthly searches .  I personally utilize my Keyword Research Tool to find profitable keywords that helps me rank YouTube videos on Google, though you can use any of your favorite keyword analysis software.


# Your Video Matters

Your video is the gateway of your success, and you have to give your viewers a sense of professionalism and quality video. Never modify someone else’s video and re-upload it, always create your original video. I fyou are on a tight-budget and/or do not want to spend a lot of money on creating stunning videos, you can do exactly what I do. Hire Tom or Harry and get your sensational eye-catching video for just $5.  If you want to create a screen cast video with your voice, use my method and create stunning screen-cast videos with a free Firefox addon Capture Fox. Keep in mind we don’t want to spend a lot on video creation/production cost.  Never compromise with the quality of your video. If your video sucks, you cant rank, no matter how optimized it is for SEO.  Create High Resolution video with clear audio. I always suggest my folks to use subtitles , remember we are addressing to a worldwide audience comprising of viewers with different accent, so including a subtitle will only help you send your message across.  Make your videos of at least 5 minutes run-time, the longer the video the better chances of you ranking well in Youtube. I have seen more often than not longer videos ranking well on the first page of youtube, so clearly longer run-time is possibly a ranking factor.

Youtube Videos-Keyword Research


If you look at  the run-time of the videos ranking in the above image , most videos ranking for “joomla tutorials” are atleast an hour long.  Well just like in conventional seo , an long well written text article has an edge of the shorter version, similarly a good quality longer video has its own advantage.  Don’t worry, if your video is worth watching , they WILL watch, even if it is long.


# YouTube Seo Components

So now that you have already created a great quality professional video for youtube, its time to upload the video and ensure that all the youtube seo-components have been taken care of.

Youtube Video FileName

Well the very first thing that comes to my mind and often ignored by fellow YouTube marketer is the file name of the video. Youtube internal search engine cannot know the content of video and does rely on other factors to understand what your video is about. One such factor is the file of your video. So if was  trying to rank for “wordpress tips for beginners”, would name the video file

Youtube Video Seo - File Name matters

OK now that you know how to rename your video file before uploading. Let us proceed with the other steps that are equally important to make your video perfectly seo optimized.

Youtube Video Seo Title

With only a limited text availability for search engines to crawl, Youtube Video title is probably the most important aspect of youtube seo.   Include your keyword right at the beginning of the title, since good-loaded title gets a clear advantage over boot-loaded title.

Example :

Hood Loaded ( Good ): WordPress tips for beginners – The ultimate Guide
Hood Loaded ( Good ): WordPress tips for beginners – Complete Tutorial
Boot Loaded ( Bad ) : Quick Learning – WordPress tips for beginners
Boot Loaded ( Bad ) : The most advanced wordpress tips for beginners

Youtube has 100 character limit and it is enough for write a Great Informative Eye-Catching title that is optimized for SEO without making it look spammy.  Another question I have often been asked regarding Youtube title, is whether is it safe to use all CAPITALIZATION in the youtube title. I have often come across YouTube marketers using ALL CAPS, and this is what I personally do not advice to my readers. Its better to Use First-Letter-Uppercase to make your youtube Video title more professional.   See you have just learnt the correct way to write A Seo Optimized Youtube Video title. That’s great.


Youtube Video Seo Description

Along with an impressive video and a killer title, a crisp and informative video description is bound to attract a lot of eyeballs. it’s quite alarming to see many youtube video creators putting a one-liner or even leaving it blank and thus losing out on search engine visibility. Youtube allows 5000 character for your youtube video description , so why not use it for your own benefit. As mentioned earlier in this guide, search engine bots cannot what your video is about, and it heavily relies on youtube title and your video description to learn about your video.  A compelling video without a decent description deprives your potential audience  a reason to watch your video. Your video description should provide a very detailed overview about your youtube video not only for the benefit of YouTube audience , but also for the Search Engines.

I think I have put enough emphasis on Youtube Video description importance, let me now give YOU some advanced tips on how to write a youtube description that is loved by both the audience as well as search engine.

  • Put all the vital information about your video upfront at the beginning of the description.
  • Remember youtube allows 5000 characters , so use as much as you can. Longer the better.
  • Search Snippets and Social Shares Gather information from your youtube description, and they all have a character limit. Google in most cases grabs the first 150 character of your description to be shown in their web search snippet. Youtube’s own search listing displays only first 125 character. So do make sure your keyword in included int he very first sentence.
  • Do not forcefully place your Keyword at the beginning of the description. Try to build a professional sentence around it.
  • Do not write the youtube description in a haste, put your writing skills to work. If you are a busy person or is not skilled enough to write a decent seo optimized video description you can always hire a youtube video description writer here.
  • Put your link right up there within the first 25 words to maximize your Click-through-Ratio (CTR). Do not start your description with a link to an external site ( Looks pretty spammy )
  • Avoid Keyword stuffing but make sure you use your keyword around 3-5 times in your description depending the the total length of your description.
  • If you want wide coverage and social media engagement, place all your social media profile links at the end of your description.
  • If you have transcript in your video, you can also use some part of it in your description.
  • Use time-codes if your video is long enough to give users an option to go to part of video they are interested in straight away.
  • Use short links for all your linking purpose . Short link saves space and looks neat too. It also helps you track your performance.

So basically Youtube Video descriptions serve three important purposes :

(One) – Add fuel to the title and thumbnail and strengthen the value of the overall video.
(Two) – Help Search Engines learn the story of your Video and subsequently rank higher.
(Three) – Make your viewer act. It could either be subscribing to you channel, adding a comment, viewing more of your videos or sending them to your social media profile or to an external website.

I am pretty sure if you follow the method and techniques I have discussed above, you would be able to write a killer YouTube description that will help you incinerate your competition with a video description that stands out.

Youtube Video SEO  Tags

How to optimize Youtube tags

Youtube Tags in a broader sense are descriptive keywords which you can add to your YouTube videos to help Youtube viewers find your content.  The Youtube keyword tags have long been one of the  known secret-weapons for YouTube Seo optimization. Tags allows you to add that extra punch to your keywords.  In this section we will learn how to write YouTube tags that will affect our SEO in a positive way.

  • Don’t be a lazy bum when you your building your Youtube Seo Tags. Create multiple many tags for your youtube video, but make sure they relevant to you primary keyword.
  • Youtube limits 100 Character for each of your tag, use it wisely.
  • Keep your focus Keywords and Primary long tail keyword as tags at the beginning.
  • Use text Editors Like Notepad++ Or Excel to Organize your YouTube Tags.
  • Use your Brand Name in your Youtube Tag with multiple variations like BrandName, BrandName(dot)com and Brand Name.
  • The Tag section of YouTube has an overall limit of 480 characters , so you must use them wisely and target long tail keywords rather than broader terms.
  • Make use of Youtube Auto-suggest Search feature to see what people are searching around your Video topic.
  • My personal preference is to use the plural version of your Keyphrase . Example : “Youtube Seo Methods” instead of “Youtube Seo Method”
  • A quick way to find relevant and popular tag ideas relevant to your keyword is to use this tool. It just works.

POWER TIP  to Rank YouTube Videos : Spy on your Competitors Youtube Videos and see what kind of Youtube Tags they are using. Use the ones that are relevant to your Video. Since Youtube has stopped displaying tags on the watch page you can just copy one of my neat trick to extract your competitors tags using a free chrome extension. You can get it here

Rank YouTube Videos

Youtube Video SEO  Thumbnails

As a child I used to look at the movie poster that was circulated on local newspaper and If I didn’t  liked the movie poster, I never went to watch that movie at the theater.  Although Thumbnails directly do not impact your Seo ranking but a great Youtube thumbnail can attract a lot more viewers to your YouTube Video. To my utter surprise this aspect is over overlooked by most of the Youtube Marketers, and I have no idea why . Really.

Consider Youtube Video Thumbnail as the game-changing poster for your video content.  Your Video thumbnail should tell half the story of your video. It should be compelling enough to encourage clicks. Your Video thumbnails is the first thing people notice before anything else., even before your Killer Title. A good enough reason for you to not neglect this aspect ?

But I am a Hard task Master, so I wont stop here.  Your Thumbnail is visible on Youtube Search Pages, Related Videos Blocks, Embeds and ofcourse on your channel . Oh wait did I mention Google Web Search too ?  You can lose a potential viewer with your boring Video Thumbnail and if you are like me you certainly do not want that. Anyone who wants to Rank YouTube Videos on Google, should create a custom thumbnail that is visually appealing, click compelling and represents your video content.

Tips on Creating Youtube Thumbnails that is at Par with a Hollywood Movie Blockbuster

  • Create Thumbnails with a high contrast.
  • Your thumbnail image should be of High resolution.
  • Ensure your thumbnail looks great both in small and large size.
  • Youtube has a 2MB file size limit for thumbnail, so if needed use a image compressor.
  • Your YouTube account must be verified and in Good standing to use custom thumbnail feature.
  • 16:9 aspect is highly recommended ,as this a is widely used format.
  • YouTube has suggested the use of 1280 x 720 resolution image for your Youtube Thumbnail.
  • Minimum width of your Thumbnail should be 640 pixel.
  • Do no create misleading thumbnails.

The trick is to create eye-catching, you-cant-miss-it kind of  thumbnails that will get your potential audience to make that most important click.

If you followed the above method like a smart student , you are good to hit the Publish Button.


Youtube Video SEO  Annotations

Youtube annotation examples

Just because we asked you to to Publish your Video and go Live on Youtube, does not mean that we are done with Video Optimization of your just Uploaded Youtube Video. Now its time to Polish your Video, refine it a bit . Add some extra Glitters to it.

We have put a lot of work in creating a stunning video with a smartly optimized and textual content.Now is the time to concentrate on the most import aspect that could make you or break you. The Conversions.

Youtube’s Annotations is like a swiss-knife. You can do so many things with it. If you are content publisher, Annotations  can be your best friend. marketing your content becomes so much easy with Annotations.  For me Youtube Annotations is a remarkable tool to add interactive commentary to your Youtube video.

I won’t teach you how to create Annotations here. There is plenty of information easily available on the web to teach you those basic stuffs.. As an internet marketer my goal is to create videos that could make me repeat audience/ customers base and eventually money. So let me give you some super  tips and tricks  to help you benefit the most from Youtube Annotations

  • Informative and attention seeking annotations  can help you increase viewership.
  • Annotations is one of the easiest way to grow your subscribers. Use an image with with link Option to create stunning subscription button right inside your video.
  • Youtube Search bots can crawl Annotations , so make sure to include your keyword without looking Spammy.
  • If you are product seller you can directly link to your product ( As long as you are selling through authorized youtube merchant).
  • Youtube Annotations can increase the watch time a user spends on your video. If you use inetractive annotations you can literally compel them to watch your video till the end.
  • Pointing them to another video of yours at the end of the run-time will increase the chances of more views to your channel.
  • Hey Bro, you can also send your Youtube viewer directly to YOUR Website. ( I know this is gold, but to avail this feature, your Youtube account must be verified and should be in good standing. And you must also associate your domain to allow external link through Annotations )
  • As a Internet Marketer you surely know the importance of Social Signals, so do not hesitate to link to your social media profiles.
  • Add a professional touch to your video by adding a text clarification to specific part of your Yotube video.
  • Interlinking your older videos with the help of Annotations  can result in higher video views and better popularity.
  • Ask questions to your viewers through Annotations . This makes the user feel pretty much involved in the video.
  • Make sure your annotations are strategically placed without affecting the user experience. Avoid the lower section of your video , youtube’s add overlay can mess it up.


YOUTUBE SEO – The Impact of  User Engagement Signals

Youtube is the second largest search engine after Google and we need to know what other factors influence the ranking of your YouTube video both on its internal search as well as on Google.

  1. Youtube Likes
  2. Youtube Views
  3. Youtube “Watch Later”
  4. Inbound Links
  5. Social Shares
  6. Youtube Playlist
  7. Youtube Embed
  8. Youtube Comments

Now lets go into the minute details of each of these signals and how they  and see how they affect our YouTube video ranking.

How to increase youtube likesYoutube Like – Well it is pretty self explanatory. A youtube Like is similar to a Trust a Vote. As with anything the more the vote the better. Getting these thumbs up or even the thumbs is a signal of user-interaction

how to get youtube views free

Youtube Views – Well it is pretty much obvious that when you upload a video to Youtube , you would like the video to be watched by as many viewers as possible. The more the views the merrier. Views on your Youtube Video as well as your Youtube Channel  will boost your Youtube SEO .

youtube watch later

Youtube Watch-Later – When anyone adds your video to “Watch Later” category , it tells Youtube that people are interested in watching your video because they find it good enough. Users can also use different navigation to add your video to Watch Later. Its like buying a ticket for you favorite movie in advance.

youtube inbound links

Youtube Inbound Links –  It’s a well known proven fact that not only Youtube but also Google Search Engine gives weightage to Inbound backlinks. Its one of those BIG factor that can improve your ranking dramatically. And the most effective way to gain inbound links is to create top quality video content. If your video touches the heart of your audience, they will spread your video on their own. Share it with their friends, family and peer. Share your video on social media Profiles and also your blogs, or you can also use my SER to build and maintain your inbound link portfolio

youtube share button

Youtube Social Shares – Sharing Youtube video on all major social media is a breeze. Its so easy a to share the video on social platform that even an average Joe can do it.  When someone shares your video , not only does it promote your video on social sites, it also sends a strong positive signal to the internal search algo . The more share your video gets the better for you. Such user interactions will boost your overall ranking

youtube playlist creator

Youtube Playlist – Youtube allows users to create playlist to organize and manage videos under a single window. Everytime your video is added to someone’s playlist, this basically tells google that people liked your video content want to keep them in their personal catalog. Playlist has been know to increase your watch -time.

youtube embed channel

Youtube Embed – With Youtube embed you can directly display your video on external websites including your blog and social media . With the embed your user does not need to come to youtube to watch your video. They can watch right within the webpage the video is embedded. Please note that Youtube Embed does not directly impact  your seo ranking however it does help you get the much needed exposure .

get youtube comments apiYoutube Comments –  Youtube Comments is a perfect example of user engagement. The comment platform allows your Youtube audience to directly communicate with you. You must leverage the power of youtube comment platform and must reply and respond to all comments on your video.

youtube comment seo best practices

Your free Beer is Here –> Avoid using any services to inflate your YouTube statistics(fake views and comments and subscription ). Always follow and adhere to youtube community guidelines.

The Last Peg

Well OK I think I have covered it ALL as far as “How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google” is concerned. If you follow the exact strategies mentioned in this how-to-guide , you are bound to see dramatic improvement in your Youtube rankings. Now, it time for you to implement and execute the strategies disclosed in this tutorial and reap the benefits as you see your youtube video becoming more and more  popular with each day.

Do you have any tips that you have implemented within your video or channel that resulted in positive result or higher ranking Google or Youtube Internal search ? Why not share with us ?

Had a good read ?  Don’t be shy to “Thank me” in the comment section as I just taught you how to Rank YouTube Videos on Google.

32 Replies to “Rank YouTube Videos on Google – Your How-to Guide”

  1. Holy shit . I m shocked Pritesh. Top class stuff. You have really blown me with this. If people can’t rank on YouTube after reading this, then they to do d another profession

  2. Pritesh, First of all thanks for your awesome article on Youtube seo, I won’t take too much time to try these real technics for my videos, will back soon..

    1. Chris if yo really want to Rank YouTube videos on Google for profitable keywords and niches , you must write a unique and long description.

  3. Great tutorial . I was just thinking on tapping the YouTube market and your blog post came at a perfect time. Thanks dude

  4. your blueprint for youtube video seo has some potential, i had followed 2-3 major post (article) before your one, the way you discussed no one has done before.


    1. Thansk mike we try to keep things simple and our tutorial is a proven method that would for you and anyone else who does it exactly as mentioned.

  5. Pritesh, I do follow your blog but this article probably most neatly narrated article I had ever seen.
    Incredible…many of your tiny detailed tips are sounds good ( Its funny that even a file name do play a role )


    1. Jerry thank you for your kind words. Well yeah as an internet Marketer who is serious about his business, one needs to play attention to the the minute things. Video File name is one of those.

  6. Until now I never gave importance to video marketing. Seeing how easy this could be and the potential it had, I am so very tempted to try this.

  7. Oh Pritesh you are a sweetie, I live you for what you have done with this tutorial of yours. You seem to have put a lot if research and effort to create something as amazing as this one.

  8. Awesome! research on Youtube seo. It will help me to do social video optimization for my videos related to free education for needy kids around the world.

    Thanks Again,

    Mariya N

  9. My previous method for youtube videos seo were worked but the conversion rate was too less.
    Your post will help me to refine my youtube stuffs. Anyway thanks for your detailed article.

  10. Hi, I’m newbie to seo industry, your detailed post on “Youtube video ranking” has gave me a new direction. It helped me for my next project, I would love to see more guidance by u.

  11. I guess presently this is one of the distinguished article on Youtube Video SEO, will wait for more info-graphic ….well done…

  12. Your post will give liquidity to my video stuffs so that they go through even a tiny hole and reach to end side (my audience)


  13. Thank you Pritesh, ur awesome.
    Very analytical study on Youtube videos,
    I think by keeping things clean and less over textured someone can convey his or her message.

  14. Seo means to me is fighting and manage to deal with search engine restrictions.
    Videos are vital part and more efficient to convince your clients or audience.


  15. Its a beauty of internet that guys like you shares their ideas and experiments with others,
    these days videos are the ultimate way to reach your clients and it shows on your “Rank YouTube Videos on Google” post …… Gr8 going


  16. Hi Pritesh

    I have seen nowadays, people are getting more deep into YouTube SEO. Every Youtuber wants to rank their YouTube Videos But very few got succeed.

    I am also a YouTuber and I love to upload interesting videos on my YouTube Channel.

    I had started my YouTube Channel before 2 months ago and I was uploading interesting and helpful videos on regular basis But I was still not satisfied with the results.

    I wasn’t getting enough views on my videos. My Videos were not getting ranked. So I decided to learn a bit more about YouTube SEO.

    I had learnt so many things from this article and I am sure, I’ll get better results after implementing these ranking tips.

    Thanks Pritesh for sharing this great piece of content.

    Happy Blogging 😉

  17. In Short, We can Optimize our youtube videos by
    1. creating a unique description.
    2. choosing a thumbnail which describes video properly.
    3. keeping a proper name for video file we are going to upload
    4. using proper tags or keywords using keyword planner

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