6 FoolProof Tips to Rank Your YouTube Videos on Google

woman making video

1 billion hours of YouTube video are watched every single day.

You read that correctly! Billion…with a ‘b’.

Saying YouTube is popular is something of an understatement. It’s a veritable behemoth of the internet, making it prime marketing real estate.


Even better, YouTube videos have a chance to rank on Google as well.

Realizing peoples’ love of video content, Google now ranks it highly on SERPs. Users are extremely likely to click on a relevant video that shows up, meaning it can be dynamite for driving views to your video content.

Wondering how to rank YouTube videos on Google?

We want to help. The right insight and approach can see it ranking highly in no time. Want to learn more? Keep reading for 6 tips on ranking videos on Google.

1. Understand the Platform

YouTube marketing is easy when you already have thousands of followers.

You just publish the video and wait for the views, likes, and shares to roll in.

Don’t have the followers? Then you need to know how to get the ball rolling. The first step to having your videos rank well is realizing what works on the platform.

You have to understand what people want to watch.

In general, YouTube is the king of education, comedy, and time-wasting. The trick is creating content that fits these categories.

Solve peoples’ problems, make people laugh, and distract them from their day (in the best way possible!). This automatically lends itself to views and shares. Google picks up on that popularity and may rank it accordingly.

2. Keyword Targeting

Choosing keywords is central to all effective search engine optimization.

That same rule applies to rank YouTube videos. You want to create content that people are actively searching for and that falls in line with your business/brand.

One of the easiest ways to find keywords is to leverage YouTube itself. Head to the platform and start typing a specific keyword phrase. Just like with Google, you’ll see a dropdown list of suggestions get automatically generated.

These suggestions are what people are searching for. You can use them to stimulate content creation ideas.

Another approach is to simply copy your competition. Go to a competitor’s YouTube profile and sort their videos by most popular. You can almost guarantee their most viewed content is optimized for certain keywords.

As always, popular long-tail keywords with low competition are best.

3. Create an Engaging Video

You now understand what people want to watch, and what they’re searching for too.

The time has come to create the content itself.

In order to rank highly, it must be high-quality. The best videos are engaging, capture your attention, and (generally) have superior production value.

In the past, videos ranked highly on YouTube by virtue of the views. More views led to better rankings. It’s not quite so easy these days. The algorithms now in play are more advanced.

Likes, shares, embeds, comments and average watch duration are all taken into account.

Bad videos don’t get liked, shared, embedded…and so on. Only the good stuff gets viewed. That means only the best of the best gets ranked.

4. Incorporate Keywords

With an awesome new video ready to publish, it’s time to incorporate the keywords.

First off, it’s important to name the raw file in line with them. This is what tells YouTube what your video is about.

Right-click on the video (just before you click to upload) and add tags to it. These should describe the content. Next up, input your primary and secondary KWs into the ‘name the extension’ section. Finally, use the comments area to add a quick description of the video as well.

It’s time! Upload the video.

Now write and optimize its description for KWs too. In 200 words or so, explain what the video is about. Do so while incorporating your primary and secondary keywords throughout.

Just don’t overstuff it though! That’s bad SEO etiquette that can see your video pinged in search.

Oh, and include a link to your website with an appropriate call to action. That’s where the magic happens. Don’t lose your chance to drive traffic and leads.

5. Leverage Custom Thumbnails

People like their visuals.

Heck, that’s why videos are so popular in the first place. We value visual content.

We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover. But we can’t help it! Your video content may be top-notch. However, if nobody clicks on it, then there’s no way it will ever be a success in search results.

That’s why the thumbnail of your video is so important. An awesome, aesthetically appealing thumbnail that showcases the content can significantly increase the click-through rate (CTR).

CTR is a ranking factor. The better it is, the higher you rank.

YouTube and Google pick up on it as a signal of value. The video gets a boost in rankings as a result.

6. Get Backlinks

Link building is another foundational part of SEO.

It’s essentially a voting system. In Google’s eyes, a link to your content from another website counts as a vote of confidence. More links equate to a higher value, which leads to better rankings.

You want to attract as many links as possible to your YouTube videos. There are different ways to do this. Of course, it starts with creating quality content.

From there, do email outreach to similar sites who might find it useful for their audience. Share it on social media platforms, and distribute it to your current audience. Over time, you should start generating quality backlinks.

Final Thoughts on How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

YouTube has become a behemoth of the internet.

Billions of hours of video are watched on the platform every week! For that reason alone, YouTube has huge marketing potential if it’s leveraged correctly.

What’s more, YouTube videos now rank highly on Google. Combining SEO with YouTube is a recipe for driving traffic and leads to your website or business.

However, to do it, you first have to know exactly how to rank YouTube videos on Google. Hopefully, this post has provided the information you need to make that happen.

Looking for further SEO support? Be sure to leverage the free SEO tools on our website!