What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Industry insights

The quintessential guide for how to rank YouTube videos

by Casey Schmidt  |  April 15, 2020

4 min. read
Workers surrounding a large video screen.

It’s easy to understand the importance of ranking on a search engine like Google. It is a highly popular way for users to find information they need.

What if I told you that YouTube behaved similarly? It sounds strange, since it’s completely different from a search engine. However, it has a lot of the same attributes and ranks content like Google.

Because of this, there are plenty of ways to manage and create YouTube videos to get them to rank well on YouTube. Before we dive into the crucial tips you’ll need, here’s a quick breakdown of why ranking on YouTube is so valuable today.

Why is it so important to rank YouTube videos?

YouTube has grown extremely popular since its inception, gaining large amounts of traffic and in the number of searches performed on the site. Google even uses YouTube videos to answer some questions asked on the search engine. This simply cannot be ignored by marketers looking to reach a wider audience.

A few animated people sitting around a large laptop.
Ranking on YouTube is much more important in today’s technological landscape.

If an overwhelming majority of your videos are ranking at the top for a lot of different searches, you’ll be connecting to an astronomical amount of users. In fact, this is expected to increase in the future as well. Users have begun using YouTube as a new way to find valuable information and answers to questions. The more you rank, the more overall traffic you’ll get.

With that in mind, here are some unique things to do in order to rank better:

Lesser-known YouTube ranking tips

I’ve found that these changes in approach really boost YouTube channels and move them up the rankings for each video in their library. Make sure you’re adhering to the basics, most of all, but then also look into these lesser-known ways to rank.

Implement Google into research

When coming up with new ideas for articles and blog posts, it’s standard to use different tools that show us what keywords are popular on Google. This is one of the most important practices for boosting SEO. It makes sense, then, that we could take a similar approach and apply it to YouTube.

A giant SEO sign in an office.
Engagement and addressing the right keywords plays a huge part in SEO.

Now, YouTube doesn’t have the same types of available tools to research keywords for it. However, it does respond similarly to many of the same principles. Therefore, if we find high-traffic keywords on Google, chances are they’ll be high-traffic on YouTube. As a result, aim to build your YouTube content based on your Google research.

Content is a game-changer

Most everyone understands the importance of creating content that matches high-traffic keywords. However, this is just a starting point. Pulling in this traffic and ranking for these keywords depends on the content you create. Now, there are a lot of misconceptions about what is and isn’t acceptable as company content on YouTube. For example, some people think you shouldn’t advertise products or services in your videos. This may be true to a certain extent, because if your whole channel is one big product advertisement, not many will feel it offers enough to subscribe to. However, it’s important to note that videos about new products and services do have a lot of value. Just look at Apple’s YouTube page for example. They make videos specifically to show off new products and get 7 million+ views.

Workers sitting around a laptop with a video playing.
Your video content is the most important part in the equation.

With this in mind, find the happy medium between advertising and semi-related content. First, make sure you have a firm grasp of how to create YouTube videos. Next, in order to rank well in the algorithm, your videos need to be watched for a longer period of time (instead of turned off 5 seconds in), they need to attract a lot of different views and need to be liked by the audience. Do some research into what types of content draws audiences in and attempt to create something similar with your own twist to it.

Take the important principles of ranking on search engines and apply them to YouTube in order to move up the rankings. Chances are you’ve already created some potentially popular content, now it just needs to reach the correct audience. Make a few adjustments to help your channel succeed.