The 5-Minute Guide to High YouTube Rankings

If you create YouTube videos to post throughout your website and blog, you might as well optimize them to rank in YouTube also.

Every little bit of traffic helps. And searchers in general are looking more at videos than ever before.

So what do you do?

Brian Dean’s team at Backlinko researched 1.3 million YouTube videos. And here’s the highlights of what they found:

  1. Keywords Actually Don’t Have a Lot to Do with High Rankings

Believe it or not, optimizing video tags with keywords didn’t have much of a correlation with high rankings.

You should still do this. It does help. But in general, you get much better results from focusing your time elsewhere.

And here’s why…

  1. Engagement Signals Make the Most Difference When Ranking Videos

Think about it for a second…

YouTube doesn’t want the perfectly optimized video at the top of its rankings any more than Google wants the perfectly optimized web page at the top of search.


Because optimization doesn’t reveal how much searchers actually like a specific piece of content.

Optimization gives YouTube an idea of what searches your video should rank for.

Engagement signals like the number of video views, comments, shares, and likes have a strong correlation with high rankings.

So it’s not the optimization…it’s your ability to produce videos your audience likes – and how well you promote your video to them.

Google search works on the same general concept.

  1. Video Length

Don’t make a video long just to rank.

If you put your focus on length only, you’ll sacrifice those engagement signals because you won’t create valuable enough content.

Instead, the focus should be the afore-mentioned value. And then, your video runs as long as it does.

The more value you can provide to your audience, the better. That keeps them watching and then taking actions – like sharing, commenting, liking, and subscribing.

Brian Dean’s team found the average length of a video on YouTube’s first page was 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

  1. Your Video’s Gotta be in HD

68.2% of first-page YouTube videos are in HD. It makes sense. Google, and YouTube, are all about user experience.

And people would certainly prefer an HD video.

So anyway, that’s what you do to get a video to rank on YouTube. If you want greater depth, you can read the full post here.

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