How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Initially meant to be a niche dating site, YouTube is now the second-most popular social network and search engine with more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide. This video-sharing platform has a large user base that watches over 1 billion hours of video content every day. Considering how many consumers engage with videos, YouTube marketing creates a clear opportunity for brands that want to gain a competitive advantage.

how to rank on youtube

Creating high-quality videos is only half the battle. You also need to know how to rank YouTube videos on Google, plus the video channel’s recommendation system. The optimization strategy may be similar in both cases, but video rankings differ between search engines and YouTube’s search bar.

How does Google rank videos?

Since Google integrated YouTube videos in search engine result pages (SERPs), video results are fifty times more likely to rank organically than text-based results. Websites and blogs with video content also tend to rank better than those with no video. That being said, not all Google search results will include videos.

On YouTube, the goal is simple — keep users on the platform as long as possible so they can watch more videos. Google, on the other hand, shows different types of content, depending on user intent. Their goal is to show searchers results that provide what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If a video is the best way to give those answers, it will pop up on the SERP.

Most views on your YouTube videos will come from within the platform, but you can get two to five times more views if you can get them to rank on Google too! All you have to do is find those magic keywords that already have video results in Google.

Google tends to use video results for only some main types of keywords, particularly:

  • How-to keywords (“how to make pancakes”)
  • Reviews (“Hogwarts Legacy review”)
  • Tutorials (“how to make a video tutorial”)
  • Anything related to sport or fitness (“no equipment full body workout”)
  • Any kind of funny video (“funny puppy noises”)
  • Videos with the year in the title (“YouTube SEO 2023”)

Should you lead your audience to YouTube or your website?

Before you start optimizing your videos, you need to decide on your marketing goals — do you want to increase traffic to your website or your YouTube channel? In other words, would you prefer to send your audience to your video on YouTube or the embedded version on one of your web pages? The answer depends on your industry and business model.

The SEO advantages of embedded videos are that they improve your content’s searchability on Google and encourage visitors to spend more time on your website. Thus, if your goal is to gain more website visitors, using embedded videos is better than linking them back to YouTube. You’ll just need to implement additional video SEO practices on your website.

However, keep in mind that Google will automatically determine which version of your video is deemed most algorithmically authoritative, no matter how well you optimized the videos on your site. There’s no guarantee that the video embedded on your website will rank above YouTube.

How to rank YouTube videos on Google’s first page

Suppose you finished recording and editing a high-quality video, follow the methods below to increase your chances of ranking on Google.

  1. Conduct keyword research

First, you need to generate a list of keyword ideas. There are a couple of tools you can use in your search, for example:

Next, choose the best keyword phrase from your list. Make sure to target low-competition keywords and that you find video results when you search the phrase in Google.

  1. Optimize your YouTube video

Once you uploaded your video on YouTube, optimize the controllable metadata by matching the user intent of the keyword as much as possible.

  • File name: Just like alt text for images, the file name should be descriptive and contain at least the main keyword.
  • Video title: Ensure your title is useful for users and at least five words long so you can include your full keyword. Put the most important information first, since Google cuts the title after 70 characters.
  • Description: Write details that will help Google (and YouTube) understand the context of your video. Include your keyword at least two times — the first one within the first 25 words.
  • Tags: Slightly old-fashioned, but a helpful way of providing more info on your video. Add tags containing your exact keyword plus a few variations and other topics that your video covers.
  • Key moments (chaptering): Key moments allow users to jump to a specific point (chapter) in your video. Add timestamps to your video description to improve the chances of Google showing your video.
  • Subtitles: YouTube creates subtitles automatically, which helps determine the content of the video. You can use YouTube studio to either generate subtitles automatically or upload your own.
  • Thumbnail: Rather than relying on the default thumbnail YouTube automatically selects, design your own to attract clicks from Google search results.
  • Geolocation: If your video is relevant to a specific country or area, adding geolocation will improve the positioning of the video at a local level.
  1. Promote and share your video

Get more engagement on your video to teach Google’s algorithm that it’s relevant to your audience.

  • Link your video in your email signature.
  • Embed your video in a blog post.
  • Promote your video on social media.
  • Optimize your YouTube page.
  • Use link-building techniques.
  • Ask for comments and subscribes — YouTube is a social media platform, after all!

5 Additional YouTube video ranking hacks

These ranking factors will give you an extra advantage in the possibility for showing up on SERPs, thereby improving your click-through-rate (CTR).

  • Content: Don’t just create something random. Make something worthy to watch that will encourage people to engage with your brand.
  • Description: Add the following details to every video description — bio or company description, call to action (CTA), link to your website and social media profiles, additional resources and hashtags.
  • Keywords: Mention the target keyword when recording your video or incorporate it in the voice-over.
  • Video length: You can research what the competition is doing, but it’s best to focus on the quality of your video rather than the length.
  • Video title: Put your keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible.

Want to rank your YouTube videos fast?

YouTube videos provide businesses with unique opportunities to reach new and valuable leads. If you’re already creating awesome and informative videos, knowing how to optimize your YouTube videos to rank on Google will help your brand grow. Hiring Inbound Marketing Inc. as your YouTube advertising agency means you have a partner who keeps you updated about your video campaigns.

Want to start getting real results fast with your company’s YouTube marketing? Contact us online or call us at 888-675-9886 today to speak to one of our strategists.

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