How to rank your videos high on YouTube?

by | Nov 22, 2021

Just like Google, YouTube has its own algorithm to rank videos based on different factors. In this blog about YouTube SEO, we will explain the important factors through which you can rank your videos higher. YouTube and Google algorithm keeps changing and it is very hard to keep up with the latest developments. However, if you want your videos at the top of the search, you should know what are the factors on which YouTube ranks a video?

Do you have any idea about the ranking factors of YouTube? Well, no one knows the exact algorithm of YouTube but well-optimized and engaging videos get more and more views over time. There are so many ranking factors that can be discussed but for now, we have categorized these factors into 3 main categories;

Keywords Research for YouTube SEO

The 1st one is Keywords Research. Proper keyword research is very crucial for your title, tags, and description.

Keyword research is about finding words and phrases that people mostly use to search for a particular topic online. The same is the case with video keyword research in which people use to search for a specific video online.  As you know that millions of people use YouTube search on daily basis to find videos about music, sports, health, fitness, business, and more; means that it is possible that someone from your audience is checking out one of your videos right now. And if you can identify the keyword your target audience is using to search, then you can easily optimize your video around that keyword. By doing so, there are maximum chances for your video to show up at the top of the search results. You can use different tools for keyword research like Ubersuggest, Google keywords explorer, and Ahref’s keyword explorer, etc. These tools are very helpful in knowing competition value, search volume and thus doing proper keyword research.

Keywords Research, YouTube SEO, YouTube Rankings
YouTube Keywords Research

After selecting your target keyword by doing the proper keyword research, optimize your whole video around that target keyword; include it in tags, descriptions, title, and overall video content. Doing so will make it easy for youtube to transcribe your video content and you will get high rankings on YouTube. Also, make sure to optimize your title according to the target keyword used. For example, if you’re recording a makeup tutorial then your video title should be a makeup tutorial for beginners etc.

Along with the title, make good use of your target keyword in the video description as well because youtube will read everything whether the title, description, or tags. So, use those tags that relate to your target keyword and the video content. Remember, when adding tags; always add your target keyword as the first video tag and the rest can vary depending upon your video content so youtube can further understand your video easily by reading the tags you’ve added in the video.

Getting initial views

The second worth-mentioning ranking category is getting initial views on your videos. While there is a chance that you may get good results even if you don’t have initial views but trust me, the first 24 to 48 hours are critical. Initial views provide a lot of important initial signals that help increase the audience retention of your videos. Audience retention is for how much time you can engage the viewers to your video. It is basically the average video duration for your videos. And youtube ranks those videos high which have high view rates because it makes youtube believes that the video is quite engaging and relevant for the viewers. So, your content should be so attractive that it forces the viewers to watch the video till the end; or it should have some suspense and drama in it t attract more audience and thus increase your chances of ranking high on YouTube.

In other words, the first few hours of your video are a testing ground for you — if you get a good amount of initial views, the algorithm will recommend more of your videos to new viewers.

To get more initial views, it is crucial to make your title and thumbnails as engaging as possible while also using your title and thumbnail to tell a potential viewer what the video is about. Thumbnails are very helpful to increase your CTR and Engagement.

Video Engagement

The next important factor that plays a major role in ranking videos on youtube is video engagement. By engagement I mean engagement as views, likes, comments, user retention, subscribers, watch time, and video shares. The engagement metrics are very important as it tells youtube your calculated views, likes, shares, comments, and subscribers.  The high these engagement metrics would be, the higher will be your chance of raking high on youtube according to the youtube algorithm.

YouTube videos Engagement

Remember that there is no shortcut to success. You will have to be patient enough and should be able to produce unique and quality content that will automatically get you more engagement. Before proceeding further, let me give you some suggestions on how to publicize your video to a wider audience.

The easiest thing to do is to tell everyone you know! Go tell your friends, parents, and relatives. Use your social platforms. Social networks can reach a wider audience before your video gets ranked well on YouTube. Share your video on every social media platform you use and you will attract a lot more traffic from those sources.

Besides these important ranking factors, there are some basic things that can help you to rank high on youtube and one of them is to make videos according to your audience’s interest. When you make videos of what people want to watch, you’ll definitely get higher viewership immediately after publishing the video. So, you should choose your topics wisely, according to the interest of your audience, and tell your viewers to LIKE, COMMENT, and SUBSCRIBE.

In addition, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your audience and create content based on what they like! So, make sure to implement all these SEO tips and ranking factors to get high rankings on youtube. And I’m sure that if you follow all these steps, your videos will rank high and high on YouTube and you will get more engagement and more audience retention.

To know more about YouTube SEO 2022, Enroll in my Udemy course about YouTube Growth or contact me through the information available on my website’s home page.


  1. Ali Manshah

    Really very helpful, concise and to the point. Appreciated

    • Khurshid

      Thank you Ali Manshah 🙂 Hope to see more comments from you on other blog posts in the future.

  2. Faiza Akhtar

    More power to you 🙂

    • Khurshid

      Many thanks, Faiza. 🙂


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