Glad you like it! Sorry for the late response I’ve been in the moving process to Denver. I don’t think there is an value in that though, all the descriptions, tags, etc are handled by Youtube. And yes! For sure about the file name… once you upload it the file name is what it is but surely the video can’t be about a completely different topic (keyword) so there there shouldn’t be much to worry about? Love your feedback Mark!
One thing I’ve been curious about from a video SEO standpoint is captions. Logic tells me that if you upload your own caption file to the video, YouTube would use that to discern what your video is about and use that info in how it ranks your video in the results. I’m running an experiment on one of my YouTube channels right now to see if they have any effect on views over time. We’ll see!
Then, the last under the engagement side of things is likes and favorites. So there's a like button, just like Facebook. You can sit there, and you can thumbs up or thumbs down. You want, obviously, lots more thumbs up than you want thumbs down. You want people to say, "Hey, I love this video." But a thumbs down isn't the kiss of death for your video, because at least people are engaging with it, and they say, "Okay, I didn't like it." That might tell you, if you get too many thumbs down, that maybe you need to create a better video. But ultimately, you're looking for people to engage with the likes/dislikes side of things. And you also want them to favorite your video, which means that you really had an impact on them, that they really wanted to share it with their people. The more you share it and the more they share it, the better your video is going to rank.
At the end of the day, it is very important to have quality video content that adds value, solves a problem, engages and meets user needs. Great content will naturally get shared and get links, which will help increase rankings. Spend time working on your video content calendar, and employ the above optimizations to have a successful YouTube presence.

This logic is excellent. I’m curious as to how well this would work for a film teaser as opposed to an ad or how-to video? Are there any steps one should alter a bit to provide SEO for the teaser? Luckily, I have several different directions I can go with keywords and for a film teaser, it can easily be linked to how-to video keywords. Even though it’s technically advertising for the film, the video is of a mock cooking show on how to bake old fashioned pies, as that’s what these characters do in my film…lots of SEO opportunities that most film teasers wouldn’t normally have! Any further insight would be MUCH appreciated!
Hey Brian and Alex, the backlinks doesn’t necessarily help your YouTube rankings, but backlinks from other videos and channels are a big part of the YouTube algorithm and Google rankings is a part of YouTube algorithm as well. What really helps is higher PR backlinks and front page Google rankings, that will naturally help your video rank better on YouTube. If you have good rankings on Google, your YouTube rankings also get better. Then the obvious, high retention views is what dominates YouTube search results. Ex. Google search “draas” without quotes, my client video is number 5 on Google and number 1 on YouTube. How? Everybody has more views, likes, favorites and comments. But my video is properly optimized, and my Google presents is evident.
Awesome tips, thanks Jeff. We've got a YouTube channel with 25 videos that we haven't touched for years. Some have really crappy descriptions, incorrect tags, transcripts that are wayyyyy off etc. I'll be cleaning these up over the coming days. I'm keeping a log of the existing vs new rankings, so should be interesting to see the results. Many thanks!
Dear Brian, thank you for this clear and helpful tutorial. A question: if I want to rank a YouTube video specifically on Google… should I focus only on engagement (retention views, comments, social media shares, ecc.) or should I add also classic backlinks (anchor text to the video url, from other sites)? I still don’t understand If the last ones are almost useless or actually useful.
Anyway… I’ve been pulling out all the stop to get my Youtube videos ranked, but NOTHING is working. I have just realised though that all of my purchased, drip-fed, high-retention views are from mobile devices. Is this why I’m nowhere to be seen on Google’s SERPs? Also, do you have an e-mail address I could contact you at? I don’t want to take over your comments section single-handedly lol.