I have 1 little problem with your claim about longer videos being better. Personally when I’m looking for a how to solution to a problem I prefer shorter videos because then I won’t have to click through the video to get to my answer. I think eventually it will be about offering the best information in the shortest span of time. I think ultimately that the retention rate of a shorter video with the same quality will beat a longer video just because it has less retention.. because people prefer easy and fast solutions. What do you think?
You're also going to want to make sure that you share it on your blog. Those count. You're going to want to make sure that you share it anywhere else where you can that gets people to know about your video so they can link back to it. And if they're really interested, they will link. So, you don't need to go and sit there and try to rack your brain on how to build links to your YouTube videos, and yet you need to always be thinking about how to build links to your YouTube videos. On the other hand, you should always be building links to your YouTube channel, and that should be natural.
Normal keyword research will give you a great base and will be very similar to searches on YouTube. Obviously YouTube videos are also going to show up in google SERPs as well, though I've seen less of that lately depending on the industry. Starting with AdWords keyword suggestions and also the YouTube keyword suggestion tool ( https://ads.youtube.com/keyword_tool ) are a great place to start.
Just to be clear. 100-200 views just to give your video that presence, (nobody wants to be the first person to watch your video) 3-5 days after you upload it in the span of 25-50 views a day until you at 100-200 views. Then just keep building quality links then everything else should be natural especially the traffic. Or what’s the point? Have a video getting 100 views per month making me $500. Keyword research should be your main concern, then rankings come easy.
So let's talk about the first six ranking factors that fall under the category of content. The first is title. You want a title that is going to be awesome. You want a great click through rate. You want people to want to watch your video. So when they're doing a search on YouTube for a specific topic, you want to pop up, and you want someone to say, "That's exactly what I'm looking for." So not only do you need to do the keyword research ahead of time to understand what someone needs, but you also need to deliver on that concept, so that they know that that is what I want, and then when they watch the video, it's not something totally different.

Length Is Strength – this applies to both videos and content on your site. Longer videos rank high because people can find everything they’re looking for, especially tutorials and reviews. People will spend more time watching your video and you will probably get more engagement. There is no perfect length, but try to make videos at least 10 minutes, you’ll see better results.


Brian it seems to me that one of the biggest downsides of videos on your site is the load time. So I was checking into lazy load. But then I read that Google doesn’t crawl videos if they are lazy loaded. Do you think lazy loading is a good idea? Basically what’s more important for SEO: speed, or having Google see the extra video content? Or is there another way to make videos faster?
The first category would be the content that you create. These are things that are really in your control. Not everything about ranking on YouTube is in your control, and yet you have the ability to affect it all by the content that you create. So that's really the place to start is by creating awesome content and then uploading that content in a way that is going to put your best foot forward on YouTube.

I do agree with your point of engagement. Should not ever try to ruin our content with spam comments, try to be innovative and little different from others (as, a pole star can always be easily detected between million of stars). So produce good content and engagement will be there, and this is how Google learn which video is liked by the masses and which is not.
Tags also help in terms of discovery. Make sure that the first tag is the target keyword (exact match). Include as many tags as possible about or related to the content of the video. For example, in ‘youtube seo’ keyword, you may also use “video marketing,” youtube marketing” or “how to make a video that every SEO will watch.” This also helps YouTube identify and show your videos on the Suggested videos sidebar.

I totally agree that CTR is significant.  However, unless you are a Youtube partner (the old school type) you don't have all that much control over the thumbnail for your video (that is why I didn't included it in the list).  For most of us mortal Youtubers or ones that don't want to monetize our channels we have to live with the couple of choices that Youtube gives us for thumbnails.
Keyword research is the next most important thing I would say – like any blog post you should research the competition in YouTube and Google’s search results. Adding a good amount of content in the video description helps, but the video creation + keyword research (and writing a nice keyword-rich title + designing a nice custom thumbnail) are probably most important.
Great content! I’m just wondering about the minimum length of 5 minutes. Do you have any numbers on how many people use the filter ‘short < 4 minutes' option when searching? I use it a lot myself. For me, that is a reason to keep my videos under 4 minutes where possible. Also, if you make your video longer than 5 minutes just for the sake of length, it can hurt the user experience. What are your thoughts on that?

WOW, That’s what i’d call a detailed, step by step guide. I have one question though. When you promote your youtube video (aka building backlinks), have you noticed if it affects it’s rankings inside youtube? Of course if a video is displayed on google it certainly has more views and likes which can affect it’s rankings inside youtube search engine, but i’d like to know if simply by building links on it, i will see positive results inside youtube.

Great article. These are guidelines I usually follow and this helps explain it a bit better for me. I do have a question about the description. When you say “Put your link at the very top of the video”, are you talking about the link to the youtube video or link or your website? My co-worker likes to put in the youtube link that goes to the same video in the description. Does that help?
Meh, I disagree with your theory about using less tags. You should use all 500 characters for optimal results. There is no proof that likes/dislikes does anything to the SEO. I’m sure that is more for the content makers info and viewers warning. The description can be up to 5000 characters. Best to post your other video links. You have no proof of anything, noone does, we can only guess how youtube seo works..
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.
Thumbnail Optimization & Annotations. Utilizing the custom thumbnail feature for videos and annotations can help increase video CTR, views and shares. For each video, you have the option to upload a custom thumbnail. The image should be high quality (640 x 360 pixels minimum, 16:9 aspect ratio), vibrant and eye-catching. Visually compelling imagery will help get your video more clicks and views.

Before creating a YouTube channel or videos, you must have a strategy! This strategy is, of course, heavily based upon a solid video content calendar that aligns with company goals. Once your strategy has been developed, you can launch a new channel or optimize an existing channel. Here are the steps you need to take to optimize your YouTube channel.


Hey Brian, thanks for the great information. Most S.E.O (Trainers) leave out a lot of useful information leaving me stuck but not you man. I already signed up for the checklist and ready to work hard. I’m starting a beauty channel and beauty blog and we both know I need all the S.E.O tips that are around lol. Thanks again and looking forward to read more of your great content!

Again, internal page rank, what I say that is that they're shuffling it, but they're trying to determine how well does your channel and your video really fit into the YouTube community? Ultimately, if you create awesome content and get great engagement, then you're not going to have any problems at all ranking for the keywords that you really need to rank.
Therefore, assuming your video quality is of a high standard of course, spending some time to optimize your videos for your potential YouTube in terms of quality and searchability should see your videos attract more views and dominate that vital second search engine that we as SEOs are often quite guilty of neglecting — never more if you follow these steps to a tee!

Good tips. As mentioned in the #6 Delivery shooting a quality video. Not only quality content and editing, etc. but shooting an HD video is becoming more important. Not only is it going to look better but it will also have the HD icon next to the video during a search, which could improve CTR. You can also choose not to upload the video in HD, but always shoot in HD if you have the opportunity.


You don't have to check your video SEO ranking every single time. You can automate daily video ratings to your e-mail for absolutely free. Simply enter your email when results appear and we'll deliver your anticipated results to you mailbox. You can keep score of one video and one keyword for as long as you want. If you'd like to start ranking another video you can come to youtuberating.eu and type your e-mail address again. Your automating ranking tracking will be updated.
I was wondering if you are still following the replies here..and if you are..my question: I used to be able to land a video on page one of GOOGLE for just about anything as long as the search count was typically under 500,000. It seems now, it is more difficult even to land on the first page for something like this..(and please go look at the examples and provide your input if you are still monitoring this page)
Excellent insights @jrpurdon.  I agree that there seems to be a boost right after a video is created and posted that rewards engagement.  I suspect that the boost is designed to promote the production and promotion of viral content.  I also agree that you can take advantage of this boost if you can get views, comments, likes, shares quickly after you get your video posted.
When digital marketing is what you do for a living, you often take for granted that probably 99% of people who use YouTube are NOT professional marketers. They’re just people who use YouTube for fun and as a place to share videos with friends and family. My point is that while your tips seem second nature to a professional video marketer, for the most part your average social media user has no idea about any of this stuff.

Hi Brian, Thanks for sharing your insights on youtube SEO. I recently had my video go viral (it has gotten almost 145,000 views on YouTube and Twitter within a week). The tipping point seemed to be that it was tweeted out by someone as “The Worst Ad on YouTube.” Strangely this person does not have that many followers but it seemed to pick up a tremendous amount of views very quickly. I was running Adwords and Facebook campaigns, but at a pretty low level. Any insights?
I have found one of the most valuable places for our research is in our google analytics account.  I pulled an organic keyword report for the past 5 years on my site and filtered it with the words "How To" although you could use any of the suggestions made by Markus in the first comment here.  For my site it gave me more than 19,000 ideas for videos and articles that I knew my customers were already looking for.
The third is social shares. You have the ability on YouTube to easily and quickly share stuff on social media sites - Twitter, Facebook. It's simple to quickly share on your own, and it's simple for your users to share as well. Make sure you share it on your own, and hopefully you're going to have people reshare that. Google is tracking that. They're looking for it. They're looking for social signals for these videos. As more people share it, it's going to raise you up in the rankings. Again, it's just one factor in the basket of factors in terms of engagement.
1) Getting a 'thumbs down' rating can also help you in the rankings oddly enough. You can especially find this on video game related videos people will post videos titled something like 'Exclusive clip of (unreleased video game title).' Which will of course get thousands of views immediately followed by thousands of thumbs down ratings and negative comments because the game hasn't been released yet.  So it's a clip of an old game or their dog or whatever but the video will still rank number one because of the extreme amount of engagement.  Definitely not what we should aim for but worth taking note of!
Hey Eddy, my name is Stanford Pelage I am a YouTube and Google seo expert. I’ve made several comments on this thread and I would suggest that you went through the entire comments and look click ctrl f and type mrpelge and read all of my comments, that would drastically help you. The thing about YouTube Google rankings since April 2014 Google had a major update, many vseo have been crying but the solution is pretty simple. Treat your important videos like a website, don’t over optimize and don’t keyword stuff. Everyone says to do long articles, I would recommend a 1,000-1,500 word unique article for YouTube videos with a lot of competition. Don’t spam your video filename, don’t spam the tags. Just 3-5 tags would be sufficient. Main keyword,main keyword with an s and an lsi keyword and what your product does would be perfect, don’t want to confuse Google, that represents spam.
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