We start with a summary of YouTube ranking factors. Next, we’ll evaluate our best guess of how they might segment out from a practical perspective. There are two main groups that YouTube ranking factors fall into relevance and power.
Texts and images
YouTube and Google have two main tools for verifying video content. First, the scripts (automatically and manually loaded). And the second is video frame images. The latter is broken down by machine learning that interprets what is displayed. The accuracy of these tools is steadily increasing over time.
Starting in 2022, you can pretty much guarantee that algorithms will be embedded into your original content without a great deal of extra work. All you can do is provide the sharpest image possible with accurate text and make sure your videos are captured well.
Your video titles exist primarily to drive clicks from users across the YouTube platform. But they’re also good as pointers to a video’s topic and term ranking. Although YouTube titles should be thought of more like H1 titles than descriptive titles, it’s still helpful to understand the general keywords your videos are trying to rank for. And to make sure it appears somewhere in the title.
The YouTube description is where you can put all relevant supporting information about a video. This may include links to external resources, hashtags, and video chapters with Moments that Matter. YouTube and Google will analyze your video description. Studies show that videos with detailed descriptions rank higher than those without descriptions.
Hashtags can be included in the YouTube description. They are an increasingly important way to navigate and locate content. If you will use them, ensure to include the correct ones. This will increase the total number of views your videos can receive from hashtag pages.
Note: Do not confuse hashtags with YouTube tags. YouTube Stickers are an additional feature in the YouTube Creator Studio backend.
In general, YouTube tends to favor new videos over older ones. This is especially true for some queries, which would likely be handled with something like QDF (Query Qualified Freshness) processing. If you would like to rank with a three-year-old video of a competitive course, we suggest re-reading and reposting the video.
While many companies try to increase their credibility on YouTube by spending advertising money to increase views, this does not directly help rankings. This is because the number of quality views is more important than the number of raw views. But what is the display quality? They are real and committed users who watch a large part of your video.
There is no easy way to achieve high viewing quality. You just have to work hard to build a common base and an engaged audience. If you have managed it, you will most likely get a good number of quality views right out of the gate.
Retention of users
User retention refers to how many users, on average, watch your video before they get bored and click on something else. But it’s important to note how your video performs compared to videos of similar length on the same topic. So, what are some ways to improve your retention? For example, get an attractive opening for your video. Promise your audience value, then keep them engaged at a good pace.
View click rate
If your video appears on YouTube’s discovery page and a lot of people click on it, chances are you have a good CTR. In other words: click-through rate (CTR) measures the rate at which users click through to view your video every time it is considered. In addition, if more people click on your video than other videos, your views will increase and the algorithm will realize that your video is a good search result.
So, how do you make sure people click on your video? Try to create catchy thumbnails and titles for your videos. And don’t be afraid to change it up and try something new. You need to know what grabs your audience’s attention.
Credibility also has a significant impact on how likely a video is to be ranked. If you’re just starting, it’s hard to compete with a channel that generates tons of views per video. Especially if they post a similar video. But what determines the authority of the channel? In general, a channel’s authority is determined by the average quality of a channel’s content (i.e., quality views and retention rates per video) and the number of active subscribers. If your channel gets a lot of engagement with every new video, it will be much easier to rank your new content for relevant requests.
Now you know all the ranking factors. But how do you put this information into practice?
Step 1 – Declutter
YouTube is as much a social network as it is a search engine. It should not be considered a repository for all of your video content. Instead, think of it as a store. You don’t want your showroom to be your inventory room, so don’t show your audience a cluttered and confusing display. Instead, present some things beautifully! You will likely earn more.
Delete useless videos
To give your best work a chance to shine, remove the lowest-quality videos by marking them as “unlisted”. If you’re not sure what to leave off the list, look for videos that fall into one (or all!) of these three camps:
- 1- Videos that don’t work on YouTube
- 2- Videos that generate few results from Google search or YouTube platform
- 3- Low maintenance rate videos
- 4- Let us examine all three in more detail.
1. Videos that don’t work on YouTube
These can be videos that require a lot of extra contexts to understand. For example, sales videos, product support videos, and customer case studies generally don’t perform well on YouTube. It is better not to include it in the list so that it does not appear when users browse your channel.
2. Videos that generate few results from Google search or YouTube platform
If all your views are from external sources, it won’t be worth much after having YouTube videos. If your audience doesn’t find these videos through a YouTube search, YouTube-suggested videos, or a Google search, it’s best to unlist them. This way, your best and most engaging content can rise to the top.
3. Videos with a low retention rate
Be warned, the following advice may sound harsh. If your videos have a low retention rate, this generally tells you that the video is bad. Make sure to compare your performance to other videos of similar length. However, if your average retention is less than 30% for a video of fewer than 10 minutes, you should probably remove it. You can cut it again and upload it again. Especially if you think there is still value in the topic and there is a high search volume for the right keywords.
Step 2 – Upload the appropriate scripts for all of your videos
While auto-transcription to YouTube is better than ever, it’s still a good idea to upload your files. why? Because the tool may make errors. Therefore, if you want complete accuracy, it is better to provide the texts yourself. Additionally, if you’re targeting more than one language market, uploading international scripts can greatly improve your visibility. Search in those languages.
Step 3 – Clean and optimize your titles
Most YouTube titles are very long. This is probably because they are trying to replicate the pattern of meta titles for web pages. In general, YouTube titles should not exceed 50 characters. And it shouldn’t contain things like poop or dash following the brand name. Your channel name already represents your brand in YouTube search results. So, what should be included?
Consider using words that promise value. You can also indicate what users are most likely to find when they click on your video compared to others.
Step 4 – Refine your description
Descriptions should contain four elements: supporting text, links, hashtags, and timestamps (key moments). Supporting text works best when it fills the need for additional context and helps users understand better. Don’t put too much text in your description. And avoid public statements about your business. Instead, explain what your video is about, when and where it was shot, and what users can expect to be removed.
After the supporting text, you can add timestamps that show the main parts of the video. Next, provide three to five (maximum) hashtags, which then provide links to other videos and appropriate external pages.
Step 5 – Create and duplicate your best thumbnails
In general, well-performing thumbnails have bright colors, high contrast, and a face. Unfortunately, there is no perfect plan for the best types of thumbnails. So how do you know what type of thumbnail is best for you? The most appropriate metric to measure the success of any thumbnail is the CTR. You can find these stats in YouTube Analytics. Just look at the videos with the highest CTR and see if you can identify the unifying factors.
Once you’ve determined the style that seems to work best, try applying that style to all of your existing and new content.
Tip: Document this pattern in a pattern guide. This will help you be consistent with your thumbnails! However, try to change it over time. Check if the old style still works better or if another style attracts more clicks. And always keep an eye on your CTR.
If you can apply all of the above, you will get more views in no time!