13 Crucial Factors that will Rank your Video Higher on YouTube

YouTube Promotion
January 21, 2020 — 6 mins read

Are you planning to start your own YouTube channel? Or you have no idea how to promote your videos? Then these tips will definitely help you with channel promotion. 

We compiled the list of factors from expert advice and their own research.

YouTube channel keywords are meta tags, that help users to find your channel in Google, YouTube and other search engines. Channel tags are similar to video tags, but they have a little different purposes. Channel can include a lot of videos, as one specialist can do a lot of tasks. So, the definition of channel is wider than video definition. Channel keywords help YouTube understand what your channel is all about, they can help your channel rank for keywords that your audience searches for on YouTube. Optimized Channel keywords can also increase the visibility of your channel on YouTube. Recommend to use this free tool.

After you setted up your channel keywords, you would need to correctly name your video. 

The title is one of the most important parts in Youtube SEO. Since this is a search query that users will find your video for. Take a look at competitors, be inspired by their ideas and do better. Check the statistics in Google Trends.  It will help you to find the most popular queries and get hyped. 

The first 3 lines of your description will appear in the search engine results. So within these first few lines, you need to describe your video and interest a person so that he clicks on your video. Use keywordtool.io to find most appropriate keywords for youtube video. 

Youtube video tags work like metags of a website. Why they are  important? They help YouTube  understand your video content and your video appears in the ‘related video’ section. 

How much tags should I use? Do not try to use as many tags as possible. Otherwise, our video will be over spammed. The right balance is to use 5-8 well-chosen tags. And regarding length - use tags with 2-3 words. 

Use brand-specific tags. If you are representing the brand or your business have a brand name, use the words related to it, as far users will start looking for it when the channel grows.

One way to find relevant keywords is to look at which tags your competitors are using. Use the VidIQ Vision extension for that. Another way - using a tool to find youtube tags tagsyoutube.com

According to our research, around 70% of videos on the first page of YouTube are in HD. Apparently, people watch high quality videos more often and longer, and for this reason YouTube ranking it higher.

Whenever someone likes, comments, or subscribes it sends a strong signal to YouTube that this viewer enjoyed the content enough to engage with it, so it will start showing them more of your videos. 

Videos that have more likes are ranked higher on YouTube. 

Ask people to leave comments. The more comments a video has, the higher it tends to rank.

One of the easiest ways to get comments is to ask your viewers a question during the video. In the same vein, asking people to subscribe and give the video a thumbs up is another way to get more engagement from your viewers.

As you can see, YouTube places a lot of focus on user engagement when ranking videos, and it uses multiple user experience metrics to determine the quality of your videos.


The number of subscribers is a sign of quality content on the channel. Do not forget to ask people to subscribe to the channel, place the call-to-action link in the description.

Audience retention is the average percentage of a YouTube video that people watch. For example, you have a video that’s 15 minutes long. If people watch your video for an average of 12 minutes, your audience retention on that video is 80%.YouTube confirmed that audience retention remains a big part of their algorithm.

Watch time is a total time that a user spent watching your youtube videos. YouTube has publicly confirmed that a video’s total watch time is a key ranking signal. In short, YouTube wants to promote videos that keep people on YouTube for a long period of time. Longer videos tend to significantly outrank short videos. 

Try to keep people watching your videos as long as possible. First 15 seconds are extremely important. Because at this time most users decide to watch the video further or not.

To understand at what point most viewers stop watching your video, go to the statistics. On YouTube Analytics you can find details on how to use audience retention report. 

A thumbnail is a clickable, visual icon that represents the content of a YouTube video. Thumbnails are used on every YouTube video, and are considered a major factor in a video’s click-through-rate and views. 

YouTube can automatically assign a thumbnail to you, but this will just be a random shot from the video. In order to stand out, you need to use a unique image that will encourage people to click. 

According to YouTube, 90% of top-performing videos use a custom thumbnail and that’s no coincidence. Using attention-grabbing video thumbnails get your videos much more clicks and views.

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, viewers can access YouTube from practically anywhere at any time. However, that doesn’t mean they can enjoy the video’s audio wherever they are. If your videos don’t have closed captions, then viewers may not be able to watch them if they’re:

  • Riding on a noisy subway.
  • With a sleeping baby.
  • In a noisy crowd.

If viewers can follow along with closed captions in environments where they can’t play audio, viewers have more opportunities to watch your videos. Don’t let their surroundings keep them from viewing your content—just add captions.

Foreign language subtitles let international and non-native English speaking viewers enjoy your videos. Even more exciting: search engines will index your translated caption files and include your video in search results in those languages. This can be huge for YouTube SEO, since you have a better chance of ranking higher for non-English keywords due to lower competition.

Just remember to always check your translations for accuracy!

Playlists are an amazing way to increase the overall watch time of your channel because they play automatically. So instead of watching just one of your videos, a viewer might watch five or six!

Cards – cards are the little information button. These can link to related videos, an associated website, polls, donations, or another YouTube channel. They are mobile-friendly (unlike YouTube’s outdated annotations) and you can add them in YouTube’s video manager.

As with traditional SEO, social media links appear to be an increasingly important factor in the overall strength of your content. Factors that indicate video social sharing include embeds, external links, and the strength of the sites the video is being shared on. Particularly strong social sharing sites include Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit so be sure to prompt sharing to these and other sites when posting your video.

The number of shares a video generates is strongly tied to first page YouTube rankings.

Finally, the last factor from this list - YouTube views. Video’s total view count has a significant correlation with rankings. It’s a number #1 among other factors. However, this is not a determining factor in the ranking. Videos with high-quality content may have fewer views, but be higher above lower-quality videos.


No one really knows how YouTube’s algorithm works. The factors listed above are based on research and comments from YouTube representatives.

Counts of views, audience retention and meta tags are main factors in ranking on youtube. 

There is no easy way to quickly raise your video in the YouTube ranking. Try to create high-quality content, follow the tips above and you will succeed.

In case you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via live-chat or on Skype.

Back to articles