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    Content can take many forms. Today, the world is dominated by video content creators who post their videos on various online platforms. 

    One of these is YouTube, which is full of both amateur and professional videos, with topics ranging from entertainment to information and even science. 

    How to break through on YouTube and what ranking factors affect the positions of videos?

    YouTube ranking factors

    Every minute another 500 hours of videos arrive on YouTube. Such a huge competition proves that in order for your video to gain popularity and display high on the search list, additional measures are necessary.

    Wanting to search for content on YouTube, just like on Google, we type keywords into the search bar. What determines what video will be displayed in the top positions?


    Similar to written content, it’s all about responding to your audience’s needs. Using keyword analysis tools and their potential (e.g., Keyword Planner, Senuto, Google Trends) you can draw conclusions about what queries users are directing to the search engine and what results they expect.

    Additionally, it’s a good idea to analyze competitors that offer content on the same or similar topics and track which videos bring the most traffic and what phrases they show up for in YouTube search results. 

    It is worth mentioning that YouTube’s search engine also takes into account the preferences of logged-in users. Typically, the recommended content are videos from subscribed channels or are thematically related to those viewed previously.

    There are also a number of other content recommendations.


    Good quality content is the cornerstone of building visibility for websites and e-commerce. Video is no different. In addition to taking care of technical issues – good sound and video quality – remember valuable content. The content of your videos should pique the interest of your audience, encourage them to watch the entire video and check out other videos posted on your channel. 

    Audience engagement

    Videos with a high number of views and likes are more likely to appear directly in search results and in the video recommendations module. 

    If viewers watch the video to the end or come back to it, are active in comments or share the video on their social media, it gains popularity. This is a snowball effect, which we can achieve by adjusting the important elements that influence the position. 

    What do they include?

    Basic elements of YouTube SEO optimization

    If your goal is high ranking in Google, you should take care of optimizing your site, among other things. The SEO agency you work with will perform a SEO audit, identify errors and a course of action. Probably the next step will be planning link-building activities, laying a content plan and integrating the SEO plan with the other branches of marketing (Social Media, SEM, UX).

    So it will come as no surprise to you that in the case of SEO for YouTube videos, the activities follow a similar course of action. 

    Start by analyzing –keywords

    Keyword analysis is definitely a must. You will need them both in the video description, title and to optimize the rest of the elements. With a good analysis and selection of words in terms of your industry, target audience and current trends and potentials, you can gain a much higher number of views. 

    Remember to add your chosen keywords to the Basic Information in your channel settings panel.  

    The keyword phrases you obtain through analysis can also be used to create tags. Thanks to them, viewers can easily find videos on topics of interest to them. According to YouTube creators themselves, tags are less important than description or title, but they should not be overlooked. It is certainly also an additional place to use keywords in a natural way.

    Title and description of the video

    Both titles and movie descriptions are limited by a certain number of characters, so it’s a good idea to plan their content well. 

    The title should contain the keywords we derive from the analysis and attract the user’s attention and encourage them to click. The content must clearly indicate what is in the video. The length of the title can be up to 100 characters. 

    In the description underneath the video, we already have a little wider scope. We are limited by 5000 characters, so we are able to include more information and keywords here. 

    Remember that some users read only the first sentences of the description, not developing the whole thing, so try to interest the viewer from the beginning. 

    The content of the description can include information about the specific video and the creator or topic of the channel’s activity. It’s also a good idea to include an engaging message here that will encourage the user to subscribe to the channel or leave a comment and like. 

    There’s also an engaging message that will encourage the user to subscribe to the channel or leave a comment and like it.

    If your video is long and you can divide it thematically, include links  directing to specific sections in the description. This will make it easier for users to locate the content they are looking for and provide additional space to include keywords. 

    Cards when displaying a video

    Internal linking plays a very important role in the SEO process. In addition to making it easier for users to navigate, it supports the indexation process and points robots to pages worth navigating to.

    We can also implement them in videos published on YouTube. We are talking about tabs that appear on the screen in the form of a button redirecting to a similar or recommended video by us, located on the same channel. 

    This is also a great way to get the user interested in your next video and promote other videos. If your channel is more extensive, you can also include links to Playlists that bring together several or more videos on specific topics. 

    Remember, however, that links to other videos should not interfere with viewing and visibility of the title. It’s a good idea to place links informing about other videos on the channel in the last seconds, when the user is looking for another video or wants to learn more about a particular topic. As part of the links, it’s also worth adding a button encouraging users to subscribe to the channel. 

    Miniature video

    Graphics and visuals are the elements that most often catch users’ attention. The most important aspects to keep in mind when creating a thumbnail are first and foremost:

    • communicability – each video should have a promotional graphic original to itself
    • thematic relevance – a well-chosen thumbnail image informs users what topic is covered in the video
    • quality – graphics used for the thumbnail should be of high quality, properly cropped, and clearly visible regardless of the screen resolution of the audience.

    Channel Optimization

    Your channel is your brand’s calling card, so it’s a good idea to take care of its basic elements.

    • Name and description – the name of the channel should relate to the type of your business and be easily remembered by users. In the description, include the most important information about the channel so that users can get to know you better. Try to include key phrases and messages that encourage people to subscribe and promote the channel. 
    • Channel trailer – for some time now, a very popular form of presenting the channel’s subject matter has become several dozen or several dozen seconds long trailers. Such a short presentation and introduction to the topic is a good way to get people interested in the topic of the channel, who came across it by accident or are looking for videos of a particular industry.
    • Sections – organizing your videos by subject areas makes it easier to navigate your channel, especially if your videos appear regularly, with high frequency. 
    • Graphic design – logos and graphics should be color-correlated and, as with thumbnails, indicate the channel’s or brand’s activity. 
    • Promote your channel – if you also have accounts on other portals and social media remember to promote your channel. You can regularly post information about the videos that appear, with a short note about the subject matter covered. Also encourage your subscribers to share your videos on their social media accounts and to comment and share their thoughts on the channel.

    Positioning videos on YouTube

    The issues discussed above are the basic factors and elements whose optimization affects the display of videos on YouTube search engine. Following a few simple steps can help you promote your channel and get better visibility. 

    If  you have questions about SEO and online visibility- contact us and let’s talk!

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    Karolina Jastrzebska
    Karolina Jastrzebska

    The author of the post is Karolina Jastrzebska. She started her adventure with SEO in 2021. She currently works as an SEO Specialist at Up More.